When I saw the cover for the Audible Original “The Burnout Generation,” I knew I needed to listen to it. It is a follow-up to journalist Anne Helen Petersen’s article on millennial burnout written in January 2019. Many people reached out to her after the article, “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation,” was published, sharing their own stories of burnout.
Petersen explores burnout by interviewing five people in a podcast-type format. Each person comes from different upbringings, jobs and overall situations, but the common theme is the feeling of burnout. In the introduction, she describes feelings about things such as not being a good enough friend or parent, not eating enough organic foods and not doing enough that is all too relatable for me and I suspect many others. She talks about the many causes of burnout, including overwhelming student loan debt and work/life balance. I wished it would touch on parenting burnout as a millennial, but it did not.
I am not sure the exact definition of burnout based on this listen, but it does get me thinking about why I feel compelled to do so much. The questions asked by the author in her interviews could have done more to elicit how these problems are more about millennials than other generations. Perhaps she needs morre time to research on the topic, which she seems to be doing.
The Audible Original ends with a discussion of what to do about burnout. There isn’t really a clear answer. Each person had different coping mechanisms to deal with the feeling. One key idea is that you should pay attention to what brings you joy and do as much of that as possible.
I would suggest this topic to anyone who feels they can relate to this feeling of overwhelm or burnout, though I’m not sure it will offer a solution. Do you feel the effects of burnout?