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“Invoking the 24-Hour Rule”, with Ming Zhao & Jennifer “Jay” Palumbo

As much as I love a good bath bomb, I would love to make certain that women are making their health a part of their self-care initiative. As I mentioned earlier, there is research showing that women don’t always put their health first. In 2019, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and when I shared […]

As much as I love a good bath bomb, I would love to make certain that women are making their health a part of their self-care initiative. As I mentioned earlier, there is research showing that women don’t always put their health first. In 2019, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and when I shared that journey online and with my friends and family, I lost track of the amount of people that shared they had been putting off seeing a doctor, or they hadn’t been in years. This is something I talk about often now: What are you doing for your health? Self-care, to me, is healthcare. Taking care of your health is equally, if not more, important than getting that massage.


At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s wellbeing, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep and preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving leaders and influencers who are practicing their own philosophies about how to maintain their wellbeing. As a part of our series about “Social Media Influencers Share Their Top Self Care, Wellness, and Beauty Tips, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer “Jay” Palumbo.

Jennifer “Jay” Palumbo is the Chief Executive Officer at Wonder Woman Writer, LLC, Freelance Writer & avid Women’s Health Advocate. Her blog, “The 2 Week Wait” was awarded the Hope Award for Best Blog from Resolve: The National Infertility Association and was also named the “Best IVF Blog” by Egg Donation Friends. Her articles have been featured in Parents Magazine, Time magazine, Huffington Post, and ScaryMommy. As an infertility subject matter expert, she has been interviewed on news outlets such as CNN, NPR, FOX, NBC and BBC America, and was featured in the documentary, “Vegas Baby”. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today?

Most of my life, I’ve had an irrepressible sense of humor and had frequently been told to “tone it down”. I felt like a fantastic crème filled donut with rainbow sprinkles surrounded by plain rice cakes, and the rice cakes were all like, “No really… be more like a boring, bland communion-like wafer!” When I initially entered the workplace, I had a full-time job working in an investment banking firm (not known for humor) and I would perform stand-up comedy afterward. I was “Corporate by day” and “Comedy by Night”. It was like the famous ‘Plessy v. Ferguson Case” — separate but equal. I could let my “funny freak flag fly” in one place and fold it up and be only mildly anecdotal in the other.

When I got married (to another comic) and we started trying for a family, we were diagnosed with infertility. I began to use my humor as a coping mechanism. I started to blog about trying to get knocked up while not getting knocked down as an outlet and in a humorous way (examples: “How would I like my eggs? Fertilized and implanted in my uterus!”, I created “Trying to Conceive Proverbs”, and shared the significance of getting an “IVF Bikini Wax” because, “When you have company coming over, you clean up.”) Others like me in the infertility community connected with that dark humor. I started meeting more and more like-minded people who “got” me and more importantly, started to “get” me.

Very, very slowly and overtime, everything changed for me. My writing, my career (taking more work in the field of fertility and health), my family (as I did go on to have two sons), who I surrounded myself with and my sense of self. Instead of separating things, I started combining them more, which meant I was able to be who I genuinely was 24/7.

I evolved into writing and marketing full-time and founded my own company, Wonder Woman Writer, LLC. While using humor to entertain audiences is something I still enjoy, to use my humor for “good” causes has been beyond rewarding. In addition to hosting several fundraisers throughout the year and speaking at conferences in how to use humor as a coping tool, I take creative ideas and come up with content and/or marketing or social media campaigns to engage and educate people about their health or just lighten the mood if they are dealing with a specific illness like a cancer diagnosis or a genetic disorder, etc. I’m particularly sought out and hired because I add levity and make clinical information or difficult situations easier, manageable and dare I say it… funny. What’s the most powerful thing is I realized that sometimes, the thing that makes you different is actually your most valuable asset.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’d have to say my husband, Mike. I don’t like taking risks and when it came to changing my career, I was hesitant to take any chances. There were more than just a few times when I was presented with an opportunity, an event or a project and I would try to rationalize why I shouldn’t do it. He would always play devil’s advocate and encourage me, without pushing, to consider it. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve thought to myself, “I’m so glad Mike urged me to go for it!”

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

I think one of the most important lessons (that I did not handle well at all initially) is something I call, “Invoking the 24-Hour Rule”. From years of performing stand-up comedy, you would get a heckler or drunk audience member that you immediately and quickly had to shut down. In real life though, this is NOT always the best approach! In the past, if I had a strong reaction to something (an email, a post, a conversation), I would react immediately and then think to myself later, “Yikes! That probably wasn’t the best way to handle it.” Recognizing you don’t always need to respond, that you CAN take a moment or even day or two to calm down, think things through rationally and then craft a careful response will save you so much heartache. I also think remembering that ultimately, it’s not always about being “right”. It’s about reaching the end goal — whatever that is!

As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact, perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

There were many lessons I’ve learned from my years of performing stand-up comedy. One of them (and it may sound odd) is you must believe you’re funny, whether the audience laughs or not. While that may counter intuitive as a comic’s entire goal is to make people laugh, you can’t get up on stage without having a confidence that is uniquely your own. If you base your opinion or success on how others react to you, it will never work. That belief and confidence in yourself always needs to be engrained in you.

Can you share with our readers some of your strategies you’ve used to build an engaged, loyal, and large online community?

The term “authentic” is used often to the point where it’s almost cliché, but I firmly believe in being authentically yourself. When you know who you are and what your “personal brand” is — it helps inform both what you post and write about. When it resonates with others (and health and humor often do!), it’s particularly comforting as you know you only have to continue being who you are. Lord knows my personal journey touches on many things people can relate to: infertility, parenting a special needs son, a cancer diagnosis and striving to laugh through it all. I’ve shared these struggles honestly and openly with humor. I’m personally proud that the person I am online is the exact person you get when you hang out with me and the online community sees that.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive and care for oneself in three areas: body, mind, and heart. You are a busy person with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self-care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? (Kindly share a story or an example for each.)

Self-care is one of the main themes I write and post about. It’s equally important to put some good in the world but if your personal cup is empty, you can pour anything out of it for anyone else. For me, going to the gym is one form. I don’t love working out, but I do love having that time where I have no demands on me other than listening to music and getting some energy out as well as invest in my health. Another self-care investment I feel strongly about is seeing my doctors regularly. Get that physical, see the dentist, schedule a mammogram, etc. In a study by Redbook and HealthyWomen (a non-profit dedicated to providing women with health information), they found that 45% of women over 30 do not make time for their own health, in part because they’re too busy managing everyone else’s. This is why ensuring your health is in order should absolutely be a part of making your body thrive!

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind or heart to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

There’s the gym (as mentioned above) but another thing that helps me is finding time to watch the television shows I like. That may sound small but when you have two young boys who worship Nickelodeon and Disney Pixar, it is incredibly difficult to watch anything that isn’t animated! Sneaking in current shows or movies I want to see always inspires me and makes me feel like I still know what the hell is going on in the world. I also make every Sunday some “beauty self-care time”, which I enjoy.

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. I’m a big believer in giving yourself the pep talk you’d give to one of your friends. Sometimes, we say things to ourselves that we’d never even dare to say to others. Treat yourself like your best friend and remind yourself what makes you beautiful!
  2. While I’m certainly not a slave to fashion (you should see me on laundry day!), wearing something that you love (a favorite dress, a scarf, shoes, etc.) can completely change your mood and make you feel beautiful.
  3. I do recommend reminding yourself too that your personality or internal attributes can make you feel beautiful. An engaging personality, quick wit, intelligence or a kind heart can unquestionably be beautiful as well!

Is there a particular resource, a practitioner, expert, book, or podcast that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?

The book, “How to Get Ideas Nothing Is More Difficult Than Coming Up with That Original Idea by Jack Foster” was inspirational to me. He talks about the creative process and how sometimes, it’s easier to come up with five ideas than torture yourself over figuring out one amazing one. From there, you can then work on it, explore each one and narrow it down. I realized that this logic can also apply to life’s problems and problem solving. Whenever there is an issue I’m grappling with, it’s so helpful to think, “Ok… what are various ways I could try and settle this?” and then lay out my options. It makes me feel more in control, more creative and has helped me thrive in more ways than one!

Do you have a story about the strangest, most bizarre or funniest wellness treatment that you’ve ever experienced?

When we were having fertility issues, I went to a hypnotist. While some of it was genuinely helpful, there was other aspects to it that felt uncomfortable for me. Visualizing my uterus and mentally decorating it being one of them!

As an influencer, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

As much as I love a good bath bomb, I would love to make certain that women are making their health a part of their self-care initiative. As I mentioned earlier, there is research showing that women don’t always put their health first. In 2019, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and when I shared that journey online and with my friends and family, I lost track of the amount of people that shared they had been putting off seeing a doctor, or they hadn’t been in years. This is something I talk about often now: What are you doing for your health? Self-care, to me, is healthcare. Taking care of your health is equally, if not more, important than getting that massage.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

Ellen DeGeneres has got to be number one on my list. I have had an intention bracelet for years now that I could personalize, and I made mine, “Choose Love”. It helps remind me that when I’m on a crowded New York Subway, or dealing with someone who is not at their best that day or trying to decide how to handle a conflict or even how to deal with myself, remembering that I want to be a person that promotes love and kindness grounds me. Ellen, to me, is the pinnacle of that. While no one can ever be perfect, her show, her intentions, her goals are to be kind to one another and use humor to stay sane. That deeply resonates with me on every level.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

My personal favorites are Instagram (@jennjaypal) and Twitter (@the2weekwait) but I also have my website, Wonder Woman Writer.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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