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Millennials get a bad rep. The generation of 22 to 37 year olds get called everything from spoiled, to entitled, to downright lazy. But is it really our faults? Society always tends to bash the cohort of young adults, however, they never acknowledge the reason why we are how we are. If you’ve taken the negative stereotypes that were put on millennials to heart, it’s time to give yourself a break. An article written by Buzzfeed reporter Anne Helen Petersen may be the answer to why Generation Y often feels lethargy and inert when it comes to adulting.

Small everyday tasks on your To-Do list, like checking those emails you’ve let sit for weeks, or scheduling an appointment to go to the dentist, or registering to vote can feel extremely tedious. Petersen says, “They are seemingly high-effort, low-reward tasks, and they paralyze me.”

See! It’s not just you. Errand paralysis is a THING.

A woman told me she had a package sitting unmailed in the corner of her room for over a year. A friend admitted he’s absorbed hundreds of dollars in clothes that don’t fit because he couldn’t manage to return them. Errand paralysis, post office anxiety — they’re different manifestations of the same affliction,” Anne added.

But what exactly does it mean to be burnt out; and how do you know when you are?

Burnout and the behaviors and weight that accompany it aren’t, in fact, something we can cure by going on vacation. It’s not limited to workers in acutely high-stress environments. And it’s not a temporary affliction: It’s the millennial condition. It’s our base temperature. It’s our background music. It’s the way things are. It’s our lives,” Anne said.

Along with all the other lies that millennials were told growing up, we’ve also been taught that we should always be working or doing something productive, or else we’re just wasting our lives away. So it should come as no surprise that we’ve internalized the idea, and folks are being fake busy just for the sake of being busy.

“Life has always been hard, but many millennials are unequipped to deal with the particular ways in which it’s become hard for us. Boomers had the golden age of capitalism; Gen-X had deregulation and trickle-down economics. And millennials? We’ve got venture capital, but we’ve also got the 2008 financial crisis, the decline of the middle class and the rise of the 1%, and the steady decay of unions and stable, full-time employment.”

So now that we know about errand paralysis and being burnt out, what’s next in the healing process of it all. Anne says: “The problem with holistic, all-consuming burnout is that there’s no solution to it. You can’t optimize it to make it end faster. You can’t see it coming like a cold and start taking the burnout-prevention version of Airborne. The best way to treat it is to first acknowledge it for what it is — not a passing ailment, but a chronic disease — and to understand its roots and its parameters.”

In other words, no facial or yoga class or trip to Cancun can erase the the chronic millennial disease that is “Burn Out”. There has to be a total paradigm shift. A shift in the way we think, what we allow, and what we enjoy. And the best part about the healing process is that no one’s in it by themselves.

Dear Millennials: You’re Not Lazy, You’re Burnt Out  was originally published on

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