Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Self Care or Hustle

The remedy to hustle culture?

We’ve all been there. Caught in the scroll. One minute looking at an aesthetically pleasing post with icons depicting going for a bath, getting out in nature, and meditation. The next are posts on getting less sleep, waking up earlier, and working while other people party. 

Self-care or hustle. Happy or successful. Going by social media, it seems you can’t possibly have both.

Interestingly self-care is often seen as the remedy to too much hustle and the inevitable burnout from working too hard, for too long, on too little sleep. Prompting the question: Are we practicing self-care for the right reasons?

It’s a blurry line. Do we need self-care as a result of how hard we are working or do we need it simply to feel good within ourselves? 

In an ideal world, it would be the latter, we’d practice self-care because it feels good and it’s what we want to do. However, this is not an ideal world and we do not always get the option to do what feels good when we have a looming deadline, a job to go to, or a business to build. 

The concept of work-life balance is a tricky one. We are heavily incentivized by working harder. If you’re an entrepreneur it’s your livelihood on the line, taking time out can lead to losing clients, not appearing consistent, and failing to attract new clients in pursuit of growth. If you’re employed your job is on the line, taking too many days off can result in disciplinary action, may look like you can’t handle your job, or take you out of the running for the next promotion.

With too many of us stressed and at the point of burnout before we start to take self-care seriously here are three top tips to maximize your self-care practice.

  • Think about what self-care is for you. Maybe a bath is right up your street or maybe you’d prefer to go rock climbing. Self-care is not what graphics on social media say they are. Self-care is individual to you. Choose the right self-care for you.
  • Set aside time for self-care and start small. If taking a day off gives you palpitations then no amount of self-care will counteract that. Start with 30 minutes and build-up to the point where taking a day off doesn’t feel like the end of the world.
  • Find a self-care accountability buddy. A trusted friend who doesn’t stand for any excuses. One that will support you to get the self care you need. However, don’t forget this is a challenge, they can support you but cannot do it for you.

Remember self-care is a practice. This means that you have to do it more than once. When you feel like it and when you don’t. Often, we play ourselves at the bottom of the totem pole. Everyone else’s needs come first – sound familiar? If you’ve lived this way for a number of years, raising children or being the go-to person in your career then it will take time to build the skill of self-care and taking time for yourself.

And the next time you’re caught up in the scroll remember it’s not a case of one or the other, you can have both. In fact, you need both.

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