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Balancing A Busy Lifestyle With Lee Duru

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Do you ever experience the struggle of balancing work, leisure, and maintaining a healthy fitness routine while constantly on the go?

Get ready to be inspired! Today's blog features an amazing woman who knows how to balance it all. Meet Lee Duru, a multi-talented powerhouse who proves that with a little bit of effort and the right mindset, anyone can make time for the things that matter most. Lee co-hosts the morning breakfast show on Algoa FM, takes care of her family, and still finds time for outdoor activities like hiking. She is also a talented actress, bringing to life inspiring characters on the big and small screens. Join us as we chat with Lee and uncover the secrets to her balanced lifestyle.

1. Can you tell us about your daily routine and how you manage to balance your various responsibilities such as career, parenting and the like?

My day starts as early as 04:30. To centre and balance myself, I meditate before jumping into the shower and getting ready to start work at 06:00. I'm on air until 09:00, after which the team usually has a quick chat about prep for upcoming shows. Sometimes there'll be a requirement from the station to do a voice-over, a video, or a photoshoot, but no day is ever the same. When done at Algoa, I either have meetings lined up, coffee with a friend or an aqua aerobics class. On other days you'll find me on a zoom call, guest speaking at events, behind my laptop doing admin, running errands around town, driving my daughter Elah around, or in my kitchen preparing dinner. This year, however, I'm doing my BA Honours in Corporate Communications, so a lot of my time would be dedicated to studies.

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2. How do you prioritise and plan your tasks and schedule to make the most of your time?

I rely heavily on my diary and phone. I write down everything and have to-do lists. I also try not to procrastinate and rather work steadily through my daily tasks. My biggest hack, however, is being realistic about my capacity. We glorify 'busyness' far too much and wear stress as a badge of honour, as though the busier we are the more impressive or accomplished we are, so I'm big on streamlining, simplifying and consolidating.

3. Can you share a specific example of a time when you had to balance multiple competing commitments and how you handled it?

Every day is a balancing act. Especially being a freelancer with varying and fluctuating commitments. Add to that, family responsibilities, and the ever-elusive work-life balance can be very difficult to achieve. But we persevere and we keep trying, all the while shifting, rearranging, and correcting. The trick, I think, is in decluttering, prioritising, and being pliable enough to meet the demands of each day.

4. How do you take care of your physical and mental well-being while maintaining a busy lifestyle?

Nutrition is a major spoke in my wellness wheel. Food impacts the gut, the second brain of the body, which also houses 70-80% of the immune system and affects mental state, so adopting a food-first approach is my first port of call in attaining all round wellness. While I fall off the wagon every so often, I do love cooking nutritious meals. Other spokes include prioritising quality sleep, to enable essential biological processes like the resetting and repairing of cells to take place, as well as applying a mindfullness and meditation practice to manage stress. Admittedly, movement, which is another integral spoke, is something I need to work hard on. While I love aqua aerobics, particularly for the buoyancy and the low impact/high resistance aspect, my current land step count is too low and far too embarrassing to mention!

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5. Can you share any tips or strategies that have helped you to successfully balance your busy lifestyle?

It's a work in progress, but I'm trying to do more of the things that I'm passionate about and that fulfil me. It's about bringing those, along with my goals, into sharp focus and aligning them with the engagements and projects I get involved in.

I'm also learning to be more selective and to say no. I’ve become conscious about how I manage my time - where and whom I spend it with. I honour my energy levels and prioritise rest. Often that looks like deliberately having less on my work plate, cutting screen time, taking a break from socials and not being available on my phone 24/7, developing more self-awareness, freeing myself from the burden of other people’s expectations of me, and saying no to perfectionism.

I'm making a concerted effort to slow down and move more intentionally and gently. Being present, in my own life and the lives of my family.

6. Merrell is a brand that encourages people to enjoy physical activities, outdoors in nature. Is this something you can relate to, and if so, what outdoor activities do you enjoy?

My family and I love being out in nature. We often take long drives along rugged coastlines and slow walks among shrubby fynbos and on sandy beaches. We enjoy boat rides, swimming and dining al fresco - that also counts as an outdoor activity, right?!

Elah and Lesego love mountain biking - which I haven't cottoned onto yet, but I'm quite happy to hang out at the picnic spot and nibble on the cheeseboard till they get back from a ride. I have developed a penchant for E-Biking through the Tsitsikamma forest though! It's such a rush! Either way, being out in nature allows me to reconnect and recalibrate.

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At times, we all need a gentle reminder that life isn't just about the hustle and bustle of being constantly on the move. Lee's insights have reminded us that it's vital to prioritize our health and well-being, even if that means politely declining certain commitments because our schedules are already overflowing.

Moreover, getting out into nature doesn't have to mean embarking on an exhausting climb up a steep peak. Instead, taking a leisurely stroll along the beach, exploring a peaceful forest trail, or enjoying a picturesque picnic can work wonders in helping us to unwind and clear our minds.

So, let this blog serve as a nudge to prioritize your outdoor experiences, and embark on your next adventure with a trusted companion - a pair of Merrell footwear that will provide you with the perfect blend of comfort and functionality!

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