How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation: A Reflection on the Millennial Condition and the Psychological Toll of Burnout

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Sep 19, 2023

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How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation: A Reflection on the Millennial Condition and the Psychological Toll of Burnout

In today's fast-paced and hyperconnected world, burnout has become a prevalent issue, especially among millennials. The exhaustion experienced in burnout is a combination of intense yearning for completion and the tormenting sense that it cannot be attained. It is a state of feeling overwhelmed and unable to free oneself from the compulsion to go on regardless of internal resources being depleted. This phenomenon is deeply rooted in the societal expectations placed on millennials from a young age.

The rise of social media has played a significant role in shaping the narrative of our lives. It has become a means for us to showcase our achievements and portray our lives as fulfilling and successful. The pressure to live up to these expectations, both externally and internally, contributes to the burnout experienced by millennials. We constantly feel the need to prove ourselves and find satisfaction in our work and personal lives, but often fall short of these ideals.

The millennial rearing project has instilled in us the belief that we must find employment that reflects well on our parents, impresses our peers, and fulfills our own desires for passionate work. The constant pursuit of these goals leaves us feeling scared and anxious about our future. We have internalized the idea that we must work all the time, leading to a perpetual state of burnout. Our lives have become defined by this condition, our base temperature, and our background music.

One contributing factor to this burnout is the shift in parenting strategies towards risk management. Our parents, driven by the desire to protect us, have instilled a fear of taking risks and experiencing failure. This risk-averse mentality has left us unequipped to navigate the difficulties of adult life. We have been closely guided and controlled throughout our lives, resulting in a lack of independence and resilience.

The pressure to optimize every aspect of our lives has also contributed to burnout. Society's emphasis on self-improvement, the pursuit of success, and the need to have a perfectly optimized personal space has created a constant state of fatigue. Self-care, which should be a solution to burnout, has become another task on our to-do list. It has lost its essence and become exhausting, further exacerbating our burnout.

Financial insecurity is another significant factor that contributes to burnout. The cognitive load of constantly worrying about money and making ends meet takes a toll on our mental well-being. We are forced to normalize the challenges and threats we face on a daily basis in order to survive. Burnout becomes our permanent residence, an inevitable part of our lives.

The rise of design tool Figma offers a unique perspective on the issue of burnout. Figma's browser-first approach and focus on collaboration have revolutionized the design process. It has allowed non-designers to be involved in the design process, bridging the gap between different team members. The emphasis on collaboration aligns with the changing dynamics of the workplace, where teamwork and cooperation are valued more than ever.

Figma's success can be attributed to its alignment between product and core distribution loops. The tool's focus on team design rather than individual design sets it apart from its competitors. By recognizing the importance of collaboration and creating a platform for collective progress, Figma has pushed the boundaries of design as a discipline. Its potential as a platform opens up endless possibilities for growth and innovation in the design industry.

In conclusion, millennials have become the burnout generation due to a combination of societal pressures, parenting strategies, and the constant need for optimization. Burnout is not a temporary affliction that can be cured by a vacation, but rather a permanent condition that has become ingrained in our lives. To combat burnout, it is crucial to prioritize self-care, set boundaries, and seek support from others. Taking breaks, engaging in activities that bring joy, and practicing mindfulness can go a long way in managing burnout. Additionally, finding a balance between work and personal life, and reevaluating societal expectations can help alleviate the pressure and stress that contribute to burnout.

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