Can you believe? Jonathan Van Ness talks at-home self care in live Q&A

Can you believe? Jonathan Van Ness talks at-home self care in live Q&A

The 'Queer Eye' star discussed his stay-at-home routine and how he's spending his free time.
Published: April 26, 2020
Jonathan Van Ness

If you’re thinking of cutting your own bangs, Jonathan Van Ness has you covered. In a live Zoom Q&A Saturday with moderator and host of The Circle, Michelle Buteau, the Queer Eye star gave tips for quarantine hairstyles, as well as overall self care during a time where people can feel especially stressed.

The virtual event, he said, gave him something to look forward to and get ready for on Saturday evening, despite being stuck at home in Texas.

“It’s important to find what we can feel grateful for,” Van Ness said.

Speaking to a Syracuse University’s audience, he said he feels empathy for the students feeling displaced during a time they’re supposed to be most free, independent and trying to figure out their identity as young adults. When asked what his stuck-at-home advice would be, he told the audience to find something they’re passionate about.

“Create something you’re really excited about,” he said, adding that he spends time cooking, ice skating, taking care of his four cats and just taking time for himself, too.

With his busy schedule filming Queer Eye, Van Ness said he’s learned how to take time for himself. When friends ask him to go out after a long day of working, he said he declines because he knows it’ll only tire him more and place strain on his mental health.

Through the show, he’s also learned a lot from the rest of the cast, he said – from Bobby in particular. He’s learned how to organize his house, he said, because a clean home allows him to think more clearly. A form of self care, he added, could just be getting up and making your bed in the morning.

“There’s a correlation between your space and how you feel,” he said.

It’s been nice, he said, to have this time to stay at home and enjoy some self care, and emphasized the importance of not only taking care of yourself but also checking in on your loved ones.

“If people didn’t appreciate stuff before, they better now,” Buteau said.

While he acknowledged the discomfort and worry during this unprecedented time, he also said he likes to find comedy in darkness, referencing his love for stand-up comedy, sharing positivity on social media like dancing in his kitchen with his cats and his New York Times bestselling book Over the Top, an honest, raw peek into his personal life.

Part of his journey has been one of self care, he said, and while he comes off as a naturally positive person, there’s always negativity that can seep in, for anyone.

“I think everything in life is a balance,” he said. “I do feel really positive a lot of times but there’s also a darkness and there can be sadness to everyone and anybody.”

In order to overcome those overwhelming feelings of anxiety, stress, sadness or depression, he said he owns what he feels and lets himself feel that way, but then lets it go and his positivity comes back. When people refuse to acknowledge the emotions that they’re feeling, that’s when it can spiral and worsen, he said.

“You can feel the dark stuff and then move back into the positive stuff because it’s all impermanent,” he said. “We need to give ourselves compassion when we’re having that anxious or depressed experience. That compassion is what enables me to keep going.”

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is a newspaper and online journalism junior and the Lead Producer of Life & Style.