A deeply held belief here at Marbury, is that pursuit of work-life balance must include downtime. After a day of challenging and productive projects at work that often involve sitting inside at a computer, unwinding with a fun and relaxing activity can help you finish the day feeling inspired and looking forward to the next.
Personally, I love browsing Netflix for their most compelling nonfiction shows that allow me to learn and grow while I unwind. Being so immersed in the design world Monday through Friday, the opportunity to step outside of that and learn about new topics is refreshing while still allowing me to feel like I’m being productive in some capacity.
From shows with beautiful locations that let me indulge in wanderlust and escapism, to accounts of controversy that start me thinking—I find that just the right show from my Netflix queue can be the perfect ending to a work-filled day.
If you’re looking for something to watch tonight or this weekend that will leave you feeling inspired and have your creativity flowing, here are a few of the shows I’ve enjoyed recently.
A documentary show following world-renowned chefs all over the world, I’ve noticed in conversations with friends that Chef’s Table is a favorite among the creative community. After all, the featured chefs have devoted their lives and careers to following their creative paths and sharing their work with others. They have all gone to extreme lengths to fulfill their creative passions, which is something our community can surely relate to and be inspired by. To top things off it’s so beautifully shot that it’s a pure treat for the eye to watch. The only downside is that it leaves my mouth watering over all of their tasty looking dishes!
My favorite episode features Jeong Kwan, a Zen Buddhist nun who cooks Korean cuisine for monks and nuns in the gorgeous hills of a monastery. She embodies all of Marbury’s values to a tee, bringing presence and intentionality into everything she does and creates. I found her lack of ego particularly inspiring, proving that creativity can reach new heights once you’re able to set that aside.
At the end of a stressful work week, one of my favorite ways to relax is by laughing (who doesn’t love a good belly laugh?). Whenever possible, I like to go to live comedy shows here in the LA area, but Netflix is becoming more and more of a pleasing alternative as they continue to develop their comedy specials vertical. It’s also a great affordable option, versus some of the live ticket prices here in LA.
In addition to feature-length standup specials from more well-known comedians being added to the platform, they also have The Standups, a series dedicated to showcasing rising artists they think you should know about. They’re hilarious—of course—and it has provided a great way for me to discover new comedians I might want to see perform in-person.
This one is a little different, but something I still really enjoyed. I first learned about it in a “drawing as meditation” class, where the instructor played the guru Osho’s teachings as a soundtrack to our drawing practice. He was introduced as a bit controversial, and the teacher asked if any of us were watching the Netflix documentary about his community in Oregon. Needless to say, I went home, looked it up, and found myself captivated.
The series sent me down a rabbit hole of internet research to learn more, which to me is the signifier of a well-made doc.
This next show could not be more different than the previous recommendation. While that’s an intense look at something that left me thinking and searching out more information, this is a joyous, escapist show that I love drifting asleep to.
Escape to the Country takes prospective home buyers to scope out real estate throughout the European countryside. The gorgeous locations completely tap into my sense of wanderlust and desire to live overseas someday, while the immaculate interiors and architecture appeal to the designer in me and provide endless inspiration. Living vicariously through the buyers is one of my favorite ways to start dreaming.
Lastly, this doc piqued my curiosity and specifically appealed to my interest in work-life balance. It’s no secret that work, physical health, and mental health are all related, and that your wellbeing plays a tremendous role in what you’re able to bring to your business and career. In that regard, there’s a direct line from food and diet to productivity and balance for me.
This doc took a close look at the benefits of a plant-based diet, something that I’ve been interested in for many years. I’ve adopted a similar diet and have seen and felt the benefits for myself, so I was eager to learn more. While slightly biased (most docs are), it opened my eyes to a lot of misinformation in the food industry and helped me become a more informed consumer.
Do you have any Netflix picks you love to unwind with? Share them—documentary or not—in the comments below.