At Simple Self, we believe in balance. Whether that means hitting the gym before taco Tuesday or watching your favorite guilty pleasure tv show before turning off your electronics an hour before your head hits the pillow. However you find balance, we support you.
We also support independent female artists. While we believe beauty is defined by what’s inside, we might make an exception for this line of notebooks. Thanks to five talented artists the balance notebooks aren’t just good for your mental health but they look great on your desk, or wherever you need to find balance.
In today’s blog, we explore the idea of balance - how our notebook aims to help you achieve it and explore the idea with our artists and how they find balance and time for self-care in their lives.
Let’s Look Inside the Balance Notebook
The layout is designed to be flexible to meet your needs whether you need a space for to-dos, meeting notes, or to jot down the things you actually need on your next Target run, there’s room for that. The pages feature a healthy mix of lined space for structured note-taking or lists and wide margins and white space for flowing thoughts or doodles when you let your mind wander.
The notebook is also equipped with gentle reminders to put yourself first, and daily affirmations and words of the day to put a smile on your face. The notebook also includes a curated playlist that’s perfect for drowning out the sounds of your manager who doesn’t understand why he shouldn’t call after 6 pm or to set the mood on your daily commute.
It’s OK for Your Work-Life Balance to be a Work in Progress
You know what doesn’t make sense? Stressing yourself out more because you don’t have a work-life balance that’s already causing you stress. Maybe you’re a workaholic, or you just truly have one too many things on your plate, and a perfect version of work-life balance isn’t attainable tomorrow, or ever and that’s ok - just make sure you aren’t pushing yourself to the point of burnout. Instead of pushing yourself to perfection embrace the mess like artist, Mary Finlayson:
“I'm big on organization, but homes are busy places and I like there being evidence of that and the people who inhabit them, both in real life as well as in my paintings of interiors. I think being able to find the beauty in what's messy is essential, especially in motherhood!”
Life is messy and imperfect so a perfect balance may not ever be in place 100% of the time, but if you can find the balance that fits you then you’re on the right path. Just remember it is about progress, not perfection. Artist, Maggie Stephenson shares how accepting her own version of balance gave her peace of mind:
“It can be challenging to find the perfect balance between work, life and prioritizing yourself. I was quite hard on myself, feeling bad that one area of my life outweighed the other. In the end I came to the conclusion that I just need to let it go. I decided to stop riding this guilt trip and accepted the fact that there won’t always be perfect balance and that is ok. Once I made that conscious decision, juggling multiple things became a way of life, rather than a burden. ‘This is who I am, and I am fine with it because I am doing the best I can’ became my thought process. This shift in thinking, took so much weight off of my shoulders and allowed me to prioritize peace of mind and acceptance.”
Now that home and work are the same for so many people, finding a work-life balance is so much harder. Artist, Joyce Lay Hoon Ho shares about how this shift has affected her and how she copes:
“Work/life balance? What is that? In all honesty, work-life balance has gone out the window since the start of the pandemic. My husband and I both work from home full-time and my son only has part-time childcare. We embrace the chaos and try to make the best out of our situation. I make it a point to carve out personal time for myself, sleep early, and exercise whenever I can. Work/life balance is a work in progress for me. Whenever I feel my body tensing up due to stress, I will issue a dance challenge to my 5 year old and see who can come up with the silliest dance. The idea is to be as free as possible with your movement. Sometimes we look so silly that we actually burst out laughing and that really helps alleviate some of the stress.”
Enjoying the process is key when it comes to finding balance but it also applies to creating a work of art which is why we wanted this line to launch in collaboration with a group of amazing artists. What is your life is not a beautiful messy work of art. Artist Jayci Livingston shares how she has learned to give herself grace in her work in a world of perfect Instagram feeds:
“The entire reasoning behind starting this account was to enjoy the process. I had no intention of creating for others or selling anything. I wanted to have a page designated for creatives like myself to just post what is honestly going on in their process. The truth is the process and the final will never be perfect, to me it’s more of a ``it just feels “right” and you have to learn to accept that feeling.”
We love the idea of “it feels right” over striving for perfection. There are so many ‘shoulds’ in today’s world: you should go to college, you should have a steady 9-5, you should have a family with two children and buy a house. Everyone’s idea of life balance or self-care looks different and really you should only be doing what feels right.
This is why the Balance notebook was designed to be flexible, no specific steps on how to achieve balance, nothing specific to fill out or track, just a happy place to keep yourself organized in the areas you need it - whatever those are for you.