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Stop Doing The Most At The Expense Of Your Mental And Physical Health. Here’s How To Master ‘The Art Of Chilling Out’

Fortune Well August 5, 2023


Stop Doing The Most At The Expense Of Your Mental And Physical Health. Here’s How To Master ‘The Art Of Chilling Out’

When success is defined by how many tasks you can stack onto your plate, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle. We’re told to be the CEO of our own lives, but there’s never enough time in the day to get it all done and have it all. What’s more? Many of us feel like we disappoint other people along the way because we’re too drained to be on

“It gets us trapped in this shared delusion that relentless productivity and constant hustle only come with rewards, only an upside—not at a costly price,” Jacinta Jiménez, a psychologist, author of The Burnout Fix, and the vice president of Coach innovation at Better Up, previously told Fortune.

The antidote to hustle culture? Chilling the f*** out (pardon my language). Women in particular have been “socialized to do the opposite,” says Angela D. Coleman, author of The Art of Chilling Out for Women

“We’ve been taught how to care for other people and to be responsible. And oftentimes, we’re overworked at home and in jobs outside of the home,” she tells Fortune. “The expectation is that we’re just going to take it all on and smile and be graceful and beautiful and be happy and well adjusted and healthy.” 

While Merriam-Webster defines chilling out as “to calm down” it secondarily defines it as “go easy”—and many of us are conditioned to do the opposite. But going easy is integral to living a balanced and healthy life. 

“I think one of the most hurtful things you can do for a woman who’s really doing her best and working hard is to call that woman lazy or unproductive,” Coleman says. “Part of the art of chilling out is recognizing that when you stop being everything to everyone else, and take time for yourself, that that is not the equivalent of being lazy, selfish, or unproductive.”


Here are five ways to practice the chill mindset 


1. Slow down and check in with yourself 

“Listen to your body to inform whether you’re in a good space mentally and physically,” Coleman says. “There are danger signs that your body can tell you. And do we listen to it? Are we paying attention to those things?”

If we feel physically exhausted or beat down, for example, it’s a sign that we may need to change our routine, take a break, or ask for help. 


2. Schedule time to chill out 

Especially for new chillaxers, it can feel uncomfortable to incorporate chilling out into your day. As you would with a meeting or obligation, schedule a 10 or 15-minute block to chill out. Be deliberate. Ironically, experts suggest working consistent breaks into your day will improve productivity. It’s a win-win. 

 “You might have to schedule until it becomes something that is so habitual and normalized,” she says. Use that time to go on a walk, meditate, or sit and do nothing!


3. Don’t run from change 

While change can feel debilitating (guilty), it can also be empowering and exciting. Fearing change is usually associated with increased stress and anxiety. If we can chill out, we can help calm our body’s down. 

“Being prepared for change is the expectation of a good life,” Coleman says, adding that knowing it is always on the horizon can instill a sense of calm and ease. 


4. Affirm yourself 

Coleman’s go-to affirmation is “I love myself today and every day.” Affirmations help build confidence, and research shows they activate the brain’s reward system, which releases feel-good hormones. 

“It’s one of the simplest ways where we can channel this very uplifting and exceptional dialogue within ourselves,” Coleman says. 


5. Stop calling yourself lazy 

A lot of the art of chilling out is permitting yourself to simply stop. Stop moving at high speed. Stop pleasing everyone. Stop doing the absolute most at the expense of your mental and physical health. 

“We don’t have to sacrifice ourselves in order to live a great life,” Coleman says. “In fact, when we can chill out, we are helping ourselves, and helping the causes and helping the people around us that we care about.” 

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