Opinion: Your mental health should be a priority, not put on the back burner

Published 2:09 pm Monday, March 6, 2023

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By LAUREN SEXTON | Sports Reporter

There is something so interesting about the different generations and how they all differ from one another. Before you gasp and turn to the sports section I want to clarify that I am a part of Generation Z. I know we get a lot of hate, mainly from Millenials and Baby Boomers, but there is a lot that can be learned from us about the way we look at mental health.

I have held several different jobs since I was 13 years old, which means I have been in the workforce for almost a decade now and I think I have a general understanding of it. I’ve been a soccer referee, a lifeguard, a swim instructor, a hostess, a fine dining server, a beverage cart girl and now my first adult job out of college, a sports reporter for a small town paper. With all the jobs that I have held, I have had the opportunity to work with many people from many different generations. One of the major things that I see differences between each generation is the way that we prioritize our mental health, especially in the workforce.

Maybe I have rose-colored glasses on, but I truly believe that with all the faults Gen Z has we prioritize our mental health to some degree. We may not give it the treatment it truly deserves, however, we are mainly comfortable discussing it and know when to draw the line.

While I think most of my generation might agree, we do poke fun at our mental health in unique ways. However, I believe it is because Generation Z is faced with a lot of newer challenges people like Millennials, Boomers and Generation X may have not faced. While no generation is the same, I think we can all agree that we ignore injustices to our mental health caused by our jobs and careers.

People forget that they work to live life not live to work. I am actually a perfect example of when you let work consume you. One time someone asked me what my hobbies were, and to be frank, I didn’t have an answer. It dawned on me that everything I enjoyed doing in the past had become the past. While there were many aspects of my job I enjoyed, I couldn’t think of things in my life that brought joy to my life. 

Someone once told me that there really isn’t a time when our companies and bosses can’t access us anymore. With phones and laptops at our access, we can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The boundary between work and life becomes blurred to the point of nonexistence. While 2020 truly opened the doors for jobs to be remote, it also creates the issue of 9-5 becoming a from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed job.

No job is worth your mental health, it took me a long time to realize that and I am still trying to work on it. If there is a line that you feel that has been crossed, it probably has been. Mental health is more than just messing with your mind, it can physically impact you. A job is a job. Reset those boundaries and take control of your life. Don’t let your life become your job. Your job is not your personality, you are a human being.