As a generation that has previously been called lazy – and told that buying a first home would be easy if they simply stopped spending their money on avo on toast – millennials are constantly under fire.

The argument that millennials need to try harder however is as lacking in facts though, as in real life those aged 25 – 34 years old are actually continuously putting pressure on themselves to do and be more – thanks to a combination of excessively high personal standards and overly critical self-evaluations – and its taking a toll on their wellness.

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According to new findings by health and fitness app MINDBODY, millennials in the UK rate their wellness lower than any other age range. Unsurprisingly, for young individuals (who you’ll often find working long hours while working on a ‘side hustle’ simultaneously) stress was revealed to be the biggest negative influence, with nearly one in four (39%) saying they feel somewhat stressed and anxious daily. This isn’t helped either by the facts they’re also getting, on average,  just six hours and 38 minutes of sleep per night (out of the recommended eight hours) and are finding only a measly 5.5 hours per week for quality ‘me time’.

And, while these issues are enough in themselves, there are many other factors millennials have to face that barely crossed the minds of the generations preceding – think social media, social commitments and financial worries.

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Despite all this though, millennials are more clued up than ever on exactly what they should be doing to reduce the negative effects everyday life can have. They eat better and smoke less than the generations before them and, most importantly, know that exercise is one of the best ways to combat stress and improve ‘wellness’ – over 69% of millennials in the MINDBODY study admitted that exercise helps alleviate their stress levels, so it can’t be wrong!

Recent findings by leading fitness educator The Training Room support this, suggesting that despite having some of the lowest levels of wellness in the UK, young individuals are trying to make positive changes to improve their wellbeing.

Around 55% of PTs surveyed in April 2018 said they had seen a recent rise in clients approaching them with mental health concerns or worries about wellbeing, with the top three concerns being stress caused by work, money and financial issues and achieving a work-life balance. While personal trainers may have been hired solely for help with achieving physical benefits such as weight loss previously, it is clear they are now sought after, especially by younger individuals, due to the fact exercise can positively impact other areas of a person’s life.

Exercise increases the amount of serotonin – the happy hormone – produced in the body, which is nature’s way of improving your mood. And, while exercise is an important part of the wellness journey, it doesn’t mean spending every waking hour in the gym. Simply spending more time outdoors or fitting a quick workout in at home can go a long way in improving health and wellbeing.

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As well as exercising, there are numerous more things you can do to achieve mental wellbeing.

1. Connect

Connect with the people around you, your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours and spend time developing these relationships. Make sure that when you’re with people, you’re truly there.

2. Make lists

Listing your goals and check them off when they are completed will help you tackle things one at a time, without feeling overwhelmed or too stressed. Seeing problems as opportunities or focusing on the positive can also help to manage stress levels.

3. Manage your hours and switch off

If your job is stressful or you work long hours, ensuring you properly switch off when you leave the office is essential. This means taking regular short breaks throughout the day to promote productivity and no replying to emails after work hours. Find your work-life balance.

4. Be mindful

Be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings and the world around you. This can be as simple as not scrolling social media when on your morning walk to work.

5. Sleep

By getting at least eight hours of sleep a night, you are more alert and less prone to stress in the days after.

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