Have you been experiencing burn out?
Anne Helen Petersen said, “[Burnout] isn’t a personal problem. It’s a societal one—and it will not be cured by productivity apps, or a bullet journal, or face mask skin treatments, or overnight fucking oats.”
An Indeed survey found that 52% of respondents are experiencing burn out. This isn’t surprising seeing that we are currently going through a global crisis.
But I think that hustle culture has been an issue for much longer than the pandemic.
How often do we hear that we should work harder? Or how many employees are given work devices so that they can be connected 24/7 and how many of us are taught to set boundaries?
I remember laying on the bathroom floor of my office, sick with a throat and lung infection, just needing a few minutes of rest. I slept for maybe ten minutes until someone came in. I went back to my desk and continued to push through until the end of the day.
My body was clearly asking for a rest.
But my mind and beliefs told me that I needed to work at all costs.
That the one who works the hardest wins. They get the promotion, the raise, the acknowledgement.
But what was this belief costing me?
My mental, emotional, physical, spiritual wellbeing.
My health. My life.
And I look back now and can clearly see how much I had been burning out. That was one of many infections within a couple of years.
My body had been giving me signs for years, migraines, chronic infections, and painful inflammation in my mouth that kept me from talking or eating and eventually led to an autoimmune disease diagnosis.
But I refused to slow down, I needed to prove myself. I needed to work hard and hustle.
The Problem with Hustle Culture
And this is the problem with hustle culture.
We are told that we need to be productive every waking minute.
That the hardest worker wins.
It’s an insidious disease running through society that is burning us out.
And while I know that adding pleasure to our lives helps, I also feel it’s deeper than that.
It’s breaking down the beliefs that our worth is in our work and that we have to work hard to be worthy.
It’s prioritizing our self-care for ourselves, modeling that within our families.
(SN: When organizations start to realize that giving their employees space to care for themselves instead of demanding more from them, then productivity and results will rise.)
Our purpose in life isn’t to work hard then die.
This isn’t the life I want for myself anymore.
I want to enjoy the little things in life. Laughter. Walks in nature. Love. Family time. Reading. Conversations with friends.
But first I have to stop buying into the old stories that I should be doing something productive.
Breaking Free from Hustle Culture
Everyday, I make the conscious decision to stop hustling.
Recently, a coach pointed out to me that I have a pattern. I go after my goals, overcommit, burnout, shut it down, then do it again.
This pattern has been running my life for so long.
I have committed to breaking free from that pattern. This is what I have been doing:
👉 Journaling on the person I am becoming that is open to a life of flow with aligned, inspired action
👉 Saying affirmations like I am worthy of rest, I am divinely supported, I take aligned action.
👉 Noticing when the hustler within arises and takes over.
👉 Looking for evidence that you don’t have to work hard to succeed. I see this with other entrepreneurs who I know closely that work a few hours a day and are making the money they desire.
👉 Set healthy boundaries around my time and energy,
This isn’t something that will be shifted overnight. Because this belief runs so deep in our veins.
But it can be shifted.
What has been your experience with burnout and what are you doing to recover?