According to the U.S. Census Bureau, this month Millennials have topped 75 million, officially taking over as the largest generation in the country. Making up such a huge group, Millennials are not easy to categorize, although various pundits have tried, labeling them with traits ranging over a full spectrum: narcissistic, altruistic, lazy, innovative, uninvolved, universalistic, distant, connected, egotistic, generous, entitled, idealists.
Millennials have faced difficult challenges in the workforce due to a weak economy and soft job market. And often they’ve come into those encounters without experiencing hard knocks and learning how to compete – after a childhood of receiving kudos of ‘good job’ and trophies for participation alone.
So, without a history of living through serial failures and recoveries, it’s not surprising that some Millennials are short on resiliency – and feel the need to take breaks from adulting, their new accountabilities and expected maturity. According to the Urban Dictionary, the slang word adulting means to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.
Twenty-somethings who are fatigued from adulting are comfortable turning to social media to share their desire for praise in accomplishing adult duties like showing up for work on time or making the bed. They long for periods away from such grown-up behaviors and feel they deserve to have that extra glass of wine or to order in dinner. To relieve the stress and anxiety from adulting, Millennials are also turning to adult coloring books and other playful activities of childhood, like summer camp. These may recreate for them the carefree days they shared with friends as well as the nurturing and support they received from family.
What, then, are Millennials to do when the tensions of adulthood become overwhelming? Check out our Strategies right here in the Resources section of our site. The white papers there give dozens of practical tips to help reduce stress – including committing to an exercise plan, practicing relaxation techniques, reframing, laughter, setting realistic expectations, volunteering and expressing gratitude. And not just Millennials can benefit from these and the other tactics highlighted in our Strategies – they work just as well for Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers.