Episode 69 – The Yin & Yang of Hustle
For the month of November we’ll be covering topics with the theme of Nourish + Restore. I’ll be sharing my transformative experience at a recent women’s leadership immersion weekend, adrenal health, handling the holidays and how you can nourish your body on the cellular level.
In this week’s episode, I’ll be diving into the Yin + Yang of Hustle and how (and WHY) we need to rest hard to work hard and what that looks like in the midst of running a business.
Michelle Rogers, ND, MSAOM, FDN-P
Over the past several years, I’ve created the most accessible, streamlined and effective virtual practice working with high-achieving women entrepreneurs, go-getters, and other badass women all over the world.
I intentionally blend my background of Functional, Naturopathic, and East Asian Medicine with my extensive experience in the online business world to help provide my clients with the personalized blueprint and strategy they need to get the mental focus, energy and business strategy required to share their gifts, better serve their clients and show up even more for the people they love.
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Hey there, and welcome back to The WELLthy Woman Podcast. In today’s episode, I’m going to be talking about the yin and yang of hustle – yes, it’s pronounced yang not YANG… if you care about that kind of stuff.
But regardless, in alignment with the theme of nourish and restore, today, I’ll be talking about the important balance between hustle and downtime, how it relates to your health and what that looks like, in real life, when you’re running a business. My hope is that you walk away, feeling like you have the tools you need to prevent burnout.
So, first off, let’s talk about the balance. Now a lot of women say that they’re striving for work-life balance, and I definitely get the sentiment, BUT as a woman, as a business owner, as a partner, as a mother, as a sister or daughter, it can be really freakin hard to create clearly delineated boundaries, and I’m here to tell you that that’s okay – most of the time.
Now, I’m not giving you an excuse to not take care of yourself and your needs and wants and desires by any means.
In contrast, I’m encouraging you to stop striving for something that may be unattainable, at least in this moment in time, because it may be causing you more stress than it’s worth.
Instead, try focusing more on work-life INTEGRATION as opposed to balance. Because balance indicates this 50/50 scenario, right? If you think of the yin yang symbol, also called a taiji, it’s completely balanced, BUT it’s also in motion, which is represented by the s-curved line in the center – it’s like it’s swirling, right? And if you look at the symbol, there are small “eyes” or dots of the opposite color imbedded on each side, and that represents that there’s a little yin in the yang and a little yang in the yin.
In Chinese medicine, this is called dynamic equilibrium. It’s a give and take. It’s not always 50/50… it might be 90/10 sometimes, or 60/40, right?
So, what we need to do is allow for that flow and perhaps not create a 50/50 balance each and every day, but take a step back – a more macroscopic view and maybe the entire week or month balances out.
Now, why is this important? The obvious reason is because we don’t want to burnout, right? If we keep going and going and going… we run the risk of crashing and burning and potentially losing a lot of what we’ve been working towards, right? Our success, our impact, our freedom… right?
So, what is burnout, and how does that happen?
Burnout is when we experience mental, emotional or physical collapse. It’s basically our body’s way of forcing us to take a break. And unfortunately, it tends to happen at the most inconvenient times. In the middle of a launch, the week before an event, during the ONE week of vacation we’ve allotted ourselves for the year… and if we don’t have the support we need, it can last days, if not weeks.
This burnout has a lot to do with our adrenal glands, which I’ll be covering extensively this month in a later episode, where I talk about specialized testing to see where you are on the spectrum of burnout and how to take steps to restore your adrenal health and stress response.
So, the adrenal glands produce our major stress hormones and stress response, largely dependent on cortisol, which you can think of as jet fuel. And when you think of jet fuel, you can imagine how many resources are burned up in the process of using it, right? Our body literally needs to recruit nutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins and other energy sources to keep it burning.
Now, stress is not all bad – we need stress to grow and change and travel and learn. And our body needs stress to mount a response to injury or illness.
The thing is, our lifestyles and the demands we place on ourselves lead to chronic, or long-term, stress that lingers day in and day out – constantly using up your jet fuel. Instead, ideally, we would have a brief experience – a quick burst of fuel – and then move on.
In the wild, the best example of this is something like a gazelle at a watering hole. If there’s a lion present, and on the hunt, the gazelle perks up – or stresses – makes the appropriate maneuvers to escape – with their jet fuel – and then once the lion is gone, the gazelle goes right back to the watering hole like it’s no big deal. It’s not like the gazelle NEVER goes back to the watering hole with this constant underlying fear that “the lion might come back” – it does what it needs to do, and then moves on.
BUT, when we get stuck in that stress response – where our fuel is constantly being tapped – which is the case for MOST of the high-level women I work with, we’re depleting our fuel at a super fast rate. We need to flip that switch off, get out of fight-flight-or-freeze mode – the sympathetic nervous system – and tap into our rest-digest-and-restore mode – the parasympathetic nervous system – that way we can reserve our fuel stores, replenish the nutrients that we’ve been depleting and have resources to pull from when we need them most.
So, how do we nourish and restore those adrenal glands and the fuel they provide?
The number one way to do this, is to rest.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be lazy or unproductive – this just means that you need to be conscientious of making that switch, ideally on a daily basis. The amount of time you dedicate to that switch, however, is going to vary from day to day, because our daily demands vary.
So, like you, I’m super busy, pride myself on my productivity, always have a lot of spinning plates and always have unexpected things pop up.
This is the life of an entrepreneur, right?
To find that integration and overall balance, you need to first see the value in restoration and rejuvenation and mark it down as a priority. And this can be hard, because it’s not necessarily one of those instant gratification things, right? It’s time you need to set aside to preserve your future health, and that long-term vision, can be tricky to grasp at times.
However, I will say from experience, that by taking time for myself, even if I only have 5-10 min in the morning to meditate or stretch or journal – this conscious choice and embodied action helps to frame my day, clear my mind, calm my nervous system and give me the energy and mental clarity I need to be more productive, more creative and more impactful in the work I do.
As you can probably guess, a lot of this boils down to self-care, right? I know you’ve heard it, it’s a total buzz word, and maybe you’re even sick of hearing about it, but it’s essential. It should be prioritized on your to-do list at least weekly, if not daily. And maybe that looks like a brief time slot in the morning or in the evening that you can start with and maybe expand upon, if that works for you, or maybe it looks like taking a half-day once a week to really unplug and get in touch with yourself – your mind, your body, and your soul…
This dedicated time for restoration, not only helps our body from using all our jet fuel, and preventing burnout, but it also helps SO many other areas of our health, because our stress hormones put such a huge strain on other body systems, like I mentioned, because it basically steals resources from wherever it can.
So, by decreasing the effects of stress in our body, we’re not just centering and grounding and emphasizing the woo in our life, but we’re also helping to balance our hormones, support our immune system, stabilize our mood, enhance our focus, boost our energy, deepen our sleep and regulate our digestion.
All of the things we want and really NEED to run a successful business long-term.
So, I invite you to examine how you can start using your fuel more efficiently, instead of just burning it all damn day. It’s literally polluting your body – and no one likes pollution.
As for now, that’s a wrap, and I want to hear your thoughts on this episode. Are you deciding right now to turn off that switch? Are you dedicated to preserving your jet fuel and replenishing your vital nutrients?
Hit me up on Instagram, send me a DM or take a screenshot of you listening and tag me @wellthywoman_ .
Otherwise, tune in next week, where I talk with you about handling the holidays, travel and stress during the holidays.
Chat with you next week!