While scrolling through Instagram, I recently came across an alarming statistic on Career Contessa on millennial burnout. It showcased an increasing percentage of women experiencing burnout, with 75% of millennial women feeling burnt out at some point in life (shocking right?). Forbes has even coined the saying ‘millennial burnout syndrome’ to describe the epidemic of burnt out millennials.
So why are so many millennials burnt out?
Us millennials enter adulthood with big desires for ourselves. We set high personal expectations, feeling pressured to get it together (and often wonder if we ever will). We’ve grown up thinking that we could have it all, and when life doesn’t go as planned, we blame ourselves and think there must be something wrong with us.
As the “babies” of the workforce, we want to impress our co-workers so we work hard to strive for excellence. Yet at the same time, we are still learning and trying to navigate the (at times overwhelming) career success ladder. Throw in relationships, money stress, and Instagram-fuelled comparisonitis, and it’s no wonder why our generation is so overwhelmed!
Can burnout be prevented?
I believe that burnout can definitely be prevented if you take action and get ahold of it before it becomes too overwhelming. By becoming aware of your emotional state, and recognizing the signs of burnout, you can prevent the likelihood of becoming a victim of millennial burnout syndrome.
Here are 3 signs of burnout and how you can tackle them!
You Feel Exhausted All the Time
If you only have enough energy to binge-watch Netflix, then it may be a sign that you are overexerting yourself. And don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to have a lazy day once in a while but if your energy levels are frequently fried to the point that you come home exhausted most days then you likely are burnt out.
Be aware of how energized you feel and take action to replenish yourself. Set boundaries so that people don’t drain you. Fuel yourself and take time to rest. Press the reset button and pivot towards the direction of ease and flow. Prioritize yourself and reflect on what’s sucking your precious energy because if you don’t, you may find yourself burning out.
You’re Trapped in the Cycle of Negative Self-Talk
This is my #1 symptom when I feel overwhelmed. Negative self-talk is best friends with stress and always comes out to play when stress is around. That’s why people who experience burnout are more likely to have negative thoughts be shuffled on replay (like a never-ending record!). If this is the case, it’s important to learn how to manage your inner mean girl because getting caught up in her cycle of self-negativity can actually perpetuate burnout (making it harder to get out of).
What thoughts are currently taking the lead? If they tend to be negative, flip the switch and change it to something positive. Don’t let your negative thoughts drain you by letting them take charge. Instead, develop your awareness muscle and practice flipping the switch every time a negative thought pops up. This may seem challenging at first but over time you will become a master at stopping the cycle of negative self-talk.
You Dread Your To-Do List
Although you may not love every item on your to-do list, it’s a big warning sign if you completely dread it. If you’re finding it difficult to find the motivation to get through your goals, then it could be because your plate is too full. You can only handle a full workload for so long before you crash and burnout.
Some responsibilities are too difficult to avoid but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prioritize your commitments to prevent burnout. Look at your to-do-lists and categorize each item into 3 categories: ‘musts’, ‘shoulds’, and ‘wants’. Focus your energy on what you must do and what you want to do, finding a balance between the two. Practice removing the ‘shoulds’ from your life to make room for more things that you want to do (and for the things you need to do). If you find the balance between your ‘wants’ and ‘musts’ then you are more likely to stay motived on your to-do-list and less likely to become overwhelmed and burnt out by it.
P.S. If you’re finding yourself feeling overwhelmed, a great tip to move forward is to get clear on your goals so that you know the next step to take (rather than staying stuck in overwhelm city!). If you haven’t done so yet, click here to download my Hot WELLTHY Goal-Setting Planner to set stress-free goals.