"Hustle Culture" & Its Impact on Our Wellness
We worship the concept of exhaustion. Good exhaustion that is. Somehow we’ve found a way to embrace an “acceptable” type of depletion that spawns from being a “boss” on the hustle, a woman making moves, getting that paper or just being an independent woman. But after 30 years of dedication, hard work and being all of the aforementioned, I can tell anyone that the real prize is self preservation. And any young woman I’ve every mentored will attest, that the most important aspect I preach for personal, professional and spiritual success is balance. It’s just like the old adage "too much of a good thing aint' good for you" and that sentiment still stands true. However, for some reason, the image of being “booked & busy” is the only way our today culture values success. Woman have especially adopted this mind set that seems to use this concept as a metric by which the serious life players are measured.
I noticed this more than ever during COVID. While some people took the time to reevaluate their lives, health and emotional wellness, others took to shaming people on social media with scolding posts about “This is the time to get your hustle on” or “whoever is not on their grind right now is not a real boss”. For me, my focus was not on how much more of a grind I needed to adopt, but my desire to to be physically and emotionally healthy. And in that space there was much self evaluation about the life I really wanted to live. It changed a lot about my perspective and how I needed to re-shape my life. Those were and continue to be my boss moves.
So when I saw a quote from Brene’ Brown that said ” It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.” I realized I was not alone. That there were others like me who were not feeding into the idea that we had to pretend to be happy and exhausted at the same time.
I can attest, that when I am exhausted I am at my saddest. Period. When I need rest, my body hurts and there are too many demands to process, I am not a happy person. And while there will always be times in life where by happenstance we find ourselves in this space, it needn’t be voluntary. Which is why preserving yourself is so important. We know that’s there’s “never a dull moment” but we don’t need to create a normalcy around it.
Sitting still to reflect is a requirement. Rest is rejuvenation. And play is necessary. And believe it or not, those moments of re-fortification take more courage than many people realize.