OPINION: Forget hustle culture: Try getting out of your routine

In the wise words of my pinterest board, “life is not a list of shit you need to get done.”

In the book that I’m reading, “How to Do the Work” by Nicole LePera, the author talks about how people get so stuck in routines and patterns that they never stop to think about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. This pattern can lead to emotional slumps.

With hustle culture, we tend to treat our days as a long list of boxes to check off.

It’s important to disrupt those routines and try something new.

Trying something new doesn’t have to be expensive or daunting. It can be something simple like taking a fitness class, painting or even just going on a walk — and these are just a few ideas out of hundreds of options.

The YMCA is free to Wichita State students and offers a variety of classes you can try, such as Zumba, barre, cycling classes, yoga and more. The classes are free and are a great way to try something new and get some exercise, which can also help with mental health. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins which are basically “feel good” neurotransmitters.

I took my first Zumba class a few nights ago, and it was out of my comfort zone, but I was so happy afterwards because it was such a fun way to exercise and something I’ve never tried.

If class settings aren’t for you, there’s also YouTube videos where you can dance and exercise all in one. My personal favorite channel is, “MadFit,” which has a variety of dance workouts with music from K-Pop to Taylor Swift.

For a more static activity, you can pick up pretty cheap crafts from Dollar Tree. They have a new aisle where items are $3 and $5. There’s also paint classes around Wichita that are a little more expensive, but if you want to paint on a budget there’s always Pinterest and YouTube tutorials to follow.

Another free activity is going on a walk. While it might seem simple or “boring,” it’s one of my favorite ways to relax or destress. Now that the weather’s getting nicer(ish), it’s starting to get into the perfect walking or biking weather.

Walking has both mental and physical benefits. It reduces stress and anxiety, boosts your mood, improves your sleep routine and more. It also lowers your blood pressure, strengthens your hearts, tones your legs and abdominal muscles, and more.

Even just fitting in one new thing a week to switch up your routine or take you out of your comfort zone is worth it.