Putting mental wellness before the hustle. Living as part of the 24/7 ‘hustle culture’ life, always being the first to your desk, 5am in the gym and camping out next to the coffee machine is fast becoming a thing of the past. The concept of putting everything else first, that has been ingrained in us from early childhood schooling and through societal expectations, is on the way out.
In 2023, being a modern day ‘rushaholic’, caught up in the busyness of being busy, seeking rewards, incentives and dopamine hits, is not the only way to get a desired result.
Reaping the benefits of a career, at the expense of all else and ‘just pushing through’ negates that actually you are here to enjoy this life experience and not just to survive it. And, let’s face it stress is a killer.
So isn’t it about time that you looked at working smarter and not harder?
Looking at ways of doing things differently, to support your wellbeing, break out of the ‘hustle culture’ and step into the slower lane is one such approach, to set you up for success, and embrace a new paradigm.
So what is the hustle life?
It is a way of living that always has you chronically on edge and puts you into fight/ flight mode, which stresses the body, especially the nervous system. Your body and mind are not designed to experience sustained stresses and when they can no longer keep pace with the demands placed upon them, it begins to take its toll on you. You have low energy, symptoms start to manifest, like fatigue, brain fog and random aches/ pains.
These symptoms can be an inconvenience, but not paying attention to what your body is telling you means they can mount up until you are stopped in your tracks. You may be able to mask these symptoms with various treatments for a while, but they don’t really get resolved and, the if cause is still ever present and so the symptoms never resolve.
Many people live with an elevated stress level, feeling like they always need to be ‘on’ and get caught up racing from deadline to deadline and the fast track to burnout and a slippery slope to poor physical and mental health, below par performance and lost productivity.
So what can you do?
Here are 5 practical tips that you can implement today that will support you in putting your physical, mental and emotional wellness first.
1 . Practicing gratitude – Being grateful makes you aware and appreciative of the things that are actually going well for you. Actively practising this is a superb way to tune into your life to support your mental focus and is the gateway to receiving more. At the end of every day when you get into bed, before you go to sleep, think of 3 things that you are grateful for and feel how grateful you are. This causes an emotive response, e-motions are literally energy in motionand your body’s cells are always listening. Ending your day on a high and saying ‘thank you’ last thing at night helps to set the stage for calm and restful sleep.
2. Creating boundaries – imagine being able to give yourself ‘breathing space’ by simply pressing pause, or flicking the off switch. Stepping way from everything that is sucking your attention and placing boundaries where you are able to set away and mentally relax is vital for your overall wellness. The hardest boundary to put in place is with mobile phones, the tech that keeps you connected but so disconnected through distraction and needing to be occupied or busy. If you want to be more present then I highly recommend airplane mode on your phone. Switching off from the busyness allows you to be present for the things that are important to you.
3. Breathe to regulate– you can actually alter your biochemistry, your nervous system function and enhance mindfulness of your present situation by using your breathing. It is such a great way to slow down and focus, and can take just a few minutes.There are many ways to breathe and lets face it, we all have to do it, but there are ways to breathe that help to tune into your body and mind and create that sense of calm. One way is nasal breathing, it is non-stressful breathing and a form of breathwork that supports the body with self- regulation and calming of the nervous system- just gently breathe in and out through your nose for a minute. It is something that you can do anywhere at anytime to help you feel more centred, focussed and in flow.
4. Get Grounded– also known as earthing, is where you are barefoot on the ground for about 10-15 minutes and draw upon the subtle, natural electrical charge that the earth contains to recharge and renew your energy, a bit like recharging a battery. It helps you to feel centred, strong, relaxed, solid, less tense, less stressed and stable, and a grounded body is healthier and more balanced. Think about electrical health and safety … everything is ‘earthed’ or ‘grounded’ for safety, allowing excess electric charge to disperse, as the Earth can accept and provide large numbers of electrons. Nobel prize winner (1965) Richard Feynman claimed grounding stabilised the electric potential between the body and the Earth.
5 . Move daily– movement isn’t just about exercising, because the most common response to exercise I hear is ‘I don’t have time’. Movement is far more inclusive, and involves being intuitive and what feels good to your body, whether that is walking, skipping, rolling on the floor or playing with your children. Daily movement is essential to your overall wellness, and to create balance in your mind and body. Movement promotes the ‘feel good’ hormones- oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. When you are more relaxed, you are able to think more clearly, So, if you are feeling unsettled then go and move to help rebalance and recenter yourself.
Not everyone is going to be on board with the slower pace of life, because the demand for your attention is at all all time high, which makes it difficult to switch off and create boundaries around when you’re ‘on’ and when you’re unavailable. But maybe implementing a boundary of doing things at your own pace would be the best wellness boost yet- simple.
Embrace living life in the slow lane and don’t keep on rushing to the destination.