Busy, the Grind, Hustle Culture, whatever you call it, I was a card-carrying member for years! I was proud of my membership and wore it like a badge of honor. I loved being super busy. Work multiple jobs? Check! Go to grad school while working said multiple jobs? Check! Accept every invite and say yes to all the projects coming my way? Check and Check!
This lifestyle served me well, until it didn’t. One evening I found myself sitting on the couch crying because I was so overwhelmed while reviewing a list for signs of burnout where I checked off every box! I was a wreck and knew this lifestyle couldn’t be sustainable much longer. However, it took a couple more years and then a forced slowdown in the form of the pandemic for me to really evaluate my choices.
In 2019 I took my yoga teacher training which was the first step in understanding I needed to make some changes. Prior to that I never thought I could slow down enough to take a yoga class never mind teach one. Yet there I was meditating, breathing, and moving through the poses.
Then 2020 happened and my true healing process began. I couldn’t leave my house and I had to sit with my past, my limiting beliefs, my sadness, depression, anger, hurt. It all came to the surface, and I couldn’t stuff it back down by being busy. See that’s what I was really doing with my hustle, I was covering my trauma and staying so busy that I never had to deal with it or face it. If I was so busy, then I would never have to sit in stillness with myself.
But now that I was home all the time, I developed a consistent yoga practice that included movement and meditation. I practiced connecting to my breath, slowing down my breath, my movements, my heart rate, and sitting in stillness. All in the name of calming my anxiety and allowing my soul to speak with me.
I now like to call myself a reformed hustler. Don’t get me wrong, I still work multiple jobs as I’m self-employed. But I have chosen who I want to contract with and what my schedule will be. I am no longer running from job to job and sacrificing my well-being, my self-care, or my mental health for work.
Back in January I was asked to teach restorative yoga at the studio where I work. Normally I teach flow classes or kids which require lots of energy and movement. Restorative yoga is completely different. My first reaction was one of doubt that I couldn’t teach it. I asked for a week to research a little bit and see if it was for me. A week later I found myself setting up candles, grabbing props, and using a sound bowl as I taught my very first restorative class.
I was HOOKED! This might have been the missing piece in my transformation.
Each week I lead my students through six poses where they are holding each for about 6-7 minutes. We do a little warm up and breathing at the beginning, sometimes a body scan to check in with ourselves, and then the poses. I’ve heard that some other classes offer some movement but that’s not what mine is about. I’m offering one hour of stillness, breathing, calm, rest, sinking into the props, all as a way to balance your nervous system and deeply relax your body and mind.
Our culture does not prioritize this type of work, but I think it is essential for our health and well-being. We are not meant to be on the go all the time. This is causing more harm than good in the long run. We are dealing with more stress, there are higher rates of anxiety, and many people are suffering from insomnia due to being “on” all the time. Restorative yoga allows us the opportunity to relieve that tension and stress building up. When we take care of our mental health and get the rest we need, we are more creative and productive when we do hit the work hustle.
I know I might be standing outside of society by giving up hustle culture and thinking this way, but I have to believe those people who keep showing up every Wednesday are looking for something different as well.
And I’ll keep providing it because I know how lifesaving it can be.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As a writer, speaker, educator and coach my goal is to help guide people on their own journey to making a wellness lifestyle work for them.
My holistic approach teaches that it’s not just about the nutrition we put into our bodies or our fitness routine, we also need to take care of our own well-being as well.In order to truly live a healthier life we need to realize this is a shift and change in our whole lifestyle and we must cultivate this lifestyle every day.
I’m a certified health coach with a Master’s degree in Health Promotion with a concentration in Community Education.
This degree prepared me to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). All of this knowledge is helping me create health education programs for children and adults alike.
MORE FROM THE BLOG…
I recently read an article discussing the word resilient and it had me thinking how I feel about this word. I’ve used it to describe myself, heard it used to describe others, especially children, but is resilient what we are truly striving for?
I was raised Baptist not Catholic, but in my exploration of spirituality and the rituals I would like to participate in, I chose to do Lent this year. Lent is part of the Christian faith and is a time of penitence where we are asked to fast and choose items to abstain from in a way to mark the 40-day period that Jesus was fasting in the wilderness. Giving up certain pleasures is a way to foster simplicity and self-control, it is a reminder of our penance and creates a sort of suffering on our part.
As another year rolls around a new set of trends pop up in various industries. While I don’t consider myself the trendiest person, I do like to see where wellness is headed and if there is anything new I want to try or old habits I want to expand.
Here are a few trends that caught my eye for this year.
Oh sleep, that ever-elusive healthy habit I am constantly chasing. I have found myself over the years stating that sleep is my wellness flaw. I exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, meditate, practice self-love, and many other habits that make up my wellness lifestyle. But no matter what I do, sleep can still be a struggle.
Self-care has somehow become synonymous with selfish. We feel instantly bad when we take time to ourselves or over explain so as not to offend those in our lives when we need some “me” time. When did this become the case? Why is self-care such a bad thing?
Over 20 years ago back in 1998 I laced up my sneakers to head out for a run. I had never actually gone for a run before, but I knew people loved it and it was a great form of cardio, so I decided to give it a try. I ran two miles, felt proud of myself, and then experienced excruciating pain in my knee to the point where I was limping for a few days. And thus ended my running career. I did try it again years later living here in NYC only to have the same experience.