My Path to Wellness: How Jackie Harris Defines Self-Care on Her Own Terms

Jackie Harris riding a horse

As a neonatal nurse from Long Island, Jackie Harris has more than enough compassion when it comes to the small joys of life. Through competitive sports, physical injuries, and other obstacles that have been thrown her way, she shares with us the importance of finding balance when defining what self-care truly means.

Through finding the time to dedicate to those she loves, and to what she loves, she has been able to find her path to wellness— both within and outside the world of physical fitness.

Read below to learn more about her path to wellness and her advice on creating time for self-dedication within one’s busy schedule.


Hi fit52 fam!

Jackie standing in front of a beautiful view as a part of self care

My name is Jackie Harris and I am a Neonatal ICU Nurse from Long Island, New York. I love music, traveling, and staying active! For those who do not know, a neonatal nurse works with newborn babies, often acting as an intermediary between the parent and the specialists working with the infant. It’s a crucial position for an infant’s first moments and I am happy to be able to help new-parents.

Growing up playing sports and being in the nursing field
has ingrained in me my love of health and wellness— but it doesn’t come without its ups and downs. I started playing soccer when I was five years old and played on competitive teams all the way through to the collegiate level, all while being in nursing school.

Throughout my years playing soccer I learned so many valuable lessons which I carry over into everyday life. I also learned to deal with setbacks—having had two ACL reconstructive surgeries.  Although I don’t play soccer anymore, I have continued my path to wellness each and every day with positivity and perseverance. Most of all, I am thankful to have fit52 to incorporate some balance alongside my journey.

Jackie hiking in the woods as a part of her self care

For me, self-care isn’t just about strenuous physical activity and trying to get in that workout every day. There is so much more to it than that.

Working the night shifts as a Registered Nurse in the Neonatal ICU can be a tiring and stressful job at times. My favorite activity to help deal with the many stresses of work and everyday life is running. Whatever the time or distance, I always feel better physically and mentally when I am able to get out for a run. There’s nothing like popping in your headphones and listening to your favorite songs, books, or podcasts, while getting outdoors and working up a sweat. And if running isn’t your thing, I encourage you to find that activity that is best for you!

Jackie wearing her "NY ICU" shirt on one of her night shifts as a neonatal nurse.

For me, self-care isn’t just about strenuous physical activity and trying to get in that workout every day. There is so much more to it than that. I try to take time to unplug which can be hard these days! Getting out for a walk or trying yoga has helped clear my mind and reconnect with myself.

Taking the time for yourself to do something non-physical is just as important for your health. Whether it’s reading a book, meditation, praying, trying new recipes, watching your favorite show (mine is Outlander!) or spending time with friends and family. All of this helps in your journey to wellness!

My biggest pieces of advice I’d like to share with all of you are: 
1) Listen to your body. It’s ok to take a rest day if needed! 
2) Take one day at a time and focus on the now.
3) Try not to compare yourself to others. (I know I’m guilty of this sometimes and can be too hard on myself!).
We’re all unique and on different paths in this journey! So at the end of the day, just be you.

I’m so thankful to have shared my story. To all in the fit52 community, keep up the great work!

All the best, 
– Jackie

Want to be featured in My Path to Wellness? Tag us at @fit52!

We’re looking for active users who embody the strength, dedication, and positivity of the Fit52 Life. Download fit52 now.