Millennial Burnout is Me

UPDATE, Sept 25, 2020: I haven’t yet read Anne Helen Petersen’s Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, but I recommend her interview on WNYC’s All of It, and her original viral essay was transformative for me.

It feels like a cop-out to refer you to someone else’s writing, instead of creating my own material here to position myself as another “old” or early Millennial with my finger on the pulse. I felt guilty even taking the time to read a long article that perfectly encapsulated how I feel about my own life and circumstances….

But, of course, this is exactly what Anne Helen Petersen is saying in “How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation.”

“My new watchword was “Everything that’s good is bad, everything that’s bad is good”: Things that should’ve felt good (leisure, not working) felt bad because I felt guilty for not working; things that should’ve felt “bad” (working all the time) felt good because I was doing what I thought I should and needed to be doing in order to succeed.”

Anne Helen Petersen

Reading a book is a guilty pleasure, watching a movie with my partner is a “wasted” two hours, even the two-day weekend is an extravagant luxury to be filled with To Do lists of necessary, urgent side gigs that used to be passion projects….

Even this blog post, in which I initially intended to just tell you to read someone else’s brilliant work, has become an exercise in simultaneous self-flagellation and self-promotion…

So I’ll just stop myself here and go do laundry (or read more articles about husbands on Tidying Up With Marie Kondo who don’t do laundry.)

You should hop over to Buzzfeed right now and take the time to read Anne Helen Petersen’s “How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation.” It’s not a cop-out. It’s an excellent use of your time (as is your therapist!).

“There are still things to tackle after this. But for the first time, I’m seeing myself, the parameters of my labor, and the causes of my burnout clearly.

Anne Helen Petersen

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