Even when there’s no acute crisis, being an adult in the 21st century is a difficult business. We lack a lot of the job security enjoyed by those already entrenched in careers, and many feel they face unreasonable pressures to hit milestones made impossible by the economic standards of the age. On top of these chronic conditions, we’re now facing the threat of Covid-19, a pandemic that can cause lasting harm where it doesn’t kill and promises a deep recession in the near future.
Under circumstances like this it’s important to have strategies to deal with burnout, stress and boredom – three interrelated but distinct challenges many face.
Perhaps the most universal of these problems, many people are affected by boredom. Jobs often require rote repetition, especially in junior roles, along with the expectation that they should supply all of your mental and emotional needs in life. Even senior roles can see you stranded in endless meetings, achieving very little and wondering if your job has any meaning at all.
While it might be possible to change company or career to something you find more fulfilling, it’s also possible to widen your interests and activities so you don’t rely on work to provide all your sense of reward and accomplishment. Arts and crafts subscription boxes are a good idea here: everything you need to develop a new skill and make some personal artwork you can feel proud of, delivered directly to your door when you need it!
Stress is a more serious problem. It can disturb your sleep, affect your health and leech away at your positive emotions, and it’s something you need to tackle. The most important thing you can do is identify the source of the stress that’s affecting you: when you know where it’s coming, you can make plans to deal with it.
Some sources of stress need to be approached directly: a difficult work situation might not improve until you take action for example, and financial stress isn’t going to go away unless you look at your finances. It’s also important to have a plan to make your life more pleasant: sources of stress rarely go away overnight and it can be important to endure as well.
This is a serious psychological and physical problem, often caused by runaway career stress. Burnout is an ongoing state of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion caused by facing never ceasing demands for your resources.
Solving burnout takes more than a new hobby. At the minimum you may need to alter your habits and attitude to your whole life, ensuring you have a decent support network and are able to step away from stressful situations. It could also require mandated time away from work and a change of career to a more healthy job that allows you to sustain all the sides of your character.