In 2018, India topped the WHO list for having the most stressed out people in the world, for the fourth time in a row. A majority of them cited work as the primary cause. Another recent study claimed that as many as 95% of Indian millennials are burned out compared to the global average of 86%, which in itself is a matter of concern. So, what is the reason for people maxing themselves out, and are millennials really the burnout generation? Vitamin Stree takes a closer look in this episode of Scratching The Surface.
Most of us have been taught from a very young age that ‘true achievement’ is directly proportional to the rank one achieves. It is almost absolutely necessary to top a ‘list’. This conditioning kicks in and ends up reflecting in any competitive culture we find ourselves in, for example, your work life. A study report finds Mumbai as having the highest number of work hours per week for an average employee at above 60 hours. This ends up affecting our health and leaves us without any energy or time to lead a balanced life.
‘Adulting’ – a term coined by millennials to explain the various aspects of an ‘adult’ life, and their sheer inability to fulfil them. From clothes for laundry lying on the chair, to taking the trash out, millennials often don’t prioritise most things not related to work. Moving away from the several pressures life has to offer, social media makes sure that all those pressures rise exponentially. The perceived social media lifestyle is often impossible to aspire to, with social media influencers, entrepreneurs and motivational speakers all giving us a hot plate of mid-life crisis. The truth is that, not everyone can win a Football World Cup at 19 years of age.
Change will largely come from the system, but till then, what can we do? Well, the basics. Take some time out for yourself – take up a hobby, or resume the one you just dropped, spend time with friends and family, and attend that music festival you always looked forward to. Self care as top priority really helps in the long run. Lastly, if you feel like you’re burning out, seek help. 75% millennial Indians don’t like talking about their mental health with medical professionals, a major cause for concern, especially given India’s burnout rates.
Countries like Norway, Iceland and Denmark find a spot in the list of countries with high per capita incomes, and yet they offer less than 40 work hours per week. Netherlands offers the least number work hours in the world at 27.5, and the best work-life balance according to OECD’s Better Life Index.
Change is waiting to happen, and it’s evident it can be done. Make sure you’re being productive, and not just busy. Instead of hustling harder, hustle smarter. And most importantly…take care!
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