Teen Vogue Interview: Jaime King on Self-Care and Empowerment

Here’s a new interview for Teen Vogue.

When you think about self-care, eye health might not be the first thing that springs to mind. But actress Jaime King recently reminded us that taking care of your eyes is part of taking care of your whole self. For Jaime, being her best self means taking care of her body and mind, and taking time to reflect on what that really means. Her eyes, she said, are part of that because they literally shape the way we see the world. So, in partnership with LensCrafters, Jaime sat down with Teen Vogue to talk about how she takes care of her physical health (eyes included), and what that means for her overall wellbeing.

Teen Vogue: How did you get involved with LensCrafters, and how does that relate to your practice of self-care?

Jaime King: For me, [self-care has] very much been a journey. I think about when I was like 18 years old, that’s when I really started delving into how do I fit into this world and how do I fit into this wold in a way where I feel productive and inspired and good about things, rather than getting caught up in the societal norms and the illusion of what was happening. I read a book called Spiritual Warrior and it changed my life. I’ve learned to meditate, and write, and forgiveness. For me, self-care starts with the inner, and once we choose to love ourselves and acknowledge and accept what we’re going through … sometimes it’s really hard but it’s deeply important. From there on I became very, very interested in what else I could do to support myself, not only as a human being but as an artist. What types of foods are beneficial to us? What are the simple steps I can take to make myself feel good? In a world that’s moving so fast, it’s like there’s never enough time. There’s always 10 minutes you can take to take a walk around the block. When you’re walking around the block and you’re by yourself, that’s when the ideas come. As I mentioned earlier, several years ago, it was during Hart of Dixie, I started noticing that at table reads, I couldn’t see correctly. I was working 18 hours a day [with] a character that I created that was really complex. I wanted her to have a strong journey and arc, and I started noticing my vision when I was driving to and from the studio was changing, reading was changing. I was really excited when I got my exam with LensCrafters because now they can take, it’s literally a digital fingerprint of your eye. Mine very much was stress induced, and when I’d get tired. It wasn’t a very strong prescription that I needed but it was enough that it made a difference. I associate how we see things with…how we perceive the world.

TV: What are some of your favorite ways to practice self-care?

JK: Drinking a lot of water, I do yoga every single day, taking the time to remember when to say no, acknowledging what my threshold is, and looking at what success means to me. Success isn’t always what we think it is, it’s not about going out and achieving so much stuff you can’t actually enjoy it. Our idea of success can change over the years, so really it’s about what makes you fulfilled. That changes from when you’re young. I sit down every year, every six months, and I’ve done this since I was 19. I write down clearly what I want to manifest in my health, my wellbeing, my friendships, my relationships, my career, my finances. I get very specific and essentially create an ideal scene. I do believe once I created a blueprint for what it is I wanted, when I really took the time to be quiet and having that clear intention, it would come. It would come gracefully because I wasn’t pushing toward something while still trying to figure out what it was. I was actually taking the time to be quiet. You know what it’s like now — people email at all hours, Facebook, Instagram. But it’s not real. It’s an illusion. We can make it real if we choose to utilize it as a way to connect, educate and inform and be with one another.

*TV: You recently started a self-defense program. Does learning to defend yourself make your feel empowered?

JK: The reason why I started setting up the self-defense program is because my family, my child, and my best friend were attacked and almost killed. Everybody thinks it’s not going to happen to them. I would like to say we live in some kind of utopian world, but it’s really not the case. For me, setting up the self-defense program is not about walking through this world with fear, but understanding that when we harness our power inside of ourselves, the way we carry ourselves is naturally going to repel those people that could possibly hurt you and attract those people that should be around you. When you connect with that power, it’s like something turns on inside of you that can never really go back. We’re all trying to tap into that strength inside ourselves, through all the media and all the stuff in the world, they try to pull it away from us, especially if you’re a woman. I think that it’s important for everybody to tap into that strength.

Teen Vogue: Do you have any tips for young people on how to practice self-care and empowerment?

JK: The new generation, they’re growing up in a world with such an influx of information that’s coming at them all the time. When you have this idea that your value is based on your likes and followers and all this bullsh/*t — and it is bullsh/*t — that automatically sets up something way worse than it was when I was growing up. This is a whole different thing and … it’s insatiable. If you’re able to understand that and follow people that inspire you, that lift you up when you’re on social media, you can check your levels. Are you defeated, are you judging yourself, or are you following those people that make you feel like you’re learning something, that have your back and understand you even though they don’t know you? The beautiful thing about having access to all this information is you can start writing down what triggers you and makes you feel happy. There are so many incredible resources now to do that. Kids need to learn to take time and learn that it’s ok to say, ‘no, I have class tomorrow and I have to study, then I have this thing and this thing. I just need time for myself.’ That’s not an easy thing to do, but you learn it. Slowly but surely not being caught up in what people think you should be or look like or act like, but finding your own voice. When you find that voice, and you’ll feel it, when you find that enthusiasm, that allows you to relax because you’re not working in fight or flight anymore, you’re working from a place of truth.