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  • Alyssa Abrahamson

Don’t let hustle culture fool you

When you hear the word “hustle” what comes to mind?

To be perfectly honest, I have an aversion to “hustle,” you know, the pushing through, the pressure to keep moving, acting quickly, keeping busy, busy, busy.


For me, the word “hustle” brings tension to my body; it conjures up the need to move hurriedly to keep up, stirring up feelings of insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, stress, comparing myself to others, and unrealistic expectations.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that celebrates hustling. Our society glamorizes constant working, doing, and moving.

As a result, having an overfull plate, always doing, or accomplishing equates self-esteem and self-worth for so many.

A lot of us view having “not much going on,” slowing down, or even resting, as weakness, or being lazy.

We feel guilty or inadequate if we take a break, do “nothing” or have “nothing” to do. The feeling is, if you’re not constantly keeping busy you’re failing at life.

Can you relate?

This societal and self-imposed pressure to hustle and to work harder, stronger, faster might feel productive for some time and, of course, can give us good results.

However, not recognizing, or even ignoring, your physical, emotional, and mental limits can be severely damaging to your wellbeing.

Hustle culture thrives on the sympathetic nervous system’s “fight” response, which keeps your body filled with stress hormones. If your body is in a constant state of stress, these elevated cortisol levels raise blood pressure, create blood sugar imbalance, contribute to muscle and bone breakdown, impair immune system function, prolong healing after injuries, and more.

Oh No!

But wait, there’s more.

There’s also the pressure to never say “no” to an opportunity in hustle culture, which can create a toxic sense of competition.

Yes, a little bit of competition is healthy.

But when we continually compare ourselves to others, we lose touch with our true purpose, and get caught up forcing, pushing, and struggling.

It is true that working hard, being motivated, productive, and focused on creating and accomplishing can bring many healthy rewards.

There is great value and a sense of purpose in being determined, driven, and going all-in to achieve your goals and dreams.

I’m all for not giving up and striving for more, for better. Every day I intentionally make efforts to keep myself accountable to my goals and dreams.

And many of us want to believe we can handle it all. But let’s get real, that’s not healthy, nor is it realistic.

The culture of hustling becomes problematic when we begin to ignore our body, neglect our health, and disregard our limits and boundaries. It's concerning when it dissuades us from tapping into our innate wisdom, prevents us from tuning into our body’s messages, and discourages us from trusting our instincts.

I wonder if that’s why we see so many declarations of “self-care” and “self-love.” It’s like a cry for help! A rebellion to the pressure and stress of hustle culture!

It’s as if we feel the need to take a public stance by giving ourselves permission to take care of ourselves with “Self-Care Sunday” and the like.

If any of this resonates with you, if you feel like your worth is wrapped up in your productivity, if you keep an endless to-do list of things you think you “should” be doing, and, when you aren’t doing something or accomplishing something, you feel as if you’re failing, or if you just need a reminder and permission to rest, tomorrow’s podcast episode of Positively Anti-Inflammatory is definitely for you.

In tomorrow’s podcast episode 8, “Permission to Rest,” I discuss the benefits of slowing down, listening to your body, and why rest is critical for your health, happiness, and healing. I provide three reasons why resting is one of the most productive activities you can do.

Tune in and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Love, Your Wellness Coach,


P.S. THANK YOU! Sunday, 2/14 was an amazing day and I am filled with gratitude! Two wonderful events occurred. I hosted a meaningful and healing workshop, “How to Love Your Body to Health,” with an incredible group of people. And, I hit over 1,000 downloads on my podcast, Positively Anti-Inflammatory, which launched just a month ago!

I am so grateful for you, my community, listeners, readers, students, and clients. Thank you for your support and thank you for joining me on this journey! LOVE.

February 16, 2021



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