The Wellness Generation

A guest blog from Christian Field

Don’t panic! It’s not all doom and gloom. Take in the landscape, trust in your teaching, and most importantly… have a little faith!

Depending on context, the term “millennial” can feel like either a mark of pride, or an unwarranted stain. It tends to be a description used to segregate people of a particular age. Moreover, within this segregation, there tends to be a strange obscurity. It seems that figuring out the motives of people under the age of thirty is equivalent to unlocking the secrets of the universe! This is clearest when we look at Generation Z (born from the mid-90s onwards).

Generation Z is unique. Modern systems of connectivity have given rise to an unparalleled level of social consciousness, and the ease of information dissemination on social means little is private. This, I argue, has galvanised the youth.

New platforms crop up every week, new arenas for voices to be heard. People are talking, and with greater reach than ever. Now everyone can join in… and all from the comfort of their bed!

I know what you’re thinking – when has a blog post ever toppled an empire? Well, lest we forget, last February, a single tweet from pop culture titan Kylie Jenner sparked a 6%, $1.3bn plunge in Snapchat’s stock… I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with a teenager and the swipe of a finger.

Now, as much as I understand the urge to make your opinion known, there is something else burning at the heart of this. Young people want to shout, yes; but they also want to be seen doing it! They want to feel involved. All this outward awareness comes in tandem with a greater sense of internal awareness.

Maybe the situation’s worsening, or maybe we’re finally finding the courage to speak up. Either way, it’s undeniable that mental health has never been more at the forefront of social consciousness. Voxburner’s Youth Trends Report ’17 showed that a frightening 75% of 16-24 year olds feel anxious and worried. But, don’t panic! I’d argue that this comes more from a healthy concern for the future.

Generation Z is disruptive. Motivated for change, both in the world and themselves. Social media has popularised mental & physical wellbeing, entrepreneurial spirit is actively encouraged by societal competitiveness, and all of this makes being a self-starting, well-rounded individuals genuinely cool!

The Voxburner survey reported 84% of young people believe they ‘continuously improve themselves and learn new skills’, while being drawn to luxury/convenience technology. People are looking to live comfortably and succeed. Self-help is ‘in’, and that’s a beautifully constructive thing.

What does this mean for you? Recent years have seen a flurry of new office trends informed by mental and physical health awareness. Office dogs, free lunch yoga, emails being automatically deleted when you’re on holiday, the emphasis is being put on fairly assessing work’s impact on you and making sure it accommodates your life, rather than becoming it. The international trendsetters at Social Chain even have a dedicated Director of Happiness.

Be flexible, be active, be altruistic, be political! Don’t be afraid to take a stance. Endorse healthy living both in work and outside of it. Embrace the millennial perspective, and you might just find yourself seeing a boost to your workforce, and their performance. Care. Do this and you will earn care in return.

And above all… don’t panic!

 

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