Feeling burnout? Here are the symptoms and what you can do about it
In our world of 24-7 communication, demands and pressure, everyone seems to always be run-down or overwhelmed.
But feelings that go even beyond that, making it hard to do even the simplest of tasks, may be a sign of burnout.
"It means we’re over-allocated," Bea Arthur, a New York City-based licensed therapist, said of how she defines burnout.
"In your mind, and perception is reality, it feels like you can’t drop any balls," she said, adding that you can visualize burnout when you think of your life as a pie chart with everything from work to kids and family taking up all the slivers of the pie.
Burnout is just a "matter of degree" difference from the chronic stress that so many people feel, according to Amy Kurtz, author of the bestselling book “Kicking Sick: Your Go-To Guide for Thriving With Chronic Health Conditions."
"We’re told to always be performing at an A+ level but we aren’t taught, I don’t think at all, that you have to put in ways to unplug and have rituals for yourself or you will burnout," she said. "It’s an epidemic happening especially to millennials because the world is getting faster and faster."
Burnout among millennials was put in the spotlight last month in an essay written by BuzzFeed reporter Anne Helen Petersen, who described how she could excel in her job and some parts of her personal life but felt paralyzed in others.
"I’d put something on my weekly to-do list, and it’d roll over, one week to the next, haunting me for months," Peterson wrote of what she labeled "errand paralysis."
"They are seemingly high-effort, low-reward tasks, and they paralyze me," she wrote.
Ann Shoket, author of "The Big Life," said the millennial women she meets are often fixated on small things that distract from their bigger lives.
"The kind of burnout I'm seeing is a fixation on little things making high-achieving, high-performing women with passion projects and side hustles feel overwhelmed," she said. "We feel ashamed that we can’t keep up. To say that's what embarrasses us, it puts us in a dark corner."