Jonathan van Ness has had a whirlwind month. Following the release of his highly anticipated (and very personal) memoir Over the Top just a few weeks ago, he's been understandably overwhelmed and taking this opportunity to ground himself through some of his favorite pursuits.
"This last month has been very stressful so I’m being gentle with myself right now," Van Ness tells us during an interview for his partnership with Zumba in celebration of World Mental Health Day. "[With this book] I’ve been more vulnerable with the universe than I’ve ever been before."
So how does he cope when he's feeling more tired and anxious than usual? By dancing (which comes as no surprise to anyone who follows his morning coffee choreography). “Dancing and moving my body in general has always been my escape—even as a kid. Whether I was doing my carpet figure skating routines or nailing it on my trampoline, movement has always helped me throughout different stages in my life,” he explains.
“There have been times, like in 2012, where I’ve felt very depressed and not on my physical activity game. I stopped being active for three months and Zumba and hot yoga were my entry points back into feeling better," says Van Ness.
Jonathan is also a big proponent of meditation. Now, before you dismiss this as one of those wellness trends that no one actually has the time for, hear his simple approach to it: “I roll out of bed and set my timer for six minutes and I just sit there with my eyes closed and listen to the sound of my breath. I do it every day—even if I really don’t want to, even if my cats are bothering me. And if I absolutely can’t sit still for six minutes, I’ll do sun salutations instead and burn out that energy,” he explains. “Either way, it’s six minutes where I’m being more mindful of my breath and my body and it’s a good way to start the day.”
Six minutes to a calmer mind? We’re starting tomorrow.