The Coronavirus has given many us an opportunity to pause and think about life, our purpose, and even the right work life balance. What’s your perspective and has it changed over time?

Richard Chen | Art Director

I’ve always been a workaholic. When I was starting out, I thought working longer hours, doing the OT and taking on extra projects allowed me to prove that I belonged. As my career progressed and the responsibilities that came with it increased, I worked even harder to make sure it wasn’t by mistake that I was put in these positions. If it meant that I can push the quality of something but it meant putting in more time- I would do it. Looking back now, it was probably not the healthiest attitude, and it took me a while to realize that. Read more>>

Julie Marchiano | Actor, Writer, & Comedian

For a long time, I was missing the “balance” part of “work life balance”. I was focused solely on my career and leveling up, and I think I missed out on a lot of fun trips and hangouts and quality time with loved ones. I think at a certain point, if you adopt an “all work and no play” mentality, you suffer and your art suffers. You need life experience in order to be inspired and create. When the pandemic hit, I was completely burned out, and was thrilled to have a “break”. And so, creatively, I pretty much took a year off. Read more>>

Hailey Hackett | Stand-Up Comic

When I first started doing stand-up comedy, I thought that it was an all-or-nothing game. And to some extent, it is. You have put a lot of work in from showing up to mics, writing sessions, and analyzing which bits are helping versus hurting – and that’s all to perfect one bit. Which, if you’re not wise, can turn into 12 hour days just as quickly as the desk job that most creatives are trying to escape. What I’ve learned after chucking thousands of hours into my craft is that cultivating my inner-world is just as important in staying inspired as concentrated time pounding away at my dreams. Read more>>

Elle Pierre | Yoga instructor, Reiki practitioner, creative.

There was a point in time where I thought the only way for me to be valuable was by working and “earning” my living. This played out as constantly on the go and creating little room for rest. This way of living worked for a good while, but eventually it started to catch up with me. I was exhausted and often felt like I’d been treated like a machine as opposed to a human. That filled me with resentment towards my employers but eventually, I recognized that I was allowing myself to be treated that way because of the core beliefs I had. Read more>>

Hilary Williams | Artist, Screen Printer & Homesteader

Eleven years ago I moved out of the city to the country. After years of saving I was able to buy an acre homestead about 60 miles north of San Francisco in the lovely land of Sonoma County. I had no idea what I was getting myself into! I have not regretted the move and the life decision for one second although it has drastically altered the course of my life, my career and my artistic inspirations. There is not way of knowing where I would be today if the call of the homestead did not catch me. Read more>>

Jen Cui | Mindfulness-Based Health & Life Coach

I feel most balanced when I’m acting in alignment with my values. Because I’m a mindfulness based health & life coach, this means I need to show up for myself in my wellness so I can show up authentically and fully for my clients. I found in myself that anytime I felt like I was struggling with finding balance, it was because I was neglecting one or more areas of my life (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual, etc.), All I had to do was learn to watch and listen to signs of my body and mind when giving me. For example, feeling anxious, having insomnia, chronic fatigue, depression, lack of clarity, acting out of character, frequent miscommunication etc. Read more>>

Melissa Reischman | Visual Artist

Ah, the work/life balance, it can be challenging. I’ve been fortunate to have always been working in a creative field. Early on in my career work was everything. I was happy to be a designer and spend my creative energy in the service of others. Working long hours was challenging and rewarding, until it wasn’t. It was when I began to explore my personal creative vision without parameters that the need for balance entered my life. It was more of a mental thing for me, but the more time I spent on my work, the more time I had for it. My priorities shifted, the other work got done but they supported each other – or at least that is how I came to see it. I wanted to build a creative life, one that was multi-dimensional. Read more>>

Janelle Rice | Boutique Owner & Jewelry Designer

I strongly believe in a work life balance. As a mom of two small children, I recently left my 7 year career with Vans to be a stay at home mom. Since being home this past year I have been able to focus and pour into my small business and turn it into a growing lifestyle brand. I find myself working harder for myself now, but I am able to work on my business with my kids right next to me. There are lots of late nights and sacrificed sleep but it is definitely worth it. It doesn’t feel like work when you are chasing your own dreams. Read more>>

Cheryl Hawley | Website Designer & Digital Marketer

This is a thought that is definitely overlooked when entrepreneurs decide to work for themselves. Many of the startups that I have worked with struggle heavily with work life balance. I myself have struggled with this concept and it has changed significantly over time. I use to think I was invincible until I realized I wasn’t. I didn’t think too much about having a schedule for my work life balance at all. I literally would just keep plugging away at all my work demands and leave my personal demands for last. Read more>>

Laura Rizzotto | Singer/Songwriter

As a singer/songwriter I’ve always known my purpose was to bring light to people’s lives through my music. I’ve found myself over the years tipping the “work life balance” scale towards the work side more often than not. The key of feeling balanced for me is leading with purpose and listening to my intuition. I love what I do and have always known that giving a majority of my time to my craft was an important part of my journey. However, listening to my intuition and prioritizing my mental health have been key elements to finding my own sense of inner peace, especially in the pursuit of my ambitions. Read more>>

Maytal Phillips | Founder, CEO

Work life balance used to mean work hard, party hard. I used to think that if I went out more, it would somehow “balance out” all that I was doing and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to what a balanced life looks like. For me it means having a lot of space in my calendar for things I love to do and even sometimes just doing nothing. Balance these days means being strategic with what I spend my time on and who I spend it with. It also means having a high level of integrity – the more you do what you said you would do, the more time seems to stand still. I’m 100% more productive than I’ve ever been and also “working” less than I’ve ever worked which means I’m headed in the right direction. Read more>>

Ang Chen | Concept Artist

For the first few years I spent all my time, including weekends, on my career. Sometimes I would only sleep a few hours a day. Eventually it led to some health crashes, and I knew I had to change my lifestyle. Nowadays I work until I finish my tasks for the day, and then I spend the remaining time, as well as my weekends, with my family and my friends. Read more>>

Lourdes Estrada | CEO & Founder of New Hope Family Counseling Center

My work life balance has changed dramatically over the last three years. I have become more intentional with setting time for a vaction, break and exercise. Before when I was just starting my business I dedicated 100% or more and I forgot to have fun and enjoy the process. Now, I make it a point to give myself breaks and I do not feel guilty about taking those breaks. I plan vacation (or staycation) with my family. Read more>>

Alisa Damaso | Designer & Illustrator, Founder of VLY GRL

I used to be a total workaholic, probably because my parents functioned in this way. I have trouble feeling like myself without being “productive” or in motion somehow. But when the pandemic happened, I was almost at the point of burnout. I was working full time at my day job, doing freelance work, and running my online shop VLY GRL on top of mourning my dad’s death and other general life stuff. It forced me to reevaluate what my life would look like when having to work from home. Read more>>

Rachel Myers | Director and Designer, 3 Penny Design

As I’ve gotten older I realize how important down time is, self-care and fun. I find that when I sit down to work after a walk and fresh air, that I have the best clarity for creative thinking and ideation and that I’m most focused. Some of my best thinking and problem solving happens on my feet. Both sides of my family were immigrants to the US and I was raised with the philosophy that a bird in hand is better than two in the bush and that you have to go out and hustle to make things happen because nothing is handed to you. Read more>>

ERIC ITA | Photographer & Dog Behaviorist

I’ve learned that I need to literally add things to my schedule in a “to-do” list format, sorted by time of the day. Lately there doesn’t seem to be enough of that and i’m having to lose sleep just to get to some things. I’m trying to find a life balance but I think my work has become my life in a way that makes it almost impossible to distinguish where one ends and the other begins. It did help in the past to have a physical location for work. Working from home just doesn’t work out as well. Read more>>

Mason (Dollya Black) Hartenstein | Drag Queen

At the beginning of my journey with drag, I exerted myself physically and mentally to a point that wasn’t healthy or manageable. I ran off zeal and eagerness to make a name for myself. I was constantly learning new things about costuming and performing to try and be better. Making new looks the night before and picking up last minute gigs was a reoccurring thing for me all while being a cosmetologist during the day. Eventually, the constant going poured over into my journey throughout the Boulet Brothers Dragula Season 3. Read more>>

Alive Machine | alivemachine

There is no balance. The idea that I have been out of balance brought be more fear and anxiety than the actual fact of privileging one part of my life to another. When you are investing energy into a project or a relationship or anything, you are going to create a gravity point around it, you have to be willing to move your focus and time in very intentional specific ways. A “balanced” life style can only bring safety, comfort and boredom. Read more>>

Angela Marklew | Beauty Photographer

I have a very simple philosophy about work-life balance: “I work to live, I don’t live to work”. When I first started my career as a photographer, I felt compelled to be available to clients during all waking hours. My biggest fear was that if I didn’t respond to an inquiry immediately, that potential client would simply move on to the next photographer on their list. Read more>>

Matt Fosket | Songwriter & Sommelier

For me, balance is something I look for on a larger scale than simply day to day. I am not a full time songwriter, I am also a Sommelier. I have to find a balance between writing music, and pushing that side of my life, while at the same time building my Sommelier career. I find however, that I am less productive trying to balance both passions simultaneously, I end up doing neither thing very well. What I’m working towards is this. When the muse shows up, I engage myself entirely in songwriting. On January 6th I started working on a song, and by February 14th I had written a complete record. Read more>>

Paul Gutierrez | Artist

I feel like I’ve done a 180 over the last 5 years. Definitely still have a long way to go. I’m beginning to maintain balance for longer periods of time though. I’m also feeling the process of balance that fits within the current phase of my life. I’ve added a lot more to my life the past 5 years too, which obviously impacts that balance. The more I’ve taken on, the better I’ve gotten at keeping things in place, general. Balance can be seen as a result of things more than an action. But it fits both ideas well just the same. I think about balance as a feeling most of the time. It’s a good indicator to show you that certain thing needs to be address. It helps to not focus on it sometimes. Getting to caught up in things gets distracting very easily! Read more>>

Brendan Kimmet | Writer/Director

I’ve found this to really be a question of mentality. You can always hope for the perfect balance, but the life part of the equation proves more difficult to predict. Upon finding myself economically independent, working a job, I knew it would be a challenge to find the right balance between my responsibilities, both in my art and in my overall life, but I was excited to explore that balance. At first it was fairly easy. Stresses were low and focus was high; I was getting work done! Overtime however, I noticed I was leaning further to one side of the scale more than the other. Read more>>

Evangeline Crittenden | Actor, Director, Musician and Podcaster

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Many years ago, I herd about something called “Four Burner Theory” by James Clear. Essentially, the theory is that there are 4 main “burners” on the stovetop of your life; Career, Family, Friends and Health. James states that in order to reach your full potential in a given area, you must fully cut off one burner, and in order to be as successful as possible, you have to cut off two. Read more>>

Coletta Dykes | Professional Hairstylist & Certified Dance Fitness Instructor

I have always been in control of my balance. I try only to control the things I can and cannot get mad over the things I can not control. You must have balance in order to go through life. Without good there is no bad and without bad there is no good. Balance is an essential part of life. Sometimes meeting a new friend, coworker, or family member is your balance, you just have to know when your lacking it. Read more>>

BRE.iSH | Artist Extraordinaire

Balance, in my opinion, is an art. Starting out it was very hard for me as an artist to go to school and work and manage to squeeze energy out that night at the studio. Then I became a bit better with time management, which includes treating my craft as a Priority instead of a reward. I allowed my self to be more free with creating, while still taking care of my life priorities as well. My music and its creation are the perfect break from reality, in fact it’s what keeps me mentally and emotionally balanced because I just leave it all in the booth. lol. I Realized, I had to change the way I looked at it. It was never balancing Life vs. Music but Music is the Balance to my life. Read more>>

NATHALIE WILLIAMS | Business Management Consultant

Work life balance in the beginning of my entrepreneurship was very hard. When I first started my business, I still was working a job, full time pursuing my degree, a full-time mom and wife. It was difficult deciding how to take on everything while be able to give everything its full attention. Time management was definitely a lesson that I had to learn. As entrepreneurs we run ourselves crazy trying to take on the world. Feeling like if you’re not doing the most you’re not doing enough. I learned that was not the case. Sometimes to achieve the balance you have to also look at everything you are doing and decide if you really need to do all these things. Read more>>

Emmanuelle Blanche Rousselin | Founder of Emmanuelle Blanche – the french silhouette & Holistic Health Guide

When I landed in Los Angeles, I had no idea that I would end up opening a spa. It was while trying to get a massage that I realized that the Palper-Rouler massages I liked to receive back home didn’t exist here. It then seemed obvious to me; I had to take on this challenge! I met Doris Martel, a French woman who founded Triphysical (Manual & Functional Therapy Program) and asked her to train me in Palper Rouler. This in turn allowed me to train my massage therapists and teach them this authentic French technique. Read more>>

Jenna Gibson | Artist & Instructor

My work/life balance has changed drastically in the last couple years. I went from working and showing in galleries, making personal and commission art, while teaching close to 60 hours a week. This was necessary to live the only way I thought possible, basically spending all of my income on rent. Once I let go of this and simplified my life, I was able to rearrange a few things and get to where I truly wanted to be. Things got way simple and the days are extra beautiful. I’m creating more art than I ever did before because I have more time to truly appreciate and reflect on my days, and that is true inspiration. Only teaching 10 to 20 hours a week has also allowed me to spend more time preparing for my classes and workshops and making them as seamless as possible. Read more>>

Matthew Clark | Tarzana Neightborhood Council Reserved At-Large Candidate

I find the relationship between work and personal time, as well as the blurred lines of integration between the two, are becoming more and more entwined. The key to navigating this is to set boundaries and know where to step up. Read more>>

Kelly Nickels | Musician, Writer, & Video Editor

Recalibrating my work-life balance has been one of the biggest transformations I’ve undergone. I was raised in a society that believes that having a full-time job equals success. So when every action and step you take becomes geared towards a future destination of success and stability, you make a lot of life sacrifices to stick to that course. It took until about my mid-twenties and two abrupt job lay-offs, forcing me into a more piece-meal freelance existence, to start questioning if that course was mine or just one I adopted at a young age.  Read more>>

Felipe Farme D’Amoed | Designer

Work life balance is an important topic brought back in full force during the pandemic. People delved deep in work and forgot the “life balance” portion of it. Now we see those close to you in depressed states having nervous breakdowns. It has always been essential for my personal life to be integral in my decision-making. Read more>>

Karen Capalaran | Nurse & Photographer

I think balancing work life is a skill that is constantly being sharpened. In order for me to balance out my work life I need to take the necessary breaks to reset and enjoy something that makes me happy. I tend to over work myself sometimes and it triggers my anxiety, stress and fatigue. I know once I get to that stage of stress I am unable to function correctly. I forget tasks that need to be done, I start to procrastinate, and I shut down. Over time I’ve learned to not only recognized when a break is necessary, but to schedule time for myself in between work days. There is always room for improvement I’m constantly learning, adapting and listening to my own needs. Read more>>

ilona varo | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist / Life Coach

I feel like when I first started my career I had zero work life balance. Everything was my job. Being a solo entrepreneur, I had to do the work of everyone in the company. As I got older and wiser, I really learned the importance of self-care and self regulation. I learned to set strict Must do items for myself on a day-to-day basis. This includes journaling, checking in with my needs, walks outside, grounding/meditation, and mini transition breaks in between patients and tasks. I also limits to when I check emails and text messages so that I am not constantly at the beck and call of my devices. Prioritizing myself and my self-care is a non-negotiable. This was learned through time and took practice. Read more>>

Erin Kim | Storyboard Artist & Illustrator

I have always had a hard time understanding balance in general. Fortunately, I started to appreciate the work-life balance and its importance. I’m currently a storyboard artist at Netflix Animation Studio on a preschool show. I got the job at the beginning of the pandemic, around April of 2020. It was a very stressful time for me, as it was for everyone. I was experiencing frustration from extreme burnout. Also, I got pretty bad inflammation in my stomach and esophagus during that time. I couldn’t eat or drink normally for a while. Physically and mentally, I was really bad at managing myself. Read more>>

Kevin Woods | Entrepreneur & Shop Owner

Early in my career, I would prioritize work over my personal needs and wants. At the time, I believed that working myself in to the ground was the best way to achieve success. Fortunately, I found out early on that the concept of success evolves over time. What has changed for me most is focusing as much of my time to actually work on things that give me satisfaction. Shifting my thoughts about work, and how it intersects with my values, has been the biggest adjustment over the years. Read more>>

Jiggy Yoon (she/her/hers) | Speaker & EQ-Based Mental Performance Coach

I think the work-life balance looks differently for each person, and it’ll always come down to a high level of self-awareness – Awareness in personal needs, awareness in bandwidth per professional expectations, and awareness in the effective strategies of remedy. “Effective strategies of remedy” meaning what does the individual’s specific self-care practice look like in order for it to promote true rest which will then improve performance, creativity, productivity, focus, etc. Read more>>

Adrienne Martinez-Hollingsworth, PhD, MSN, RN, PHN | Nurse Researcher, Mentor, Activist

As an academic researcher studying burnout, I get this question a lot. Do I practice what I preach? How is my work-life balance? Luckily, I have access to validated measures that allow me a true picture of how “burned-out” I am at any given moment. The Wellbeing Index, for example, measures burnout across six realms, one of which is “work-life balance”. Read more>>

Kelly Higdon | Business Strategist and Coach

I know how to work. It’s one of the things I am really good at. Long hours, focus, and creativity have staying power for whatever my business needs. But I have also worked to the point that I ended up in the ER not paying attention to my body. I have neglected myself and others all in the name of my work. So after the ER wake up call it’s been my ongoing focus to take care of me first, to nurture that which is important to me and have my work be something that supports those endeavors, not sabotages them. Read more>>

Hunter Payton Mendoza | Actor and Freerunner

When I first started acting at 6 years old it was really tough to balance between school, homework, acting classes, auditions and time for myself. It became easier once I started Homeschooling so I would have more time in a day to balance everything out. Read more>>

Christine Van Zandt | Literary editor and writer

My work-life balance changed the most when I became a parent. Until shortly before I delivered, I worked long hours and wondered if I could ever be a stay-at-home mom. Then, the baby, and the only thing I wanted to be was a stay-at-home mom. My husband I decided to live on less for a while and see how that went. Meanwhile, I developed my previous side gigs as a writer and beta reader into much more. Read more>>