Finding Balance in Northern Virginia

by Lizzy Conroy
July 22, 2022

Can you find work-life balance in busy Northern Virginia?

Home to the Nation’s Capital, the Fortune 500’s, Bustling Tysons, and a very busy greater metro area, it could be questioned how one can keep a work-life balance.

I’ve lived in the area for over 25 years and I’ll share with you what I’ve learned.

With children in school and activities and the busy HBC Group plugging away and turning over volume, I fall into a category of needing good work-life balance as many would. 

The secret is to find a balance that you can live with, your family can live with, and that feeds back into your health, your joy and satisfies you.

As a business owner, answering to that balance becomes even more necessary.  It must be intentional! 

In Northern Virginia, there is an abundance of resources for life balance and I will name just a few to get you started.  

Learning to Say No.  Experts say that setting boundaries for yourself is a good way to find healthy balance.  Oftentimes saying “No” can be challenging.  

Saying “No” to the constant rushing may leave room for things such as:

  • Having a healthy conversation with your child
  • Taking a walk
  • Reading a magazine
  • Having a good conversation with a relative
  • Designating one social media - free day - unplug
  • Talk to a neighbor
  • Stopping to chat while doing errands
  • Indulge the feeling that others can wait for a minute
  • Finish reading this blog - haha

If you cringe at any of these items, then you’re not alone and in fact, we’re all in the same boat really.  Usually, running errands is the last place anyone wants to have a decent conversation, especially one that lasts longer than 2 minutes.  It’s painful enough trying to get everything done, without having to smile and ask someone how they are.

Indulging a feeling that others can wait goes hand in hand with time for self-care.  Time for self-care can be going on a leisurely walk with the dog, stopping by and seeing the new art exhibit, exploring a local garden that you haven’t seen before, or a new walking trail. 

Self - care may even include taking a nap.  What’s that?


Local Walking and Hiking Trails.  McLean, Va rests along the Potomac River connecting to Washington, DC.  Along the river are many offerings for walking, biking, kayaking.  Talking with locals is the best way to find excellent recommended spots.  Some of the popular trails are Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, Turkey Run Park, and Rock Creek Park.  These are just a few of the wonderful spots in the area.  

Discover them all and then decide which you love the best!  Also, listed on their sites are further information for volunteer work for those who love the outdoors and looking for a way to diversify your downtime.


Happy Hour Locale.  El Tio at 1433 Center Street has excellent margaritas, scrumptious quesadillas and a low key inviting atmosphere.  The staff at El Tio is wonderful and it’s just a great place to relax and have delicious Tex-Mex.

Coffee Spot.  The best place in McLean to meet a friend for a coffee is StarNut Gourmet at 1445 Laughin Ave. StarNut is known in the community as an inviting meeting place and a great place to take a break.  

Local Live Music. “Wouldn’t You Like to Get Away… where everybody knows your name?”

Musical treasures can be found in many areas near us, but a few to check in on are:

Blues Alley - An excellent small venue for catching jazz and blues.  Remember when Harry Connick Jr. played here?

The Birchmere - If you have not taken in a show at The Birchmere, you must!  They do an excellent job of booking a well rounded assortment of music from all over the world.  Kick back, order a cold beverage and enjoy!

Georgetown Piano Bar - Local spot with live piano, right over the bridge in Georgetown.  

State Theatre - Falls Church, Virginia.  The State Theatre operated as a movie theater from 1936 - 1988!  Now in full swing as an events and music venue, it is a great destination for live shows!  

Capital One Hall - Tysons.  A state of the art event venue in Tysons, the Capital One Hall is a cornerstone at the Capital One Complex.    


Need an Adrenaline Rush? 

Ifly Loudoun is a short drive on the Dulles Toll Road and worth the trip.  If you have a desire to see what it feels like to skydive, this would be the place for you!  

Check out the Autobahn.  This is a great gift for a child, and it can also be a fun day out for you and your older children.  


Be A Scholar.  The Smithsonian Museums offer a wealth of classes, discussion, and events around the museums in DC.  From previewing the Museum of Latin Americans or Women’s History, you can get informed with the latest goings-on at the Smithsonian Magazine, or through this link.  

Whether you are a tennis or golf enthusiast, runner or yoga instructor, Northern Virginia has a deep well of ways to unwind, decompress and get free time.  

Ask the locals what their favorite spots are.  This can be a great way to hear about a new brewery, venue, or exhibit.    

Unwind, Breathe, and let the desk work take a break.  

Lizzy Conroy is partner at Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group. Lizzy graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in Economics and has served in a number of professional capacities in the Washington, DC area a first with the international trade group of Hogan Lovells, then as a marketing manager with MicroStrategy of McLean, VA. She also held business development positions with Kalmia Construction, a Maryland-based commercial construction company, and Newmark LLC, a New York City-based commercial real estate firm.

Lizzy is the 2017 American Mothers, Inc. Virginia Mother of the Year and currently serves on the AMI National Board of Directors. Lizzy is the 2005 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society National Woman of the Year and is a past member of the LLS Board of Trustees. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Northern Virginia and is a devoted member of her church, Trinity United Methodist. She is a member of River Bend Golf & Country Club, Great Falls, VA. She and her husband, Steve, live in McLean, Virginia with their two children.

Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland

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