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Harmony in Balance: Equilibrium of a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Updated: Feb 18


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If you happen to know me personally, you might think of me as an overachiever. If you don't, bless your heart and all of your parts. These past few years have been a balancing act: raising a now 2-year-old, navigating the teenage years of my eldest, and coming to terms with the fact that my business will never be the same—and that's okay.


As an overachiever, I've always juggled a never-ending to-do list alongside an expanding board of goals and manifestations. Yet, life has a way of offering humbling lessons. Before the pandemic, I thrived on 14-hour workdays, only to come home too exhausted to engage in meaningful activities, too drained after attending to 8-10 clients, and far too irritable to be the nurturing mother I aspired to be.


The pandemic forced a slowdown that highlighted the toll 'hustle culture' took on my role as a mother. My patience for assisting my daughter with schoolwork or empathizing with her social struggles was minimal. After all, how significant could the problems of an 8-year-old be?



Shifting my nail-care business to my home just before the lockdowns was a revelation. It made clear that my energy was overwhelmingly

work-focused, leaving little for my daughter and partner. My partner, having grown up in a detached environment, didn't view this imbalance as problematic as I did. However, it conflicted with my parenting ideals and aspirations.


Determined to be a better parent than my own experience, the pandemic prompted me to reassess my routines and habits. I significantly reduced my workload to prioritize my daughter, recognizing that my emotional neglect was fostering coping mechanisms that would hinder her in the long run. This realization led me to reconnect with my therapist and secure one for my daughter.


Discovering my child's anxiety, previously mistaken for 'bad behavior', was a wake-up call. I had overlooked the possibility that she, too, could be grappling with anxiety and depression, conditions I'm all too familiar with. Returning to therapy made me reconsider what success truly means. A quote that stuck with me is, "Anxiety tends to arise when we project too far into the future, while depression often

dwells in the past." The advice was clear: live in the now.



Mindfulness, the practice of being fully present and engaged in the moment without judgment, has been a cornerstone of achieving balance. It helps navigate thoughts, emotions, and experiences with clarity and calm. By focusing on the present, it curtails the tendency to linger on past regrets or future worries, common sources of life's imbalance. Engaging in mindfulness through journaling, meditation, body movement, and self-compassion has reaffirmed its value in my life. Recently, I've felt reminders of imbalance, prompting a return to these practices. As I age, signs of disharmony manifest more physically—restlessness, insomnia, forgetfulness. Can you relate?



Experts say:


1. "Mindfulness meditation programs, including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, have been shown to effectively reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, comparable to the effects of antidepressants. These benefits were observed across different demographics and regardless of initial symptom severity .
2. Improved immune function has been reported in individuals undergoing mindfulness training. For example, participants in an eight-week mindfulness program exhibited a stronger antibody response to flu vaccines than non-meditators. This suggests mindfulness can enhance the body’s immune response and may speed up healing processes .
3. Mindfulness practice has been linked to the protection of the brain from declines associated with aging and stress. Studies have found that long-term meditators have more preserved gray matter volume in the brain, which is associated with muscle control and sensory perception. Additionally, mindfulness may improve attention, memory, and executive functioning, potentially mitigating cognitive decline .
4. Meditation has also been found to reduce mind wandering and increase mental focus and clarity. By diminishing activity in the default mode network of the brain, which is active during mind-wandering, meditation helps practitioners stay more present and less distracted.
5. There’s evidence to suggest mindfulness can improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure and improving heart rate variability, which are indicators of heart health and stress management ."


black woman being mindful


Here's a quick 10-minute meditation you can do anywhere you can be comfortably seated.


If journaling is your thing, I invite you to take a moment to tune into your body. What's its emotional state? Physical? Describe these feelings without judgement. Where in your body do these emotions manifest? If feeling out of balance, how can we bring it back into balance?


As we navigate the complexities of modern life, finding balance between our personal well-being and our daily responsibilities can sometimes seem like a distant dream. But it doesn’t have to be. The practice of mindfulness offers a path towards achieving a more centered, peaceful state of being, allowing us to embrace each moment with clarity and purpose.


If you’ve resonated with the journey shared today and are seeking ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life, I invite you to take the next step with us. Whether you’re looking to deepen your understanding, explore mindfulness techniques, or simply connect with a community of like-minded individuals, we’re here to support you.




I hope you've found this information useful and it encourages you to invite balance into your life or that it serves as a gentle reminder to help you maintain it. Remember to take what resonates, and release the rest.


Until next time.


With Love,


Ayafa




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