Jessica Alba is an actress, entrepreneur, and mother of three – and she admits that juggling those roles isn’t always easy. When she joined Arianna Huffington on the Thrive Global Podcast, in partnership with iHeartRadio and Sleep Number, Alba explained that while she loves the busyness of her life, she struggles when it comes to handling the pressure to do it all without burning out.
“I set a pretty high bar,” Alba admits to Huffington. “I expect excellence out of myself at all times, and it’s not sustainable.” Alba explains that her father was in the military, and she learned from his always-on-duty work ethic while growing up. “It took me quite a while to, I guess, be kind to myself, and to treat myself with some compassion,” she admits.
Alba’s first step toward being kind to herself? Making sure to only dedicate herself to projects she’s passionate about. “I really wanted, in my life, to have a job that I loved, and that I’m excited about doing and participating in,” she explains. That’s why, in 2011, after building up her career as an actress, Alba founded The Honest Company, creating products that are natural, safe, and healthy for babies.
Alba’s company has become an astounding hit, but she admits the pressure to balance her business and her motherhood can get overwhelming at times. Alba says that while juggling her roles as a businesswoman and a mother, she reminds herself to prioritize her own well-being: “You have to work hard and be efficient and effective. But as long as that’s happening, you 100% also need to nurture yourself, and take care of yourself and your wellness.”
Prioritizing mental health has made a huge difference in Alba’s personal well-being, and she says it’s made her role as a mother even more meaningful. “For my mental health, I need the sleep, and I need the exercise,” she says. “And then I also just need cuddles with my kids, and that, to me, it just fills me up. And it allows me, then, when I do work, to be able to be there, and be present, and be 100%, and I don’t feel conflicted about having to compartmentalize my time.”
Alba explains that carving out “me time” has made a difference throughout both her professional and personal life, and that compassion for herself has been the key to her success. “When I did take care of myself and make my family time and my time for me a priority, it allowed for more blessings and more wonderful things to happen here at Honest,” she says. “It feels worth it.”