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Self-Care or Selfish?

Updated: May 27, 2022

Is work-life balance working for you?

Our “Hustle Culture” gives us the message that we should work 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, be available to answer our work emails & text messages 24/7 and work some more on weeks-end to catch up or get ahead.

In many current work environments, placing work above everything has been the trend in recent years. Giving it all to your job has become the new normal and the badge of honour to wear if you want to come across as successful and valuable to your workplace. To be successful, you have to be busy, busy, busy all the time. By those standards, putting in more time means more productivity, more to show, more value. You give it all, you stretch yourself thin, you neglect yourself by being available for your work duties 120%, even if it means more than you can handle.

First one at work, last one to leave and always at hand on your devices when you’re not there physically. Sounds familiar?

What fuels such a Hustle Culture? Conforming to our surroundings in our quest to success? Guilt? The fear of being judged? In trying to compete in such “busyness” that seems to be the norm, most individuals would likely feel guilty of never doing enough and compare themselves to others who always seem to do so much more and spend so much time working. The fear of being judged by colleagues could also often contribute to this urge to constantly do more. Competition, wanting more money, promotions…

All those are usually associated with pushing harder and giving more and more of your time.

“It creates the assumption that the only value we have as human beings is our productivity capability — our ability to work, rather than our humanity.” – Aidan Harper

Also known as “Workaholism”, “Glorified Productivity'' or “Burnout Mode”, this Hustle Culture often views self-care as a selfish act or something so futile for which there is no time anyways.

Living through the Covid-19 world pandemic has opened our eyes to doing things differently, breaking through the barriers of those traditional ways of working and defining success in the workplace, forcing us to try new ways of defining a work week.

Or has it…?

Self-care and mental health have been pushed to the forefront and an honest cry for redefining our work-life balance is being heard from all work sectors to focus on priorities that truly matter and have value. Changing mentalities in workplaces are happening as new ways of doing things are proving to show that productivity and success are not necessarily the product of long working hours, constantly grinding and having a third hand for your work devices.

“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” – Arianna Huffington

Self-care is less and less seen as a waste of time, a selfish act or an indulgence that only the lazy or the rich can afford. Stereotypes are being debunked and the importance of self-care in our daily lives is increasingly being accepted and incorporated, guilt free.

The obvious benefits of self-care allow for better life satisfaction and often lead to better results in the workplace. Research has consistently shown that rest, recovery and reflection play an essential part in maintaining a successful and ultimately balanced & fulfilled life.

The equation is simple:

Energy in = Energy out.

No Energy in = Depleted Human Being

All human beings need to recharge physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually on a regular basis in order to feel at their best and therefore perform at their best. Self-care is not indulgence, it is about recharging your batteries, it is about illness prevention and it is about self-preservation.

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what is left of you.” – Katie Reed

So give yourself permission. Make room for self-care in your daily routines and start witnessing the benefits and positive results of putting yourself first. Making time for yourself by tweaking your routines and reframing your priorities might just be the key to more success in your life.


As all those ideas about the benefits of self-care are popping up in my mind, I am wondering what it means to you. Very different for everyone, I imagine.

So what does Self-care look like to you?

Feel free to drop me a comment below and let’s share and learn from each other.

Take care...of yourself,

Natacha LN

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