Hustle Culture & Slow Living: Intro to Hustle Culture

hustle culture

Where and how did hustle culture begin? When did this pandemic take over our societies and is it even worth it? Are we really getting that much work done? Are we really that successful? If hustle culture really did what it says it does, why the rise in slow living? 

If you’ve asked yourself any of those questions or if you feel like you’re stuck in the “rise and grind” lifestyle or the rat race and you just don’t feel fulfilled or you think your health is taking a hit and you’ve quite simply HAD ENOUGH just carry on reading … 

This article is the first of a series on Hustle Culture & Slow Living. Today, I will take you through the basics, introduce you to hustle culture and why this has interested me over the last few years. From the series you can expect to read about the issues our society has suffered from hustle culture and examples of campaigns and work patterns such as the 4 day week and more. There will also be articles on slow living, including tips on how to implement it into your lifestyle.

My Experience with Hustle Culture

It’s funny how I didn’t even realise I was caught up in this hustle culture. Whenever I would think I was overworking myself, I would assume I was being ridiculous and lazy and that I had no right to feel this way, there are people out there working far more than me. Well, that’s classic hustle culture mindset! 

Mind you, I may be almost 20 but I have burnt out probably more times than most do in a lifetime. Ever since I can remember I was spending every inch of my energy on studying and working extremely hard, thinking that’s the only way I would get ahead. I always felt as though nothing I was doing was enough and there always had to be MORE. It got to the point where I was my work and my work was me, and I couldn’t justify doing anything if it didn’t provide me growth in terms of my work.

My health took a serious hit, and I am still trying to recover 3 years down the line. This year, I decided to make a change and live more mindfully, allow myself to have breaks without feeling guilty. However, I still feel guilty to relax and I still don’t feel like I’m working hard enough. It’s a slow process, shifting your entire mindset, but it can be done and it really should be done – for your own sanity & longevity.

Definition of Hustle Culture

The New York Times has described hustle culture as “it’s obsessed with striving.” It is the complete abandonment of finding healthy work-life integration, and instead, defining one’s worth, and perhaps one’s entire life, by what is accomplished in the workplace. Hustle Culture started out as a positive lifestyle, inspiring young people to work harder and achieve anything they want – whilst enjoying work. However, the people at the top (owners and managers) saw this as an opportunity to exploit workers, overworking employees and keeping all the benefits for themselves.


Overworking yourself comes with extreme health-consequences. The more you overwork yourself, the more detrimental the impact is on your health. If you’re here reading this thinking “I’ve been hustling for years and I’m as healthy as they come” I can tell you, you will pay later on in life. You cannot “have it all”. As humans, we need sleep (and more than 4 hours, yes) it’s vital for your immune system, your mental health and you simply need it to be productive too! We need to eat healthy food which nourishes us, we need to exercise, we need daylight and we need social interactions and a good supportive network of people. We’ve always needed it.

Hopefully this article has given you a basic understanding and gateway into this series on Hustle Culture & Slow Living. Next time we will be talking about the origins of Hustle Culture: how, what, when and why it started!

About the author

Luana De Giorgio

Luana is studying at the University of Exeter Medical School and alongside her degree works in Digital Marketing & Design. She writes about all things digital marketing, design, organisation and breaks down cool sciency stuff to help you stay healthy and productive.

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