Thrive 5//

The “Thrive 5” Podcast: Jeannie Mai On How She Tapped Into Her Resilience Through High-stress Times

“The Real” co-host opens up about how she found confidence after a breakup and learned to ask for what she wants.

Frank Ockenfels / Getty Images
Frank Ockenfels / Getty Images

In every episode of the “Thrive 5” podcast, we talk to inspiring women about how they thrive in this world, and explore how taking care of our well-being is a game-changer for our confidence and resilience. Yes, when we prioritize our physical and emotional needs, we can better operate from a place of strength and navigate change in our daily lives. 

This week, host Clarice Metzger chats with Jeannie Mai, fashion stylist and co-host of “The Real,” about how she’s tapped into her inner resilience through life’s ups and downs.

Here’s a little of what Jeannie had to say…

On building your confidence back up after a breakup:

I did a lot of damn self-love after my divorce. And self-love doesn’t have to come in the form of spa days and sitting in silence. But it does require you to be patient, and to be open to having hard conversations with yourself. That might mean getting honest about what you want to change in your life, and asking, “What am I willing to do? What am I willing to lose? What am I going to work to gain?” Coming out of divorce, I went through so many transformations, and I started liking myself so much that it wasn’t about finding the right guy. It was about being the right woman and being the right person for me

On honoring what you need during high-stress times:

For me, I know that I’ll get to breaking points where I work so much I start to fall off on self-care. I’m close to that right now, just from “Dancing With the Stars” and so much work. But then I’ve got to stop and make adjustments. If you’re tired, see if you can fix your schedule so that you get more sleep. Or maybe you tell your husband, “Hey, when I finish work, I’m not nice and I don’t even like me. Just give me 30 minutes of silence. Don’t be weirded out if I go in my room and just close the door and lie down with my face down in a pillow. It’s going to be OK.” Actually say these things!

On surrounding yourself with people who lift you up:

I prioritize disconnecting by surrounding myself with people who also enjoy doing so. I’m so thankful for my fiancé, Jeezy, because he also loves that downtime. The truth is that if you’re going to spend a lot of time with someone, you want to make sure that person is not a weight, that they are a wing — that they are actually lifting you, giving you air, giving you flight. If you are surrounding yourself with people who are a weight, you have to reconfigure your situation and your environment so that you make it more possible for you to grow. 

On the importance of listening:

2020 is a reminder that we don’t always have to speak. This is also a time to listen — listen to each other, listen to the experiences of other people. I’m having a very reflective moment, asking myself, “Jeannie, what is it that you really stand for? And how are you going to do something about it?” The first step is not to go out there and make a bunch of noise, or to go banging down doors. My first step is to sit back and listen. As a Vietnamese child of immigrant parents, as a woman in an interracial relationship, and as a woman who happens to be a public figure, I have so many things to learn. And yet I have so much privilege that I need to understand. And I believe that when you understand your privilege as a tool, you begin to harness your power.
To hear more from Jeannie, listen to her full podcast episode. “Thrive 5” is available on iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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