Keys Soulcare editor and freelance writer Kelsey Mulvey talks restoring your energy and more.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Manifesting your dreams and practicing your rituals is no small task, but we all deserve the inner harmony (and skillset) to achieve our goals and show up for ourselves each day.
So how exactly does one get to that sweet spot? For a meaningful chat about that, we didn’t have to look too far: Kelsey Mulvey, the wiz behind Office Hours (and super-smart editor of just about all you read here) who worked full-time for pubs including The Wall Street Journal and Business Insider before breaking out on her own, was happy to oblige.
Read on for tips and encouragement for being an absolute boss, while maintaining your sanity (and rocking Kelsey’s personal brand of bonafide kind-meets-coolness) at the same time.
How does the “balance” factor of working independently contrast with that of working in an office-based role?
Honestly, the work-life balance can feel like such a foreign concept when you are your own boss! When you have a traditional, nine-to-five job, you have one (or a few) bosses to report to and only so many tasks on your daily to-do list. And, once you’ve checked everything off your list, you can go home and ease into that “life” part of your balance. When you’re working independently, you’re reporting to many clients — and figuring out how to prioritize everything in a day can be challenging.
What’s a workweek in your life look like?
Every week — and every day — varies! Sometimes, I’m on back-to-back calls and meetings with clients. Other times, I’m jetting off to industry events. But, more times than not, I’m parked at my desk, answering emails, managing upcoming stories, and writing.
Honesty time: do you believe that work-life balance is really possible?
Truthfully, it depends on who you are talking to. My fiancé has a pretty conventional 9-5 job. He’ll log off, go for a run, and prioritize the “living” part of his work-life balance. However, I think work-life balance hits a little different when you’re working for yourself. For me, my job brings me joy. Being busy with exciting work opportunities brings so much purpose to my life. But, I know I teeter way more into the “working” part of the work-life balance [than not]. (I mean, it’s been years since I put on my OOO, took a vacation, and did zero work.)
Your newsletter features so many topics that people who work for themselves (and now, remote workers in general) can use to enrich their own rituals and flow. What inspires you about telling those stories?
Being your own boss is a chapter that’s simultaneously exciting, challenging, and rewarding. It’s also a lonely endeavor. I used to meet other like-minded self-starters at my co-working space, but the pandemic happened and it can be a little isolating! My favorite part of writing Office Hours is that I’m creating a virtual community of ambitious, kind self-starters and (with any luck!) making my subscribers feel a little less lonely. The biggest win is when I send out a newsletter and someone replies saying, “Wow, I really need this today. Thank you.”
How do you bring joy and energy into your work day?
For me, it’s all about finding joy in those little moments. It’s about listening to an LOL-worthy podcast when I’m doing work. It’s taking dance party breaks with my fiancé when work feels like a lot. It’s connecting with my friends over text and email when I have a moment to spare.
Do you have any work-life advice gems or can’t-miss stories that our community should get into, too?
How do you bring soulcare into your work-life routines?
My morning routine helps me start the day on a calm note. I live on the west coast, so I’m always waking up very early so I can start the day with my east coast clients. (My friends are still very surprised to get texts from me at 5 a.m.!)
I like hitting the snooze button — I mean, I’m human — but there’s something about being up with the sun that’s super relaxing. I’ll make a pot of coffee, light my candle, and have a moment to myself. Plus, I love starting the day by cleansing my skin, spritzing a facial mist, and moisturizing.
What’s a lesson you’ve learned about work/life balance?
I think the pandemic really changed the way I thought about a work-life balance. Prior to lockdown, I was all about working nonstop, and while that is still very much a part of my DNA, the past year has really taught me that life’s too short to spend your whole time at a desk. Things can change at the drop of a hat, so it’s important to make sure you’re enjoying the ride. That can be anything from going on a walk to the beach with my fiancé to spending a couple minutes calling my grandma — gaining and finding joy in those little moments.
What’s a lesson you’re still learning?
I’m still learning to be kinder to myself. No matter how I prioritize my work, it’s easy to feel like I’m also letting down anyone I’m not doing work for at that moment in time. So, I’m trying to remind myself that I’m human and I go into everything I do with good intentions.
What platforms, people, or channels keep you inspired to take care of yourself as a creative and as a person?
I love learning and reading about other people — especially my fellow self-starters. There’s something really beautiful about understanding the fire behind someone’s passion and realizing that we are all doing the best we can. I [also] love podcasts like Second Lifeand Happy Place.
What’s your favorite tip? How can you put it into practice this week? Share your thoughts in the comments!