How to protect yourself from urgency culture

11 April, 2023 / words by IALH Editorial Team

Written by Cloé Vaz-Wiggins

Image by @latto777

We live in a time, where for the most part and for most of us, our value and what we consider worthy about ourselves, comes from what we produce, what we achieve and what we earn.

We also live in a society that tells us what life looks like: working five times a week (at a bare minimum) and resting for two. You see the problem with this right? Our lives become our work, not just because this is the area we spend most of our time and energy in, but also because it’s the area that apparently, determines our identity to the outside world.

Not all of us have the luxury to decide to live more days than to work them. To spend more time with our family and friends, and also, to spend more of that time on ourselves.

Social media blurs this even more, we’re constantly being exposed and conditioned to certain lifestyles that we’re told we should aspire to. We constantly feel behind, even though we’re not, we constantly compare ourselves and we constantly feel like we’re up against the wall. The time crunch is real, we feel like we have to reach x, achieve y, create, perform, produce, you name it, nothing is ever enough and for the most part, even accomplishments that were once the biggest goals on our list seem like they’re not much.

For a lot of us, this became even more exacerbated during the pandemic, as for many people, the option to leave all of that outside – even after the pandemic was over – was simply not a possibility. And, for many others, our hobbies become our jobs, which as amazing as it is, comes with its challenges and nuances.

Urgency culture is real, we all feel it, so being conscious and aware of the effects it has on your wellbeing is key to implementing practices that can protect and safeguard your mental and emotional health as you navigate through it.

Return to yourself

Whether it is through moving your body, journaling, being in nature, meditating, dancing, whatever brings you back to yourself, do it. It’s important to rest in the certainty that if you’re not doing it (whatever that is for you) it’s because you’re not ready. YOU are not ready, and that’s ok. When you are, you will.


Say I, if you’re waking up and grabbing your phone first thing to respond to someone or something. Say I, if you’re doing the same last thing before you go to sleep. Wherever you are with this, just be aware. Setting boundaries is key, the most key, in protecting yourself from this idea that you have to be constantly on. Guess what, you don’t have to respond to that email right away. Set timings and a structure that allows you to work within your own time.


Be highly aware of how you view your worth in relation to what you want to accomplish and how you let that pressure get to you. Remember: ‘Your self-worth is based on what YOU think of YOU and not what other people think of you.’ If you need to revisit our article on this topic, do it.

And lastly, but certainly not least, please don’t miss out on how far you’ve come. Don’t get so distracted with the future that you forget or don’t celebrate how far you’ve come.

Because guess what, it’s not really that urgent.


IALH Editorial Team


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