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In the face of hustle culture, it's OK to just be

In the face of hustle culture, it's OK to just be

September 29, 2021 at 3:25pm

By Maika Eugene 

Productivity, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is having the quality or power of producing especially in abundance. 

As a high-achieving college student, you may view productivity as the most important thing for your goal of graduation. This in turn may cause you to complete tasks on a fixed schedule as a formula for success, and maybe even experience burnout from time to time.

Believe it or not, though, prioritizing rest and relaxation are of equal importance for performing at your best. There is a ton of pressure to “hustle” and “grind” everywhere we look, especially on social media. Just remember you are human, grant yourself grace and learn to just be.

Here are helpful ways to reframe productivity:

1. Find stillness.

The first step in the art of allowing yourself to just be is to have moments of stillness with our bodies. Take some time out to check in with your body. Set aside time for guided morning meditation with your favorite essential oil blend. This way, you can engage in the pleasures of the scent while becoming grounded in the morning. This practice is known as mindfulness.

Another way you can cultivate your mindfulness practice is by practicing yoga. Victoria Gonzalez, health educator and yoga instructor at FIU's Healthy Living Program, advises practicing stillness and focusing on presence. "Set a timer for 3 minutes and just focus on your breathing. This is enough.”

2. Make time for joy.

When making time for joy, it is important to engage all five senses for a rounded experience. Sensory experiences are important as they allow for the experience of joy to be immersive.

A great example of this is cooking. When preparing a meal, do you take time out to notice the colors of the vegetables, or how the scent changes with the introduction of spices other herbs? When you taste the dish, are you taking in the essence of the flavors you created? Although it may feel a bit cheesy, it's OK to romanticize these aspects of our lives.

A less involved way of doing this is by engaging in a short walk. Even when walking on campus, do you notice the structures around you? Are you using your sense of smell by engaging in the various scents around campus? Although not always pleasant, it still serves as a reminder that we exist.

3. Take your time, be present.

Finally, it is important to understand that the finish line is a personal journey. When you compare your success, you, unfortunately, deny yourself of the joys of being.

There will of course be obstacles in the way. However, the best way to be prepared for those trials is by ensuring you are taken care of in the best possible way so that you can make the right decisions. It is important to remember that there will always be a goal to strive toward as it is a marathon and not a race.

As you can see, creating space to allow ourselves to be simply means being more intentional with the joys and pleasures you have access to using our five senses.

When you make the daily steps to take moments of mindfulness, let it serve as a reminder of your being outside of the hustle.

The Healthy Living program offers a variety of programs to help you practice a healthy lifestyle.

To learn more, visit the website or stop by the Student Health Center at MMC or Health Center Complex at BBC.  

Maika Eugene is a graduate student in the Stempel College School of Public Health. She currently is a student assistant for the Healthy Living Program.