How Are You Creating Balance in the Midst of a Pandemic?
With so much unpredictability, it is understandable that our balance in life and work may feel off kilter. Creating life-work balance in the midst of a pandemic may seem like a tale from the Disney Channel or something.
We may feel edgier, snapping at our loved ones or short with cautious clients. But the truth is, we really have no control over the situation as a whole. Our best attempts at keeping calm may completely disappear at times, especially if you feel your bottom line continues to be affected by this pandemic.
A Taste of Balance
Some of what keeps us moving forward, is reaching for balance; because it really is the natural order of things. Life got real simple during the shelter in place orders. With reduced schedules, you may have more time on your hands.
This was a radical change for most of us. You may have found your natural rhythm again. Maybe more cooking instead of fast food, more time with your families and/or pets, and walks or yoga. We got a taste of what it felt like to not have work be the focus of our lives, and to live more simply. We got more of our life back.It’s not to say that this was easy. Au contraire. It was stressful, hard, scary, and humbling. How we emerge from this time is very powerful. Can we retain some of the feeling of wrapping our work around our life, instead of the other way around?
Your Sphere of Control
Due to circumstances out of our control– cut hours, no double booking, etc., we can only focus on what we do have control over. That is– our actions and our words.Your actions, how you hold this precarious situation, and how you speak about it. These are the pathways to discovering balance.Yes, words matter. There is power in words. How do you speak about things? Listen to yourself. Do you like what you are saying? This is not the time to throw caution to the wind, and it is also not a time to be so constricted, that joy has little room to blossom.
Two Foundational Truths
So how do we create balance? I talk about life-work balance with so much passion because I believe it is more than essential. Over 3 decades as a salon professional, I found it to be the main ingredient in keeping you from going over the edge or getting totally burned out. Here are 2 foundational truths in achieving balance, keep you grounded and thrive in our demanding industry.
1. Setting Boundaries Around Your Talent and Gift
No kidding. It took me a long time to figure out that saying YES to every date, client, friend or family was not the quickest way to achieving some level of stability in my life. About ten years in, I realized I didn’t want to cut hair at every family gathering. So, I stopped bringing my scissors home every trip.
Yes, it feels good to offer a gift of a haircut when you haven’t seen people for a while. You want to do something to keep yourself busy when Uncle Billy starts drinking too much, or your brother and you start talking politics. Having something to do can keep you out of trouble, in other words.
However, if you find now that it is expected every time you visit, and resentment is building up, perhaps it’s time to leave the scissors behind, and begin saying no.
2. Remembering Your “WHY”
Although you may be passionate about cutting hair, it’s important to schedule time to explore other parts of your life.
Remembering WHY you cut hair, beyond the money, beyond recognition, allows you to go deeper. Is it to provide for your family? To afford a certain lifestyle? Is it to employ others, and enable them to make a living? Is the “Why” about sharing your creativity?
All these questions invite you to go deeper. Allow this underlying through line in your career to give you balance, nothing to prove, just quietly going about your business.
What about the different aspects of your life that offer other ways that are needed to feed your emotional and spiritual life?
Saying NO to the last client so that you may take that violin lesson, watch your kids’ soccer game, learn a language, or a date with your companion, husband or wife.
This is balance– getting to a place that you can wrap your work around your priorities and the vision for your life. Maybe it means you do with a little less of a paycheck to do so. These are the moments we will remember.
At the end of the day, our job as salon professionals is an exchange for money. No more, no less.
If you are passionate about your hairstyling career, you are lucky. Passion is awesome, but it doesn’t mean you have to work 24/7. That’s old school. Trust this passion and have work wrap around your life. Not the other way around.
I know for myself, I find that I am reluctant to go back full on in my studio, I sometimes go in a little later, and end a little earlier. This is what I find works for my family life.
I mark spaces out in my calendar ahead of time to create some cushion. I can always fill the slot with a client. I like knowing that I have these windows of time available. I am protecting my time with more awareness.
How about you? How do you maintain your balance?