In an age of 24-hour social media feeds, dating apps, and the ever-present “feeling of missing out,” it can be hard not to feel overworked by your own schedule. In January, Buzzfeed News reporter Anne Helen Petersen dubbed millennials the “burnout generation.”
But speaking on Boston Public Radio on Wednesday, Nancy Koehn, a historian at the Harvard Business School where she holds the James E. Robison chair of Business Administration and the author of “Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times,” said it’s a problem that’s affecting everyone.
What are the causes of burnout? Koehn said that it’s a broad term with a nebulous definition, but chief among the causes, in her opinion, is social media.
“Getting on Facebook, for many of us, is not a break. It’s another source of feeling pressed or inadequate or world weary or somehow, ‘Gosh, my life doesn’t look as good as my former boyfriend,’” Koehn said.
If you’re feeling burnout, Koehn recommends unplugging from social media and not being afraid to take time for yourself — even if that means just taking a few minutes out of each day to go for a walk or relax.
“Just slow the cadence of whatever you’re doing just a tiny bit,” Koehn. “This is not about a week at a yoga retreat. ... These are small things one can do every day that can relieve the sense that you’re completely burned out.”