They are young, they are at the prime of their lives, their careers are flourishing, their personal life is great…so why are they depressed?
Most 30-somethings, or young adults, have been complaining of an unsettling weariness that’s been weighing them down for the past few months. They’ve been juggling remote work, children, housework and the continuous taunts of social media and that has led to massive burnout. The millennials, who were so keen to ‘hustle’, are now exhausted and exasperated.
Why Are Millennials Getting Burnt Out
Since the lockdown began and work shifted online, the boundaries between personal and professional have slowly been eroded. As the popular saying goes ‘work from home has now become living at work’. Work shifts, which used to be 8-10 hours, have now stretched to 12 or even 15 hours. Weekends are no longer sacrosanct, since your boss knows you’re at home anyway.
To add to the work stress, are a gazillion other stresses caused by this unusual situation we’re all in where even going to pick up groceries isn’t safe. Things which we did without thinking – such as receiving a parcel – are now riddled with doubts: “should I touch the cardboard”, “how long should I leave it untouched”, “maybe I should disinfect it”. The loop is endless and boy, is it an exhausting one.
The final nail in the coffin comes from the people we love. We have parents who are senior citizens, riddled with co-morbidities, and young children who hate being locked up indoors. We are constantly swinging like a pendulum between worrying about our ageing parents and our adolescent children. The emotional turmoil simply adds to the weariness. And lo and behold, the deadly cocktail created by all these stresses is BURNOUT.
Signs That You’re Experiencing Burnout
Some of the signs that you’re experiencing burnout are:
1. Lack of motivation
You’ve lost the desire to do anything. Getting out of bed seems like a tall task every morning and there’s nothing that excites you anymore.
2. Finding normal tasks tough
You’ve been washing the dishes all your life by why do they suddenly alarm you? Why does the thought of sending a regular email repulse you? If you’re finding routine tasks too cumbersome, chances are you’re experiencing a burnout.
3. Lack of concentration
If you’ve been feeling like your brain’s a bit foggy and you can’t focus on anything, it’s a serious cause for concern. Getting stretched in too many directions could’ve led to your burnout.
4. Low mood
If you’ve forgotten what the highs feel like and the lows seem to be staying for rather long, if nothing makes you smile any more, yes, you’re experiencing a burnout.
How To Deal With Burnout
A big reason for the sudden increase in burnout is that our coping mechanisms have finished. While we were always stressed, we could vent out physically during a workout or emotionally during an art session. But with our coping mechanisms snatched from us, most of us are heading for an ugly breakdown.
To prevent things from reaching that stage, there are a few things you can do:
1. Remind yourself that it’s not forever
Keep reminding yourself that this too shall pass and that this phase isn’t going to last forever. The pandemic will end sooner or later and life will gradually go back to what it was, and when it does, you’ll have gained some key life skills. Remind yourself of the light at the end of the tunnel.
2. Get off social media
Everytime you’re online, you’ll see people boasting about the new recipe they tried or the new online business they began. Other posts will remind you that Shakespeare wrote some of his best works while locked-down to avoid the plague and so, you better not waste your lockdown. Just take that digital detox and cut yourself some slack, my friend, you deserve it.
3. Create a routine
It sounds pretty basic, doesn’t it? But trust me, this is pretty effective. Create a routine, allot time to a workout, to cooking, to work and to the kids. Plan your meals in advance. Just doing this much will motivate you, it’ll give you something to look forward to every day.
4. Take days off
In normal times, you would’ve taken a few days off between March and now. You would’ve either relaxed at home or gone for vacation or caught up with some friends. But since none of that’s possible now, you haven’t taken a day off probably. So give yourself a break and take a few days off. Even if you’re physically at home, use the time to mentally recuperate.
5. Do something that makes you feel good
Everyday, try and do one thing that makes you feel good. And don’t let anyone interrupt you while you do it. Whether you enjoy a cuppa tea on the balcony or whether you enjoy brushing your hair, whether it’s cleaning your motorbike or playing with your pet. Take out time for that one thing everyday and let your hair down without fail. Your smile will return in no time, that’s a promise.
Remember to be kind to yourself. This is no ordinary situation and you’re no ordinary person. You’re a survivor for having made it this far and you’ll certainly handle the rest of it as well, as long as you are compassionate towards your own self. So beat ‘em lockdown blues and have a happy healing 🙂
Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in The Brew View – our opinion section – are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TheBrew.ae, the company, or any of its members.