Over the past couple of years, I have read more and more think pieces discussing and unpacking ‘millennial burnout’ and what exactly that means. For me personally, it was this Buzzfeed news piece by Anne Helen Peterson that was the first article, to sum up, the term ‘millennial burnout’ and in a way that gave me clarity on what I was contemplating… but didn’t have a name for.
*Cue Baby Boomers and Gen X’s stating something about: ‘Everything needing to have a label with young people these days’. 🙄But hey, generations evolve, adapt and face their own struggles.
Born in the early 1990s, I am as millennial as they come. I have taken advantage of the opportunities my privilege has given me and therefore slot perfectly into the demographic / kind of person Peterson is describing in her Buzzfeed article. There will, of course, be people the same age as me who do not and this is simply a reflection of my own thoughts as I stand today.
Peterson alludes to a large part of ‘millennial burnout’ being due to us living a very blurred line between work and life. And when that is coupled with us being online all day, every day, we’re always expected to be available, to be switched on and engaged whether it be for work, love or friendships. This is something I’ve touched upon myself when I discussed: ‘The impact social media has on my mental health when I work online every day‘.
In this day and age, we also have SO. MUCH. CHOICE. which is absolutely fantastic on the one hand, as we are no longer leading the limited lives our grandparents (and even our parents) led, but on the other hand, it makes for a noisy world.
Choice itself invites so many worries. You can fall down a rabbit hole of whether or not option A is better than option B? Is option C going to yield better short term results? Is option D going to yield better long term results?
With so many choices available, you can easily feel overloaded. On a really minor level (and this is major first world problems, I know) I even get choice overload when choosing what I want to eat on Deliveroo there’s just so much choice and so many options available that I end up closing my phone and just making some beans on toast instead!
Today’s post is for people like me who get bamboozled by the choice, struggle to step away from the chaos and take some proper time off. The noise will still be there when you get back, but it’s much better to put your brain on pause from the unnecessary roar for a short time than to keep romping through the chaos and burning out.
How to help yourself take some proper time off.
Press down on those apps, see them wiggle and DELETE them
Whenever I’m on annual leave from work and my out of office is on, I delete any apps to do with work, ie Gmail and Slack. This is to avoid me doing what I’m naturally inclined to do and ‘just have a quick look’ at what’s going on at work.
Likewise, it also makes me unavailable to deal with any issues that may arise. If I’m confident that I have provided a decent handover to my colleagues and have a contact (such as my boss) noted on my out of office, there’s no need for me to get involved when I’m 2,000 miles away on a beach in Portugal. When I am on holiday or doing something exciting, I’ll also temporarily get rid of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram just so that I can actually live in the moment of my life, instead of somebody else’s. By removing the unnecessary scrolling, you’re freeing up more space in your brain to think about or do something else.
And if you’re not quite ready to delete your apps just yet, simply turn off all notifications so that you’re not distracted by them and then ultimately get sucked back into the vortex of social media.
Set yourself some clear boundaries
Living with someone who runs a growing business and is devoted to their work *Adam, I’m looking at YOU* is TOUGH when you, yourself are trying to separate work life and home. However, it is a great idea to set yourself some boundaries and limits of how long you’ll need to tend to any pressing work-related issues. Make a list of priorities and a time frame -I know It’s a pain, but if it means getting up earlier, so be it! Set those boundaries and try your best not to stray from them.
Related Post: How to make working from home, work for you
Dedicate time to do other soul nourishing things
I love planning, I’m a planner by nature (more on that in a later post) so it makes sense to me to plot out when I’m going to be able to put work, errands and housework aside and dedicate time to other things such as pushing along my reading goal or going for a run. After all, hobbies are the things that nourish your soul most. Don’t let them fall to the wayside because you’re too burnout out to consider them.
I know myself that there is only so much time in the day for everything and all that bollocks about ‘Beyonce having the same amount of time in the day as everyone else’ is ridiculous because Beyonce likely has cooks, cleaners and nannies to help her out. But trust me when I say, it’s good to take a break and if you feel the weight of your responsibilities weighing hard, it’s probably time to do so.