Health & Wellness: Know Your Value

by Erica Moody

MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski is empowering women on her “Know Your Value” national tour.

By Erica Moody 

Know Your Value

Jenn Lea, Lynn Seth, Mika Brzezinski and Jill Sharp (Photo Courtesy of Johnson and Johnson)

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski stopped in Washington on her nationwide tour of “Know Your Value,” a conference that aims to inspire and empower women in the workplace and help them succeed in both work and life.

The motivational day was held at the Marriott Marquis and included speeches, workshops, networking opportunities and a “Grow Your Value” competition during which three finalists competed for $10,000 by telling Brzezinski why they deserve a bonus. Former Marine Kay Brown of Hampton, Virginia was the winner in the D.C. competition–she spoke of her hip-hop based dance company and efforts to inspire urban youth.

Conference speakers included Senators Claire McCaskill and Kirsten Gillibrand; Mayor Muriel Bowser; MSNBC’s Jonathan Capeheart, Phil Griffin, Andrea Mitchell and Alex Wagner; Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive; The Confidence Code author Katty Kay; The View co-host Nicolle Wallace and MILLY founder/designer Michelle Smith. We caught up with Johnson & Johnson’s Human Performance Institute health coach Jenn Lea when she was in town, her company a wellness partner for the event.

Kay Brown and Jenn Lea (Photo by Michele Beyer)

Kay Brown and Jenn Lea (Photo Courtesy of Johnson and Johnson)

“Self care is not vanity, it’s sanity,” Lea tells us. “Women often neglect our own self care to nurture others…but if we don’t invest in self care, helping others for the long term is not sustainable.” Lea worked with Brown to perfect her winning pitch for the bonus.

“What inspires me about women in the workforce is that we’re so powerful yet we tend to undermine ourselves, not putting ourselves out there as much as we should,” Lea says. “In a way, we don’t think that we’re always capable of accelerating growth and becoming leaders in the workplace. I have a really strong passion around helping women see their true selves.”

Balancing work with home and careers has women “always feeling like they have to make sacrifices,” Lea says.

Joanna Swartz, Jenn Lea, Kay Brown (Photo by Michele Beyer)

Joanna Swartz, Jenn Lea and Kay Brown (Photo Courtesy of Johnson and Johnson)

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Lea says something as simple as having a personal mission statement is enough to encourage women to engage in the right behaviors, to focus on how you’re feeling rather than weight or health. “We focus on the human being holistically,” she says.

She gave us a few quick tips for taking care of our well-being throughout the busy day.

“Never go longer than two hours without moving,” Lea advises. “Eat right and often. Never go more than four hours without some kind of food. Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, drink plenty of water and make time for exercise.” Johnson & Johnson even offers a 7-minute workout app for employees. “Because something is better than nothing,” Lea says.

Catch “Know Your Value” live in Chicago, Boston and Orlando beginning in September. Find out more about the movement here.


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