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Self-care serves all

Last Modified: 6/24/2020

Janet

Janet Long recalls the day her physical and mental health were pushed to the limit. Having lived with diabetes, Janet decided it was time to reach out for help and applied to the Parkview Heart Institute’s 2017 Her Heart Challenge.

During the interview process, Janet was asked why she wanted to be a part of the program. She recalled being tired of giving everything to everyone else and not having anything left for herself. “At the time, I needed something to jerk me out of my life,” Janet shared. “My job was less than inspirational. I felt very unappreciated and unworthy.”

What needed to change

Looking back, Janet’s days consisted of helping others with their own health plans, shopping and preparing meals. For Janet, life seemed to focus on two things: her job and what she could do for her family. “I’m diabetic, and at the time, all I wanted was sweets and chocolate cake! There is a fine line between being a diabetic and knowing what I need to do and doing it.”

Benefits of the Her Heart Challenge

The Her Heart Challenge allowed Janet to see the reality of her life. At the beginning of the program, she shared that she found herself generally down and feeling raw. On the first weekend, everyone shared their testimonies, and for the first time, those stories allowed her to stop holding it all together for everyone else and simply be vulnerable. “It was okay to not be okay. There was no judgment,” she remembered.

Later, during the 12-week program, Janet was furloughed by her job. “I skipped the sessions that night,” she admitted. “People in the class reached out to check on me and to this day, I recall feeling support from everyone in the program. I didn’t feel less-than because of my situation.”

During one of the sessions, Janet remembered learning a personal lesson that she continues to focus on today, “You are powerful. You will be alright.” It helped her find a new path. One that has led to multiple successes and added to her confidence in both life and business.

Paying it forward

With a new focus, Janet stepped into a full-time role with Mary Kay at the end of 2017. Lifted by the success she’s found in building relationships with her friends and family in northwest Ohio, and the connections she has made in Fort Wayne, Janet is now in a leadership position with a team of 34. “What I stand for is not just makeup, but that women feel good about themselves on the inside and the outside. The Her Heart Challenge led me to do this business,” Janet expressed. “I loved the program and what it offered. These women, some of my best friends today, wouldn’t be if I hadn’t done the Her Heart Challenge. We need more of this in the world.” With such a positive experience, Janet wanted to give back to the program that had given her so much.

MK3

In May, Janet contacted the Parkview Foundation to see how she could help generosity come full circle while still practicing social distancing. She decided to donate 50 hand care gift sets to the Parkview Heart Institute, as sanitizing and constant washing can be rough on the hands of frontlines workers. The gift sets were created by Janet and her Mary Kay team to show their appreciation for those serving patients in their time of need.

While COVID-19 has changed many things, it hasn’t changed Janet’s campaign to donate self-care products to essential healthcare staff. “We wanted them to feel like it was a gift just for them. They put their lives and their family’s lives on the line by risking exposure to the virus,” Janet said. “We hope this gift allows them to remember a message of self-value as they continue to be a resource to the public.” In the same way, a sign hanging in Janet’s office from the 2017 Her Heart Challenge, reminds her daily, “I am enough, and I deserve the best of myself!”

For more information on how to support the patients or staff of Parkview Health, please visit the Parkview Foundations page and remember, your generosity heals!

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