By: Claire Hannum, Travel & Wellness Writer
Millennials might ultimately be remembered for their love of avocado toast and trendy shades of pink, but Gen Z carries a very different kind of legacy on their shoulders: anxiety. Lots and lots of it.
Over 90% of Gen Z is stressed. For an age group that’s meant to be enjoying carefree years of high school, college, and early adulthood, that much overwhelm is a pretty big bummer.
This anxiety is showing up everywhere in Gen Zers’ lives, from the workplace to friendships. In such an overconnected, fear-fueled culture, it’s easy to see why. Thankfully, there are plenty of tiny steps you can take - even on the busiest of days - to feel a bit better. Here’s what to try.
Start your morning with meditation.
Meditation can help you reduce anxiety and stress with mindfulness, visualization, and breathing techniques. The best thing about a meditation practice? It’s adaptable to every type of routine. A session can be as long or as short as you want, and it can be done solo or with a group.
If you like to get up and out in the morning, start drop into an early meditation class where you’ll be guided by a pro through calming techniques that can help you slay your day. If you like to stay in bed as long as possible in the morning, you can make your practice super easy: just pull out your phone, open the Unplug app, and start a meditation session of your choice right at home. With sessions focusing on everything from feeling energized to getting focused to soothing anxiety, there’s a perfect session to help you find your calm.
Take tiny wellness pauses throughout your day.
Look, we know you’re busy. In fact, you’re so busy that it’s probably tempting to tell yourself that you “don’t have time” for self-care, even on days when you’re in desperate need of a few minutes to just chill. Fortunately, a few minutes can really be all it takes to start feeling better in times of stress or panic. Pull out your phone and choose an ultra-short Unplug meditation to help you find your center before diving back into your day. Another great method is the classic that your mom taught you as a kid: close your eyes, and slowly count your way through ten deep breaths. It really does work!
Find healthy channels for stress.
Everyone needs an outlet, especially on days when you feel overwhelmed or cranky. You can let off steam through running, journaling, guided visualizations, or even dancing it out to your favorite song. It doesn’t really matter what your outlet is (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, obvisously), what matters is that it’s something you’ll give yourself the time to enjoy when you need it. The length of time you spend on these coping tools doesn’t matter so much as the fact that you do them in the first place.
Learn your stress triggers.
When a sudden bad mood sinks its claws into you “out of nowhere,” it’s usually not just a random occurrence. Most of the time, something happened to trigger that stress in you, even if you didn’t notice it in the moment. Try to trace backwards and take note of what that “something” was, so that next time it strikes, you’ll be aware that it’s a stress trigger for you. Once you identify these triggers, you can be more mindful about anticipating and managing them.
End your day with a bang.
There’s nothing like a powerful experience just before bed to help you unwind from the day. Get into the habit of enjoying soothing practices, like soundbaths, to sink into relaxation before nodding off to sleep. Bedtime de-stress routines can make all the difference the next day!