Team No Sleep.
Business hours are 24 hours.
Sound familiar? These are all battle cries of hustle culture. The idea that in order to succeed we need to do more and “work harder.” It’s a sentiment that many of us hold near and dear, but is it actually helping us?
Hustle culture demands that we ignore our innate needs in pursuit of success. Our worth is measured only by external output, and we’re expected to keep up at that pace lest we lose our place in line.
For moms, hustle culture can also look like pretending you don’t have family obligations at work, or getting back on your laptop or device once your kids are asleep. It often leaves us feeling like a failure at work and at home.
It’s toxic and unsustainable.
How do we start to change our relationship with the hustle culture mindset? How do we abandon something that has been embedded in us since birth and likely has a long lineage in our family history?
It’s certainly a significant undertaking, but this list can help guide you in the right direction:
1. Understand the roots of your own relationship to grind culture.
Before creating a plan to fix our distorted relationship with the hustle, we first have to get to the root. Ask yourself:
- How was grind culture displayed in your family growing up?
- What are your personal beliefs about success and the hustle?
- What do you fear will happen if you stop grinding so hard?
2. Start with bite-sized doses of mindfulness.
Old habits die hard. Unlearning hustle culture won’t happen overnight.
Simple routines like taking deep breaths throughout the day, short meditations, a mid-day dance break, or a nightly cup of tea are all great ways to pause and connect to our body and unique needs. They stop the hustle in its tracks.
3. Set boundaries.
No work after 5 p.m.
No scrolling during family time.
Stop volunteering to be the default organizer for everyone and everything. Boundaries are not just about saying no, they’re about what you choose to say yes to instead. Set boundaries with yourself first, then with others.
4. Prioritize rest.
Resting is more than taking naps, though those are important. Give yourself space to daydream, to do nothing. The Nap Ministry does great work reminding us that rest is resistance and necessary work in the fight for liberation.
5. Flip the script.
Unlearning hustle culture will require a new language and reimagining what could be. Over time, as you work to leave hustle culture, you’ll have to find ways to create a new narrative on what success looks like.
Writing down your own personal set of values may help with this. Affirmations like “I am worthy just as I am,” “My worth is not determined by productivity,” and “I am allowed to be at ease” are great to help you along your journey.
Breaking free from hustle culture will not be easy. Yet it’s a necessary shift that will not only benefit us in the long run but also set the precedent for our children and generations to come on what it looks like to thrive by embracing less hustle and more flow.