Have you ever found yourself struggling to complete a task, low on energy or unable to smile? Of course you have. Now and again we all face difficulties achieving things, from typing up the minutes of a meeting to cooking. It can make you feel inadequate, possibly even drained. You move more sluggishly, and feel no joy. Well, good news. If you’re between the ages of 23-38, your inability to feed yourself, write, or make everyday decisions may not be your fault. No, perhaps you’re just suffering from Millennial Burnout.
Take our burn-out test below to claim your new label:
1. You can’t relax
When you switch from staring at screens in the office to staring at screens at home at the end of the day, the dopamine hit from playing games or surfing social media just isn’t what it used to be, and you can’t figure out why. You then spend most of the night awake, staring at the ceiling, going over and over past choices in your head, completely incapable of switching off. A complete mystery. No idea. What could possibly cause this?
2. Avocados give you anxiety
‘It’s such an cliche’ you say to yourself, sitting down to brunch, ‘that people think avocados are all I think about.’ You then spend the next few minutes of your life in a cold sweat staring at the menu, trapped in a nightmare of your own making: ‘Which avocado dish should I eat? Should I be eating avocado in the first place? Is it vegan these days? Is it environmentally friendly? Is it too obvious a stereotype? Will it prevent me getting on the property ladder? Will it make me basic? Am I already basic? Will calling someone a fascist on Twitter help? Oh God, oh God, the Mail was right, this IS all I think about.’
3. The day becomes your enemy
You have 24 hours in the day, and as well as work, you somehow have to fit in the gym, socializing, networking, Duolingo, online shopping, realtime shopping, tending to your houseplants, city breaks, reading, mindfulness, walking the dogs, walking other people’s dogs, spending four hours swiping left on Tinder, going on dates with awful people from Tinder, complaining there is no one good enough on Tinder, meal-prepping, Instagramming the meal prepping, going out because you can’t face eating the healthy prepped meal, Instagramming the food in the restaurant, watching Netflix, cancelling Netflix, and mindlessly opening 400 tabs a day on your browser.
The danger, though, isn’t the doing of these things. It’s the thinking about doing these things that causes the stress. So, a quick public health warning: Do yourself a favour, and don’t read what you’ve just read.
4. You contemplate packing it all in, but never do
During one particularly low mood, you decide you’re going to quit your job and travel to Bali, Jordan or Colombia having seen other people having fun there on Instagram. But, because you have burnout, you can’t quite summon the willpower to go through with it. This leads to another low mood, in which you decide to quit your job and travel to Bali, Jordan or Colombia having seen other people having fun there on Instagram.
This cycle continues until death or you get sacked because you’re too busy spending your days looking at Bali, Jordan or Colombia on Instagram to actually do your damn job. At which point, you decide you’re going to travel to Bali, Jordan or Colombia having seen other people having fun there on Instagram. But you have no money. So, to fund it, you get another job. And,a few months in, you decide you’re going to quit your job and travel to Bali, Jordan or Colombia having seen…
5. You ghost real life
‘Ghosting’ is often used to describe disappearing in the middle of a relationship, but suffering millennials also ghost the rest of the world when too tired to deal with it. Once upon a time, 23-38 year olds would disappear from people’s radar because they’d found partners and had children. Now they stay home precisely to minimize the chances of either happening.
6. You suddenly realise you’re 45
One morning you realise you’ve been working unceasingly for 15 years in a windowless office, have limited yourself to two thoughts per day, three on weekends, and have moved to Milton Keynes. Rather than sulk, though, things begin to brighten up. There is now a younger generation suffering from burnout that you gleefully get to call snowflakes, and any lingering regrets over the wasted best years of your life will soon be obliterated by Dementia. Congratulations. You have overcome Millennial Burnout.