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Jenna Dewan on the self-care ritual every woman needs for her mental health

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Jessica Rapana
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In her book, Gracefully You: Finding Beauty and Balance in the Everyday, the actress opens up about how a “Fairy Tree” got her through one of the most “testing” periods of her life.

Jenna Dewan has a Fairy Tree.

The great big oak tree, which lives in her backyard, is decorated with trinkets that hold meaning for her and her daughter Everly, including a small door which Everly thinks fairies come in and out of and which Dewan leaves small gifts or notes from the fairies under to “encourage the magic”.

This idea of a “sacred space” is a self-care ritual Dewan subscribes to wholeheartedly, and has helped her through some of her toughest times, she reveals in her new book, Gracefully You: Finding Beauty and Balance in the Everyday, as per O Magazine.

In the book, Dewan talks openly about the fallout – or, as she dubs it, the “separation storm” – after her split with actor Channing Tatum, with whom she shares 6-year-old Everly.

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Thankfully, Dewan says she has now emerged from her “grief tunnel” and recently announced that she is expecting her first child with new partner Steve Kazee. In the book, Dewan reflects on self care has helped her before, during and after the separation storm, including having a sacred-space: “I feel it is important for every person, whether you live alone, with roommates, or a partner, have kids or not, to have their own sacred space that is meant only for them.”

While the Fairy Tree, for instance, is a sacred space for both her and Evie, she also has “one spot in my house that is off-limits to everyone but me”. It is a small area by the window in her bedroom is where she keeps a small, low table (“some might call it an altar”) and fold-up meditation chair.

“I use this space as a place to set my intentions, meditate, say a mantra, or pull an angel card. I also create this space and time for myself to manifest New Year’s wishes (I prefer the word wishes to resolutions). I go here to make vision boards, daydream and imagine.)”

Such a space, she says, can be used to pray, reflect, or just to take ten minutes out to listen to your breath; not only is it a great reminder to practise these rituals but it’s a special place for them. 

She says, “There’s something intentional about going to a space purposed to accommodate these breaks.”

Dewan’s theory that alone time is good for us is backed by psychologists. Research has shown solitude actually comes with a plethora of benefits, including better mental strength, spirituality and intimacy. And, better still, studies have proven that spending time on our own can increase creativity.

Anyone else suddenly feeling inspired to find a room of one’s own?

Image: Getty

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Jessica Rapana

Jessica Rapana is a journalist based in London, and enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content. She is especially fond of news, health, entertainment and travel content, and drinks coffee like a Gilmore Girl.

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