Endless emails, relentless deadlines and the constant pressure to keep up with social media, the news, life, the universe and everything – not to mention friends and family. It’s easy to imagine that feeling exhausted by it all is a typically 21st century concept. Not so – if we told you exhaustion was nothing new, well, would you feel quite so exhausted?

exhaustion

Exhaustion is a vague and forgiving concept. Celebrities say they’re suffering from it when they go to rehab and don’t want to admit to depression or addiction. You can attribute your low mood or your short temper to exhaustion, and it can mean anything from “had a couple of bad nights’ sleep” to “about to have a nervous breakdown.” It also seems like a peculiarly modern affliction. From sloth to burnout, each age remakes exhaustion in its own image. Read more: New Republic.