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Ditch the Hustle for Your Mental (and Physical) Health

I’m tired of the hustle. Is anybody else tired of the hustle?

There’s this ugly part of our society that says we have to be “on” all the time – always working, always moving, always getting things done. If you wanna make it anywhere, you gotta hustle. If you want that bacon, you gotta cook from dawn til dusk. (Although let’s be real: everyone knows bacon doesn’t take that long to cook.) As a freelance writer, I read a lot about productivity, time management, and business-building principles. A lot of it praises busyness. The more you can cram into your day—the more productive you can be—the better. Just reading about it makes my mind tired.

Maybe I’m an idealist, but I can’t accept that fact that I need to forgo the daily pleasures of reading, resting, cooking, and talking to other people, simply so I can hustle enough to make an extra buck. I mean, do I? Isn’t there a way to be successful without pulling the rug out from under your life and lighting it on fire?

I may be a productivity junkie, but it’s ultimately so taxing that I don’t want to use productivity to define my day’s success anymore. I can hear it now: Hey, self, you got a lot of things done today. You didn’t call your friend back, move more than three feet from the laptop, or make a healthy dinner, but you did cross everything ELSE off of your to-do list—including those second edits and LinkedIn connections! Wowee!

Cereal for dinner every night, though? Delicious, but not okay.

As I continue to juggle the desk job with the dream job (which, by the way, isn’t a dream quite yet), I hope I can learn how to enjoy myself while making progress. I barely know a soul whose day isn’t spinningly fast paced. Why? How did we get to this point? And besides money, why do we uphold busyness as the ultimate form of success?

All I know is that I’m tired of feeling guilty for a Saturday morning spent with a good book, a Monday evening spent prepping dinner, or a Thursday afternoon at the gym. Those things, much like work, are good when moderated. And rest is always necessary. We can’t do anything else without it.

My main goal this summer is to manage my time well, slow down and enjoy more without guilt or self-condemnation. Anyone else with me?

9 comments

  1. Less to More

    Sometimes life can be such a blur. I’m also looking forward to slowing down this summer, enjoy life, enjoy time with my family. My 5-year-old son has already made some specific requests that he wants to do this summer: go to the park to feed the birds, learn to make sushi, and learn how to do magic tricks. Sounds like fun ways to spend my days!

  2. thisbrownqueen

    This is so perfect. I totally understand where you are coming from! For me with juggling the desk job and dream job AND being a mom and wife I’m always on go. I promised myself I’m just going to SLOW down and enjoy the journey. And most of all not feel guilty for doing so 🙂

  3. Meghan

    Yes! So many of us always strive for “the next thing” when we’ll finally be happier, but it’s those little things — like feeding the birds and learning how to cook a new dish — that sometimes end up being the most memorable. And the most refreshing! (Magic tricks sound awesome, too 🙂

  4. Meghan

    Absolutely…and oh man, I’m so glad I’m not the only one!!

  5. Brian Evans

    I’m sitting here in a lovely suite (fighting the guilt), because someone recommended that I take a 2-week vacation. I was paralyzed at the thought. What would I do away from my busyness for that long? Well, I decided to try it for a week. This strange feeling is coming over me now, and I think it’s called “relaxation.” I could get used to this. Plus, I get to read and enjoy awesome posts like yours. I think I’ll join you in your commitment to “slow down and enjoy more without guilt or self-condemnation.” Thanks for the post, Meghan.
    BE

  6. Meghan Post author

    Brian, I know that feeling of guilt that comes with resting all too well. There’s that immediate sense that maybe you’re falling behind or missing things, but after a couple of days you start to realize how nice it is to just BE instead of having to DO all the time. Thanks so much for reading, Brian, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your time off!

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