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On Burnout Culture

Dismantling the “Grindset”, One Nap at a Time


NOV 07, 2022 | ISSUE 10

“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” This idiom has weaselled its way into my mind and work since I was young. “It’s not even work because I love it so much!” It’s fascinating how quickly a creative practice can become all-consuming of a person’s time and resources—my theatre career was off and running, providing me with confidence, communication skills, and empathy for my fellow human beings. My heart felt incredibly full.

But the little sleep I had was consumed by dreams of due dates and performances. I forgot to eat because I thought art could sustain me. Valid critiques of my work were spears to my heart, and the tears began flowing the second I got home. “But I’m not working,” I would remind myself, “I could be working at a desk job that I didn’t want. I am so fortunate.” Perhaps I was being ungrateful. I ate, slept, bathed, and breathed art, which is what I loved. So why was I so upset all the time? That’s because I was burnt out.