Up until today, “hustle culture” is still the norm. In this culture, 24 hours a day is not enough. Even when you add another hour, it still would not be enough. Spreading yourself too thin may garner a sense of fulfillment at the end of the day, but this could take a lot of toll on your body.
Take, for example, a bodybuilder. They have spent years dedicating their time and effort to build muscle. Even when they are capable of lifting heavy weights, they are not superhuman. One bad move—like straightening their legs or forgetting to breathe—can send them to a power wheelchair. At times, before something untoward happens, their bodies tell them that they can no longer push, yet they continue.
Instances like these happen not only physically but one’s holistic well-being. One common culprit is stress. When a person is faced with a stressor, it usually triggers the “fight or flight” response. Either way, these situations put the person in a position that threatens their safety or greatly exhausts them. In day-to-day life, stressors can be work, relationships, and personal problems.
The effects of stress span from physical to mental to emotional. Stress can cause autoimmune diseases, digestive problems, and increase blood pressure. It can also lead to depression, anxiety, or insomnia.
After a full day’s work, feeling tired is normal. However, going beyond what your mind and body can handle, you might experience burnout. According to HelpGuide, “Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.” People usually shrug this off because it doesn’t seem physically serious.
However, it threatens other facets of your health. It results in feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, lack of motivation. This may cause people to detach themselves from social circles as well as family connections. If not giving attention, burnout can cause depression and anxiety.
What can you do?
When you feel like you have been working yourself too hard, perhaps, a break is necessary. This does not exactly mean a vacation or going off the grid. However, rest and relaxation are different for everybody. It can be watching an episode of a newly released series. It can be going for a walk. It can be working out. The feeling of relief and ease are what matters. Here are ways to give yourself some rest:
- Sleep—it rejuvenates and repairs the body as well as gives the body energy that it needs to survive throughout the day.
- Turn to your hobbies. After a long week of stress at work, coming back to your hobby helps you regain your sense of self. Because these are the things that you love to do, they keep the mind entertained and at ease.
- Do nothing. Letting your mind wander is essential to creativity. When your mind is quiet, you welcome a stream of consciousness that you may have repressed because of the daily grind.
- Meditate. Meditation includes breathing exercises that engage stress management and relaxes the mind and body.
Productivity can be fulfilling, especially as a form of validation. What one must remember, though, is that if you do not choose to rest, your body will choose it for you.