14 Reasons Millennials Are Ditching the ‘Hustle Harder’ Mentality

Millennials are people born between the 1980s and the late 1990s. They are a cohort between GenX and GenZ. In the USA, millennials currently constitute the majority of the working population. In February 2021, 42% of millennials reported they were burnt out, and the percentage is increasing every year. This can stem from overwhelming emotional, mental, and physical stress.

We looked at information from places like BetterUp and the Harvard Business Review to determine why so many millennials feel this way. Here’s a simple breakdown of what we found:

Economic Instability

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In 2019, famous author Anne Helen Petersen discussed the stress that millennials often experience. One of the major contributing factors is economic uncertainty. Reports say that the average wage is either stagnant or even falling. With limited financial support, many millennials are always burned out trying to make ends meet. Job insecurity and accommodation costs further add to this stress.

Workplace Stress

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Workplace stress is a top contributor to millennials’ stress. Reports say a poor office environment is burning out thousands of millennials daily. There are high expectations for rapid advancement and innovation. They face impossible deadlines and heavy workloads regularly. This leads to longer working hours, causing physical and mental exhaustion. The glorification of overworking culture is a significant cause of burnout.

Student Debt Stress

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Rising living costs make it challenging for millennials to afford basic necessities. On top of that, mounting student loan debt limits their ability to save and invest. More than 50% of American students have to opt for student loans. This reality is true for both public and private university students. A considerable amount of student debt prevents them from pursuing other goals. This further adds to their financial worries, causing burnout.

Job Insecurities

Job insecurity instills stress in millennials. They feel stressed about the precarious nature of employment, face uncertainty about future career prospects and financial stability, and constantly fear layoffs. More jobs are becoming temporary in the country, and the lack of advancement opportunities also causes burnout. Millennials are slowly becoming a generation of stressed workers.

Lack of Work-Life Balance

Depression, stress and a business man with empathy, support and help in office. Burnout, fired and entrepreneur person with headache, bad news or dismissal with comforting hand of friend on shoulder.
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In today’s digital age, the lines between work and personal life are fading quickly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the average American works 8.42 hours daily. Even after that, there is always more pressure to be digitally available. Millennials barely find any time to focus on their personal lives. They are always exhausted after work.

Social Media Comparison

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Social media comparison induces further stress in millennials. They constantly compare themselves to unrealistic standards. Millennials often measure their success and self-worth against carefully crafted online personas, which leads to anxiety and dissatisfaction with their own lives. This perpetual comparison cycle contributes to heightened stress levels among this demographic.

Fear of Missing Out

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71% of millennials check out social media throughout the day. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., provide an endless stream of filtered images. Plus, highlight reels can evoke feelings of inadequacy and fuel the fear of missing out (FOMO). They feel anxious about not being part of every happening trend. FOMO affects millennials as they struggle to keep up with the perceived excitement of their peers’ lives.

Political Dissatisfaction

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Millennials worry about the implications of political decisions on their future. This fear includes job prospects, economic stability, and social justice issues. Millennials are often passionate about enacting changes. Yet, they can only sometimes contribute to significant changes. So, the feelings of helplessness and frustration from systemic barriers lead to a burned-out state.

Environmental Concerns

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Environmental concerns weigh heavily on millennials. The looming threat of climate change and its potential impact on their future affects millennials. They grapple with feelings of guilt and helplessness. Millennials worry about the long-term consequences for themselves and future generations. This leads to stress over the urgency of addressing environmental issues. The need for significant action from authorities frustrates them as well.

Social Expectations

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Millennials are always under duress to meet traditional milestones. Achieving career success and homeownership becomes very stressful for them. Moreover, the pressure of starting a family is huge. They face constant comparison to peers’ achievements. This fuels feelings of inadequacy and anxiety about not measuring up.

Mental Health Stigmas

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Mental health stigmas discourage open dialogues. Millennials face exacerbated stress yet can not seek enough help. Fear of judgment and discrimination prevents them from addressing mental health issues openly. This leads to feelings of isolation and shame. Millennials often internalize these stigmas. Thus, they delay or avoid seeking support. These situations worsen their mental health struggles and increase overall stress levels.

Lack of Affordable Healthcare

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The absence of accessible healthcare burdens millennials with financial strain and uncertainty. Many lack comprehensive insurance coverage. Thus, they struggle to afford premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Without adequate healthcare, millennials worry about affording medical treatment. Preventive care and managing chronic conditions become particularly difficult. This financial and health-related stress adds to their overall anxiety. The lack of access to affordable healthcare is a major cause of millennials’ burnout.

Lack of Support Systems

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Millennials lack strong support systems because they do not have close-knit communities. Their isolation leaves them overwhelmed in the face of their challenges. Additionally, they have the responsibility to look after their aging parents and the duty of raising young children without any community support. This makes them the ‘sandwiched generation‘. The never-ending stress of being a caregiver is sure to cause burnout.

Cultural Stress

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Millennials in the USA often experience cultural stress and discrimination. Racial, ethnic, and gender identities create difficult circumstances for them. There is a constant societal pressure to assimilate. They have to navigate between systemic inequalities and stereotypes. Plus, the pressure of coping with modern American lifestyles further adds to the stress.

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