Joanna Gaines on Going to the ‘Extreme’ to Nurture Herself

Joanna Gaines shared some of her thoughts on nurturing herself and others in the latest issue of Magnolia Journal. Here’s what the Fixer Upper: Welcome Home star said about going to the “extreme.”

Joanna Gaines says nurture is ‘second nature’

Joanna Gaines appears on the 'Today' show
Joanna Gaines | Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Although you might struggle to slow down and nurture yourself, Gaines says nurturing is second nature in a way. For example, we nurture our jobs and relationships. Every day, we use our energy and resources to take care of each area of our lives.

“When you think about it, behind every living thing is someone giving it life,” says Gaines in her Magnolia Journal column. “All day long we tend to our lives with bellies that need filling, jobs that demand our energy, relationships that require attention.” Gaines says we instinctively know how to nurture those areas of our lives we care about so that we can see them thrive and grow.

Joanna Gaines talks about becoming overloaded

Gaines recalls a time in her life when she had an unlimited amount of energy, and she was able to check off multiple items on her to-do list. However, as the years passed, Gaines said a to-do list item began to feel burdensome. It became just one more thing she had to complete.

Gaines says she had to get to the point where she was able to tell the difference between activities that simply filled her time and activities that were meaningful. She identified the meaningful activities as ones that left her with enough energy to give back to her family and do the work that she is passionate about.

Joanna Gaines poked fun at herself about going to the ‘extreme’ to nurture herself

If you want to have more peace and calm in your life, you’ll have some work ahead of you. Gaines says you will likely have to fight to obtain the sense of balance and peace you desire.

“You won’t find that rich, restorative breath if you’re not willing to fight for it,” writes Gaines in her column. She says it’s important to dig deep and work toward obtaining a state of peacefulness in your life. “Its strength lies in its depth, and I sometimes wonder if that’s by design—forcing us to look beneath all of life’s dizzying distractions to the parts of our soul that sit a little deeper,” she continues.

Gaines found herself in a place where she had to dig deep and do whatever she could to nurture herself. She says her family joked about her going to the “extreme” so she could enter a state of restfulness. Last year, she felt drained and “unbalanced” from giving so much but not receiving the energy she was giving out. Her resources became depleted.

Gaines resolved this issue by working hard to restore herself. She filled herself with the strength and energy she needed so she could be replenished. Restoration for her came in the form of doing the things she loved—reading, cooking, and spending time at home.

“I considered what I’m already drawn to, what I already know wakes me up and brings me life — nature, the garden, being in my kitchen, and the peace that meets me there — and I leaned in,” says Gaines. “For weeks, I pored over books, threw my hands into the soil, and filled every surface of the house with jars for canning just about anything. My family joked that I’d gone a little extreme, but for the first time in a long time I felt full, truly full. And at the end of those days, I was bursting with so much more to give. And really, that’s all that I was after.”

RELATED: Joanna Gaines Describes Her Sweet Relationship With Her Sister

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