Life is packed with opportunities for millennials, but does it have a downside? Those with millennial burnout would say “yes, there is.”
Have you heard of millennial burnout? Well, let me back up a bit…
If you compare today’s world to 30 years ago, even 10 years ago, you see the huge differences. We’re more technologically advanced, we can do anything we want within the touch of a button. Traveling is far more easy, study is open to more people than ever before. Put simply, we have more opportunities and chances to do things with our lives.
It’s great, right?
Of course. Having opportunities like the ones we are able to take advantage of today is a great thing. If you rewind back 20 or 30 years, young people would jump at the chance to do the things we can do very easily now that we’re in the 2020s. However, not everything is as it seems.
The fact that we have so many opportunities means that we want to do more. It also means that there’s a huge amount of pressure to do amazing things with your life. However, that’s not always easy to do, no matter how many opportunities there are out there.
All of this can push a millennial to feel less than themselves, stressed out, burdened and eventually burnt out.
There are thought to be a few common reasons why millennial burnout has become officially “a thing.” Firstly, the constant need to outdo our friends and family members means that you can never relax. You’re always pushing for the next thing, researching what to do, how to do it, and feeling pressured into excelling in every area of life. I mean come on, sometimes it’s nice to just sit and ‘be,’ right?
Millennials don’t feel able to do that, not without judgement of being lazy anyway.
The other reason is a lack of security compared to a few years ago. It’s not so easy to buy a house these days, everything is more expensive, and employment opportunities are so competitive that one single slip up could see you fired and someone else taking your place within a few hours. That’s enough to cause anyone to feel stressed.
It’s not possible to switch off these days either. I feel this pressure, for sure. We’re so connected 24/7. Sure, that’s not a bad thing in some ways because technology has changed our lives for the better. But it also means that you can’t just switch off and chill out for a while. There is always someone messaging you, or you’re messaging someone. There’s always notifications, pop ups, news, images, you name it.
All of this leads us to compare ourselves to others, and as a result, we always come up short. You could blame millennial burnout at the door of social media in some ways, but I’m not that mean. I think it has something to do with it, but there’s much more going on in the world than Facebook and Instagram, right?
Millennial burnout feels like you’re on a constant hamster wheel and you can’t get off. You can’t rest, you can’t chill out, you can’t just switch off and do nothing without feeling guilty. Put simply, it’s exhausting. Over time, millennial burnout can easily lead towards chronic stress, anxiety, and even depression.
#1 Try mindfulness. No, this isn’t all about chanting and meditating; although, you can incorporate that if you want to. Mindfulness is about simply learning to live in the moment. I don’t know about you, but I spend a huge amount of time thinking back over the past or panicking about the future.
#2 Have a social media detox. I know, terrifying, right? Many of us check our social media feeds the moment we wake up and countless times throughout the day, culminating in a late night check before sleep. Being this connected isn’t always a positive thing. Unless you seriously need your social media accounts for work, you should detox a little.
#3 Cut out the comparisons. When you break away from social media for a short while, you’ll find this happens quite naturally, but it’s important to stop comparing yourself to other people. We all do it. We compare where we are in life, our jobs, our hobbies, where we’ve been on vacation, and how we look.
The thing is, you’re unique and wonderful as you are, why do you want to be a carbon copy of someone else? Comparisons easily lead to depression, so cut them out and see if your millennial burnout eases.
#4 Set one small goal at a time. It’s good to have a goal and to work towards something, but if you have several huge goals that you’re trying to achieve all at one time, you’re going to stress yourself out very easily. This is one of the main causes of millennial burnout. Rather than trying to change the world in one day, set yourself a small goal and work towards it. Once you’ve achieved it, pat yourself back on the back and set another one. [Read: 20 habits of incredibly happy people that can change your life]
#5 Make self care a priority. You are important. Your time is important and your health is vital. Self care is not being selfish, it’s something we all need to focus on. So, do nothing for the day if you want to, eat your favorite foods, skip the gym for a day, have a hot bath, and read a book. Do whatever makes you feel good. Self care on a regular basis will certainly help you to overcome millennial burnout.
#6 Set boundaries for yourself. Yes, you can easily keep working for another hour and get more done, or you can do another half an hour in the gym, but what are you going to achieve really? You’re going to be tired, annoyed, upset, and unhealthy. Know when to stop!
#7 Learn how to handle stress in a healthy way. How do you respond to stress normally? Do you go out and drink? Do you overexercise? Or do you reach for a family-sized bar of chocolate? These aren’t healthy ways to handle stress. Instead, exercise at a regular pace, treat yourself in moderation, practice self care, talk about the problem, and focus on wellness. [Read: 15 millennial problems that reveal not all is Instagram perfect]
There’s no denying that millennial burnout is a very real problem for us these days. It’s good to have dreams and to work towards them. When you achieve something, of course, celebrate it, but remember that nothing you achieve is worth it if it comes at a huge personal cost. You might have your dream job, but did you struggle through it and now you’re too tired to enjoy it?
Remember, it’s about living life with enjoyment, not pushing yourself to the limits.