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The moment you open your eyes in the morning, do you spring out of bed, excited to start the day? Or do you drag your feet, dreading the next thing you have to do? While you don’t have to carpe diem every day, if you’re constantly feeling demotivated, depressed or exhausted, you might want to pay a little more attention to your mental health.


Firstly, know that it’s perfectly okay not to be okay all the time. In fact, you’re not alone. 1 in every 3 people around you experiences burnout and mood disorders. 53% of young working adults suffer from work-related stress, and 4 out of 10 struggle with mental health issues!


Venturing into the workforce after graduation is tricky enough, even more so during the pandemic. Just like how you will rest up or see a doctor when you fall sick, it’s as important to look after your mental health too. Otherwise, it will eventually manifest through physical illnesses.


So here are 5 common causes of mental health struggles, and how you can cope better:

Results-Oriented Upbringing

Raised by tiger moms and dads? Constantly being pressured or punished to score As in every test, on top of juggling sports or music too? Our test results-oriented education system might be a good start to building our discipline and diligence, but it can also make us feel that we’re only as good as our grades.


Now that we’re older and wiser, know that there are no hard and fast rules to success. More importantly, success isn’t everything there is to life. As long as you’ve worked hard and tried your best, it’s okay to give yourself a break now and then, before you try again!

The Curse of Comparison

“Wah, your cousin got 9As for SPM, why can’t you be like her?” or “Look at Aunty Tan’s son, he’s going to study law at Harvard. Why can’t you study something more useful?”....sounds familiar? Growing up, we’re always being compared to our peers. Today, we compare ourselves with friends and strangers on social media. You see them living their “best lives” – buying their first home at 23, jet setting, purchasing that luxury handbag – and you feel like you’ve fallen behind.


Constant comparisons not only make you feel less than, like we’re not good enough or we’re missing out, but it’ll also hurt your relationships with loved ones. Do you know that people often show off only their joy, pride and success on social media but not their struggles and failures?


Remember that everyone’s story is different. A little win that you take for granted can be someone else’s greatest wish. And someone else’s success doesn’t take away yours. Life isn't a zero-sum game, we can all succeed together.


Are you constantly worried about whether you did or said the right thing? If you often spend a lot of time stressing about how you’re being perceived, you may be overthinking. While maintaining your image is important, it shouldn’t come at the cost of overthinking everything, to the point where you’re afraid to share your opinion or say ‘no’ to new tasks when your plate is full.


Overthinking money matters can lead to stress too, especially when you’re just starting your career. While it’s good to plan, know that you don’t have to handle it all on your own and you can always turn to us for guidance and to answer your banking questions.


Most importantly, remember that what other people think of us is out of our control. We can only do our best, then let go and focus on what you can control or change. Know that you can always do better next time. 

Imposter Syndrome

Can you believe it if we tell you that the award-winning actor, Harvard University graduate and all-around overachiever Natalie Portman, actually doubts her abilities sometimes?* So if you’re always feeling like you’re not good enough or that you don’t deserve to be somewhere, please know that it’s not because you’re incompetent, you just have imposter syndrome.


If you keep doubting yourself at every turn, you’re going to miss out on many opportunities. So whenever self-doubt creeps in, remember: you’ve made it this far. Give yourself credit and a pat on the back for what you’ve accomplished so far. It’ll help if you know your stuff well, but it’s also okay not to have all the answers. Learning is a lifelong journey, so be in for the ride and keep improving ourselves every day.


If you keep driving your car for years without servicing, its engine will eventually die and stop functioning. Our bodies are the same. If you’re working all the time under stress, you’ll eventually be overwhelmed and burnt out.


Although a week of vacation might help you feel temporarily better, it’s not a long-term solution. To beat burnout, you need to start prioritising yourself and your wellbeing over your work. As important as your job is, it’s never worth making yourself sick or miserable over it. Consider discussing with your manager how to make work more manageable, or switch jobs to someplace with better work-life balance.



At the end of the day, you’re the most important person you need to take care of. You deserve to be happy and healthy as much as everyone else. If you’re unwell or unhappy, you can’t take care of your loved ones either.


So start prioritising your mental, emotional and physical health today. If you need help or advice on coping, do reach out to mental health associations and carelines, like The Malaysian Mental Health Association & Befrienders. Remember, life isn’t a race nor a sprint, it’s your story.



This article is brought to you by CIMB as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the level of financial literacy among Malaysians. Financial knowledge and understanding are key to making well-informed and meaningful financial decisions that will improve all our well-being. This, in turn, achieves CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society.