Guest Post: Jess Kirby’s Wellness Journey.

As a part of this winter’s wellness challenge, I have been reaching out to various friends who I respect + thought could bring their own interesting perspective to the challenge. One of them is Jess Kirby (the voice behind her eponymous site). Jess is a good friend and her blog is one of my daily reads – her photography is absolutely stunning and she’s also just really funny! I asked her to share her own personal wellness journey and it was something I could really relate to. It’s funny because as I edited and put together her post, I realized that it tied so nicely back to my own post from this morning… so much of making better decisions is about changing your perspective and approaching things differently. Read on for her realistic tips, and then head over to her blog – if it isn’t already, it’s going to become one of your favorites, too!

Over the last few years I’ve come up with every excuse in the book not to focus on my health. That’s not to say I was an unhealthy person, but I made very little effort to improve my mental and physical well-being. This summer, I hit a breaking point. I was exhausted and burnt out. I was panicked. How could something I love so much, my job and my livelihood, make me so unhappy? Ultimately I realized after some forced time-off and reflection, that I needed a break, and to start taking care of myself. When I quit my old day job (almost 4 years ago) I had hit the ground running and never looked back. I was so afraid of what would happen if I stopped working, so I just never did. At the same time, I was given the gift of a little something I like to call perspective. Over the last few years, and particularly within the last twelve months I’ve watched people close to me struggle with illnesses. It forced me to think about my own body and mind. It pushed me to think about wellness.

Wellness is one of those buzzwords that gets thrown around a lot. By definition it is “the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.” So while I was hesitant to call it a wellness journey for fear of sounding cliche, sometimes, it is what it is. When I started to look at wellness and living healthier as a privilege it altered my approach to pretty much everything. It’s something I think too many of us take for granted. Instead of looking at working out or cooking a healthy dinner as a chore I think about how lucky I am to be able to take that class and make the meal. Instead of complaining about not having time for exercise or yoga or meditation, I make time. We all have good days and bad days, we’re human. Instead of allowing a bad day to completely derail my entire approach to wellness I leave it behind and reset for the next day. Have compassion for yourself. To me, wellness isn’t about only eating kale, swearing off sugar, working out like a psycho and being some sort of zen master, it’s about balance. Taking care of myself and taking pride in that, but also living life and eating french fries every once in a while. Everyone’s wellness journey is different, as it should be, but for me, this year, I’m just thankful to be on one.

Some tips to get you started:

  • Set realistic goals for yourself. Make them challenging but attainable. If you’ve never set foot in a gym don’t set a goal of 7 workouts a week.
  • Try something new, a recipe, a workout class, a meditation app. Experimenting will help you discover what inspires you and gets you excited about wellness.
  • Find people to hold you accountable. Whether you team up with friends or your partner/boyfriend/SO, having people to check in with and keep you motivated is really helpful.
  • Don’t stress out about it. It’s not a competition and it’s not a race, it’s a journey. Are you rolling your eyes at me right now? Haha, I know, I know, but seriously the way I see it, it’s an entirely new approach to living, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. I agree, Jess – wellness is about balance and none of those fad diets. It’s an attitude. I really loved reading about your journey, and thank you for the tips! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    1.29.18 Reply
    • Thank you so much Charmaine!

      1.31.18 Reply
  2. Sarah:

    Love JAK and the New England cross-collab happening here. All too true–we get consumed with doing it all and being “perfect” (whatever that means) when it comes to being healthy to the point where wellness or self-care have become almost tainted. Thanks Jess and Grace for always giving us a down-to-earth POV.

    1.30.18 Reply
    • Thank you so much Sarah. Totally agree, not about perfection but what’s best for you. xx

      1.31.18 Reply