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Interview with Jennifer Pfautch Hardwick on Mental Health and Self Care

Jae, thank you so much for being on my blog. Please tell my readers and myself who is the woman that speaks the truth(You) is ?

Hi Felecia! Thanks for thinking of me for your blog.
The me you see on IG is pretty much the me you’d get if you were my BFF. I am a Mother, a wife, a sister, daughter, friend, an advocate, and a gloriously imperfect human! 
I’m passionate about helping others (women especially) to learn and live in their authentic self, their unique brilliance if you will. Honoring and living in our genuine self (who God made, not who society has tried to convince us to be) is where our power lies. 

**What inspires you for most of these quotes or saying that I see on your Instagram?

Either personal experience or the personal experience of those close to me. I share them because, all too often each of us feel like we’re the only one going through something or feeling a particular way, and that’s just not true. We’re all more similar than dissimilar. 

**You are very big on mental health. Why is this subject so important to you? 

You’re right! I’m huge on advocating mental health and normalizing that it’s ok to NOT be ok. All too often people suffer in silence because of the stigma of depression or mental illness. This subject is so close to my heart. I’ve lost several older family members to suicide and if I can aid in one person not taking their own life, it’s all worth it. 

** As a wife and mother with a busy schedule, what advice would you give to another woman with such duties, about making sure that she is taking care of herself?

The process of self-care and self-neglect is something I think every Mother struggles with. As soon as we find a little time, something pops up that requires our attention and time. After having our second kiddo, Brave, I started taking smaller moments to honor myself. It was too hard to schedule a day or hour of alone time so I took 10 minutes here and there to catch my breath, realign myself and to recapture my peace that sometimes feels fleeting when mom-life, wife-life, travel-life and attempting author-life all get crazy! 

** I am very sorry to hear about you losing your father this year. Grieving is a process as you stated in a post, that I remember. What would you tell someone that is having a hard time trying to process their loss, and not allowing themselves to grieve?

I would remind them, just as you stated in your question, that grief is a process. It comes and goes and we don’t get to choose the times that it hits us (sometimes hard AF and at not convenient moments). Though mourning my Dad this year and also having to mourn our first son who was stillborn at 8 months, back in 2008, I’ve learned to incorporate the hard days into my life, instead of fighting them. I’ll find time in my day to let the tears come and to honor my heart and to honor the love that I have for both. I’m a firm believer when you bury your grief  it does damage to your soul. You have to have the courage to walk through it, which requires trust because we’re not in control of the process, but the process won’t go anywhere until you’ve gone though it. I’d also encourage anyone grieving to take the clock off of themselves. Ok, it’s been 6 months, a year, 5 years...that doesn’t matter. Walk through all of it. 

** I notice you prepare healthy food for you and your family . Why is eating healthy a big thing in your family life?

I love to cook! My Mom was amazing at it but cooked a bit more “down home” style. She taught me all the basics and instilled the love and need to cook what was in-season, because she believed that’s what our bodies needed. She always prioritized fresh veggies. She would drive to farmer to get them. 
I believe that what we put in our bodies affects every area of our lives. So many chemicals and dyes in processed food can mess with our hormone levels, increase our kiddos chance of developing ADHD and gravely affect our overall health. We weren’t meant to scarf down food that can stay on the shelf for a year (eeek!). Food can be our medicine or it can be our poison. I try my hardest to treat food as medicine and use it to increase my families health! 

** The food and presentation look amazing, and I am sure taste good also. Are your recipes something that you come up with yourself or is there a favorite site you get them?

Thank you! Some of them are from Mom, but most are from my own creation. I started cooking when I was around 12 and I’ve been building on that skill ever since. Our family loves fish, chicken and veggies so I’m most of the meals I cook revolve around those ingredients and always organic when I can! 

** What is your motto for life?

I love this question! At this point in my life, my motto would have to be: “Remain tough enough to keep from breaking, while staying soft enough to be able to bend.”

So much about being successful in life is tied to our ability to be adaptable. We’re going to go through hard times (that’s just life) but we don’t have to allow ourselves to be hardened by them. We must fight to keep our heart and soul open to love and life and our future if we want to live a happy and fulfilled life. 

Be sure to follow her on Instagram @mrsjaeh

Shout out to her assistant Erica for all her help!!

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