Debra Messing Talks Self-Care, Confidence and Following Your Dreams

Debra Messing
Debra Messing talks self-care and finding your confidence with LIVESTRONG.COM. (Image: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages)

If there’s one thing Debra Messing knows, it’s how to live her best life. The actress, who is celebrating being on her 10th season (yes, 10th!) on the hit television show Will & Grace, seems to have it all figured out when it comes to motherhood, her career, and balancing a hectic schedule while working in the wild world of Hollywood.

In an exclusive interview with LIVESTRONG.COM, the 50-year-old star, who recently partnered with Colgate Optic White to promote healthy living and good oral hygiene, shares her top tips for being the greatest version of herself. From practicing self-care to discovering new ways to release her inner confidence, continue on for tips on how to improve your day-to-day life from Messing herself!

Debra’s Top Tips for Taking Time for Self-Care

When it comes to being her absolute best, Messing tells LIVESTRONG.COM it's crucial for her to practice self-care on a regular basis, no matter what. "Self care is a concept that is modern. It’s certainly not something that I was taught about when I was younger, but I’m so thankful that we’re starting to talk about it now and realize it's importance,” she says.

“As a single mom, the only way that I can accomplish everything that I want to accomplish is my taking time for myself. My time with my child is very precious and I work full time, so in order for me to have the endurance and the energy and mental clarity, I really have to focus on me. And not just physically healthy, but emotionally healthy as well."

In order to do that, Messing has come to understand what she needs in terms of feeling balanced and whole. "What I’ve learned about myself is that I need time alone everyday,” she explains. “I’m around a lot of people all the time and so at the end of the day when I come home, I either go into my room for a half hour by myself or I go for a walk. By doing that to transition from the chaos and energy from the day, I suddenly feel like I am a more present mom and a better person altogether.”

But just because some alone-time may be needed for Messing, the actress explains that everyone’s personal needs are different and unique. "Self-care can be anything,” she says. “Baths are very healing, and I know that meditation is being talked about all the time. Sleep is vital for me. I cannot function if I don’t get sleep, and I don’t think it’s something that people should apologize for. I think we are doing much more in just 24 hours a day than we did as human beings 50 years ago, so adjustments have to be made."

Debra’s Advice for Finding Your Inner-Confidence

In a world where filtered selfies and Photoshopped images are common, it can be easy to feel the pressures of being perfect. Messing, who admits to feeling the same at times, says that her best tip for finding your inner-confidence is to search from within.

"Take some time, do some journaling, and try to figure out where that lack of confidence is coming from,” she explains. "Is it superficial, is it just about how you look? On the outside, you can get a haircut, you can color your hair, you can exercise, you can get a new outfit. But if it’s a real existential crisis of just feeling lost, I think lack of confidence a lot of times can come from feeling like you don’t have purpose. The more you can remind yourself of the things that make you happy or the things that excite you, the clearer you’ll be able to see the bigger picture.”

So how does an famous celebrity like Messing get back to feeling like her most confident self? She writes. “I just turned 50 and one of my girlfriends said to me, ‘Write down 10 things that make you happy in the world, and they can be anything.’ It was a really good exercise and I really had to think hard about it. And then writing it all down, you can see the theme or see the links. Just asking those questions and figuring out how to incorporate those things in your life on a daily basis is key."

Debra’s Take on Following Your Dreams

Appearing as a star on the hit television show Will & Grace since it’s first season aired in 1998, Messing has upheld a long career in show business. And while many may be afraid to chase goals and ambitions like hers, the actress advises dreamers to just go for it. "You should never be afraid to chase your dreams, or ignore what your heart is telling you to do,” she reveals. “Doing what you love is so important. A lot of times it can be hard to get there, but I think that anything worth doing is scary."

Moral of the story? Don’t discount your dreams as if they’re a waste of time. Instead, talk about them! ”If you have a dream of doing something different than you’re doing now, I think at some point, it’s good to share the dream with other people,” she says.

“It’s a really good energizer. You’ve put it out in the universe, you’ve told people close to you, and those people can then support you and ask you about progress. When you have doubts, they can be there to lift you up. It took me awhile to learn, but being uncomfortable is a requirement for progress."

Great advice!

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