A millennial dealing with stress by surfing

How Are Millennials Coping With Burnout?

Netflix or Chill? 

Millennial Burnout has been something of a buzzword since Anne Helen Peterson’s Buzzfeed article on the subject in January.   Google searches for the term have spiked since the turn of the year. In a recent survey of millennials 96% said it affected their daily lives.

For all there are those that will say “they’ve never had it easier”, or dismiss anyone under 35 as a “snowflake”, it’s not hard to see why people are starting to feel the effects of today’s always-on world of work (and play). 

As one blogger put it: “You’re overworked, overstimulated, and striving for excellence in a world that sets the bar high.”  Work emails on our phones mean make us feel like we should always be working, and social media creates the impression that everyone else is living a much better life.  Some celebrate working ‘all-nighters’ as a badge of honour.

Worryingly, things may get worse before they get better.  The 40-hour week is dead.  In China, the ‘new normal’ is ‘996’.  9am to 9 pm, six days a week. 

Which makes a whole lot more than 40…

That said, of course, burnout isn’t an inevitability: there are steps you can try at work, for example integrating meditation into your workflow.

And when you get home, you can make sure you fully switch off from work and get some R+R. 

But how?

Well, for 16% of millennials, it seems the answer is watching Netflix.  That’s 60% more than the next most popular methods, sleeping (lending some weight to Netflix’s claims that sleep is its biggest competitor!) and exercising (while watching Netflix, possibly?).  Alcohol comes in fourth (9%)

And what about cannabis, given its reported effects in aiding relaxation and reducing anxiety?  While only 8% of those surveyed used drugs to cope with burnout, of those 68% used cannabis (the remainder, presumably, were principally prescription drugs). 

Which, considering the survey was of US millennials and cannabis remains illegal in most states, is quite a sizeable figure.

We’re not here to say which is best.  But you have to ask yourself: if a lack of sleep and technology overload are stressing us out, is binge-watching Breaking Bad ‘til 5 am really the answer!?

 Don’t get burned.