Jameela Jamil Said ‘No’ for a Year to Things She Didn’t Want to Do: ‘I Found Out Who I Really Was’

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Jameela Jamil attends Billboard Women in Music on December 12, 2019. Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Challenge accepted! Jameela Jamil revealed that, with the help of a female therapist, she made the effort to say “no” for a year to any and everything she wasn’t interested in doing.

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“I was maybe 28 when I was challenged by a woman to a ‘year of no.’ Just saying ‘no’ to anything I didn’t want to do. Just a year of selfishness,” the Good Place alum, 33, told Us Weekly exclusively at the Zumba Fitness Be SELFish event on Tuesday, February 4. “As a woman, I’ve been so conditioned to be selfless that it was going to take the exact opposite to bring me back into the middle. So, just for one year, I was allowed to cancel on anyone I wanted to cancel on. I didn’t have to do anything. I could just say ‘no’ to absolutely anything I wanted.”

The therapist advised Jamil to “prioritize” her “own needs and don’t be afraid of what other people think” about her. Jamil ultimately praised the self-care technique, which she noted helped her to rediscover herself.

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“I found out who I really was and what I really wanted and who I was when I wasn’t run dry, like, utilizing all of my resources for everyone by myself,” she admitted. “Once I started to look after myself, I ended up actually having more to give others because I had more energy. More happiness. It was a boost.”

Jamil’s “year of no” experience is the reason she “jumped” at the opportunity to team up with Zumba Fitness for its SELFish campaign. “It’s one of the best things that ever happened to me. It’s just taking a little bit of time just for me, a little bit of space just for me doing something that just topped me up,” she shared.

Jamil has been vocal about her self-care journey before. During a September 2018 interview on the “Ways to Change the World” podcast, she credited a car accident that broke her back as the experience that got her to reevaluate and halt her eating disorder.

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“It forced me to change my relationship with my body and I also gained a lot of weight,” the English actress said at the time. “I learned how to appreciate this body that I realized by then that I had taken hugely for granted and I had been actively hurting for so long.”

Now, the “I Weigh” movement founder revealed that her go-to self-care habits include being with her friends and dancing. Jamil also noted that she finds walking to be “really therapeutic” for her, and added that she enjoys exercise “that’s about you and just how you feel in the moment.”

With reporting by Nicole Pajer

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