The hustler mindset is harmful to mental health


Photo courtesy Andrea Piacquadio.

Whether it’s hoarding toilet paper or starting an online business, it’s evident that people are finding different ways to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. But it seems that we’re overlooking the current main priority: maintaining our physical and mental health.

The quarantine has forced people to stay at home with more time than they know what to do with. To imitate their busy work schedules, people have picked up new hobbies to cure their restlessness. 

Despite the fact that our first priority should be maintaining our health and well being, it seems that the only thing on our minds is being productive. 

Workers are encouraged to get ahead in the work field now that they’ve been given more time to hone their skills and prove their diligent work ethic. Even if they’re in danger of unemployment, there’s a need for people to overwork themselves and develop side hobbies, just in case they lose their job because of these unfortunate circumstances.

This pressure to be productive becomes more prevalent with social media, a tool that people already use to boast about their achievements. Now that people are utilizing social media more than ever, the stakes are only growing higher despite the current pandemic.

“Just a reminder that when Shakespeare was quarantined because of the plague, he wrote ‘King Lear’,” tweeted Rosanne Cash, the daughter of country star Johnny Cash.

Cash’s tweet is an example of the social pressure many people feel during this quarantine. Suddenly, the origins of great works such as Shakespeare’s “King Lear” and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” are coming to light. Shelley wrote the classic novel while she was forced to miss the summer of 1816 because of a volcanic winter, according to the British Library, the national library and literary archive of the UK. 

While under the guise of being motivational, there’s an underlying question within these messages: Why aren’t you working on your masterpiece?

While it’s always great to cultivate new passions, it doesn’t make sense to go through life with the same hustler mindset. Life after COVID-19 will never be the same, and now provides a great opportunity to prioritize taking care of ourselves rather than our workplace.

Taking time for yourself is the most important thing that anyone can do, especially right now. You’re not a failure for waking up at 3 p.m. and playing video games all day, even if you “should” be doing something else. 

Don’t overwhelm yourself with schoolwork or strenuous side jobs. Instead, focus on learning to clean up your diet or connecting with your loved ones. 

With a worldwide pandemic creating anxiety and depression, there’s nothing more important right now than self-care. Sometimes when you’re struggling during a troubling time, just maintaining basic hygiene can be considered a major accomplishment.