You’re a daughter; a granddaughter; a sibling or BFF; a student; an employee; perhaps a dedicated religious follower; an errand girl; maybe a girlfriend or young wife; an auntie or new mommy yourself. You act as an accountant for your bills; applying to college and starting a career makes you your own public relations agent.
All these colorful roles are slightly different shades of yourself. With each filter your thoughts, speech and skills tint and alter, until it’s hard to tell who is the authentic “you.” When life overwhelms us, our mental health gets muddled.
Be encouraged! Here’s a DIY into finding yourself, resetting your mind and holding your peace.
The science behind females as multitaskers
Russian researchers published findings in the summer of 2016 backing years of previous studies that “suggest that women might find it easier than men to switch attention and their brains do not need to mobilize extra resources in doing so, as opposed to male brains.”
So we’re the better multitaskers. But what about when it’s all just too much? When school exams stress us out, parents just won’t let go of micromanaging and the mere thought of letting your hair down, living and loving freely threaten to jeopardize scholarships, slow down career aspirations or lead to consequences that we never thought we’d face so young?
See the red flags for being overwhelmed
Medical Daily illuminates the secret turmoil of high-functioning depressed individuals.
“Teens and adults who can pull off a normal-seeming life in public, yet suffer in private, eventually succumb to the pressures of success. … Because depression and anxiety have distinct symptoms, like dropping grades, performance, or mood,” high-functioning people with high GPAs and high output at work “can often mask themselves and pretend like everything’s okay when in reality it’s quite the opposite.”
The National Association of Mental Illness says 1 of every 5 young people has a mental disorder. In England, a study published fall 2016 showed 26 percent of girls 16-24 there suffer common mental illnesses. Manifestations of mental distress can have bodily effects.
- Anxiety issues can both trigger or piggyback other physical ailments such as sleep disturbance, muscle tension and fatigue as well as problems with appetite, in romantic relationships and with mental and emotional strength. The body looks for ways to signal that something is wrong, so those with anxiety issues can expect to experience random or seemingly unrelated physical reactions.
- Panic attacks can often feel like a heart attack, or worse. Psychologist Thomas A. Richards explains, “A panic attack is a horrible and terrifying experience, but it is not in any sense ‘dangerous.’ Panic disorder is actually a natural bodily reaction that is occurring OUT OF CONTEXT,” and fueled by adrenaline.
As young ladies, we’re accustomed to primp and prep: When the nail set is outgrown, we get a fill. When our hair has split ends, we get a trim. When our muscles are overworked, we even get massages.
If our mind is at its wits’ end, there are effective treatments and supports available to refresh your mental health. Search for treatments and programs that specialize in supporting young people and offer a variety of alternative therapies. Our path to wellness will last if it’s as individualized as we are.
Hack into handling it all
Pomodoro Technique is a productivity strategy that offers the best of both worlds: task-slashing focus and permissible space for your mind to wander, rest and refresh.
Productivity experts suggest replacing pill-popping with fresh air, drinking an impressive amount of water, natural light and staring at greenery in between daily assignments. These all boost circulation and thus, brain function; lower stress hormone levels; and peacefully invigorate.
Live in the present. Tee R. Sebastian reveals her path of hurt and healing in a recent blog post:
“I made a decision to live in the moment. This was the hardest but most rewarding part of the process. After ‘living for tomorrow’ since elementary school, and putting my life off until someday when things fall into place, I finally learned to say yes to life and enjoy it freely. I make plans for the future, but I enjoy every step along the way without pausing my life until ‘that day’ comes. And I no longer wait for things to happen; I make an effort to make them happen.”
Change the narrative for your life, for this generation, by being bold enough to speak and to act with intention. Being bold does not mean being loud. It means being confident, assured and in control of your life and mind. Check out the following tips on making positive changes and share on social media!