Dolly Parton Shared Her Most Essential Self Care Practices: ‘It’ll Refresh Me’

Dolly Parton has been working hard at her career for the better part of six decades. All she’s accomplished is proof that her dedication has paid off — she has successful music and film careers and multiple prosperous business ventures. While she loves working, she still has to take some time for herself. The country superstar described her go-to practices to bolster her mental health.

Dolly Parton wears a red dress and stands with her hands on her hips in front of a background with Grammy statues.
Dolly Parton | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Dolly Parton once described herself as a ‘workaholic’

Parton said she’s always considered herself a workaholic, but she dedicated herself to her career even more during the pandemic. Since March 2020, she has announced new music, a book, donated to vaccine research, read books to children, announced brand collaborations, and more. 

“I knew I was a workaholic, and I still do,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “That was proven again to me because I thought, ‘Well, I can’t sit on my a** through this whole thing.’ I’ve got to do stuff. I’ve got to read books to kids at night. I’ve got to write songs about the situation that we’re in.”

Parton said that diving into work helped her navigate the unprecedented times.

“I did it all very carefully and all that. I stayed busy,” she explained. “I wrote a ton of songs, I wrote albums. I continued working. I didn’t want to let it keep me down. I did do a lot of cooking, too, because there were a lot of times I was in the house and couldn’t go a lot of places. I did a lot of eating, as we all did, and made a lot of Duncan Hines cakes.”

She has vital practices to take care of her emotional health

Though Parton loves her job, she has to practice some forms of self care to maintain her seemingly endless well of good cheer. She shared her go-to ways to tend for her mental and emotional health.

“Well, I have a very rich spiritual life,” she told Today. “I’m not a religious fanatic in any way. I’m more spiritual but a lot of times when things get crazy during the day, I just kind of stop and just kind of draw in God’s energy or that good higher wisdom, whatever you want to call it. Everybody calls it something different.”

Parton wakes up around 3 a.m. and says she uses the pre-dawn hours to practice her spirituality.

“I do some of my best spiritual work, some of my best writing, and some of my business work — call-ins and letters that I’m writing or whatever — between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.,” she told Marie Claire. “I get more work done during that little period of time when the world is calm, energies are down, and I just feel like a farmer.”

While consistently waking up that early sounds exhausting, Parton said she doesn’t require that much sleep. She also relies on brief naps as another form of self care.

“When I’m on set or working long hours on my lunch break, I take a little nap because if I can even just get 10 minutes, it’ll refresh me,” she said. “So that’s something I do, too.”

Dolly Parton has a chapel on her property

Parton sets aside time for her spiritual practice when she’s relaxing at home. The “Jolene” singer has a chapel on her Tennessee property. Those close to Parton say she enjoys spending quiet, reflective time there.

“She spends time there most every day she’s home,” a friend told Closer Weekly. “She not only prays there, but she often goes there to write spiritual songs. Carl goes as well, and it’s their quiet place to reflect, pray, and give thanks.”

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