Jonathan Van Ness Wants Moms To Feel Empowered To Choose Their Joy This Holiday Season

JVN spoke to Scary Mommy about the upcoming holiday season and favorite holiday traditions.

Ariela Basson/Scary Mommy; Getty Images, Zulily

Queer Eye star, entrepreneur, and NY Times best selling author, Jonathan Van Ness, wants this holiday season to be all about love, self care, and not getting caught up in the hustle of the holidays — especially if you’re a parent.

The holidays can be a joyful time, filled with carol singing and holiday movie marathons, but for moms, the holidays are often a time of exhaustion, overstretched schedules, and cookie baking fiascos. To help moms and other caregivers get through the mess of the holidays, Van Ness and Zulily teamed up to make a hilarious and very real electronic “Slay” button that plays five empowering affirmations from Van Ness.

Is there literally a better way to get out of a holiday funk than with JVN, human sunshine, telling you that you’re a joy that brings happiness to those around you? Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open SLAY!

Scary Mommy had the opportunity to pick Van Ness’ brain about the upcoming holiday season including their holiday traditions and the key to loving yourself.

Scary Mommy: Can you clarify your pronouns real quick so we are using the right ones?

Jonathan Van Ness: They/Them, He/Him, She/Her.

SM: As a mom, I’m kind of dreading the holidays this year, which I know is a bummer. Any advice for moms out there who feel burnt out before the holiday season even begins?

JVN: Self-care is essential year-round but can be easily lost during the hustle of the holidays. Being proactive about carving out your time to rest, work out, do therapy, whatever your self-care is the key to not losing your wellness during the holidays. So make sure to schedule the self-care so you don’t leave it up to chance.

SM: Can you elaborate on your personal mission and how the Slay Button coincides with everything you’re working on to reduce stress + boost self-love for parents

JVN: My mission is to promote self-acceptance and love by modeling joy and compassion. That’s why affirmations are such a big part of my daily personal life – it’s important to spread positivity and remind people that they are beautiful, fabulous and loved because it’s so easy to forget. I was really excited to partner with Zulily to bring the Slay Button to life and help parents find moments of joy & self acceptance, which is so important every day but especially during the stressful holiday season. When we feel good about ourselves, we're less vulnerable to stress and anxiety.

SM: You are probably one of the most positive, uplifting, and genuine public figures I have ever had the pleasure of following. But I feel like the holidays are a lot for everyone, do you ever get those holiday blues? How do you combat them?

JVN: I feel like our society tends to have unrealistic expectations of what the holiday season is supposed to look like and striving to meet that creates an immense sense of stress, pressure, and anxiety among everyone. I think the most important step to reducing holiday stress is to take the pressure off by being honest with ourselves and those around us about our needs. Some years can be bigger, some need to be smaller; it’s okay to be upfront about your limits.

SM: Do you and Mark have any fun holiday traditions?

JVN: Yes! We have my aunt over usually and we watch movies, make a gorgeous brunch, and open our gifts on Christmas morning. We are usually so busy; the holidays are a time when I really try to slow down.

SM: You teach people self-love and self-acceptance in such amazing ways – how did you learn to love yourself exactly as you are?

JVN: I don’t think self-acceptance is something I’m perfect at, I just get quicker at forgiving myself when I mess up, while trying to see how or if I could do better. I do my best to be the most authentic version of myself which is really very loving & compassionate, so if I’m not being loving or compassionate I’m probably not in my authenticity.