We had the good fortune of connecting with Karenina Simmons and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Karenina, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Having a work-life balance is essential for being happy, staying motivated to keep growing, and thriving in business. I have worked in my industry for over 15 years and I’ve learned that I have to continually recharge or risk burnout. I had to also come to the realization that it was okay to do so. We are groomed to believe that we need to work hard at all times, have 60 plus hour work weeks, and being able to buy really nice things will make it all worthwhile. I initially didn’t understand that I was not staying driven and motivated every week because I did not take the time out for self-care. I started to work on the weekends so therefore my work week was never-ending. I was missing out on spending time with friends and family because I felt I had a million deadlines.

My life changed when I stopped trying to do it all. On my own, I could accomplish a lot, but it wasn’t until I started networking and having deeper conversations that I realized most executives and entrepreneurs are facing the exact same dilemma. We are not sharing our struggles and we feel we can only post about our wins or the fun experiences that are going on in our lives. Once I started having more and more virtual coffee calls (because of COVID) and was open and honest about what was truly going on in my world, I felt better. I was sharing more than little quips or fun stories and I wanted to delve deeper and be authentic. I had to be honest with myself first and foremost, I had to change the way I was operating because as we see every day on the news… life is simply too short to be miserable every day.

I feel that by taking care of my mental health I am becoming a better person. I am a healthier, well-rested, and I care more, I desire to learn more and connect with other people. By deciding to spend more time painting, cooking, getting pampered or taking time to simply walk outside and be one with nature, I am taking back my time. I decided to give myself grace and take the time to breathe and meditate. I’ve become someone that appreciates the small things and I desire to share this epiphany with anyone that is looking to be a truly balanced individual.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Since I was a small child, I’ve enjoyed and appreciated art in all its forms. In school, I learned the basic techniques and how to start the creative process. It wasn’t until I went home and played around with different mediums and spent hours researching or practicing those techniques that I became a true artist. Art is about playing and experimenting with how you are feeling and putting it into a form that is outside of yourself. I’ve always had a passion for art and working with my hands while also having fun being spontaneous. Music, Visual Arts, Dance, Acting/Performance Art are all wonderful forms of expression. I love all the creative arts and find myself exploring each one every time I am able.

I developed a Live immersive experience where I share my love of the creative arts with others. FreeFlow was placed on my heart a few years ago. Something that is free-flowing is able to move without anything stopping it. I desired to create a safe space that would allow for creativity and conversation to happen in a continuous and natural way. I strive to explore and continue having new adventures as I help others creatively express themselves without judgment or restraint.

Creating art and hosting parties have always come naturally to me. I created this paint and creative expression event as a way to show others how to bring forth their inner artist. I want to teach everyone how to take time out to self-love, provide artistic self-care activities and have them leave self-satisfied with the knowledge of what they can accomplish at The FreeFlow Experience.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would say there a few places I enjoy visiting when I am out and about in Atlanta. Ponce City Market is an all-time favorite for great shops, entertainment, and some of the best food in the city.

Brunch is my FAVORITE. I love a good place to eat, sip and catch up with my friends. I can list a ton of places to have brunch but my top three favorites are Egg Harbor Cafe, C&C Social House, and Copeland’s of New Orleans. Each place is unique and has the best atmosphere.

When I want to stroll and also grab a bite to eat The Battery Atlanta is my place. It’s close to home and where else can you meet and see everyone! A true experience you will find nowhere else.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shout out my best friend and business associate Porscha Sterling. She has been there since the beginning always supportive and a true friend. I would not be where I am today without her pushing me and believing in me.

Website: https://www.ninaalexis.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ninaalexisartist

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nina-alexis

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ninaalexisart

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ninaalexislive

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