I have seen so many people who are constantly working hard. People who say everyone needs to hustle 24/7 in order to get anywhere. I have read so many quotes that say something along the lines of “work hard, hustle harder.” However, I always struggled with that concept, yet, still tried to be one of those people. I couldn’t do it.

I have seen so many people who are constantly practicing self-care, and for what? People who say everyone needs to take time off and take care of themselves. I have read so many quotes that say something along the lines of “light a candle and breathe.” I struggled with this too, yet attempted to incorporate that into my routine. Be like one of those people. I still couldn’t do it.

I suppose it’s because we are told to do one or the other. That a combination of the two doesn’t work. As if you can’t take a bubble bath without it being you ‘slacking off,’ as if you can’t relax at the pool while still thinking about work because then your mind is ‘occupied.’ And to a certain extent, I understand – but I can’t help thinking about how much more effective it is to find a balance.

It’s hard to find that balance. I suppose a large part of it comes from knowing yourself. Understanding what you feel and what you believe your capabilities are at that moment. People change day-to-day and it’s so ridiculous trying to hold one mindset throughout your entire life. That’s never going to happen. You will only reach your full potential if you take a look in the mirror every morning and understand how you feel that day. Understand whether it’s time to buckle down and work, or sit at home in your pyjamas. Sometimes it’s obvious. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes, you sit down to do work and all of a sudden you feel like you need 10 more hours of sleep. That’s okay. You’re allowed to feel. You’re allowed to have off-days, weeks even. The real power comes from understanding that moment. Being present with your emotions and feeling and attempting to understand what it means for you.

What if you still don’t know? Then you have a choice. Either work without complaining. Or rest without feeling guilty. It isn’t an ultimatum. Choose one or the other. Be both, every day. For then productivity will meet self-care, making you more capable and powerful than you ever would be had you adopted one mindset only.