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?

Kaitlyn Fox | Photographer

Finding a balance between work and life is so hard and ever-changing. As a mom of a 4 year old and 1.5 year old, it’s hard to work “normal” business hours. When my business really took off, it was so hard to say, “no,” and take family time. Over the years, I have learned not to stretch myself too thin and to establish, “working hours,” so I can enjoy family time. My husband and I started a new rule recently to help with this. No phones after 7pm! By doing so, I’ve been able to enjoy my business and family time in appropriate times!. Read more>>

Marci Angeles | Brand & Web Designer

Growing up there was always that idea of work life balance and that there would be strict boundaries and separation. But honestly, the more I go through life I realize how untrue that is. And the more I work within my own business and learn about different industries, I realize that it’s more about blending the two together in a way that works for your own life. There are times that I work late at night or on the weekends, simply because I’m inspired or because I want to. I’m lucky enough to be running my own web design business & doing something that I love so it never feels like a chore. However, I also have always made it a point to put people first, whether that’s family or friends. People in my life are extremely important to me and the memories & moments that happen when we’re together are what I know I’ll look back on more fondly than anything else. So for me, if I’m chillin’ by myself I have no problem opening up my laptop to get some work done. Read more>>

Melissa Devitt | Business Owner

Work life balance is something we constantly talk about, not just as business owners (between my husband and I) but with our entire staff. The conversation is never off the table, we are always wanting the best for everyone who has chosen to spend their time working in our company, and this is an ever changing thing person to person. Creating an atmosphere that is positive and uplifting has always been key for us when we go into work everyday, and we strive to ensure our employees feel that. To us, working somewhere you are happy automatically feels like an accomplished work life balance. Read more>>

Mandy Thomas | Independent Gallery Guide

When we started Gallery On The Go my kids were 8 and 10, now they’re 18 and 20. I loved the flexibility of the business when they were younger because I worked from home, could volunteer at school when I wanted, and could choose when I wanted to do parties. But it also felt like I was working all the time. I remember my son calling me out on it one time and I got pretty defensive. And then I realized it only hurt because it was true. I thought I was doing this great circus act of balancing it all, but all he saw was me sitting in front of my computer all the time. So I had to be more mindful of setting clear work boundaries. It helps that I am a night owl so I would “close shop” when they got home from school, spend the evenings with them, and then after they went to bed I would plug in. And I actually found that those late hours are when I’m actually at my best. With no phones ringing and email pinging. Read more>>

Wendy Bohling | Chief Impact Officer, Trailboss, Podcast CoHost, Author, Speaker

Early in my 35 year career I thought of work/life balance only as an afterthought. I got good at shoving twenty pounds in a 10 pound bag… moving to the next most urgent thing. I rarely said no and treated my time as an unlimited commodity. Having kids was the emotional gift that motivated me to build an attitude of life/work integration over balance. Integration meant I could have it all just not all at the same time. There would be times I was killing it at my job, and there would be times I was proud of being there for my family or even self care; just not usually at the same time. Choose your battles to win the war. It’s unachievable to fight every battle. It’s unsustainable for your health and for the outcome. Role model choosing life moments to be unapologetically present for; supporting aging parents, or making it to your kid’s basketball game. Coming out of a two year battle kicking breast cancer’s ass, I’m reminded even more our bodies mask the accumulated toll of running 90 mph being the professional juggler of career, home, kids, aging parents, relationships. Treat your energy as a precious limited commodity. Read more>>

Jamie Tatreau | Owner of Sweet Mana Botanicals / Massage Therapist / Esthetician

With age, I definitely find myself living a much more balanced lifestyle. During my 20’s and 30’s I had a difficult time scheduling time for myself. If I took a day off and actually planned something fun to do, it was like clockwork, the phone would be ringing off the hook. Clients would be wanting something that same day… and most of the time I gave in and ditched my plans. It wasn’t like I didn’t want to have fun or just relax, but I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it because I would be riddled with guilt for turning down the work. Now in my forty’s, I appreciate and respect my time so much more. I no longer feel guilt or shame for taking time for myself. I know it is an absolute necessity and a key to my success and overall happiness now. I no longer feel the need to prove to anyone that I am a hard worker, I know I am. The driving forces of obtaining more money and yearning to feel successful have been replaced with wanting to experience more joy and fulfillment. Read more>>

Calista Masters | Actor

The balance between my work life, family life, and social life has been a constantly evolving animal. I treat acting as a relationship. A person that I need to develop trust with, check in on, Make sure we are in good standing. This approach to my career has many postives and unfortunately makes it hard to have very many meaningful relationships. It can be all consuming at times, and thankfully the people who I share life with understand my ups and downs. Balance is a very mental thing that can be lead with feelings of guilt ‘oh I didn’t see my parents enough this month’ ‘have I been affectionate enough to my partner lately?’ I admit, at times I can be all consumed by my craft, but my craft being a relationship, sometimes I do need to step away and spend some time with my humans. Read more>>

Casey Deutsch | Wood Artist

Over the past year, work/life balance has been incredibly important to me. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I used to work as an art teacher and my personal life was largely dictated by my work schedule. Most of my art is inspired by trips to the mountains where I enjoy hiking, snowboarding, and camping. But much like the rest of Denver’s population, I found myself in a constant race against traffic in order to find space to do what I loved most. At a certain point, that also feels like work and I start to lose interest. Since stepping back from teaching, I have had the chance to flip the priorities in my life for the better; now I get to focus on a more meaningful lifestyle for myself while allowing enough space for natural inspiration. I find that when I have the time to recharge, I am more motivated to create and share my love of art and the outdoors with my clients. This balance has allowed me to take real pride in my work, not only because I can see the growth and the impact it has on clients, but also because it has allowed me to take care of my own needs. Read more>>

Sherri Bliss | Wealth Management Advisor

Work-life balance is often touted as the stuff of mythology and legend. Without getting into a debate around whether that terminology is accurate to begin with, I would like to acknowledge that there is no perfect balance that persists daily in our lives. By life’s very nature, the balance changes on a day-to-day basis and certainly, over time. For me personally, it has been no different. I believe my balance naturally changed over time as I gained more experience and become more established in my career. But even more so, I believe my balance has consciously changed over time due to a shift in mindset. I think about work-life balance from an “end-result, working backwards” kind of approach, in that I believe the point of striving for such balance is to live a full and joyful life. To that end, I believe that I am happiest when I am able to be present throughout all parts of my life. If I am present at work, I am able to show up as the best version of myself there and more likely to have a good day. Read more>>

John Pierson | Owner & Founder

Ever since the founding of Servant Coffee, I have tried to value a healthy work life balance. Over my first 15 years in energy, I received a great deal of wisdom and sound advice from older colleagues who stressed the importance of not placing too much importance on what you accomplish at work. I consistently heard similar messages from very successful individuals who achieved great heights in their professional career but their home life left a lot to be desired. Their marriage was on the rocks or their kids barely knew them from all the long hours and traveling they did through the years. These messages carried a great deal of weight for me, and I feel incredibly blessed to have had that wisdom in my early years of marriage. My wife and I had kids a bit later in life and so we feel lucky to have learned from those around us who we trust. Read more>>

Becky Howie | Psychotherapist & Coach

As a Highly Sensitive Person/therapist, I take work-life balance very seriously. Before I became a therapist and coach, I spent 10 years in corporate and tech and I worked myself to the bone for many years. But I’ve learned that strategy doesn’t really benefit anyone, because if I burn out, then I’m no longer doing good work. Now that I’m a therapist and coach, that is not an option, and I practice the same thing I preach to my clients. I base my sense of balance on what I call my emotional sink. Imagine, if you will, that you have a sink which represents your capacity to handle the stuff that life throws at you. Certain things add water to the sink (these are your stressors) and other things drain water out the bottom of your sink proactively (these are your destressors or self care). If we can’t drain as much water as gets poured into our sink, then water builds up and, eventually, results in overflow – which is like an emergency release valve. Read more>

Lauren Finch | Engagement and Wedding Photographer

My work life balance has definitely changed after having my daughter! Before having her I worked full time and went to school, but I only had myself to worry about during that time so my work life balance was easier to manage. Now things are a bit different! My daughter definitely takes first priority so scheduling on my end can get complicated at times! Thankfully I have an amazing support system between my husband, parents, and in-laws. This year I decided to only take a limited number of projects, that way I can still be there 110% for my clients while avoiding burn out and still having time for my family. I don’t think I will ever fully master the work life balance since life is constantly changing, but having some set rules, work hours, and time management will definitely make it all a lot smoother!. Read more>>

Madeline Kent | Nutrition Therapy Practitioner

Isn’t that the million dollar question! A large part of my job is helping people identify imbalances in their life, as they often manifest into health issues. The struggle to attain a work life balance is one of the most common challenges I see across the board, and I am no exception! I get so excited and passionate about my work that I can get carried away with late-night research, educational webinars, and other efforts to put the pieces together for a tough client’s case. It used to feel ‘wrong’ to work long and late hours, and I would question my work-life balance even though I felt fueled and inspired. For a short time I tried to restrict my work time by never starting before 8 and always shutting it down by 5, but I found that a strict schedule like that didn’t allow me to harness natural waves of inspiration or to honor the times when I needed to rest and recharge. Read more>>

Anna Winger | Food Truck Owner

We had zero balance our first couple of years in the food truck. We thought we’d open up with Evan and I running it by ourselves. I would be in the window and Evan would cook the food. That lasted about 48 hours before I was in tears and Evan was trying to keep his girlfriend and his business intact. Friends saved our butts, and we hired on a few employees. With zero business classes between the two of us, we had no idea how much of a payroll we could handle, and my “Make a Free Business Plan” online didn’t really give us any magic answers, so we kept working doubles every day all day that first Summer. Like many mountain folk, we were pretty accustomed to playing after working. I had worked on the river for 15 years and didn’t see a wave those first couple of. years. We saw the food truck, the bottom of a beer after each day, and our pillows. I don’t really regret that path. We built the Viking exactly how we wanted it to be, through a lot of trial and error, grit, and the inability to watch it fail. Read more>>

Erin Beacom | Founder & Director at Sunburnt Studios

I love to work and in the past, I would spend all of my time working. Whether it was multiple jobs, internships, or creative projects. I realized recently that I cannot keep constantly working without taking a time to rest or to spend time with loved ones. Earlier last year I started to burn out and my stress levels were higher than they had ever been. So, I re-evaluated my schedule and started to prioritize hobbies and relaxing as well as work. I do still work all the time and need to get better at setting my boundaries so I do not continue to check my emails and worry about work when I am not at work. I believe balance is essential for a healthy, long-term business. I started my own creative company not to make loads of money but to do the work that I love and still be able to create a schedule that allows me to travel, spend time with loved ones, and have other hobbies as well. Read more>>

Alison Litchfield | Yoga Instructor, Rolfer and Whole-Life Coaching

I used to always be the kind of person who was not willing to compromising lifestyle for work. Before I started a family, when it was just me to think about, I had a much easier time with the work life balance. I always took personal time for myself, even daily to eat well, walk, meet with friends, ect. When I started a family, however, everything changed and balancing work and life was more challenging. I found that mothering took a lot out of me so when I had free time, I wanted to do the things that filled me up like yoga, hiking with friends and sitting in a coffee shop writing.. As the kids got a little older, I brought my focus back to my work but it took time and was always a balancing act. I had to be better with managing my time and setting my work hours as well as family and playtime. The biggest thing I’ve had to learn in the balance is that I can’t do it all and certainly can’t be all things to everybody. Now that my kids are older and can take care of themselves more and I am full time back at work I am more at peace with that understanding. Read more>>

Desiree Brothe | Community/Arts Engagement & Artist

I have spent a lot of time thinking about my work-life balance and how to maintain it. There was a long period of time for me where it wasn’t even a balance and was just work. And while the work was rewarding, I was exhausted and burnt out and irritated everyday. It was during that time that I realized where my priorities had fallen to, what I was choosing to value, and started making decisions to move towards a life that felt more like me. It took two career changes and a lot of learning how to say no, but now I can fully say that what I do for work and what I choose to do on the side is all about art. And art is a big subject, so I had to break it down to a few loosy-goosy “rules” for myself. My job-job is still in community development and still all about how to leverage community and economic resources together to make meaningful impacts, but it’s done so in a creative industry where the focus is already on art, design, and tech. Read more>>

Brooke Callaway | Blonding, Balayage, Cut Specialist & Wedding Stylist

Work life balance. Who really has that? In all seriousness, in the beginning of my career I thought the more time I put into my job, the more I showed up and just worked, it would eventually all pay off. I have recently realized that it is more about quality over quantity, and that goes for everything in my life. When I seek quality time outside of work, where I am unplugged from my phone, social media, clients, I feel refreshed and renewed and excited to dive into work guilt free, because I do not feel as if I am overworking. On the flip side, when I seek to be a quality hairstylist to all of my clients instead of trying to fit as many clients in with the time that I have, I find I have better long term relationships with my clients. With that, I never stress during my off time, or feel like I’m not doing enough. Read more>>

Brooke Hipp | Artist and Marketing Executive

I think that most people work to live and don’t live to work. People are multi-dimensional and most people have something they love to do outside of their day job. Personally, I think life is better when your work and your life are integrated, as opposed to balanced. Balance indicates that you are keeping things separate but integration allows for more ebbs and flows. Sometimes your work is consuming, sometimes your family is consuming, sometimes your hobbies may be consuming. The important part is that we recognize that a certain aspect of us may need more attention at any given time. The pandemic has brought into intense focus how much all aspects of our lives blend together. Balance has become harder for many because they are living and working in the same location. I recognize how much I need multiple dimensions in my life and I’ve been working hard to make sure to honor all of my dimensions. Read more>>

Erin Lockwood | Travel Journalist, Wife, Mom.

As a married couple, we used to spend hours everyday working in our real life and planning for the life of our dreams only through fantasy. We were part of the “work now, play later” mentality, which holds a certain level of validity but also ignores the reality that age affects our ability to enjoy a truly active life. We’re only young for the first part of our lives (that’s true for us and our time with our 3 children), so why spend our best years together preparing and only our later years truly living? We certainly didn’t want to look back and feel like we worked through our kids’ childhoods. At some point (about 2 years ago), we decided to stop waiting. We bought our dream beach home on Coronado Island, enrolled our kids in online school, and started splitting our time between Coronado and Denver. Read more>>

Kris Davidson | Artist, Geometrist, Tattooer

Work life balance is important to me. My art, more broadly speaking is inseparable from the greater balance of things in my life. When I was younger I could still feel good and thrive with weird sleep patterns, bad food, partying, and such ,but these days I only feel good and thrive when I really take care of myself – which means eating good, sleeping good, making sure I’m super hydrated, discipline with meditation, yoga, and exercise, relationship balance, occasional down time, enough alone time, etc. Over the years, I’ve become, or rather just have become more aware of how much of a sensitive creature I am and when I work too much, operate with to fast of a work pace of time, overwhelm my more introverted nature with too much interaction, then I start to feel burn out. The art is better and thrives more consistently and productively when everything in my life is balanced. Its kind of like taking care of a garden. Read more>>

Carol Fennell | Fine Artist

Balance is at the core of well-being both of the body as well as the spirit. Achieving this balance, especially for artists, means balancing opposites like discipline and inspiration, creating for survival yet meaning. Learning to live peacefully with these opposites and checking in is key. Because creativity has no schedule, I often find that I become absorbed into the work and put in numerous hours in the studio after dealing with daily demands by family and circumstances of life. Awareness that life is out of balance can slip away. By paying attention to little signs that life is out of balance, which usually shows up as creative block, burnout or uninspiring work, help me adjust and remember to take a step back and evaluate. This practice has changed over time, as I used to put in as many hours as needed and take on all work that was sent my way. Now, I learned to honor my creative spirit and my body, by taking jobs that mean something to me and making sure I have time to walk and get enough rest. Read more>>

Mandy Thomas | Independent Gallery Guide

When we started Gallery On The Go my kids were 8 and 10, now they’re 18 and 20. I loved the flexibility of the business when they were younger because I worked from home, could volunteer at school when I wanted, and could choose when I wanted to do parties. But it also felt like I was working all the time. I remember my son calling me out on it one time and I got pretty defensive. And then I realized it only hurt because it was true. I thought I was doing this great circus act of balancing it all, but all he saw was me sitting in front of my computer all the time. So I had to be more mindful of setting clear work boundaries. It helps that I am a night owl so I would “close shop” when they got home from school, spend the evenings with them, and then after they went to bed I would plug in. And I actually found that those late hours are when I’m actually at my best. With no phones ringing and email pinging. Read more>>