#SelfCare17: Nap

There’s a reason why kindergartens are encouraged to nap. They’re growing bodies and developing minds need a mid-day boost. But just because you gave up finger painting and learned to read long ago, doesn’t mean you should quit on naps. Let’s face it being an adult is exhausting! We face so many challenges and are constantly developing new ways to cope. Do yourself a big delightful favor, and take a nap! I guarantee you’ll appreciate it more now than you ever did in kindergarten.

 

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#SelfCare17: Quiet the Noise

It’s easy to think of peace and quiet as a luxury. We reserve it for vacations or yoga sessions.  But an occasional break from the noise of our daily lives can be an integral part of self-care. This week, practice being quiet. Silence your cell phone, log out of social media, no music, no talking. Take a relaxing break, and indulge in the gift of peaceful solitude.

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How Three Words Changed My Life

As a young girl, I was a storyteller. Only I didn’t know it. That’s not what I called myself. I didn’t think I did anything out of the ordinary. My stories (like most kids) were my companions, my way of working out the tough stuff happening at school, and most of all, just…fun. I made up all types of stories: romance novel escapades (from a 9 year old’s mind) to epic heroic adventures to after school special type dramas full of lessons and social morals.

 

Naturally, I had no interest in keeping these elaborate stories to myself and would eagerly run into the living room hoping that I could find someone — anyone — to share them with.

 

It was my Grandpa Michael who would patiently listen to my breathless recounts of action and emotion and then he would give me the most maddening advice. “Don’t forget to write it down,” he would say.

 

Write it down?

 

Who has the time to stop and write the story down when you’re nine?!

 

My mind carried a variety of vibrant tales and I had things to do!

 

Still, he was persistent with his advice:  “Write it down.”

 

Eventually, I did write them down and learned that (gasp) I could make a living doing so. But I knew that wasn’t really what my Grandpa had in mind. He wanted me to mark those moments of creation by taking the time to document the magic. To take the ethereal and make it material.

 

Finally, when I was ready to write my first book (and had been thinking about it for a zillion days), his words literally woke me up one night: “Write it down.” So, I shuffled out of bed and I wrote. I wrote for eight hours straight and as night became morning, I had a book proposal that I soon sent off and sold just a few months later.  Unfortunately, he was no longer here with us for me to share the news – but I knew…that he knew.

 

Looking back, my evolution as a creator was always spurred by my grandfather’s advice.

 

He showed me that my stories had value and that my ideas were worthy of being remembered. He saw my potential in all of those early stories. Those dreams, written down over the years, became the roadmap by which I have built my career. That’s why this Father’s Day, I wanted to partner with Dove Men+Care to celebrate all of the men who have been there to care for us.

 

My grandfather was — and still is — my writing muse.

 

In fact, he’s the one who told me to write this story down.

#SelfCare17: Listen

With the constant stream of tweets and think pieces, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of voices weighing in on the world we live in. It’s not just about being inundated with facts and figures; we’re consistently entertaining others’ opinions. It can be useful, but sometimes we must simply listen to ourselves. Take a moment to really hear what your inner voice is saying, and let that voice guide you on this self-care journey.

#SelfCare17: Develop a Mantra

“Hakunah Matata” might mean no worries, but it’s certainly not a motto for everyone. The words we say and the messages we send ourselves are a huge part of self-care. It’s not enough to regurgitate old sayings and positive talk you’ve overheard. Instead figure out what works for you, find words that have meaning, and give yourself positive motivation. Develop a mantra of your own that can lift you up when you’re feeling low and send you even higher when you’re feeling good.

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#SelfCare17: Let Your Mind Wander

Wondering about the world is one way to make connections that a hyper-focused mind may not see. Mind wandering may not let you discover a new place the same way physical wandering does, but it is a lot cheaper and easier to do. In our rapidly-changing world, sometimes we need to escape the here and now to protect our creative thinking. We need the space to create our vision for the future, to dig deeper into lessons and wisdom learned from past mistakes, and to put ourselves in other people’s shoes to exercise empathy. Mind-wandering is what allows us to be creative and lights the spark of innovation. In the long-run, it’s wandering that exercises our creative muscles and gives us a safe space to use our imagination when approaching our plans and possibilities for the future.

#SelfCare17: Celebrate Progress

When working toward a goal whether social justice or self-confidence it’s easy to be discouraged if you’re not exactly where you’d like to be. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the distance between you and your goal. That’s why celebrating progress can be an effective way to practice self-care. Take a look at where you are in the struggle at this moment and be grateful for how far you’ve come. Give yourself credit for taking on a challenge and not giving up! It’ll energize you to keep pushing forward and help face the fight ahead.

 

My Mom 2.0 Summit Recap

I had such an incredible time down in Orlando for the Mom 2.0 Summit with my friends at Dove #RealBeauty!

 

This trip was extra special because we brought the Talk to Jess Podcast on the road! To help celebrate Dove’s 60th Anniversary, we partnered with Dove Real Beauty Productions to capture conversations with inspiring women around the journey of self-discovery and redefining beauty.

 

This was definitely one of my favorite trips to the summit. If you were there in Orlando with me, take a walk down memory lane below — And if you weren’t able to make it, take a peek at the fun!

 

DAY ONE:

 

We hit the ground running to get prepared for our special edition podcast episodes!

Can you believe this month also marks the 1st anniversary of the #TTJPodcast?!  

I had to take a moment to reflect. You can listen to my anniversary prelude right now!

Talk to Jess powered by Dove Real Beauty Productions

 

Later in the afternoon, some of my favorite people were presenting a panel on the new film, Everything, Everything! One of my humans Karen Walrond moderated a fantastic panel on diversity in storytelling with YA author Nicola Yoon (love her!) and Ana De la Reguera, one of the stars of the film.  

Karen Walrond, Ana De la Reguera, and Nicola Yoon

 

We ended the day by catching up with old friends (and new!) poolside at the Welcome Dinner. Nicola Yoon was hosting a book signing and you could feel the palpable energy from each person waiting in line. It makes me excited for the movie opening on Friday!! Plus, is there a more stunning backdrop than a Florida sunset? 

 

P.S. Go see “Everything, Everything” opening on 5/19!

“Everything, Everything” book signing by the pool

 

DAY TWO:

 

Day two kicked off with an insightful keynote conversation with the amazingly talented, Julianna Margulies. She radiates #RealBeauty inside and out!

 

What I love about keynoting at Mom 2 is the insane Twitter storm that happens while we speak.

In conversation with Julianna Margulies

Afterward, my new BFF Julianna and I sat down for the #TTJPodcast. We talked about how we both acted out fairytale stories with our dads when we were kids and how she and her husband are intentionally raising a feminist son. This special edition episode coming soon!

(Follow me on Twitter to be the 1st to know when it’s live!)

With Julianna Margulies

 

Then, later that afternoon, I led one of our world-famous self-esteem workshops from Dove with some beautiful Mom 2.0 attendees.

 

We talked about how we can all work to change the beauty narrative from social media to mainstream media.

Dove Self-Esteem workshop attendees

 

Then we rushed back to our studio to do a few more podcast recordings before coming back for round two of the Dove workshops. This time, we partnered with The Boys and Girls Club of America from local Orlando chapters. These incredible girls partnered up with some of our Mom 2.0 participants and together, they dove deep into how we can change the current beauty conversation.

 

This workshop filled my heart and was a fantastic reminder of why I love the work that I do. The future looks bright, my friends!

Girls from BGCA and Mom 2.0 attendees

Leading with girls from BGCA and Mom 2.0 attendees

 

DAY THREE:

 

Day three of Mom 2.0 Summit was a podcast palooza! Each of the women I interviewed shared incredible insights on how they have navigated their journey of self-discovery alongside motherhood and successful careers. I can’t thank them enough for their honesty and for their humor.

With Ilana Wiles (Mommy Shorts)

 

Of the many conversations I had at the summit, one message rang loud and clear:

 

Women are (more) than ready to see themselves reflected in authentic stories across all media platforms.  

 

And we are going to make it happen!

 

#ChangeIsAWeThing

 

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#SelfCare17: Share Your Story

In the constant struggle for social justice, it’s easy to get frazzled. Emotions run high, and the stakes feel even higher. It’s difficult not to be consumed by the cause, but it’s important to remember that your individual value only adds to the movement. Sharing your story and the lessons you’ve learned with someone you trust is a great way to practice self-care. By embracing vulnerability and connecting with others over our lived experiences, we are strengthened and empowered to continue living with purpose.

#SelfCare17: Celebrate Yourself

The great thing about kids is that in their constant jumping and climbing they’re often seeing the world from different angles and vantage points. For this SelfCare17 tip, I encourage you to take a monkey bars approach to life. Take a look at yourself and focus on something you usually gloss over and celebrate it. Do you actually know what your wrists look like? Have you ever noticed your posture when you laugh?  We all have an idea of how and who we are, but now is the time to take another look and celebrate a whole new perspective.