Updated: Mar 10
Confessions of a Strategist: 7 Tips to Maintain A Healthy Work-Life Balance
Self-care is essential for mental health - it is the building blocks for a solid foundation on your journey to living a more holistic life. And if you would ask me where self-care falls in my to do list, I would probably say it’s in my top five spots. I have been blessed to have shining examples in my life of women who have always been queens at navigating work-life balance so effortlessly. And because of this - I have spent so much of my life internalizing the importance of self-care (seriously, it literally shows up on my monthly bank statements).
But as I sat crying on the floor of my office last December I realized that I in fact finally hit a brick wall. As the rush of tears mixed with sobs streamed down my face, I realized how much time I spent showing up for everyone but myself. I was hit with the overwhelming weight of emotions - how exhausted and emotionally drained I was - I had become the person I have worked so hard to not be!
I was so focused on building my personal brand as a successful strategist in addition to being a slam dunk for promotion by busting my butt at work, that over the course of eight months the separation of home and work became nonexistent. I overexerted myself to the point I had no desire to do anything at the end of the day but have a glass of wine, kiss my husband, and attempt to get more than 7 hours of sleep.
Work was no longer fulfilling. I rummaged through my mental calendar thinking of the countless hours spent on work video calls often ignoring family Zoom chats, brushing off scheduled Peloton rides with friends, or unavailable to take evening walks with my husband and dogs - these cherished moments were long gone and I would not get them back.
But what I could do was pick myself up, clear my calendar for the next three weeks and take PTO to relax and reset. If I was going to truly be the best version of myself each day - at work and at home, I needed to slow things down and re-prioritize my life. Three weeks off was not going to solve everything, but if I committed to make sustainable changes, I could at least get back in the driver seat and take control not only of my mental health, but physical and emotional health.
As I reflect back on those three weeks of reset - I realized how quickly one can lose themself when there is an imbalance in your life. So often, women are encouraged to recognize that the perfect balance between work and home life is an unattainable myth and I still think that is a lie. Balancing work and life is truly an art and for my folks who want it all - we have to be intentional in finding balance and showing ourselves grace during the moments when we’re failing.
I share my story recognizing the privilege I have to spend several weeks off from work to rest and relax as many folks do not have that flexibility. However, it was not just those three weeks that changed me, I had to create a new standard to hold myself to, so that I do not break down again. I would like to share some tips I have incorporated into my daily life as I am back into the swing of back to back meetings to keep myself sane and grounded.
Self-Care Tips To Promote A Healthy Work-Life Balance:
Breathe work exercises and meditation are great ways to check in on yourself throughout the day and prevent stress.
Prioritize your day based on the importance of tasks and do not forget to block time on your calendar for yourself.
Try to take at least one mental health day a month to check in and commit to doing something for yourself!
Do not be afraid to shift expectations and commitments when you need to - you deserve a moment to breathe!
Set strict work hours for yourself and effectively communicate your hours to your teams early and often.
Be kind to yourself - we are in unprecedented times, show yourself some grace through this process.
Treat yourself - whether it is the extra glass of wine, some time in nature, expensive facial mask, or new deep conditioning treatment just DO IT! You deserve to shower yourself with love and warmth just as you do to others.