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JLo Reveals The Scary Incident That Convinced Her To Care More About Herself Than Her Work

Jennifer Lopez in Halftime
(Image credit: Netflix)

It’s been a big couple of years for singer-actress-dancer Jennifer Lopez, who nabbed Oscars buzz for her role in Hustlers and went on to put on a Super Bowl halftime show with Shakira before re-igniting a romance with Ben Affleck and starring in her own documentary. As you could guess, JLo works a lot, but she says she was recently inspired to “get right” after a scary incident convinced her about the importance of self-care over your career.

Early in her career, working around the clock making albums, movies, concert performances, and still trying to be there in her personal life really wiped JLo out. In her most recent On The JLo newsletter, the star shared how a health scare led her to the importance of getting a good amount of sleep and making sure she took care of herself. 

There was a time in my life where I used to sleep [three] to [five] hours a night. I’d be on set all day and in the studio all night and doing junkets and filming videos on the weekends. I was in my late 20s and I thought I was invincible. Until one day, I was sitting in a trailer, and all the work and the stress it brought with it, coupled with not enough sleep to recuperate mentally, caught up with me. I went from feeling totally normal, to thinking about what I needed to do that day and all of a sudden I felt as if I couldn’t move ... I was completely frozen. I had made my work such an all-consuming priority and let my own self-care needs go completely (even as simple as sleeping or taking ten minutes to just relax). I found myself feeling physically paralyzed, I couldn’t see clearly and then the physical symptoms I was having started to scare me and the fear compounded itself.

Over the course of her career, the Grammy and other awards winner has seemingly dealt with a lot of stress of the type that would impact anyone’s sleep. She reflected on feeling “invincible” until her work-life balance caught up with her after which she was “frozen.” In her newsletter, Jennifer Lopez continued to open up about the scary panic attack she went through and what the doctor told her the culprit was.

Now I know it was a classic panic attack brought on by exhaustion, but I had never even heard the term at the time. My security guard on set came in and picked me up and drove me to the doctor. By the time I got there, I could at least speak again and I was so terrified I thought I was losing my mind. I asked the doctor if I was going crazy. He said, 'No, you’re not crazy. You need sleep ... get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, don’t drink caffeine, and make sure you get your workouts in if you're going to do this much work.' I realized how serious the consequences could be of ignoring what my body and mind needed to be healthy -- and that’s where my journey to wellness began.

Luckily, it’s a routine that has seemingly served her well. Despite stressors– she’s spoken about dealing with media scrutiny from the tabloids, specifically related to her three failed marriages and the "brutal" way she and Ben Affleck were treated when they first started going out, these days she seems to be in a better place with her schedule. 

It’s a lesson learned about how important it is to listen to your body and focus on wellness. Lopez used these lessons through her new major business move, JLo Beauty, where she stated her five beauty principles are “Sunscreen, Serum, Supplements, (vivir) Sano and SLEEP!" She also recommended that people try "That JLo Glow Serum" for a little extra boost in their day.

I personally hope Jennifer Lopez continues to be healthy so that she can continue to use her glowing talent in everything she does. Despite how important her work is to her, Lopez has managed to find a balance in still being the superstar she is while also focusing on being a loving mother and having a “fulfilling” relationship after rekindling with Ben Affleck. If you would like to get more insight into the singer's hectic career, watch her documentary Halftime on your Netflix subscription.

Carly Levy
Carly Levy

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.