Why Jessica Alba says life can’t revolve around work

Jessica Alba embraced “wellness” as a concept long before the Covid-19 pandemic inspired many of us to explore our routines and create more space in our lives for self-care. It’s even been ten years since Alba launched her clean health brand, The Honest Company, to provide families with a line of toxin-free products (currently valued at over half a billion dollars).

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Now, Alba says she is “super energetic” who has caught on to this movement, and she continues to encourage fans to take care of themselves and their families in her new partnership with the sports simulation game Nintendo Switch Sports, which launched earlier this year. “It’s a way for everyone, whether they’re buried in their phone or work mode, to get up and you guys can just play. It’s more fun to be physical.”

The 41-year-old actor, entrepreneur and mother of three just spoke to the healthy @Reader’s Digest about why, although life is busy, she’s officially more serious about having fun these days.

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Thanks to Zusha Goldin

the healthy one: Regardless of what you do with Nintendo, we saw you recently took a vacation in Italy – a place where they do a really good downtime. Why is taking time off important to you as a mother and professional?

Jessica Alba: I think we all need that. I think in our country we almost live to work and it’s a very backward way of thinking about quality of life. And I think during Covid a lot of people started to re-evaluate their life choices and their work and how they wanted to spend time. I was certainly one of those people. More and more it is so self-evident that we should really just enjoy life. Everything can’t revolve around a career or work, you know?

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the healthy one: How has your approach to health and wellness evolved since the pandemic?

Jessica Alba: I mean, I’d say I’ve always really wanted to commit to self-care and stuff, but now it’s really kind of a no-starter. I have to. It is like the foundation on which I can function. I don’t think it’s okay if I skip my “me-time”.

The healthy: And what does “me time” look like?

Jessica Alba: At this time? It seems like I meditate in the morning. I do guided meditations. And then when I have to go for a walk or take a bath… you know, I can tell when I’m really excited, like I have to go to the gym and sweat a little bit. Or if I have to play, right? You have to giggle and you just have to have fun and be crazy with your kids.

So it can look like a lot of different things. But I guess I never really gave myself that time. As an entrepreneur, I worked seven days a week – you don’t stop working and it certainly doesn’t stop when you leave the office. You know, phones and computers and the internet and people who can reach you at any time, [some people] really no respect for that personal time. I actually eliminated it. I posted a “Do Not Disturb” notification to let people know I’m not answering the phone.

the healthy one: Do you have a routine?

Jessica Alba: I’m not a routine person. As long as I focus on doing something, rather than some kind of guided meditation, I think that’s the gist. But otherwise I’m bored. I don’t like eating the same thing every day. I don’t like doing something every day. I’m losing interest.

the healthy one: What about your diet?

Jessica Alba: I’m not very strict. If I eat dairy or if I eat a lot of processed foods or fried foods, I get a stomachache. So as a child I always had stomachaches until I found that I no longer needed them by changing my diet.

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the healthy one: In a recent Instagram post, you talked about the importance of stretching while exercising. Can you share your thoughts on why that’s so crucial?

Jessica Alba: If you’ve ever been around someone who has had an Achilles tendon – er, my husband five years ago! I mean, you have to stretch. Being flexible is the key to not getting trapped. And if you sit too long or stand too long or do something, the same thing over and over, your body starts to get locked in.

Maybe I started going to Japan when I was 18 and you see people in parks, stretching and moving and doing things like Tai Chi. They look like they have a high quality of life. You know, the elderly walk around and are part of the society and they take care of the babies. They are mobile. I think it’s natural nutrition, it’s your attitude and look, but I also think it has to do with exercise. Stretching and moving is important. Always. Regardless of your age.

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the healthy one: Your company, Honest, you were one of the early leaders of the clean beauty movement. We are all now looking for cleaner products; you helped change that industry for us. How do you feel about that and where do you think that trend is headed?

Jessica Alba: Thank you! We are super excited. It took me about 10 years to get here and I’m just really happy that hopefully we won’t see a whole generation of people so sick because they aren’t exposed to unnecessary chemicals. It’s not just one product with one thing, it’s multiple attacks, over and over, of certain chemicals that are everywhere. And those chemicals, those repeat offenders, just break down your body or immune system over time and can cause sickness and disease.

So I hope that if we stop using those products, we’ll have a generation of much healthier people and that’s the ultimate wish, right? I mean, we’ve banned over 2,500 chemicals that we don’t use in our formulas. I would say if you look at the standards that other [brands] you’re lucky if they ban a hundred. We keep trying to take them along and help them move forward.

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