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How To Find Work-Life Balance

Let’s talk about that mythical ass creature we’ve all heard about but rarely seen in these savory streets: work-life balance. Yes, love, I know all about that damn unicorn you been chasing because, not gonna lie, my ass been chasing it too. 

We’re told it’s the key to a happy, fulfilled life, but sometimes it feels more like a mirage out here in the corporate desert, don’t it? But before you throw in the towel and swallow that nasty ass pill that is burnout, we gotta cover some basics first. Because while work-life balance is crucial, it’s also low-key kind of a fallacy and I don’t think we talk about that enough. 

Work-Life Balance is Important

First, let’s acknowledge that, just like our damn phones (which I personally can never seem to put down), we all need downtime to recharge. Imagine trying to get through your day with a phone that’s always on 5% battery. You know how pissed off that would make me?! I’d be ready to fight everybody on sight 😂

The same goes for us. Without proper balance, we risk burnout, hella mental health issues (and trust me, my therapist is already sick of me and my shit), and strained relationships of both the professional and the personal variety. It’s like trying to sprint a goddamn marathon— impossible and eventually, you’ll just collapse, sis.

Maintaining balance helps us stay productive and, if you’re anything like me, out of jail. When we’re overworked, our brains literally melt. We start making mistakes, missing deadlines, and losing that somethin’ somethin’ that draws people to us and makes our work shine. And let’s not forget our personal lives. We all want to be there for our families and friends, and have some time to indulge in hobbies or just Netflix and chill, right? Right. 

Now, here’s the kicker, sis … work-life balance is also kind of a fallacy. 

Why? Because the idea that we can perfectly divide our time and energy between work and our personal lives is bullshit. Life is messy af. And unpredictable as hell. Some days work will demand more from us, and other days our personal lives will feel like everything is two seconds away from falling apart at the seams.

The goal isn’t to achieve a perfect balance every day, but in finding harmony over time. Shoutout to our Director of Operations Ariana for introducing us to the concept (because we were over here struggling like hell for a minute there). 

Think of this shit like a dance. Sometimes you’re having a good ass time, the DJ is doing their damn thing, and everything is in sync. Other times, the DJ’s choices suck and you’re stepping on toes … but you keep moving. It’s all about making adjustments and staying the course when shit starts to go left, fam. 

So How Do I Achieve Work-Life Harmony?

There are a few ways I personally try to find balance/harmony. Some work better than others depending on the context and the day so obviously take your own experiences into account and go from there. Either way, let’s get into it.

 Set Boundaries & Learn to Say No

Sis, boundaries are your best friend. Without them, work will take over your life like an invasive ass species. Set clear work hours and stick to them. Especially if you work from home. Communicate these boundaries with your team and supervisor. And for fucks sake, turn off your email notifications after hours. If you’re always available, people will always expect you to be. Tbh, if you struggle with boundaries, that means you need more of them. Starting with using the word NO more often. No is a full sentence, sis. 

And yes, I know, saying no can be hard. Especially for women, especially Black women, because we’ve been socialized to be helpful and oftentimes overly accommodating. But saying yes to everything is sure as shit gonna end in you being overwhelmed. You gotta decline tasks and projects that you know will stretch your ass too thin. Don’t get me wrong, you can be polite and kind about it … because this isn’t about being an uncooperative asshole. But your time and energy have to be protected at all costs. Other shit matters outside of work. Don’t ever forget that. 

 Delegate When Needed. Collaborate When You Can.

You don’t have to do everything yourself so cut that shit out. Delegate tasks when you can if you have a team that works under you. Collaborate with your colleagues when they ask if you need help. Trust your goddamn team to handle things. It not only lightens your load but it also builds a stronger, more badass community. And if people suck ass, then that will shine through too. They get paid same as you do (sometimes more than you do, if I’m being honest), so you shouldn’t be doing all the work when other people are just sitting around chillin’ like they’re on a perpetual summer vacation.

Prioritize Self-Care & Use Your Damn Resources

You can’t pour from an empty cup, fam. Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. Whether it’s exercising, meditating, or just taking a hot-girl walk (which I’m personally a fan of tbh), find what recharges you and then make some goddamn time for it. It’s not selfish; it’s necessary.

And for the record, most companies have perks that you should absolutely be using to your benefit in this regard. Take advantage of any wellness programs, mental health resources, and professional development opportunities your company offers. As Quinta B. once said, “They got moneyyyyy” and you’re not doing yourself any favors by not letting these corporate daddies take care of you. Also, stop being afraid to use your paid time off. They’re there for a reason and some companies don’t allow you to roll any of them over. 

Be Present & Advocate for Yourself

When you’re at work, focus on work. When you’re at home, focus on home. It sounds simple, but it’s harder than it seems when your kids are blowing up your phone or your boss is sending you a million messages in Teams or Slack at all hours of the night. But you gotta practice mindfulness, sis. Stay present and fully engaged in whatever you’re doing when you’re doing it. That way you can leave more work at work and take less of it home with you each day.

And if that doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to speak up about your needs. If your workload is unmanageable, have a conversation with your manager about it. Most companies would rather help you find a sustainable solution than see you burn out. After all, you’re damn expensive to replace. These companies would always rather retain existing employees than hire brand new ones because of shitty turnover rates. 

Let’s Wrap This Shit Up

So yeah, work-life balance might be a bit of a myth, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for it. This shit is all about finding a rhythm that works for you, setting boundaries, and making time for the things that matter most. Like your family and friends, throwing ass, or that book you stay trying to write. Remember, sis, you’re not alone in this. We’re all in it together, trying to find our way.

Take care of yourself, lean on your support system, and keep pushing for that harmony. Because at the end of the day, you deserve to thrive both at work and in life. You got this. 

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