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Hustle culture has made us believe that if we’re not always being productive and giving 100% to any task, then we’ll never reach our goals and be successful. While working hard and being a total boss babe is something to be celebrated, it can be really stressful and anxiety-inducing. As I started to feed into hustle culture, I began to wonder if all the stress from my “go go go” mentality was actually keeping me from reaching my full potential. 

Adopting slower living into my daily routine has increased my energy, productivity, and overall happiness. I’m able to reach my goals without pushing myself to a mental breaking point. If you’re someone who’s starting to question the value of the hustle and bustle, keep reading to find out how you can still smash your goals while slowing down and enjoying life. 

To me, slow living is adapting to a more leisurely lifestyle that values being present and taking care of yourself. There’s no right or wrong way to embrace this lifestyle, slowing down looks different for everyone. There are a few steps you can take that may help you adopt a slower lifestyle and ultimately become the best version of yourself

  1.  Don’t rush in the morning

Wake up at a time that works for you, and spend your morning doing something you enjoy. Make yourself a nice, healthy breakfast and eat it slowly without scrolling on your phone. My morning routine consists of waking up naturally, stretching, and eating my breakfast outside. Getting sunlight first thing in the morning and eating outside helps me resist the urge to go on my phone. Whatever you do in the morning should give you energy and make you feel ready to take on the day.

  1.  Limit screen time and social media

Social media and surfing the web is fun in moderation, but too much it can have negative effects on your mental health and energy levels. Having a really high screen time makes me feel anxious and drained. I used to spend an excessive amount of time on TikTok and Instagram until I started becoming more conscious about my usage. Limiting screen time has made a positive impact on my mental health and happiness. 

3.  Take up non-stressful hobbies that you don’t have to be good at

This step is crucial. When you’re hustling all the time, you may not have time for things you enjoy. Sometimes hobbies can become another source of stress if you’re used to always giving 100% and trying to be perfect. Choosing hobbies that give you fulfillment whether you do them well can improve your life immensely. Some hobbies I’ve picked up were reading contemporary romance books like Beach Read by Emily Henry, gardening, baking and yoga. I don’t have to excel at any of these things, in fact I’m allowed to completely suck at them as long as it makes me happy. Embracing not being good at some things is an important step to growing and shedding the perfectionist tendencies that so many girl bosses have.

4.  Replace fear with gratitude

I was always fearful of not doing well, that I stressed little assignments and even my homework. I struggled to accept and understand how okay it is to ask questions. I would create exaggerated stories in my head of what would happen if I didn’t do the task at hand really well, so I pushed myself really hard. While this may have gotten me good grades and a compliment here and there, it made me feel horrible. Replacing that fear with gratitude has helped me excel in work and school without the constant anxiety and fear of failure. As I’ve struggled with this at my job and even today, as a college student, I’ve learned the importance of going slow. I take deep breaths and stretch to help myself turn in the works with the highest quality. If you struggle with working hard out of fear, try to stand up and simply touch your toes. When you’re feeling the blood rush back to your cranium, try again with a new headspace.

5. Be present and mindful

Being present and mindful is probably the most challenging, but most important aspect of slow living. It can be hard to be present when you’re a goal driven person who’s always thinking about the future. If you find yourself worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, acknowledge these thoughts then bring yourself back to the present. 

We often abandon our present selves to serve our future selves, which can be seen as a necessary sacrifice to reach your goals, but neglecting yourself at any time is unfair. You deserve a good life now and later. I stay mindful by journaling, taking deep breaths, engaging my senses, and reminding myself to be here now. Your future self will thank you for taking care of yourself and enjoying life while working toward your goals. 

Sydnee is a junior at Arizona State University studying Journalism and Mass Communication. She has been a figure skater for 15 years and has competed collegiately for ASU. When she isn't writing or skating, she can be found working out, traveling, reading YA romance novels, or watching Gilmore Girls.
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