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How I Find Balance Between My Real Life and Online Life

This is a question I often get from other entrepreneurs who are trying to figure it out for their own life and business. And I'm happy to share with you exactly how I balance the two.
Sep 5, 2018 | Joy McCarthy

Now that I'm fully recovered from my vulnerability hangover, I feel ready to share another personal blog with you – how I balance the online persona of "Joyous Health" with my real life.

This is a question I often get from other nutritionists and wellness entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out this balance for their own life and business. Now, you might be thinking, "Wait a minute ... I thought the 'online version of Joy' was the real Joy too"? Well, it is – in snippets. Allow me to explain :).

What is the difference between real life and online life?

Real life is the life I live 24 hours a day. It's the "behind the scenes", the mess, the joy and everything in between. It's the unscripted, unfiltered McJordan Family that is so precious to me!

Online life is the life I share with you. It's the photos I share on social media, the series of 5 to 10, 15-second videos you see on my Instagram Story of what I'm cooking, what Vienna is up to, or the silly side of my hubs, Walker. Make no mistake – this is 100% authentic, but naturally, it's curated. It's the part of my life I willingly choose to share on the blog and through social media.

Naturally, finding a fine balance between the two can come as a challenge so as not to let my online life take over my real life ( ie. boundaries) but since I've been doing this for almost a decade now, I feel like I have a good handle of the two.

Since this is a question I get asked frequently from people and fellow wellness entrepreneurs, I wanted to share how I came to find my so-called balance, as well as how I remain authentic in my online life, stay true to my "why" and keep it enjoyable (for both me and you!). 

finding "balance" between your online life and real life

As you might have guessed from many of my other posts on Joyous Health, I'm not really a fan of the word "balance" because I feel like there is no such thing as perfect balance. Quite honestly, I'm not striving for it because I would end up losing all the time. Instead of feeling like I'm on a "teeter-totter" trying to not have my online life take over, I just go with the flow and I have a little "check-in" with myself.

This little "check-in" is about coming back to my "why". I don't need to do this as often as I did in the early years of my business, but it's a good idea if you're just starting out as an entrepreneur. When you're about to share something, ask yourself "Why"? Why are you sharing this? Is it to educate? Inspire? Does it fall in line with your vision or your mission?

Make sure what you share online falls in alignment with your "why".

I digressed a bit there, but all that to say, if I feel like shutting down and sharing less on the weekend, I do that. If Walker needs me to shut down because he doesn't want to be shared, I do that. Same with Vienna. If she doesn't want me to share something online, I don't. Yes, even though she's a toddler, she lets me know. She may be small but she's assertive when she wants to be.

My point in all of this about balancing online and real life is that I listen to my inner voice when it comes to sharing online and most importantly, I listen to my family – Walker and Vienna.

Don't get me wrong, I'm on a mission Monday to Friday creating amazing content for the blog and on social media that will help you live your most joyous life and show you an example of what living a natural, healthy life looks like! I'm always striving to be the best version of myself (which is always and will forever be a work in progress) and I hope that by sharing some of it, it inspires you too. 

I also have a set of boundaries and a list of do's and don'ts with social media that I follow pretty religiously. You can read about them in this post

staying true to you & being authentic online

So I said earlier that "online Joy" is also "real-life Joy", but in snippets. What I mean by that is that I decide and curate what those snippets are, but I do so authentically. As an entrepreneur, it's important to make sure you aren't always so "calculated" in what you share. There is a big difference between curating and calculating. The perfectionist in you may want to take the same photo of yourself sipping on tea 25 times, in hopes of finding the "perfect" shot, but that's bordering on being calculated.

At some point we have to ask ourselves, "do I (or does anyone) really look that perfectly posed when they drink tea or take a bite of a salad"?

Probably not, because when you're doing those things, like sipping tea and eating a salad, you're usually pretty engulfed in the moment that you don't think of posing or looking your best.


When I first started on social media, I was so particular about the photos that I shared. If I didn't think I looked absolutely perfect from every angle, I wouldn't share it. Things are a LOT different now. Being authentic makes things SO MUCH EASIER. For instance, this morning I shared a photo of myself drinking my Joyous Detox Tea with a big zit on my cheek! My intention was to simply share the many benefits of this tea and the reality was that I had a zit on my cheek – but, so what? That's real life Joy!

Having a "gut check" with yourself will help you to remain authentic online. Would it be authentic if you went through a McDonald's drive through to get your lunch only to post an Instagram story of a beautiful salad you're apparently eating for lunch? That's quite an extreme example, but people do this! However, it's glaringly obvious when people are not authentic online. People see right through this. 

Just be you! Be authentic. Come back to your WHY.

If you happen to eat fast food mixed in with healthy food, then just be real about it. You might be surprised to see how your relatability resonates with others in your community.

You might think that I only share the good stuff and not the messy parts of my life (to be fair, I think I've shown my messy kitchen quite enough, haha). But when it comes to other situations like Vienna taking 15 minutes to put her shoes on or having a meltdown, I don't share that.

Why? Because I don't think that's fair to her, just like I wouldn't share a photo of Walker having a hissy fit (just joking!).

I do make a point of sharing things so that people do not have the impression we live in a holistic halo. We do eat ice cream, drink wine (not Vienna, obviously!) and eat pizza from time to time. Yes, I might be a Holistic Nutritionist but we are also a family that loves all foods and we do that by mixing it in with a healthy lifestyle. I feel that it's my duty to be true to both you and me and share that with you!

what makes you "you"? 

One thing that I've always done since day one of the joyous blog and ground zero of social media has been to share more than just nutrition information and health facts. I love sharing tidbits of my life with you guys, just as much as I enjoy educating on holistic nutrition.

I know from listening to the joyous community that you enjoy it as much as learning about the health stuff. I mix up food, family and fun into everything I do. Mixing it up helps me stand out amongst the crowd because there's no other McJordan Family, there's no other Joy of Joyous Health and if you're a wellpreneur reading this, there is no one exactly like you! So if you want to stand out from the gazillion other practitioners, just be you! I know I said that already, but it's worth repeating. 

How does this relate to balance? Because as a holistic nutritionist if all I ever wrote about was holistic nutrition I would be bored to tears! I love to mix it up to keep it interesting for both of us. 

how to know if you're being authentic?

I consider myself a fairly open person. I don't feel shy or nervous about sharing snippets of my life but there was a time when I had to push myself past these barriers to really show you guys the "real life Joy".

Now when I meet people in person who have previously only known the "online Joy", they tell me they feel like they know me and that I'm the same person in real life. This makes me happy because it proves that the online Joy is still being the authentic, real-life Joy.

I don't share all of me or every single second of my life, but I share enough so that you get to know all facets of who I am including: "Joy the Holistic Nutritionist", "Joy the natural mama", "Joy the BOSS", "Joy the cookbook author", "Joy the lover of real food" and "Joy the wifey of Walker ". I do my best to show up and show you the real me and when you do that for your own business, you create a brand that resonates with people who want to keep coming back.

Whether you're an entrepreneur like me (or have dreams to become one) and you use social media for business or you use it purely for fun (side note: make sure you're having FUN with it), I hope this gives you some insight into how you too can balance your online life with real life.

If you want to continue learning about wellness entrepreneurship, here are some more posts you might find informative:


And if you want to take it one step further and turn your passion for wellness into a thriving business, I encourage you to check out the Joyous Health Business program!

It starts this October 8th 2018, but you can take advantage of our 2-month payment plan option until September 8th. This allows you to sign up for two simple payments of $349 (instead of $698 in full)! Save your spot for this Fall or learn more over here.

If you have an online life, share with me below how you balance the two?

Have a joyous rest of your week!


Jane   •   September 5, 2018

Interesting post. One of the most interesting things I have found in reviewing your content over the years is your choosing to remain silent on your vaccination stance with the exception of the flu shot. From the perspective of stepping back and looking at curates versus authentic content I have found this to be deliberate insofar as it strategically doesn't potentially upset or alienate one portion of your potential business or readership (whichever the side of the issue may be). In messaging that you provide information so as to help individuals make a decision that is right for themselves this is at odds with where you provide advice on other issues or topic areas or at a high level your own personal health information. On this I have subsequently found that I'm questioning how authentic other content can be.

Joy McCarthy   •   September 5, 2018

Bethany   •   September 5, 2018

Hey Joy, I find this very helpful especially as someone who is just starting out as a nutritionist. I'm a mom too and I struggle with what is worthy of sharing and what I feel most comfortable with. Thank you for an insightful post, as usual :)

Joy McCarthy   •   September 5, 2018

Cass   •   September 5, 2018

Hi Joy, I just read that other person's comment and I can't believe some people, honestly! Your blog is one of the most authentic ones I read. I really value your advice and I loved this post. Thanks for keeping it real. Love your instagram too.

Joy McCarthy   •   September 5, 2018

Sarah   •   September 5, 2018

Thanks Joy! Love what you bring to the table. Going to check out your speaking engagements and chatting at Toronto Yoga Show, you’re so down to the earth and a ‘regular’ gal. I really appreciate what you bring to my social media feed and in turn add to my life to help my journey of health and wellness. Keep up the great work you do and cheers to your team.

Joy McCarthy   •   September 6, 2018

Geege   •   September 11, 2018

thank you Joy for being so Joyous and inspirational. What a wonderful life you have. We should all be so lucky. I so appreciate you and all that you are and all that you do for us!

Joy McCarthy   •   September 11, 2018

Kristy   •   September 11, 2018

Thank you SO much for sharing, Joy! This article was much needed, as most of your articles were, in the moment I needed it most.

Joy McCarthy   •   September 11, 2018

Healthy Kitchen 101   •   September 12, 2018

Such a lovely sharing :) I can find myself a little bit in your article! Thanks for giving joys and inspirations xo - Natalie Ellis

Rachel Molenda   •   September 13, 2018

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