When it comes to holiday loneliness, many of us immediately think of the elderly. We think of older people isolated from friends and family, and our heart instantly goes out to them. But one population surprisingly suffers from depression and loneliness more than previously thought, and it’s deserving of our attention: millennials.
According to a recent article in the Independent UK, isolation mixed with stress and anxiety contribute to considerable depression in this population. According to the article, “One in 10 people aged between 25 and 34 who took part in a recent survey by mental health charity Mind said that they have no one to spend Christmas with, compared with one in 20 older people.”
The pressure to feel happy and to be surrounded by loved ones can be a lot for all of us, and millennials feel it intensely. It helps to build in rest, relaxation, and self-care, no matter how old you are. The holiday season is filled with bliss, but the pressure around it to be joyous and to participate in every single activity can be a lot. Regardless of your age, be sure to prioritize your mental health. There’s no shame in backing off, asking for help, or reaching out for assistance. If you know millennials who might be suffering in silence, give them a safe space to share their thoughts. If you’re feeling down or intensely stressed but not able to reach out in person, NAMI has incredible resources that can help, and there are hotlines you can call. Mental health is a real concern for one in five in our population, and by reducing stigma and increasing awareness, it’s a problem that can be solved during the holidays and beyond.