FINDING BALANCE; Where is My ‘Third Place’?

I’m tired of work-life balance. Yes! I’m actually tired of trying to figure it out because now I just believe it’s a myth, especially for me. For someone who has always juggled two or more things in her career (a full-time job and lifestyle content creation), I don’t know how I’ve been able to manage them all. The life of a creative in the digital era can be both exhilarating and draining. Social media platforms offer a vast canvas to showcase your work, connect with your audience, and collaborate with other creatives. However, the ever-tempting allure of likes, shares, and comments can turn your passion into a demanding occupation that knows no boundaries.

And guess who’s still learning how to set boundaries? Me.

The absence of clear boundaries between work and personal life can lead to burnout and take a toll on your mental and emotional well-being. Finding a way to balance your digital and real-world existence is crucial to maintaining a fulfilling and sustainable creative journey. So my question to myself is, what steps can I take to find this balance? It wasn’t until I had a conversation with a friend that I realised that I don’t have a ‘third place’, and defining this for myself is possibly what I need to attempt to achieve sustainable work-life balance finally.

What’s a ‘third place’?

The concept of the ‘third place’ was popularised by sociologist Ray Oldenburg (1999). He proposed that beyond the home (the first place) and the workplace (the second place), people need a ‘third place’ where they can relax, socialise, and find a sense of belonging. This third place serves as a sanctuary from the demands of work and offers a sense of community and personal fulfilment. For some, it could be social media, but in order to fully reap the benefits of having a third place, I think it might be better to explore options that don’t involve screens and the internet.

For creatives who work and play on social media, finding their ‘third place’ becomes even more critical. It offers a refuge from the digital noise, a space to recharge their creativity, spark meaningful connections with others outside their social media circle and an opportunity to rediscover their physical surroundings.

As we’re advancing in the digital world, the line between work and personal life is becoming increasingly blurred, especially for creatives who thrive on social media. The constant scrolling, posting, and engagement can lead to burnout, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from the real world. To regain a sense of work-life balance and reconnect with life beyond the screen, it’s essential to find that physical space where you can unwind, nurture your creativity, and rejuvenate your soul.

I’m on a quest to find my ‘third place’, and I’ll share my journey here.

So far, I take the occasional social media break and replace that screen time with other activities. Although some of the activities involve interacting with screens (phone, tablet, laptop, TV). Reading a book or starting a new TV show or a movie are things I enjoy doing as the unwavering introvert that I am, but all that isn’t enough. It doesn’t help that I’ve made my home so comfortable for myself that I never want to go out, but I’ve realised that I’m going to have to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone and find a physical ‘third place’ that can get me closer to my goals.

What is your third place? Is it a concept you’re familiar with? What are your tips on achieving work-life balance? Or is it a myth?

I’d love to know your thoughts, and you can share them with me on Instagram (@ekiogunbor) on my Sunday collaboration post with THEWILL DOWNTOWN (@thewilldowntown).

SGD Spotlight:

Quote of the week:
“Don’t give up on the person you want to become.”

28 days into the new year, and some things aren’t going as you envisioned? Don’t give up, please. The world needs you and all the magic you have within you. Let your present self learn the lessons from your past self and tell your future self that you won’t give up till you see him/her become your reality. Mean it and act on it.

Ms. Eki Ogunbor has been appointed Lifestyle Editor at Large of THEWILL DOWNTOWN.
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Eki Ogunbor has a Vogue Fashion Certificate from Conde Nast College of Fashion & Design and also attended Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion and the University of Kent. Eki headed the Design Operations at a top Nigerian womenswear fashion brand before developing her own brand, KISARA. She is the Editor-At-Large at THEWILL DOWNTOWN.

Ms. Eki Ogunbor has been appointed Lifestyle Editor at Large of THEWILL DOWNTOWN.

About Author / Eki Ogunbor

Eki Ogunbor has a Vogue Fashion Certificate from Conde Nast College of Fashion & Design and also attended Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion and the University of Kent. Eki headed the Design Operations at a top Nigerian womenswear fashion brand before developing her own brand, KISARA. She is the Editor-At-Large at THEWILL DOWNTOWN.

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