LONDON — Millennials have a reputation for being the “always on” generation, as they frequently check emails outside of their work hours, feel compelled to clear their inbox before relaxing, and tend to work through lunch. Now, a new survey is backing this up, finding that two in three millennials think it’s impossible for them to ever unplug.
The poll of 2,000 adults revealed that 65 percent of individuals born between 1981 and 1996 believe they face “too many distractions to be able to switch off each day.” This contrasts sharply with the mere 12 percent of older adults in the “silent” generation, those born between 1928 and 1945, who feel the same way.
Moreover, 45 percent of millennials admit to checking their phones first thing in the morning and average only 91 minutes of free time daily. Additionally, 41 percent of millennials can’t watch TV without simultaneously scrolling on their phones. Interestingly, almost one in 10 (9%) would only consider vacationing in places where they can remain connected to their work.
By comparison, only 12 percent of Gen X individuals, born between 1965 and 1980, would review work emails before their official start time at work each day. This percentage jumps to 21 percent among both millennials and Gen Z.
Scroll down to see an expert’s 10 best ways to de-stress
“Over time, people seem to be perpetually rushing through life. This relentless pace isn’t sustainable. Lack of sleep, excessive work stress, and limited relaxation can detrimentally impact mental health. It’s essential to step back, take a breather, and savor moments of stillness,” says spokesperson and well-being advocate Henry Nelson-Case in a statement.
The research, commissioned by Extra Gum, discovered that the average adult sleeps only six hours nightly, despite recommendations suggesting seven hours or more. Alarmingly, almost six in 10 (59%) feel like they’re in constant motion, struggling to find genuine relaxation. About 53 percent believe an over-reliance on modern technology contributes to this inability to disconnect.
Further, nearly three in 10 (29%) have suffered career burnout, with the average age for this experience being 34. From this group, 42 percent reported crying, 40 percent contemplated changing jobs, and one in three admitted to misdirecting their stress toward family members. Additionally, 12 percent have adopted new hobbies as a stress-relief mechanism, according to the survey results from OnePoll.
“It’s deeply concerning to recognize the prevalence of burnout and the surprisingly young average age of those affected. However, it’s encouraging to see proactive responses, such as seeking new job opportunities, embracing hobbies, or scheduling personal time,” adds Hannah Lee, a spokesperson for Extra Gum. “Even small distractions, like the 34% of participants who chew gum to alleviate tension, offer a daily opportunity to reground and prioritize oneself.”
Henry Nelson-Case’s Tips For De-Stressing:
- Try to identify the source of your stress: Knowing what the cause is can help you address it more effectively.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help you calm down and reduce anxiety.
- Exercise regularly: Physical fitness can alleviate the signs of burnout by releasing endorphins, which are natural stress-fighters.
- Get enough sleep.
- Take a moment for yourself.
- Set realistic goals: Setting achievable goals can help you diminish stress by giving you a sense of accomplishment and control.
- Learn to say no: Saying no to things you don’t have time or energy for can help you avoid over-committing yourself and reduce worry.
- Manage your time effectively.
- Practice positive self-talk.
- Seek support from others: Talking to friends, family, or a professional can help you manage pressure and build coping skills.
72Point writer Charlotte Minett contributed to this report.