Our generation cops a lot of shit from a lot of angles about a lot of stuff.
We’re lazy. We’re self-centred. We’re hotter than all the other generations.
I made that last one up.
While some of the stereotypes about twentysomethings are sorta accurate (yes hello I can’t help but be obsessed with the Kardashians, I don’t know why, I’m trying to stop it) there’s one thing we’re really good at, and that’s talking openly about our mental health.
Our Facebook feeds are littered with memes about crippling anxiety. Our favourite celebrities discuss their mental health as frequently and nonchalantly as they do their breakfasts. Our government has introduced initiatives like Mental Health Week to encourage open discussion about our interior lives in schools, workplaces and at home.
And what do ya know, we’re smack bang in the middle of Mental Health Week right this moment.
With that in mind, we ran around the PEDESTRIAN.TV office today and asked our colleagues about the little things they do to keep their mental balance in check.
These are the self-care routines, big and small, that keep us primed and prepped to bring you the spiciest yarns each and every day.
“I have a coffee with the bf every single morning on the deck, rain, hail or shine, to take a moment before the hectic day begins.” – Annie Ryan, Senior Advertising & Partnerships Manager
“While I love being around people, my mental stability decays faster than a cooker’s teeth after a three-day festival if I don’t have my alone time. I can’t score this at home given I live with my partner and a colleague, so I’m steadfast in taking my entire one-hour lunch break everyday at work. Sure, punching durries/sipping Coke Zero/mindlessly playing Candy Crush isn’t the physically healthiest thing I could be doing, but it helps me reset and remain level-headed for the rest of the day.” – Sean Dillon, Native Content Strategist
“Don’t go for your mobile first thing in the morning or last thing at night. If you like to read on a screen before you go to bed it’s worth investing in a Kindle. Turn your phone to Aeroplane Mode while you sleep. Try to focus on elongated tasks and thinking and don’t get caught up in the constant stream of notifications and tab switching to Facebook or email.” – Chris Wirasinha, Director
“I went through a really shitty time earlier this year after a breakup, and I discovered meditation. I use the Headspace app because it makes it simple and realistic, I just do it each morning for 10 minutes on my way to work. I also took up barre class which combines yoga principles and pilates, and doing that two times a week during lunch is kind of a hybrid fitness and mental health thing for me, because it’s really all about focus and mindfulness – you’re focusing on specific muscles that you’re working through the class, which is the core principle of mindfulness really.” – Melissa Mason, Senior Style Editor
“I think no screen time is a massive one. I try to not pick up my phone once I get into bed, getting caught in the constant scroll of socials before bedtime is a bad habit. so once I get into bed I’ll read a book instead and find it far easier to get to sleep. Another one is watching nature docos. I used to watch a lot of reality TV but found it left me in a weird mood, much rather watch seal pups with David Attenborough‘s dulcet tones.” – Chloe Patterson, Strategy & Response Lead
“I have a soothing Spotify playlist that I listen to on the way to work or whenever I’m feeling a bit shitty. Music is usually where I go to heighten my mood. Also, if I’m angry at something, I’ll allow myself 10 minutes only to be pissed off, then I learn from it and move on. I think setting aside time to allow yourself to feel sad or emotional is important, just as long as it’s not too much.” – Matt Hopkins, Technology Editor
“The biggest shift in my mental health came with making a conscious (and difficult) habitual change with that voice inside my head. For the last few years I have trained that voice to be kind and never negative (obvs every now and then it gets the better of you). Basically, if I ever catch myself saying something negative towards myself internally, I think ‘would I speak to my best friend like that?’. The answer is always no and I fix it accordingly. Speaking to yourself the way you would your best friend is a great benchmark. It’s my most powerful tool for a healthy state of mind. That might be a bit deeper than you need, I also enjoy watching Love Island for an escape lol.” – Kylie O’Connell, Creative Projects Manager
“I keep mentally fit by going for runs. What originally started as this dreaded challenge to go from the couch to running 5km has now become my go-to reliever for stress. The thing I love most about running is that it is as much of a physical challenge as it is a mental one, and you can do it anywhere in the world!” – Whitney Higginson, Group Advertising Manager
“I find that when I’m anxious and out of sorts it helps me to concentrate on another task, putting that at the forefront of my mind and muting the other noise. Without sounding totally Stepford Wives, over the years I’ve narrowed that down to one activity: baking. There’s something about following a recipe and concentrating on not fucking up that helps to silence all my other background thoughts. By the time I’m finished I feel calmer. Plus at the end you have a delicious reward, so it’s totally a win-win.” – Josie Rozenberg-Clarke, Head of Editorial
“I listen to sleep meditation podcasts to chill me the f out.” – James McManus, Head of Creative Projects
“I definitely try to have some screen free time on the weekends. I also try and get as much fresh air as possible – go for a short walk on lunch break, head to beach or park on weekend. Eating healthy makes a massive difference to my energy levels and wellbeing. Yoga I adore and I think it may be the only time I actually breathe properly!” – Lisa Thom, Advertising & Partnerships Director
“My mental wellbeing usually spirals into a vortex of shit when I start comparing myself to others. Instagram and social media are easy ways for this to happen, so i try to not spend too much time trawling. I also find my anxiety/mental worries goes away when I do something productive. That feeling of crossing something of a list works every time. Swimming in the ocean also heaps lessen any stresses or anxiety I might have.” – Nat Buchanan, Office Manager
“Cooking calms my soul. Every Saturday morning I walk to the farmers market and then make an epic family dinner for my housemates on Sunday. I try to practice mindfulness for 5 minutes as I’m waking up in the morning. I have filled my room with an ungodly number of plants to keep things fresh. I also like to clean. Fuck, I sound like a loser.” – Felicity Johnson, Advertising & Partnerships Manager
“Every Sunday morning I walk the Tan Track with my Mum and dogs and it helps me stave off the Sunday sads.” – Lucinda Price, Lifestyle Editor
So there you have it folks. Even we people who work in digital media and memes for a living need a break from their mobiles.
Take care of yourselves.
If you or someone you know is dealing with mental illness, there’s a bunch of resources you can turn to, including: BeyondBlue (1300 22 4636), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) and Lifeline (13 11 14).Image: Mad Men