NYers, The Struggle is Real!
We are officially the burnout generation(s)
Have you checked in with your loved ones and friends lately? Have you exchanged few words with your neighbors? Maybe at your local store, you asked how everything is going with the business? How many of them answered -- "Okay, I guess," "Can't complain," or maybe just a simple "You know ..." and let the question slide unanswered? Not everyone will come out and admit -- "It's going bad." Whether because we are reserved people and want to keep private things private, or simply don't want to bother others, we all tend to hide behind the smiles.
IN CASE YOU ARE STILL WONDERING: NO, WE ARE NOT DOING FINE.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted its most recent Household Pulse Survey. About 37% of those surveyed reported feeling anxious or depressed, an 11% increase from the previous year. If recent studies are any indication, the majority of people are feeling the weight of the past 14 months on their shoulders. Whether we say it aloud or we confide it in anonymous posts, we all belong to the burnout generations. Granted, there are different degrees of "not doing well" and different degrees of loss. There are those struggling after losing a loved one, for the loss of income, for medical complications after a Covid-19 recovery. It is hard to equate pain and loss, after all, who are we to say my pain or her pain is greater than somebody else's? I always thought pain, in the end, is pain. However, there is one thing that all these degrees of loss have in common: they bring a sense of insecurity in us all.
I was reading the NYT over the weekend. They recently came out with a collection of over 700 messages from New Yorkers. It is interesting to see how people from different socio-economic backgrounds responded to this post-Covid-19 world and the lingering burnout feeling. And although everyone has a different story to share, pretty much everybody, in the end, concludes that (1) they are not really doing well and (2) they feel like they are stuck.
This feeling of being stuck like you are in quicksand. You want to move, your brain tells your body to move, but nothing registers. It seems to be a direct result of this long period of destabilization we have been going through. Dr. Margaret Wehrenberg, clinical psychologist, expert on anxiety, and author of 9 books including "Pandemic Anxiety: Fear, Stress and Loss in Traumatic Times" was interviewed by the NYT. She said, “When people are under a long period of chronic, unpredictable stress, they develop behavioral anhedonia."
We lose interest and motivation, we feel overly tired all the time, even when we are doing a fraction of the things we used to do in the past, we lose our drive, our spark, we feel lethargic, and all this brings a sense of hopelessness.
PS: Here you can find the collection of what the NYT readers responded when asked to elaborate on this feeling of burnout -- READ THE ARTICLE HERE