We all live in a time where society celebrates overworking, constantly staying busy and always having something to do. This is often referred to as ‘hustle culture’ but is also known as ‘burnout culture’, ‘toxic productivity’, or being called a ‘workaholic’. The good news is there are things you can do to avoid becoming part of this culture, lets look at some:
- Discovering your ‘rest narrative’: how do you look at rest? Do you view it as lazy or unproductive, or do you feel like it is an important part of your wellbeing? How you look at rest will play a major role in how you perceive the benefits of it. Rest is healthy and necessary.
- Setting and enforcing boundaries: Boundaries are important in all aspects of your life, but it is more important to set them and then stick to them. Make a time that you will stop working and communicate this to others. Sure, there will be times where you might have to put in a few more hours than normal but set a boundary that this is not your norm.
- Make self-care a lifestyle: self-care should form part of your daily routine and not only something you practise if you are feeling rundown, sick or a bit sad. Self-care, slowing down and looking after yourself will make you more productive.
- Take a nap: naps have been scientifically proved to reduce fatigue, improve your mood, and boost your brains health, all while giving you a bit of a necessary break. In general, no less than 20 minutes and no more than 30 minutes is the sweet spot for a nap to make it effective. Go enjoy a 25-minute siesta, you deserve it!
- Know your ‘flow’: your flow or your zone is when you are fully immersed in the activity you are busy wit, where all your energy, focus and skills are being used to the max. Your flow can change and can be increased by certain things like challenging yourself or trying something new. Just remember to know when to take a break.
- Follow natural rhythms: it is completely normal to have times where you are more active and times when you need to adopt a slower pace. Not only is this normal but it is natural too. Finding this balance will lead to achieving more and getting closer to your goal of holistic wellbeing.
- Put down your phone: we have been conditioned to feel like our phones are an extension of ourselves. What did people do before they existed? Put down your phone and any other electronics, don’t pick them up right away Research shows that constantly checking our devices harms our brains so step away from the electronics after a certain time each day and focus on healing activities such as reading a book, learning a new language, or spending time with loved ones.
- Journal your time: write down how you spend your time for a week and get ready for your eyes to be opened to new opportunities. This will help you see where you have been spending too much time on activities that do not require it or where you could invest more time into something that will fill your cup.
- Prioritise your priorities: we do not mean your everyday tasks like extra murals or working, we mean your personal priorities such as taking a new class, reading a book, going for a walk, or catching coffee with a friend. Time-blocking will allow you to look back and remember how you spent your time but will also make you feel like you have control of your priorities and what is important to you, outside of work or school.
- Say no: you do not have to say yes to every plan, every invitation, or every request to do more. Saying no is healthy and prevents us from getting into periods where we are stuck with the “too many things to do, so little time” mentality. Declining requests that will not fill your cup will often lead to better balance and holistic wellbeing. Practise saying no gently, so you will be prepared next time.
Rest is not your enemy and slowing down is not wrong. We need to change our mindsets that tell us that if we are not doing something or not producing something, we are unworthy. Change starts with you!