Work/ Life "Balance"
I had a mentor -whom I adore- once say they didn't believe in work/life balance. There are times in your life when work will be at the forefront and other life things will slip away, and then there are other times where life - aka everything else- will be in the driver's seat.
And honestly, I don't disagree with this argument.
However, this blog post is to serve as a reminder that you have to create a life outside of work. A life that is worth living.
Most of my demographics are stage managers around my age, but recently I've acquired quite a few younger SM's so I wanted to write this blog post with them in mind.
I know theatre is amazing and incredible and you want to spend your entire life doing it and you can never imagine getting sick of it.
But trust me- burnout is real.
Do you have things you enjoy outside of theatre? Do you have an escape if a global pandemic hits and theatre shuts down for the unforeseeable future?
Theatre cannot define every fiber of your being and quarantine is the perfect time to take a pause and find ways to become a fully realized person outside of your work so that when work returns, you will find it easier to balance your work and personal life.
So here are five tips you can be doing right now to help create balance later.
1. Create habits.
The most powerful tool one could have are habits. Habits are a "regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up". Good habits are key to work/life balance.
Some good habits include: drinking water, moving your body, eating better and meal prepping.
Right now we aren't trying to balance three jobs at once while also eating well and working out. Use this time to build up these habits so when we return to work, these tasks have become second nature.
2. Do these three things everyday:
I wrote about this is in my email to subscribers, but I believe in it so strongly I will restate it here. You should incorporate:
One thing that brings you joy
One thing that educates you
One thing for the community
Finding joy, education and giving back in every single day now will again, make it second nature when work returns.
3. Setting Boundaries.
Boundaries is key in creating a life you love. You should learn what things bring you joy and what things aren't serving you. You don't have to accept or apply for every single job. I know the return to the industry is going to be exciting and we're going to want to do all the things, but be careful to set boundaries to avoid burnout. No isn't a bad word.
Also know your worth. Stop working for dirt cheap plz and thnx!
Finances are extremely tight right now. However, now is the time to learn about finances- building credit, investing, IRA's -all of it. In order to get your dream apartment or go on your cruise vacation you have to have the means to do it. Starting saving now-even if it's $5.00- if you haven't already. Not sure where to start?
In the next two weeks I'll be diving into finances so be sure to stay tuned to my socials and subscribe to my email list so you can get your money in order!
5. Evaluate what is worth returning too.
Friendships, jobs, relationships, location- think about what you truly want. This pandemic has hopefully been an eye opener for you, (I know it has for me). If theatre is still what you want to do, then go for it full force. If it isn't, realize that is okay too.
Realize it's okay to cut out toxic friendships and relationships.
The key to more balance in your life is removing the things that aren't serving you and instead focusing on the things that bring you happiness.
For so long, theatre has been focused on the grind. If you choose to go to a friend's birthday event over an audition, you don't want it badly enough. We are constantly skipping out on weddings, funerals, birthdays, just so we can have a shot at a job.
But I'm here to tell you (if you are just starting out) or remind you (if you've been around the industry a while), it is possible to have both. It won't be easy but you can absolutely do it, you just have to put in the work to build a holistic life.
Much love always,