“No days off.”
“If you’re not grinding, you’re not succeeding.”
Have you heard these words uttered before? From a friend, colleague, or teammate?
Or, have you seen them on your Instagram feed as you are allured by your glowing screen?
Nowadays, it seems everyone is hustling all the time. People hashtag ‘no excuses’ or ‘no days off’ or ‘hard work’ or ‘you’re resting, I’m training’ with a motivational meme splashed across their newsfeed.
What’s funnier is, people are quick to showcase their hustle, yet slow to broadcast their relaxation time.
I mean, I get it.
We live in a world that is not only fast paced, but also one that lauds hard work.
It’s as if our identity is defined by how many hours we clock in, how much money we make, how many all-nighters we pull at the library, how many times we stay overtime at the office, how many trainers we hire, how many ID camps we attend, how many emails are in our inbox, how many people text us, or how many tweets we tweet about grinding in the gym.
It’s scary because, people pride themselves in being busy with the hustle.
Not only does showcasing our busy-ness bolster our egos, but it reaffirms our identities. Humans are funny, no doubt. We define ourselves by our careers, accomplishments, accolades, projects, statuses, incomes, degrees, and job titles – all external sources of validation and praise.
But what if we shifted the paradigm and boasted about the alternatives?
What if we publicized our down time?
What if we defined ourselves by our essence?
What if we took pride in taking that vacation?
What if we actually chilled the hell out?
What if we placed value on our rest time?
What if we talked about relaxation more openly?
Oddly enough, most people are ashamed to announce they’re chilling out. In fact, any ounce of relaxation or time off they make public is out of the norm.
Ever seen someone post about their time at the spa, meditation retreat, Netflix and chill, or their foot massage?
A small percentage.
But yo. I’m calling bs on “the hustle.”
And I’m also giving you permission to own your time off like a boss. No shame.
It’s time to make #OwnYourRecovery a thing.
Also, #relaxation #rest #recharge #IAmDoingJackSquatToday #OnVacation #AllTheDaysOff.
Yeah. More of this on social media please. But more importantly, more of this in your life.
Whether you’re a youth athlete, soccer mom, or career-driven monster, go freaking relax. The world won’t end.
And unless you’re Beyonce touring the world, a doctor working in the ER, or Frodo hiking Mount Doom to destroy all evil, take time off. It will be okay.
You won’t lose your job. Your starting position. Your bank account. Your skills. Your intelligence. Your kindness. Your being. Your authenticity.
In fact, taking time off will amplify these even more, and propel you to be more of a vibrant badass who comes back with tenacity.
We can only go so hard for so long until our bodies reach a point of diminishing returns and can no longer churn out productivity like the Little Engine That Could.
Even the best athletes in the world take their rest. Yes, they physiologically recover their bodies so they come back stronger and more powerful, but also, they mentally escape so they come back with more focus and clarity.
So I repeat: no one cares about your hustle.
‘But, but Erica…don’t you preach hard work and consistency?’ you’re probably wondering.
In fact, I’ll be the first to champion people working hard and taking action when it comes to their dreams.
Take it from a woman who works just as hard as Gary V, clocks in 7 days a week, writes blog articles on Saturdays, says “no” to partying with friends, replies to emails within 24 hours, trains over 100 athletes, and designs online programs weekly.
So yeah, I’m all for people walking the walk and grinding the grind and hustling the hustle.
But, for a finite moment in time.
Now, as hard as I work, I need to take time off from coaching and writing so my creativity, energy, and focus don’t crash and burn.
Snowboarding is one of my favorite activities to immerse myself in nature, experience the quietness of the mountain, and juxtapose tranquility with adrenaline.
It may seem offbeat, but this is what works for me. How about you?
I urge you to do whatever infuses you with life, but these must be activities that aren’t related to your daily grind.
Caveat: while I love what I do and while coaching breathes life into my soul, I need to pivot and do activities that are outside of that space. There’s something magical about tapping into new areas of your brain with other hobbies and interests.
I mean come on: this is planet Earth, people. We’re here to explore its richness.
Of course, as a strength coach, I will always preach physical recovery for youth athletes, but I’d argue mental recovery is just as paramount.
Here are some ideas:
– Read a book
– Play an instrument
– Learn photography
– Laugh with friends
– Give hugs
– See live music
– Sip iced coffee on the beach
– Leave the country
– Learn a new language
– Converse with a friend (no phones)
– Put your phone on airplane mode
– Eat healthy
– See a comedy show
– Sit still
And these are all just glossing over the tip of the recovery iceberg.
Again, it’s okay to grind, in fact, I encourage you to do so.
But think of “the hustle” as a fleeting season: there will be times when you dig out work and see what you’re made of. And there will be times when you sit back and regain your footing.
All are okay.
But please spare us the hustle posts.
No one cares.
For more specific recovery workouts, get Total Youth Soccer Fitness.