In xoNecole's Finding Balance, we profile boss women making boss moves in the world and in their respective industries. We talk to them about their business, their life, and most of all, what they do to find balance in their busy lives.
Growing up, I thought being loud meant being strong.
But with maturity, I've learned that the loudest person in the room is rarely the most successful and this is big facts. Just ask 30-year-old full-time freelancer, Keyaira Kelly, who wants you to know that silence is self-care. The Brooklyn-based creative recently sat down with xoNecole and gave us a whole word about solitude, which Keyaira she says is an essential part of her daily routine.
For those of us not at peace with ourselves, solitude may feel more like a burden than a blessing, but in our interview, Keyaira revealed that time alone is essential for any social media maven on her grind. She told xoNecole, "I wind down at night by not talking. People are always like, 'let's go to happy hour!' or, 'let's meet up!' and it may come off rude, but I don't relax by speaking to folks. I exhaust so much of my energy talking to people that my relaxation means complete and utter isolation from the world and anyone's needs and silence."
Keyaira says that it's during her time alone when she allows herself to feel all of the feelings, spiritually align, and find peace when she's feeling off-balance. The Talk To Your Mompodcast host explained, "I let my flesh be pissed or cloudy, but I always return to my spiritual wisdom which knows from a heavenly perspective, 'all things are working together for my good.'"
"I am learning I can't be ruled by emotions anymore or reactionary. Taking a pause, breathing, listening to chimes, burning sage, resin or charcoal, brings my concerns back to heaven height where they dissolve."
We sat down with Keyaira to talk more about making working from home work for you, the beauty of a good bubble bath, and why solitude is the gift you didn't know you needed.
Here's what we learned:
What is a typical day in your life? If no day is quite the same, give me a rundown of a typical work week and what that might consist of.
My typical week includes plugging numbers in and out of my spreadsheet of how many articles I need to complete this week, invoices I need to send, receipts I need to hold onto, etc. Working for yourself is… well, a lot of work! (Laughs) Sometimes I work at home, sometimes I grab a spot at a coffee shop. Where and when I work isn't monotonous right now, which I enjoy. It's nice to do the work when your brain is working the best, versus trying to cram it all into a 9-5.
What are your mornings like?
I wake up slowly. I really don't try to rush my way out of bed—as an independent contractor I have this privilege now. My best writing and best thinking happen in the morning—so I will often lay in bed, but I'm actually actively working out what the day is going to look like, what I'm grateful for, etc. I may throw some prayers in there. Sometimes I just cuddle in bed with my man and hold onto him as long as I can. Any morning that starts slowly is a good morning.
At what point in your life did you understand the importance of pressing pause and finding balance in both your personal and professional life?
Pressing pause is pretty much a necessity for me to be a good writer, so I would say I discovered its importance when I transitioned from marketing to writing full-time four years ago. My best writing happens in the stillness of my mind. I literally will delete Instagram for a few hours when I need to focus on an article.
"Pressing pause is pretty much a necessity for me to be a good writer, so I would say I discovered its importance when I transitioned from marketing to writing full-time four years ago. My best writing happens in the stillness of my mind."
When you have a busy week, what’s the most hectic part of it?
My most busy weeks are when I have a lot of travel and a lot of deadlines. It can be hard sometimes to manage writing on the road while also doing a work trip. So recently, I was in the Bahamas for one outlet doing a story (I know, poor me, right?), while also writing articles for another outlet I was on deadline for. Sometimes it's hard to sit and be in the moment when I have to work on the road. But it's a life I'm grateful for nonetheless.
Do you practice any type of self-care? What does that look like for you?
Exercise, baths, and silence are my self-care. Exercise helps to keep me sane. It's a way I advocate for my health and bodily strength that doesn't have to do with anyone or anything but me. I love giving myself that dedicated time. I am super healthy right now and I deserve to look and feel this good—so I invest in it. Baths, just being submerged in hot water, soothes my muscles and stills my mind. Silence is so good to just hear yourself in a silo--too many voices just become mental clutter.
"Exercise helps to keep me sane. It's a way I advocate for my health and bodily strength that doesn't have to do with anyone or anything but me. I love giving myself that dedicated time. I am super healthy right now and I deserve to look and feel this good—so I invest in it."
What advice do you have for busy women who feel like they don’t have time for self-care?
Honestly, when you're in a romantic relationship people say, "No one's too busy, it's just they don't want to make the time." Well, I think we need to think of ourselves that way too. When you don't make time for self-care, you're telling yourself you're not worth the effort.
How do you find balance with:
Most of my best friends don't live in New York [and] the ones who do aren't very demanding. I am a very good text friend. I am not a good phone call/meet-up friend. My friends have adjusted to my boundaries, or have the same boundaries, so we all understand.
"I am a very good text friend. I am not a good phone call/meet-up friend. My friends have adjusted to my boundaries, or have the same boundaries, so we all understand."
I am prioritizing my love life right now. I desire to start a family so investing in that and his needs are very important to me.
There's no easy way around this, I just do it. You got to do it when you don't feel like it. Commitment over feelings, always.
And honestly, what does success mean to you?
Peace. It's all peace.
For more of Keyaira, follow her on Instagram!
Featured image by Instagram/@keyairakelly.