Mental health is essential is everyday life. Building a platform that focuses on health and wellness, Jasmine Newson spends her time being a wellness mentor, humanitarian, and also an inspiration. I had the pleasure to talk to Jasmine about mental health and wellness, the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, and practicing self-care.
How did you get started in the field of mental wellness and health?
JN: “Funny that you ask that because it is a question I get asked frequently. I am actually not directly working in the field of mental wellness and health, but it is something that I have been passionate about for 3 years. Being diagnosed as an adult with ADHD, anxiety, and depression pushed me to not only seek help through therapy, but it also ignited the passion to break the stigma for mental health in both the faith and African American communities. I was one of the first in my friend group as well as my family to openly go to therapy and because I am the first, I feel it is my duty to be as transparent about my process as possible. Now it propels the work I do whether it is with writing about my experiences through my blog, speaking about my mental wellness journey at engagements, working with students through my nonprofit, or sharing in conversation on how important our mental health is. “
Mental health is a topic some like to sweep under the rug. Why do you think a lot of people don’t think mental health is essential?
“Mental health has been swept under the rug for decades because there is a lack of knowledge concerning the subject especially in the African American community. We are told to just pray it or away or get over it with no resources to do so. Until it becomes something that we take as seriously as our physical health then it will continue to be looked at as unimportant until it is too late. I make it a point to take the time to educate my friends and family on the importance of taking it seriously and answer any questions they may have.”
What’s the best piece of advice you received when you were starting out in your line of work?
JN: “The biggest advice I can give is to take care of yourself first and fill your cup up before pouring into others. As empaths, we tend to prioritize everyone else’s mental health over our own and then wonder why we feel so heavy. It’s important to take as much care and time with our own lives as we do with others.”
What are the biggest challenges and sacrifices you’ve overcame so far as an entrepreneur?
JN: “Whew! I just started walking into an entrepreneurship and I have learned so much in my first year. Some of the biggest challenges I have dealt with is patience. Great things take time to build and the microwave society we live in now will make you think you are supposed to have it all figured out quickly and that’s a myth. You will learn as you go and you have to learn to be patient in that process. I also found myself alone in many stages of the journey because many of my friends had traditional careers and I was stepping out of that pathway to forge something new. I often felt like they could not relate to my journey so I got connected to a community of women through Plywood, which has helped tremendously. While your idea, gifts, and talents are enough, you need the support to create it. One of the biggest sacrifices I have made is having to prioritize and focus on my business even when I do not feel like it because who else is going to do it? There has to be a determination where you do not mind missing brunches, flight deals, and happy hours to ensure that you finish what you need to get done.”
How do you practice self-care?
JN: “I practice self-care by becoming self-aware enough to know when I need time to myself. I schedule in time on my calendar to rest when I feel I need to. I have now started taking a weekend of each month to do nothing but relax. I binge watch on Netflix, watch movies, or snuggle up to a book. Outside of relaxation at home, I love massages and try to plan one each quarter of the year. I also tend to have at least 2-3 girls trips a year as they always feed me spiritually and I love to travel out of the country at least once a year for leisure. On a day to day basis, I try to meditate, journal, and pray each morning to start my day off on a better mental note to set the tone.”
Name some simple ways women can practice mental wellness better in their lives.
JN: “Journaling, meditating, praying, working out, setting boundaries with others, becoming self-aware, breaking down your vision into smaller attainable goals, letting go, and going to therapy. Finding what works for you and taking the time to prioritize that in your life is essential. For some women that could be working out, for others that could be meditating. I’ve tried several different things before I became set on what works and I’ve realized that it can change depending on the season I’m in.”
What advice do you have for someone who hasn’t figured out their purpose yet?
JN: “That’s an amazing question. I believe the best advice for a person still figuring out their purpose is to prioritize time to spend time with yourself, start asking close loved ones what they think you’re good at, identify your passions, serve in any capacity you can, and most importantly take the time to ask God what are you created for. Realize that purpose will be continuously revealed on your journey and that your destination is infinite.”
Which of your traits are you most proud of?
JN: “I am most proud of my heart of empathy, which drives how passionate I am about helping others. I relate and connect to others well. I am a problem solver and automatically think of solutions when I notice problems that can be avoided. And lastly, I’m self-aware which makes me more considerate/aware of the feelings and actions of others.”
Who or what motivates you when you’re in a creative rut?
JN: “I often listen to sermons by Sarah Jakes Roberts and Dharius Daniels. Their style of teaching is helpful and motivating. I tend to look back at the things I’ve created in the past and it reminds me that I’m capable to do it again. I am also motivated by knowing that ruts are expected when you are a creative. You have to have grace with myself.”
What’s your personal affirmation or a quote/scripture that keeps you going?
JN: “Romans 8:28- “All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord.”
It reminds me that everything even the things that don’t feel so good are working together for my good because of my connection to the creator. It allows you to look at both your past and present to know that you have experience and the will. Experience is all apart of the bigger plan for your life.”
About Jasmine Newson
Jasmine Newson is a speaker, writer, and global humanitarian. She is an Atlanta native and graduated from Georgia State University in 2013 with Sociology and Pre-Med degree. Jasmine joined Teach for America upon graduation and taught Chemistry at an under-served high school for 2 years. After her 2 year commitment was over, she was accepted to Washington University in St. Louis for their Post Bac Pre-Med Program. Jasmine has traveled to over 15 countries and has devoted much of her time to embracing each culture she has experienced. She has an undying passion to pour into others especially young girls and has not only worked in a classroom setting but also nonprofit which speaks to her mission to making the world a better place. She is the Deputy CEO of Destination Teach where she has coupled her love for traveling and service together. She is also the creator of the JNewWisdom: The Revelations of a Millennial Woman blog and loves the ability to be transparent with her journey in hopes to inspire others on their own http://www.jnewwisdom.com. She is currently founding her own nonprofit called Youth See Beyond helping under-served youth see beyond their realities to identify their purpose. She remains focused on the plan that God has for her life and is a very devoted servant to her community and her faith.