We had the good fortune of connecting with Desiree Banton MPH, MSN, RN and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Desiree, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work-life balance and how it has changed over time are definitely complex now with COVID. I am currently balancing two careers in nursing and education. As I look back at the last year with COVID, I understood that hospitals were understaffed and have minimal resources now more than ever, and teachers are overworked, underpaid, and often do not get much support. All those mentioned things were uncontrollable factors, but my work-life balance and being adaptable were what I could control. Over time, keeping myself balanced mainly involved traveling, spending time with family, friends, and prayer. I really do believe in the motto work hard and play it harder. I am a huge advocate for using your PTO and taking random mental health days to treat yourself, whether it could be booking that weekend plane ticket to visit a friend you have not seen in a while or taking a day off so that you can get a massage. Overall I have become a world traveler and embrace world experiences as a big impact on my work-life balance. I have no fear of being adventurous.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
With balancing two careers in nursing and education, there did become a point when I realized I was working more than what my body could manage during the pandemic. I had to evaluate myself and get very grounded in prayer to realize that I needed to take a step back. I had to follow my own advice by prioritizing health, letting go of uncontrollable things, and knowing what to say no. Overcoming the challenges with my career was easy because I really love what I do. Work-life balance also has to do with really loving what you are doing as a career or job. Do not force yourself into a career role that does not feel right and does not make you excited to work every day. Pay attention to some of the adversity that you might experience at work and analyze how you can overcome it and if that is the best environment for you to be in. It is hard to grow in a toxic environment spiritually. There will be no work balance if you are miserable. As time has gone on and I have grown in my career, my work-life balance has become more important. I am constantly evaluating what is going on around me in terms of my career and professional development. Understanding that burnout is something that many teachers and nurses experience daily, I try to make sure that I do my best to do things that make me happy and things that I find enjoyment in.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
South Florida Tri-County Weekend Run Down For anyone visiting South Florida, I have token places that I love everyone to visit. First, I would start with a tour of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Highlight Old Dillard Museum, Riverfront, and talking about the history of the Blanche Elizabeth General Ely, Dr. James Sistrunk, Dr. Von Delany Mizell, Stranahan River, and Mr. Stranahan, along with Majorie Douglas. While downtown, I would make special stops to Lauderdale by the Sea and go to Kilwins for fudge and ice cream. Hugh State Park for hiking and Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park for a beach day. Ending the afternoon at GGs Waterfront. While in the Broward area visiting Flamingo Gardens and experiences some wildlife would be a must. In Miami doing a tour of the historic Overtown district and visiting the Red Rooster for a meal and Victory Miami, a lounge nearby is a must. Everyone is familiar with the Wynwood Art District, so taking photos and visiting Savor Wynwood would be on the agenda. There are some best-kept secrets with amazing speak easy’s that would be hidden gems along the way in all counties.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Lorna Dempster (Mom) National Council of Negro Women National Black Nurses Association Urban League Young Professionals Network Miami Broward Carnival Committee- Future Leaders