Comparison Anxiety Disorder

Now I don’t know about you, but I feel like I need to talk about social media anxiety and the pressures it’s having on today’s society. I turned 27 in December and feel I am constantly on a ticking time bomb towards 30. Will I be at the right point of my career? Will I have met the right guy? When will I start a family? When will I be able to buy my own property? The problem is folks, social media. And I need a detox from it. Regularly. In fact I think having a 2 day ban on Social Media should be compulsory for everyone. I never really thought about it before, but now that Mental Awareness has been more apparent than ever in the media, I occasionally stop to reflect on my mental health and what causes me to feel down when I do. I’m naming it Comparison Anxiety Disorder.

My sister met the man of her dreams at 24, got engaged at 26, got married at 28 and now at 29 has had her first child. All under 30. And my god my nephew is beautiful, ok I am biased ;), but the fact is I find myself comparing to her all the time. I’m 27 and no where near to the point as to where she was at 27. But I am happy, I have an amazing unit of family and friends, health, the career I have always wanted and the opportunity to travel over 12 times a year. Then I scroll on my Facebook newsfeed to see someone is pregnant or engaged or ‘in a relationship’, all of which I am not yet at or even close to in my life. It doesn’t help being part Italian and Portuguese where the pressure is on to get married and make babies (said in the My Big Fat Greek Wedding voice). Lol.

It makes me worried that I’m missing out on important parts of my 20’s that other people appear to be achieving and I’m not. Making me ask myself, what’s wrong with me that I haven’t ‘achieved this yet in my life? But truth is I need to stop this toxic comparing crap that we do. It’s not only me it’s affecting. Anxiety and depression in those under 30 is on the rise and whether its relationships, or even career wise – my close friend who graduated 5 years ago with me has now only realised what career she wants to pursue, but would often get upset and anxious to know how everyone else we studied was doing career wise, but the beauty in that is that she went travelling and saw a lot of the world. something not many of us can say we have done at 26 or 27.

So how can we combat these fears of what’s usually referred to as FOMO (fear of missing out)? First of all, try deleting the social media apps for 1 day first. Yes I know it will be hard to not get your daily dose of that UniLad cat video or Dapper Laughs’ Snapchat stories (they’re hilarious and get me through my commute to work), but try it – you’ll soon realise the affect is has on you like I did when I tried it. Now I can sometimes go one or two days not being active on it. Because at the end of the day life is to be lived offline. Think of what you are achieving right now.

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