Kristen Bell Is ‘Hellbent on Demolishing’ the Meaning of Self-Care: ‘It Should Be Part of Your Daily Life’

The concept of self-care was already a headline-grabbing buzzword, but since the pandemic, it has become an all-encompassing phenomenon. Many people found themselves both with more time on their hands as they isolated from the world and with added stressors as they worried about keeping themselves and loved ones safe. Celebrities have been vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19 as well, and many of them have used this time to share their own coping strategies. 

Kristen Bell has long been a star who puts her personal life front and center. Now she’s making it a personal crusade to “demolish” the meaning of self-care and reframe the way we think about it. 

Kristen Bell rose to fame in the early 2000s

Bell is a prolific actor who has a filmography that stretches back decades. She rose to fame playing the titular character in the noir crime series Veronica Mars. Bell got to reprise the part many times as the show enjoyed something of a cult following and a dedicated fan base that kept bringing it back to life. After a film sequel, the entire series was rebooted for the fourth season that premiered on Hulu in 2019. 

When Veronica Mars wrapped up the first time, her next big role was playing the infamous voice of the narrator on Gossip Girl. Her voice became even more famous when she provided her vocals for Anna in the hit Disney film Frozen. She’s recently wowed as the lead in The Good Place, and she’ll soon be reprising her part for the reboot of Gossip Girl

Bell has other projects in various stages of production as well including the film Queenpins, which reunites her with The Good Place and Veronica Mars co-star Kirby Howell-Baptiste

Kristen Bell shares her own struggles to connect to fans

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Bell’s work isn’t the only thing that keeps her in the headlines. She is married to fellow actor and podcaster Dax Shepherd, and the pair have worked hard to break down myths about success and happiness.

In fact, the couple seems to be personally invested in helping people see the world differently, often using their own struggles — including Shepherd’s battle for sobriety and the realities of parenting — to connect with fans and practice what they preach. 

They’ve been praised for their ability to keep it real, and many fans find them to come across as authentic and helpful rather than sanctimonious — an accusation thrown at many celebrities who attempt to give advice to people who don’t have their resources or connections. 

Kristen Bell is frustrated with the image of self-care

Kristen Bell attends the People's Choice Awards 2017 at Microsoft Theater on January 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Kristen Bell | Christopher Polk/Getty Images for People’s Choice Awards

This reputation for keeping it real makes Bell the perfect messenger for a reframing of the self-care movement. Speaking on the SELF podcast Checking In, Bell shared thoughts on just how limited and frustrating the current concept of self-care is: “I’m hellbent on demolishing the limited meaning that it currently has.” 

Bell expounded on her disdain for the way self-care is portrayed as connected to specific events. “Self-care carries this idea behind it, currently, for a lot of people, that it needs to be eventized. It’s your once-a-month manicure or massage or, you know, something for you that happens every now and again,” Bell explained. 

If Bell has her way, we’ll stop thinking of self-care as something you map out and plan and start thinking about it as something built into the fabric of everyday life. “I think self-care has to be built into every single day. And waiting around every single corner in order to truly be self-care. I think that it should be easy; it shouldn’t be eventized. It should be part of your daily life and it can mean many things to many different people,” Bell continued. 

She even went on to list some specific examples including being able to call on a friend to “diffuse this energy for 25 minutes so that I can breathe” when parenting gets hard or to make gratitude lists to better focus on what matters most in life. Bell envisions self-care to be an ongoing practice built in little ways that become a natural part of our lives. 

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