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How Being Burned Out Is Affecting Millennial Mental Health

“A burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long”

Michael Gungor

We live in a time and age where life revolves around fulfilling financial needs mostly. Social media in particular and the internet are driving an endless race to strive for objects with material value. In the process, most of us are losing sight of the emotional aspects that make up our personalities. Depression and being burned out are two dilemmas that are rising at an alarming rate as time goes by.

What Does Being Burned Out Mean?

In 2019, the World Health Organization added burnout to its handbook of health conditions that it officially recognizes. According to the Oxford Dictionary, burnout is a state of being extremely tired or ill, whether it is from physical stress or mental which comes from working too hard.

The symptoms, according to WHO, include the feeling of energy depletion, exhaustion, a growing mental distance from your job, having negative feelings more frequently than usual and lowering personal efficiency whether it is at work or with your family.

Why Millennials are Relatively More Susceptible

A 2018 Gallup survey found that millennials who are currently employed have a higher probability of reporting being burned out as compared to older generations. There are a variety of elements that fuel this condition in our generation. Some of these we have control like temptations of digital media and unrealistically high expectations. Others like the rise of gig economies are beyond our power.

The Impacts of Burn Out

Irrespective of the reasons behind it, burnout is affecting a large number of millennials and the cases keep growing with each passing year. Most millennials today work multiple jobs, balance freelancing with a primary source of income or go to other exceptional lengths in the hopes of meeting the expectations they build for themselves. This has a number of adverse outcomes:

       Mental health

Burnout primarily impacts the mind. It tricks us into doing things that we regret later on. Behavioral experts acknowledge the fact that the reason our generation craves convenience is because of the stress we are under already. We pay more than usual for take-outs, ride-hailing services and grocery deliveries etc. We make impulsive buying decisions that add to mental strain in the long run.

       Financial decision making

We strive for financial independence. Our daily struggle revolves around creating opportunities for us where money is no longer a factor. Yet most financial decisions we make involve no savings at all. The average millennial feels that more than half their income goes towards loans, rents and mortgage payments etc. So, the small chunk that is left becomes a question of does it really make a difference to save or just have fun. Most of us go with the latter.

Coping with the Disorder

No matter how much we sugar coat it, burnout is an illness and it has to be treated as one. There are a few things that we can do to set ourselves free from the burden of draining out emotionally. Begin by defining a ‘why’ for everything. This ‘why’ is defined by basic values. It helps you make strategic decisions in life. Let things carry on from there. Begin by tackling financial decisions and you will begin to find a balance in life eventually.

Also Read: 4 21st Century Habits That Are Leading to Health Issues


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