Just thinking about the word stress makes me feel stressed. Ryan Healy of Employee Evolution does a great job sheding a new light on what stress looks like for us 20somethings.
This guest post was written by Ryan Healy, a twentysomething who speaks with companies, organizations and students on a variety of career related topics. Healy decided to make his voice heard and founded the Generation-Y career blog, Employee Evolution, along with Ryan Paugh (who wrote G is for Goals). The blog has appeared in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Business Week. Ryan has been been featured as a spokesperson for Generation Y on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
* * * *
When Elysa asked if I wanted to write a post about stress, I couldn’t think of a more fitting topic. Career wise, we had just launched our company website, we were smack dab in the middle of raising a round of funding, and I was beginning to understand what it really means to be a workaholic. Personally, I was in a new city trying to meet new people, and I was dating a girl that I was really into, but things were obviously not going to work out.
Talk about a stressful time. I always prided myself in being an even-keeled guy. I’ve never been one to stress out about much, but the past few weeks have been a whole different story. It seemed like all the hard parts of being a twentysomething; creating new friendships, surviving on your own, navigating your career and maintaining relationships with the opposite sex, were thrown into a blender, mixed up and dumped on my head!
I actually became physically sick for a couple of days in the midst of everything. Luckily, I had plans for a much-needed three-day trip to my parent’s house. For those three days I continued to work, but I took a step back, a couple deep breaths and I put everything into perspective.
I reminded myself that your twenties are a time for growing up, a time for learning about yourself, a time for becoming an adult and a time for having fun. They’re the best years of your life, but they’re also the most stressful. Between leaving home for good, jumping in and out of relationships, and navigating the wonderful world of work the stress can often be unbearable.
But the stress is what you learn from. Being a twentysomething is a learning process, and one of the best lessons these years teach us is how to not only cope with stress, but how to embrace it and thrive in stressful situations.
Everyone cope’s in different ways, the trick is to figure out what best works for you. For me, it’s going for a long run. There’s something about being in the moment and thinking clearly when I’m jogging that is unbelievably relaxing to me. A lot of people I know do yoga, others read, and some like to go to the bar. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just be sure you know what you need to do to overcome the most stressful situations you encounter.
Because the truth is, as we get older, life is only going to get more complicated and more people are going to be dependent on us. Kids, a spouse and a mortgage may seem light years away, but they’re right around the corner. If you don’t know how to deal with stress when you’re responsible for more than yourself, you’re in big trouble. So think of your twenties as training for the real adult world. Learn from the difficult situations and know what you need to do to overcome the stressful times. And don’t forget to have some fun while you’re at it!
* * * *
I love the part about everything being thrown into a blender and dumped on your head. That describes my year — yes the whole year. It’s Friday so I choose to de-stress by spending some time outside, the weather is gorgeous here in Texas.