What is millennial burnout? 焦慮疲憊的千禧一代

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每個人都會時不時地因為工作、家庭或生活而感到壓力。但 「千禧一代」 的年輕人說,和出生在其它年代的人們相比,他們承受的壓力最大,人們將其稱作 「千禧一代的倦怠感」。這種 「新型」 壓力的來源是什麼?人們是否同意這種 「病狀」 的存在?《隨身英語》聚焦倍感疲倦的 「千禧一代」,介紹這一現象出現的背景及原因。

Vocabulary: stress and exhaustion 詞彙: 壓力和勞累

Do you often feel stressed? Does the pace of life make you feel like you’re continually on the go or at the end of your rope? Are you often so wiped out by work that you struggle to switch off? And are you a member of the millennial generation, who, according to the Pew Research Center, were born between 1981 and 1996? If your answer to these questions is ‘yes’, maybe you suffer from ‘millennial burnout’.

Millennial burnout is a term first popularised by BuzzFeed writer Anne Helen Petersen. Unlike ‘regular’ burnout, which leaves sufferers feeling physically and emotionally frazzled, run into the ground and overwhelmed, millennial burnout also adds, among other things, ‘errand paralysis’. This is when minor tasks, such as cleaning the car, or sending a parcel in the mail, feel impossible. “It’s not as if I were slacking in the rest of my life,” she wrote. “But when it came to the stuff that wouldn’t make my job easier or my work better, I avoided it.” So it doesn’t get done, which leads to a backlog of tasks and feelings of shame.

In the UK, 74% of us feel so stressed that we are coming apart at the seams, mentalhealth.org reports. So why are millennials tearing their hair out? Millennials feel their problems are ‘exacerbated by social media, because of the constant pressure to be living up to your best life,’ British psychotherapist Beverly Hills told the BBC. This pressure is made worse when the definition of ‘success’ seems to have changed. It used to be about earning money, but now it’s things like being passionate about work, being super-healthy, holidaying and having amazing experiences, etc. That’s a lot to have on your plate and the ‘failure’ to cope leaves many feeling guilty, ashamed and at their wits’ end.

However, the concept of millennial burnout has not gone unchallenged. Many have said that it’s merely a form of entitled laziness or the result of poor choices – for example, trying to do too much. After all, as psychoanalyst Josh Cohen writes for NBC, this isn’t the first generation to suffer from overwork and exhaustion, nor is it the first to have to adapt to new forms of technology and culture. Could the answer simply be that millennial ambition reaches too far?

The jury is still out on whether millennial burnout is real or not – though it isn’t a recognised medical condition. Whether it will become one is unknown. So for the time being, try not to stress about it.

詞彙表

stressed 有壓力的
on the go 忙個不停
at the end of your rope 智窮力竭
wiped out 精疲力盡的
switch off 放鬆
burnout 勞累過度
frazzled 疲憊的
run into the ground 拚命工作,累得筋疲力盡
overwhelmed 難以承受的
slack 偷懶
come apart at the seams 崩潰
tear one’s hair out 焦慮不堪
exacerbate 使惡化,使加重
pressure 壓力
have a lot on one’s plate 有很多工作要做
cope 處理,應付
at your wits’ end 束手無策

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. According to the article, who are the millennial generation?

2. What is ‘errand paralysis’?

3. According to Beverly Hills, why do millennials feel millennial burnout?

4. True or false: Everyone agrees that millennial burnout is real.

5. Which word in the text means ‘feeling that you have the right to do or have something because of who you are’?

2.  請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. What a full day! I’m totally ______. I feel like I could sleep for a week!

on the go                   at the end of your rope       slacking                      wiped out

2. I’m sorry, boss, I’ve got ______. I’m already managing three other projects.

a lot on my plate        a lot in my bowl                  a lot on my tray           a lot in my cup

3. I’ve had three children! I can easily ______ with one baby for an evening. Go and relax.

switch off                    stress                                 cope                           exacerbate

4. We ______ the problem by borrowing more money than we could pay back.

strengthened              furthered                           intense                         exacerbated

5. John! Stop sleeping at your desk! I don’t want to see you ______ again!

burnout                       slacking                            tearing your hair out      overwhelmed

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. According to the Pew Research Center, who are the millennial generation?
The millennial generation are people born between 1981 and 1996.

2. What is ‘errand paralysis’?
‘Errand paralysis’ is an inability to complete minor tasks such as cleaning the car or posting a parcel.

3. According to Beverly Hills, why do millennials feel millennial burnout?
They are exacerbated by social media because of the constant pressure to be living up to their best life.

4. True or false: Everyone agrees that millennial burnout is real.
False. Some consider it to be entitled laziness, or the result of poor choices. Nor is it a recognised medical condition.

5. Which word in the text means ‘feeling that you have the right to do or have something because of who you are’?
Entitled. (Many have said that it’s merely a form of entitled laziness)

2.  請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. What a full day! I’m totally wiped out. I feel like I could sleep for a week!

2. I’m sorry, boss, I’ve got a lot on my plate. I’m already managing three other projects.

3. I’ve had three children! I can easily cope with one baby for an evening. Go and relax.

4. We exacerbated the problem by borrowing more money than we could pay back.

5. John! Stop sleeping at your desk! I don’t want to see you slacking again!