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The Importance of Pausing for a Gen Z’s Mental Health

by Bryan Gadingan

IN today’s fast-paced world, burnout can play a significant role in a person’s mental health degradation. Burnout is a widespread problem in today’s demanding society, impacting people of all professions and walks of life. 

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional tiredness that is frequently associated with extended exposure to pressures, whether in a personal/romantic relationship or in any activity, notably at work. 

The incessant demands of job, social commitments, and the never-ending flow of information can all have an impact on our well-being. 

Pausing, whether through short breaks or intentional periods of thought, is an important method to keep your mental health in check.

Time to Take a Step Back

Anya, a 27-year-old Social Media Manager, told republicasia in an interview that she considers taking a break when things start to consume her energy. 

Photo Courtesy: Anya 

“Signs of burnout like irritability or lethargy are usually what I use to assess if I need a break from my job. If I’m constantly in a bad mood during work hours, that’s a sign,” she explained.

When things get heavy for her, whether in her relationship or at work, she knows she needs to take a break. 

“Whether it’s a job or a relationship, I do believe it’s vital to take a break when things are starting to negatively overwhelm you. Being able to step back from something stressing you out can help in recalibrating your head space,” she explained.

Meanwhile, Ivan, republicasia’s 23-year-old Web Manager, has developed a pattern for recognizing when he needs to take a break.

“I find usually find myself in some sort of pattern when I need a break. I tend to distance myself and get really quiet. Usually someone comes and looks for me thats usually the time I realize that I am actually really stressed or overwhelmed,” he explained.

“In the past, I was more likely to be more irritable, the negativity of my thoughts can sometimes be taken out on someone else if I’m not careful, so my tendency nowadays is to distance myself and get really quiet,” he said.

Ivan becomes agitated when he is burnt out or has a bad day, which affects his interactions with others. That is why he believes it is critical to take a well-deserved break.

“Yeah I’d say that a pause/break is important from a job when overwhelmed. Personally, when there’s a lot of things going on in my mind, I find that affects my other relationships.”

How does a Gen Z “pause”?

Danica, republicasia’s 23-year-old Sales and Marketing Officer, believes it is critical to take time to recharge and unwind when you are feeling stressed. 

Photo Courtesy: Danica

She feels that having a break means taking care of oneself, both physically and emotionally. Having said that, she usually goes outside when she gets overwhelmed by everything she’s doing.

“Honestly, I enjoy being outside where I can spend time outdoors. I like the notion of having time for myself and being able to regain my energy with nature, because this helps me to reconnect with my true self,” she said.

Walking around has allowed Ivan to breathe some fresh air and take a break from what he’s dealing with. If the situation becomes intolerable, he must promptly contact his close friends and family.

“In terms of a “pause” I try to remove myself from what I have been doing. Usually when I’m burnt out I try whatever way I can to walk around,” says Ivan.

“It can be looking for merienda or just blankly walking around. If I feel like I’m really out of it I try to reach out to a support group so I can get my mind off it or maybe vent.”

Meanwhile, for Anya, removing herself from reality has been one of her methods of de-stressing and maybe resuming regular functioning after suffering from severe burnout.

“Filing a vacation leave is what I usually do when I need a break from work. Even just one day of de-stressing to watch a new movie at the cinema can do wonders.”

“As for taking a break from the relationship, I think it’s a bit more complicated because everyone has different ideas of “taking a break”. Personally though, my definition of a break is spending more time with my friends or focusing on my hobbies,” she explained.

Advice from a fellow Gen Z

Hearing about similar experiences from our fellow Generation Z members confirms that we are all going through a natural time and validates the sensations we have when we are stressed out. 

“I would certainly encourage my fellow Gen Z to take their time and seek their interests to the fullest. Have faith that everything happens for a reason and constantly appreciate the unfolding of living their own life,” stated Danica.

Anya says, “It sounds cliche, but life isn’t a race! In a world where we’re constantly fed content that we should be doing the most with our lives, it’s okay to take breaks every now and then in the name of self-care.”

“Take that break. Once in a while we all need that mental reset. Invest time in yourself, be with your friends/family, play with your pet dog or cat, sink in a video game, get a massage, go shopping, get back to an old hobby, ano pa ba?” Ivan advised.

“Just do whatever it is that makes you happy so that we remind ourselves that its not all bad. Being overwhelmed is always temporary. You’ll get through this.”

Indeed, pausing helps people gain perspective on their life. The constant hustle often results in a limited concentration on urgent duties, causing people to lose sight of the big picture. 

Taking a step back enables contemplation, self-evaluation, and a review of priorities. This larger viewpoint can help you make better decisions, establish better goals, and live a more balanced life.

In today’s world, pausing is a necessity rather than a luxury for protecting our mental health. Prioritizing these pauses is an investment in our general well-being, which leads to a better and more satisfying existence.



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