It’s taken me some time to get in the head space to sit down and write this one, likely because I’m still very much navigating the subject myself. But I figured what better time than now to open up the conversation on a topic that seems to be more relevant than ever. To get specific, I’m talking about the hustle when it comes to work, and how sustaining it eventually impacts a myriad of things in our lives — namely, our health. Through the process of absorbing a number of articles and conversations on the issue, I’ve come to realize that my experience is not isolated, and that there are many others (namely, women entrepreneurs) navigating the same struggles, challenges, and transitions at this point in their career.
To take things back a bit, I was one of those young adults who had a very clear idea of what I wanted my work life to look like, and how I was going to get there. No goal was too big, or hurdle too high for me to assess, tackle, and achieve. I graduated from design school at twenty, and proceeded to dedicate my life to work and goal setting, hustling my way from one milestone to the next for the majority of my 20’s. Inevitably, this approach lead to a burn-out before I’d even hit the five year mark of running my business.
Outside of being ambitious, I’ve also always been stressed, and alongside this stress came stomach issues that have persisted in some
“It is fascinating how much our society values the output in a work sense in order to determine our worth.”
capacity for the past fifteen years. I saw a number of doctors, I got into running, I talked out my stress to those around me, but the pain managed to creep in weekly, if not daily. It wasn’t until last year that I made a vow to get to the bottom of these issues, and figure out a way to remedy what was causing the crippling pain in my gut. Not surprisingly in hindsight, it turns out that most (if not all) of these issues were rooted in stress. Rooted in the stress I was putting on myself, day-to-day, running a business, juggling a lengthy to-do list, and hustling to keep up.
The mind-gut connection is a powerful one, and with all of the ruminating I had going on in my head, I left my stomach in knots,
unable to process or digest much of anything. The discovery got me wondering at what cost we sacrifice our well-being on the day-to-day to achieve what we’ve been taught to define as success. Why is it that we so closely link who we are with what we do? I have a feeling the answer lies much deeper in our societal framework than we can control (and that social media isn’t helping), but that doesn’t mean we can’t quietly lead a revolution towards healthier habits, and honoring ourselves just as much as we do our work. Whether it be taking a two-week vacation, or managing just two projects instead of ten, it doesn’t make us any less successful. In fact, I think it makes us more human.
“If we slept well, and ate well, and moved well, we would do all of the other things in our life so much better.”
These days, success is looking a little different to me. Success is getting a full night of rest so I can wake up and take a walk around the neighborhood. Success is closing my laptop by 5pm so I can prepare and cook a proper dinner with my boyfriend. Success is carving out time to be present with those I care about without being preoccupied with work. I’m certainly still in the beginning stages of all of this (and trying to reverse years of unhealthy habits), but there are a lot of amazing resources out there right now, a few of which I’ve linked to in today’s takeaways. What are your sentiments when it comes to the value we place on work tied to self worth? As always, feel free to chime in with any experiences or thoughts in the comments below.Take-Aways
01. Fitness For Bosses with Jason Harrison on Being Boss
02. The Power of Being “Enough” with Anna Maria Locke on The Lively Show
03. A Workaholic’s 7 Steps To Recovery by Julienne Gordon