The Unwind is Yahoo Life’s well-being series in which experts, influencers and celebrities share their approaches to wellness and mental health, from self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to the mantras that keep them afloat.
Veteran journalist, , and lifelong pet lover Tamron Hall is passionate about many causes — but the month of October hits home for one in particular. With Domestic Violence Awareness Month underway, the Tamron Hall Show host is helping to raise awareness about the issue, which claimed the life of her sister Renate in 2004.
Because Renate experienced bouts of abuse that ultimately resulted in her tragic death, and Hall chooses to honor her memory by speaking out about the prevalence of domestic violence and the need for empathy, awareness and action. To that end, Hall is teaming up with to help make at least 25 percent of American shelters able to take in domestic violence survivors and their pets by the year 2025.
What’s your day-to-day approach to mental health?
My day to day changes! I do transcendental meditation, I pray every morning, but what I've learned is not to approach it as a same day, same way mentality because each day brings [new] circumstances. There are some days that require a hot bath or a therapist. For me, I have decided to no longer live by a [wellness] template (i.e. therapy Monday, Wednesday and Friday). I’m comforted in different ways: Sometimes it can be as simple as [taking] a hot bath. There are other days when I need more — and I seek that.
Do you have any self-care rituals to help you reset? It sounds like it might be a hot bath.
I wish the big things could be solved with a hot bath [laughs]! On the days when I’m going from meeting to meeting, show to show, I have mom guilt. But the bath for me is a kiss to myself — but with bubbles. I regularly see my therapist and we dig deeper and organize my mind to understand things like mom guilt. Mom guilt is real — but I don't have to live with it.
You’re juggling a lot, between work and motherhood. What things stress you out?
Everything stresses me out and then some days nothing at all [does]! The other day, I took my son to soccer and had a meltdown; I felt more stress from that moment than taping three shows in one day. That’s the thing about stress: It’s usually tied to something else. It’s a build-up of things… I feel a lot of responsibility for the show but it doesn't stress me out. wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be. But now that my mother is in her 70s, that stresses me out in a way I wasn’t expecting. Having the responsibility of caring for [aging parent], it’s a lot.
What brings you joy?
Everything! I’m looking at a beautiful bouquet of orchids that just made my day. I find happiness where I can: a walk in the park... I love being outside. Those moments of respite that don't cost a thing are what I enjoy. I find joy in my cup of coffee. I try to find joy in the little things. A vacation is obvious [but] grabbing a comforter and cuddling on the sofa with your coffee, that's a joy that can be underestimated.
Who do you look to for wellness advice?
I look to my church — they that are little words of wisdom and I share them on social media. I’ve had the same best friend since I was 4 years old and she is a phenomenal sounding board. I have a strong group of girlfriends and I use my [commute] time for catch-up conversations. Some of them are mothers, some are not, but that group of women, who’ve joined my journey at different stops, help my journey greatly. Having authentic friendships and that kind of transparency matters.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
"A rising tide lifts all boats." I’m reminded of that when I want to do more or when I feel an injustice boiling in my heart. My friends remind me of my platform and that a rising tide can lift all boats. and educate myself on this plight that we can help fix.
This project is new, [but] I have been working with survivors of domestic violence for almost 10 years. The Purple Leash project started in 2019 and since then, they’ve supplied 25 grants to shelters across the country to help the shelters become pet-friendly. Even though I’ve been working with shelters and [domestic abuse] organizations for many years — I’ve been a journalist for 30 years! — I only recently learned that nearly 50 percent of abuse survivors don't leave home because they can't bring their pets with them. For me to learn that new figure, I was compelled to get involved. I could not say no.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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