Multi-hyphenate entertainer Jenna Dewan may have first made her mark in Hollywood back in 2006 as Step Up‘s Nora Clark, but over the years, the actress, dancer, and producer has built an impressive resume. In addition to starring in series like The Rookie and Witches of East End and hosting shows like World of Dance and Flirty Dancing, Dewan often documents her healthy lifestyle on social media.
Dewan, who is teaming up with Rite Aid to help families stay healthy and thriving this flu season, is passionate about taking a holistic approach to staying balanced and well. “I really believe in doing everything I can to stay healthy for my family throughout the flu season, so flu shots as well as vitamins and supplements are very important,” says the mom of two. “Like every other working mom in the world, taking days off to be sick is really not helpful. I do everything I can to keep my immune system strong and to be there for my family.”
Here, the wellness practices Dewan swears by to stay in balance, including the spiritual ones, such as working with crystals, that she’s proudly embraced throughout her life.
Rest — and Setting Boundaries — Is Non-Negotiable
Although taking a time-out from the daily hustle to be sick is always less than ideal, Dewan believes carving out regular time for R&R is essential — and actually, another way to bolster overall well-being. “Rest is the hardest thing for me to come by, as I’m sure most people can relate, but I try to get as much as I can,” she notes. “Making time for myself within working, within family, within all of that is very, very important for me and not the easiest to do, but I make it a priority.”
Describing herself as a “recovering people pleaser,” Dewan acknowledges that consistently setting boundaries that make rest possible is anything but easy. But it’s worth it, in her experience.
“I’ve messed up, I’ve succeeded, I’ve failed, and I still work at it, but I found that boundaries not only create more space for yourself to feel better, but it also creates a feeling of safety for your kids,” notes the actress, who welcomed her second child in March 2020. “It’s tough, because I’m a softie, and I have a huge heart, and I want everyone to be in harmony at all times, but I’ve learned that holding to the boundaries in a loving way makes everyone in the house better. When I’m not as strong on it, everything goes chaotic in the house, including my own space and time for any kind of self-love and rest. So you rest, you give to yourself, you’re better for your kids.”
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To Dewan, that “me time” often looks like taking a bath at the end of the night, going for a hike, or just taking a walk. And an ongoing meditation practice is a must. “I go in and out of being a really great meditator and someone who does it when they can, but even just one meditation a day or every other day — as much as I can to keep my stress levels down — is really good for me,” she explains.
Food Is Medicine
Like many of us throughout the pandemic, Dewan found herself eating more comfort foods that weren’t necessarily healthy. But recently, she’s recommitted to the nutrient-dense bandwagon, swearing by gluten- and dairy-free recipes and a meal delivery service from nutritionist Elissa Goodman.
“I’ve really noticed a huge difference,” says Dewan. “I do this probiotic drink in the morning, and [my] digestion gets better, [my] bloating goes down… And the difference I feel in my energy and my skin and my mood while eating this way is all the proof I needed. I feel more balanced. I feel less sluggish. Food is medicine.”
Overall, the animal rights activist and vegan star follows the 80/20 rule, which suggests eating healthfully about 80 percent of the time, and allowing yourself to eat whatever you want for the other 20. “I never deprive myself,” says Dewan. “When I want to eat the nachos or French fries, I make sure I have the ability and space to do that. But I try to eat healthy most of the time.”
Spiritual Practices Offer a Sense of Peace
Back in 2013-2014, Dewan starred as immortal witch Freya Beauchamp on the Lifetime series Witches of East End, based on the book series by Melissa de la Cruz. Calling it her “favourite show” she ever did, Dewan instantly connected with her character.
“I got the pilot, and I thought, ‘Did they follow me around and see that I love to go to aura readings, and I have a million crystals in my house? I am this person,'” she jokes.
Dewan, who’s considered herself spiritual since she was a kid, is proud to say she’s had many “mind-blowing moments of awe,” like living in Peru and learning about plants and rituals from the Shipibo tribe and having readings with mediums — one of them on the James Corden show.
The star’s love of metaphysical practices really blossomed while clicking with the masseuse who treated her when she was dancing on tour with Janet Jackson in her late teens. “She was very spiritual, and she opened my eyes to it,” recalls Dewan. “She gave me a book on chakras, and from there, my own curiosity brought me more into learning about the connection between nature and spirit and ourselves.”
“I loved crystals,” she continues, “and I learned more about the properties of each crystal and the Feng Shui of where to put them in the house, and it just became almost a hobby.” She got so into it that she jokes she needed to take a little bit of a break from buying them, as she basically now has “a crystal warehouse.”
But given her now extensive collection, there are several ways she uses crystals in everyday life.
“Rose quartz by the side of your bed brings in the energy of the heart chakra and love and calm and peace,” she shares. “Amethyst, if there’s a spot where you like to relax and meditate or even get massages, that’s a great stone to have nearby. And there are grounding crystals, like hematite, if you have these days where you feel a little spacey. It’s kind of like a talisman. They’re also just really beautiful to have in the house.”
The bottom-line for Dewan: Spiritual practices can be truly grounding.
“I definitely believe in the unseen and connective energy that we all can tune into,” says the actress. “I love the feeling that nothing is random and that there is something greater than you and a connected force to the whole universe.”
This story first appeared on www.shape.com
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