Working for long stretches without breaks leads to stress and exhaustion, which may affect your daily performance. If you spend some time on social media, you’ve probably come across the trendy hustle culture. Grind, hustle, & strive are just a few mantras and a new way of life which has been a desirable trait for many that have gained traction over recent years.
Social media feeds the rise of hustle culture constantly with users and self-proclaimed gurus to broadcast only the best, inauthentic versions of themselves that ultimately create digital competition. People have inherited the need to outperform each other, which often is a race to the bottom – the bottom being burn out, and poor daily performance. Given this, there’s nothing wrong with hustling at something you’re passionate about, and at times there are demands to suffice sleep, luxury, personal entertainment, and so on.
So, when does this culture become toxic and how do we turn it around?
Once you find the right balance and recharging, success is easier and sustainable.
The biggest elephant in the room is work. Whether it’s working out or working late hours at the office. Work shouldn’t be a constant struggle.
There are times perseverance is needed when the going gets tough, but it shouldn’t always feel like you have to neglect your outside world in order to be successful. Success must become easier over time, especially when your flow of work is aligning yourself with an environment (including people) around you, energizes rather than drains you.
While it’s difficult to manifest the hustle culture, it doesn’t mean you have to always be miserable and work an unrealistic number of hours. A lot of the time, more hours into work do not mean more success, especially when performance is poor. When that’s the case, and you find yourself with a blinding headache after a 12-hour workday, it may be time to take a step back and wonder if you’re on the right path at all. You don’t need to hustle yourself into a breakdown. Find something that energizes you and pursue it in a way that enhances your wellbeing.
Here are 3 simple hacks to turn this around:
1. MENTAL BREAKS ARE WHAT YOUR BRAIN THRIVES ON
Feeling burnt out? Full throttle lifestyle often deprives of mental breaks! Your brain spends every waking hour absorbing information from all directions. If your brain doesn’t get a chance to chill and restore itself, it can chisel away at your mood, performance, and health. People tend to overwork, overschedule, and overdo. “They treat themselves like machines”, says Matthew Edlund M.D., the author of The Power of Rest: Why Sleep Alone Is Not Enough.
83 percent of respondents say they spend no time during the day relaxing, according to the book. Think of this form of recovery as mental downtime-periods you’re not actively focused on and engaged in the outside world. Stew Friedman, Ph.D., supports research that shows that after you take a mental time-out, you are better at creative thinking and coming up with solutions and new ideas.
One of the many effective ways to get started on this is by scheduling mental breaks outside of your common working space. Sitting at the office all day? Take physical action, any activity counts. The proven benefits of exercise are endless. If going for a run or a gym intimidates you, don’t despair! The goal is to avoid sitting for long periods. Try taking a 20-minute walk outside, rejuvenate, then get back to work.
Studies say to take 15-minute breaks every 75 to 90 minutes, otherwise known as “pulse-and-pause”, expending energy then renewing it. Humans naturally transition from full focus and energy to physiological fatigue every 90 minutes. Even less intimidating and passive modern alternatives are what’s trending as recovery lounges. They are a futuristic oasis on the rise that helps high performing individuals such as busy CEOs and athletes alike looking to mentally escape and recover from daily stressors with the means of the best recovery technology.
2. POOR CIRCULATION = POOR DAILY PERFORMANCE
Getting active in a sedentary lifestyle is the most forgotten aspect of an individual’s aspect of health and wellness. Not only has physical inactivity shown to be a risk for certain cardiovascular risk factors, but it has also been shown to decrease employee performance. Focus and cognitive function become compromised when circulation and breathing are poor – often found when sitting for long periods.
Likewise, in order to be an elite athlete, the quality of your workouts is directly affected by the quality of your recovery. Understanding the physiological concept of circulation in recovery is essential for designing optimal training programs. Much recent contemporary research has explored numerous tactics to responding to high-level training performers for enhancing the recovery process, including intensive nutritional plans, cold water immersions, stretching, and compression tools (all of which promote circulation the body needs after undergoing high-intensity training)! This allows athletes to train harder and perform at a higher level.
Lebron James and top athletes alike, have shared multiple photos over time on social media using NormaTec recovery systems pre-game, post-game, and the offseason. NormaTec systems gained notoriety through their ability to promote speedy recovery when intense physical performance is in demand – with the magic of, you guessed it…. CIRCULATION. A session with these bad boys uses compression to mobilize fluid in and out of the limbs, which is what creates that “fresh legs” feeling after taking the boots of. It is a passive way of promoting extremity circulation, mimicking the effect of kneading in a massage.
3. LOOSEN UP
Over time, being stuck in sitting in a hunched position – from your desk job to the couch, shortens your group of muscles often making you feel “stiff” in vital areas such as your hip flexors and neck to name a few, causing pain and soreness. Of course, when you’re in pain, you should consult your physician to manage any underlying problems or treatment concerns.
When your grind calls for you to sit at your desk for an hour on end, it becomes stress over your whole body, “the issue we’re really up against is not we’re not made to sit – certainly not for extended periods of time”, says Michael Fredericson, sports medicine physiatrist at Stanford Health Care. The good news is that doing some simple stretches along with making an ergonomic friendly working space, not only “loosened” you up – reducing musculoskeletal problems, but boosted work satisfaction and happiness.
Whether your muscle aches are occasional or ongoing, it can keep you from performing your best at your 9-to-5 and/or your physical performance needs. High performers know that speedy recovery and prevention is important in order to maintain their performance relative to others. Investing time and money in self-care is probably the most common trait amongst these high performers and arguably the most important.
High performers know they can afford to invest in themselves. Do you?