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The award-winning podcaster and best-selling author speaks candidly about work, family and the joy of slowing down.

| By Bella Westaway | Journal

Jessie Stephens on Insomnia, Overwhelm, and Overcoming “Laziness”

The award-winning podcaster and best-selling author speaks candidly about work, family and the joy of slowing down.

Editor's Note

You might be familiar with our flagship editorial series, The Makers, in which creatives of all types welcome us into the spaces they practice in – and the places they call home. After four years of publishing this series, we’d like to welcome you to a new monthly interview series we’ll be bringing to Bed Threads, titled (we think, aptly!) The Wind Down.

Here, we’ll be speaking candidly with a range of experts and thought-leaders across a range of disciplines on, well, winding down. What self-care looks like, actually. The small, quiet spaces that exist between work and life – like a solo coffee on the way to work – and also, the details of those things, too.

We couldn’t think of a better person to launch this series with than best-selling author, writer and award-winning podcaster, Jessie Stephens, who has generously lifted the veil on how her life actually looks – and more importantly, feels. We hope you love this chat as much as we do.

Thank you for being here,

Genevieve Rosen-Biller, Co-Founder, Bed Threads

J essie Stephens is having a big year.

In 2023, the podcaster, broadcaster and best-selling author got married, bought a home, wrote a novel and had a baby, all while hosting multiple chart-topping podcasts and working as an Executive Editor at Mamamia. Oh, and she’s also a regular host on Channel 10’s The Project.

But working seven days a week took its toll – on both her sleep and her mental health. So, since the birth of her baby girl Luna, Jessie has decided it’s time to wind back, at least for a little while. “I cannot express the relief that brings me,” she says. “I’ve realised that no one else makes you busy. People can ask, and you have the choice to say no. If I’m too busy, that’s my fault, and I need to reassess.”

BT: What does self-care look like for you?

JS: The biggest one for me is sleep. I had insomnia during pregnancy and the toll it took was enormous. I’m currently breastfeeding and up at all sorts of hours, but my partner takes over in the mornings and we’ve made sure to prioritise a decent night sleep for each of us.

I also consider reading to be self care. It means switching my mind off from the day-to-day worries and immersing myself in a different world. Going on daily walks with Luna has also been fantastic, and if I really need a reset, then jumping in the ocean makes me feel like a different person.

BT: What is one non-negotiable way you care for yourself each day?

JS: Dessert?? Does that count? Chocolate after dinner every night is a non-negotiable.

BT: What are your top tips for people who have challenges with sleep?

JS: Oh my goodness, I’m looking for them! I will say, I saw a psychiatrist for sleep and he recommended a book called The Effortless Sleep Method. I get myself worked up when I can’t sleep and start trying all these ridiculous exercises that make sleep impossible. The harder I try to get to sleep, the more impossible it is. So it’s the nights I don’t think about it that it happens easily, paradoxically.

For more from Jessie, follow her at @jessiestephens90 and listen to Mamamia Outloud and Cancelled.

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