In the last few years, the line between work/life balance has only become more blurred as many of us have transitioned to remote or hybrid work. It seems to be more important than ever that we prioritize rest within our daily wellness routines, and stop forgetting to add our Out Of Office alerts to our work emails. In this series, we teamed up with some friends and community members and ask them:

“What does a day-off look like for you?”

Your Name & Pronouns:

Sammy Shaw (She/Her)
Alvaro Masegosa (He/Him)

Before we dive into the fun stuff, what do you do for work?

Sammy: Communications for Wilderness Tourism Association
Alvaro: Freelance photography, video and design

We also collaborate under a creative studio called Similar Space where we integrate our interest in art, nature and culture into our work.

During an average week, how do you spend your time off?

Our alarm clock goes at 6am and after we inevitably hit snooze a few times, we wake up to our dog Mali sticking her nose in our faces while her wagging tail slaps against the wall. It's belly scratches and cuddling until we make our way to the morning goods: music and coffee! On slow days off, you might find us hanging around the home getting lost in our hobbies. Lately, you'll find Alvaro bent over a canvas painting and Sammy humming behind the sewing machine, but anything that gets us out of our heads and into our bodies is the aim.

We're pretty lucky to live in a coastal city hugged by old forests and expansive mountains, so most of our time off is spent outdoors. I'd say we're happiest when we've made time to move our bodies and stick our faces in the sun. On weekdays that can look like local forest romps, running, bike rides, campfires, ocean dips, or wining and dining with pals. When the weekend hits, we usually venture off on hiking, camping or surfing trips. We probably spend most of that time on the trail, but if we can sneak off to the waves then it’s a gooood weekend in our books.

What does work/life balance mean to you and how do you try to integrate this in your day-to-day schedule?

Work/life balance means prioritizing our mental and physical well-being, and because our needs differ based on the day, I think we try to approach this pretty intuitively. When our passions are really intertwined in the work we do, as is the case for Similar Space, it’s common for us to rattle off ideas and dreams and quickly slip into “work talk” without realizing. Some days it feels amazing to integrate organizations that we love into our lifestyle in that way, and other times we need to hit pause. We started using the word “cosmos”, which is basically a nice way for either of us to say shut up and be met with complete understanding.

We start to feel itchy and impatient when we haven’t prioritized our mental and physical health, and that’s a good indicator that we need to unplug. We both work remote, so movement, nature and friends really shake us from that home haze and help enrich our days.

How has this changed since pre-pandemic?

We’ve always been mindful of work/life balance, but we’re probably more intentional now about setting boundaries when the lines become blurred. We’ve also found new ways to unplug from work that are more accessible in the day-to-day. During the height of the pandemic, we were forced to untether our happiness from road trips and adventures, and that definitely created space for us to explore new forms of introspection and self expression.

Anything in your health or general wellness routine that you could never give up?

Alone time. We're both introverts and show up as our best selves when we've had some quality time to decompress and recharge.

It's been a long week. List your go-to for:

Recreation —> Something you enjoy that boosts your endorphins

Running or going on a hike with some good views.

Relaxation —> Something you do (or use) to recharge and feel recovered.
Sitting and reading in the sun. Currently lost in Slaughterhouse Five (Alvaro) and Regeneration: Ending the climate crisis in one generation (Sammy).

Reward —> Something that feels like a special self-care treat.
All the food - Kin Kao is a neighborhood favorite. And all the wine - Pipeños, please!

Lastly, what’s one piece of advice you have for anyone trying to better integrate balance in their everyday schedule?

We all find balance in different ways, so do whatever feels good to you. Checking in and being honest with yourself and others about your needs is a good place to start.

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