Kristen Bell wears a lot of hats. She stars on not one but two TV shows (The Good Place and Veronica Mars). She’s a philanthropist, a mom, a wife and a Game of Thrones enthusiast. So, if anyone knows a thing or two about juggling responsibilities, it’s her. The thing is, the 38-year-old actress doesn’t believe in decompressing with self-care, and the reason may surprise you.
When PureWow caught up with Bell at an event celebrating her new partnership with American Express Blue Cash Preferred card (those cash-back rewards, though), we asked how she balances her responsibilities with personal time. Instead of revealing a laundry list of relaxing activities like yoga and buccal facials, Bell quipped that she believes self-care is a myth.
Why? “What women need is a better support system. They don’t need a manicure. They don’t need a massage. They need a better support system,” Bell explained. Amen.
She noted that she recently read an article that argued this point and it really resonated with her.
“In years past, we had grandma here, we had grandpa here and all of our uncles and aunts around to help. And now, a lot of moms work full time and then they’re also expected to do all the kid stuff. It’s too much. It’s physically too much for anyone,” Bell argued.
So how does she cross off obligations while protecting her sanity? “I focus less on self-care and I focus on installing really good measures of support in my life. [Dax and I] do not do this alone,” Bell admitted. “My sister-in-law helps with the kids and I have a business partner. When I am feeling overwhelmed…I say ‘I’m unable to accomplish this, I need to give it to you. And if you are unable to accomplish this that means we need to get a new member of the team in here. We need to hire someone.’”
Bell is aware that not everyone has the luxury of having familial or hired help. But regardless of the circumstances, she says every woman shares one powerful tool: “I do think it’s really important to respect yourself [and state] your boundaries. [It’s] not asking for a manicure when you need it. It’s stating to your spouse or your boss what you are and are not able to accomplish and knowing that is OK that you say that.”
If anything, Bell says being honest about your bandwidth commands more respect than trying to handle it all. As reformed overachievers, we have to agree.