Self-care isn’t the answer to Hustle-culture. This is.
Self-care is becoming a cringe-worthy word for me. It’s plastered everywhere as the solution to all of our frustrations, anxieties, and overwhelm, but it’s kinda just a band-aide. Yes, taking time for yourself, taking care of yourself, is crucial to coming close to functioning healthfully, but we’re ignoring why we need so much self-care is necessary in the first place.
I need to point out that the never-ending to-do list you carry around in your head is because of the expectations forced upon us. We are bombarded with messages constantly that we can be Superwoman; killing it in our careers, building a family, and keeping up with all the little things that still fall on us (*cough* thanks, Patriarchy! *cough*).
So, back to self-care. It’s become the answer to all our problems. Stressed? Overwhelmed? Anxious? You just need to prioritize self-care!
We’re told it’s not selfish, but that isn’t the problem – at least from the women I talk to. The issue is that we do not have the friggin’ time! At least we feel we don’t.
Self-care becomes just another thing we feel guilty for not doing.
Or, how about when you finally find something you enjoy doing just for you and you catch one “helpful” post on how you should make it into a side-hustle. There is always a better way to do something and those “tips and tricks” are shoved in our face constantly. We’re told how easy it is to meditate, “just find 5 minutes to sit still!”, or how quick it is to make your own hummus, “It’s only 3 ingredients!” So when we don’t do those things we never wanted to do in the first place, now we feel guilty just because we learned it was a possibility.
So, here we are with all of these outside pressures and reminders that there is more we could be doing, and women out there doing more than us, and when we admit we’re kinda stressed, we’re told we need more self-care.
Most of us feel it’s just another thing we’re failing at, and another thing to try and not only cram into our schedule but to master because clearly our health and happiness depend on it. Again, taking time to do things that truly nourish you is helpful and will calm your stress response, but self-care comes secondary to weeding out the BS of hustle culture.
So, how do you do that? Glad you asked! In short, you want to define what is most important to you, create specific goals, and then set some boundaries.
When listing what’s important to you, it’s tempting to quickly write down: Career, family, health. BAM! Look, that is way too vague and provides absolutely no guidelines. I want you to start with a feeling. How do you want to feel when you wake up? How do you want to feel when you go to bed? Then, get detailed with each of those areas you feel is important and select 1-2 actions that coincide with each that will get you to those feelings you outlined. The goal is to fit all of these things into your day (it will ebb and flow so you can look at the week as a whole), while feeling the way you want to when you wake up and go to bed.
Read This: Avoid These 2 Mistakes for Better Mornings
Many of us wake up feeling overwhelmed, not sure we have the mental energy to get through the day and go to bed ruminating over what needs to get done tomorrow. You may choose the word, “Calm”, “Eager”, “Energized”, “Refreshed” as your wake-up feeling. Or, how about going to bed feeling, “Accomplished”, “At ease”, “Happy”?
Let’s look at actions. For me, my coaching business is clearly important, but as an entrepreneur, I could be working non-stop. That is hustle culture at its worst. Instead, I looked at what is the most important to grow my business so I can say “no” (whether to requests or to my own brain!) to actions that do not align with that. Connecting with my audience (content and landing interviews on podcasts) and physically coaching are the things that drive that. So, when someone says, “You should start a membership site!” I can say, “Nah.” Because that is not how I work with my clients. I do not waste time researching that or feeling guilty that I’m not pursuing it.
Family is important to me. I have a 3-year-old right now so time with him uses all my attention. Without these boundaries and actions, it was easy for me to feel guilty for not being productive while playing with him. Instead, my action is that when I am with him, I am fully with him. It’s not time to try and get ahead with work. When I see a post on tasks I can do while with my toddler, I can fly right past it because that is not my goal.
Hustle culture will always be there. There will always be a way to cram more into your day, and tips on how to be more efficient. Self-care is a way to nurture yourself, however if you skip to that without trimming away the busyness that doesn’t matter and the comparison that drags you down, it just becomes another thing you “should” be doing.
It’s hard to resist the urge to push yourself constantly the way Hustle Culture demands. We feel lazy and unproductive if we don’t get done all we aimed for, which leaves us feeling frustrated and irritable. Take time to go through these steps: 1) Define what is most important to you 2) Create specific goals for each topic and 3) Set your boundaries.
For many women this is very overwhelming because the line between what they want for themselves and what others want for them is very murky. If that’s you, I got you! I offer free 30-minute consults to get you started with ease. Schedule yours below 👇