It’s been a while since I’ve felt relaxed. Even in my more laid back moments, my mind is still running. Every time I take a break to enjoy a video, or a quick leisure activity, the “must-do” list I’ prepared the night before flashes like a red bulb in my brain. I panic when I feel relaxed – what if I overlooked a task? If I stop hustling, and learning, and working, and doing, the competition could get ahead of me. The millennial burnout isn’t just real for me – it’s been personal.
It’s no surprise that this generation is called “the burnout generation.” Everyone’s all about being busy, reaching goals, stretching the hours, being their best at the expense of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. It’s not healthy, but it seems as though most of us are obsessed with one thing: HUSTLING. We have goals that we need to achieve NOW. When things don’t go our way, bouncing back can sometimes be difficult. We always feel that we’re running out of time.
Sadly, a lot of millennials are subject to the millennial burnout. One study found that 74% of millennials from the UK find it hard to cope with stress.
It’s a challenge to break free from the millennial exhaustion, especially in this fast-paced world, but we can take little steps that can help us overcome millennial stress.
Remember This: We Are Not Running Out of Time
We sometimes lie to ourselves. One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is this: we’re running out of time. I once had this goal that I should earn my first million by the time I was 30. I mean, some others had done it, why couldn’t I? I used to spend my days wondering what else I was missing and what I was still not doing. Being so focused on what I lacked robbed me of the chance to rejoice in and celebrate the small successes that were leading me closer to my goals.
When I decided not to put extreme deadlines on my goals, I began to see the bigger picture: I am not running out of time. I began to trust in my “success timetable.” I began to see that each of us are bound for success – we just do the best we can and avoid frustration by trying not to constantly worry that we’re running out of time.
Success is a Daily Thing
Whenever I tell my mother, “I’m so anxious about the future” she always reminds me to “find happiness in the now.” It’s a daily struggle, but it makes sense. It’s easy to get caught up in the millennial stress when we view success as a majestic event – one that includes our name on magazines, stage appearances, and parties with fireworks. If we do this, we will find ourselves working, and working, and working, without finding happiness in our daily successes.
Success is a daily thing. If you learn something new every day, if you choose to read good books rather than gossip columns, if you choose to spend your time wisely more than scrolling through social media updates, you’re already winning. Success is made up of small steps – small steps that are worthy of recognition and celebration.
Moments of Peace Are Essential
We remember to check the boxes for our goals, but we could be missing one other thing – our overall health. Enjoying moments of peace – without getting jittery, or worrying that you’ll never accomplish anything – can bring great benefits like renewed focus and perspective.
My Latter-day Saint friends are great at reminding me of this. They know that feeling peace in the midst of the noise of this world is crucial to success. I love how they say, “I’m feeling so stressed. I need some time in the Temple!”
Taking the time to unplug and truly savor and experience peace can not only rejuvenate us – it can also help us remember what matters most.
Remember What Matters Most
One of the quotes I always remember when life gets busy is from Dieter F. Uchtdorf – one of my favorite religious speakers. In one of his talks he said,
“If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.”
In our pursuit for the best and the greatest, do we also remember the things and the people that matter most?
Do we take time to spend precious moments with those who truly matter to us?
When we know what and who are essential in our lives, our focus shifts. If we truly realize who and what matters most, we find the strength to let go of tasks or trivial activities that could distract us from focusing on the most important things. When we know what is most important for us, it becomes easier for us to stop chasing “that which is of no worth” and “that which cannot satisfy.”
Now that social media has become a major part of our lives, it’s almost impossible not to fall into the trap of comparing our lives with others’. It’s debilitating. Every time we compare our success with another’s, our ability to appreciate our progress is limited. There’s no joy in comparison – we must stop it.
No matter how hard we work, or how much we have already achieved, if we keep on comparing our lives to the social media updates we see everyday, we’ll only get more and more miserable. Never compare – we all bloom in our own time.
The millennial burnout is real. It’s silent, but its effects are loud. When it’s getting too exhausting and hard, take a break, give yourself the time to assess what matters most, and never, ever compare. You got this.