Why do we punish ourselves for taking time out?

Do you know what I’ve come to realise more than anything lately? It’s that we currently live in a time and particularly a workplace culture, where overwork, exhaustion and totally draining yourself, seem to be the markers of how to be successful in life.

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I’ve read millions of articles where it’s talked about how certain CEOs only sleep from 3-4 hours a night. I’ve had coffees in the kitchen with people at work where they brag about staying in the office until 8pm. I’ve stayed late to impress people… and I just wanted to take a moment to stop and to call a ‘time the fuck out’ on it.

What’s changed so much lately that means people are proud of driving themselves to the point of utter exhaustion?

Why are we glorifying being physically run down with a potentially shitty level of physical and mental health- as the price to pay for career or academic fulfillment?

It’s something that I’m seeing more and more as I’ve eased out of university, into adulthood and finally working a full-time job.

I’ve often felt guilty for leaving the office on time, despite working my allotted hours- and I remember always feeling AWFUL when my uni friends would spend entire days in the library and pull all-nighters. (I felt bad as I was the sort of person who would work all morning and afternoon with proper breaks) and have never once pulled an all-nighter.

(Soz I’ll take my goody-two-shoe pants off now)

But it’s a true fact. If you look like you’re knackered, say that you’ve been pushing yourself past healthy limits and basically live on caffeine- people assume that you’re working harder and are more likely to do better.

On the flip-side of this whole phenomenon, I also think that’s there’s the total demonizing of ‘taking time out’ or actually giving yourself time to mong out, be lazy and just do absolutely nothing.

I’ve felt bad when I’ve had a shit day and I’ve ended up coming home and slobbing for the evening in my PJs and being unproductive. (The last couple of days being a prime example)

I always feel guilty if I’m not spending every waking minute challenging myself, writing, reading, improving my space or my mental capacity…. but it’s an unhealthy and unsustainable way to live your life.

So the next time you’ve worked a long fucking week, don’t feel guilty for a second for sleeping for 11 hours. Don’t feel bad about having a day where all you do is sit in your PJs… and don’t ever let Netflix make you feel bad for “still watching” something!

Modern life is knackering, the comparison is exhausting and more than anything, you deserve a breather! Enjoy it.

In the long run, physically and mentally happy people are bound to go far further!

Rach

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