Runako Inside Out with Jen Cedor

Inside Out is our weekly profile on people and all things personal care. Our profiles will look into different aspects of personal care including physical, skin, mental and health care. We want to know how you’ve been taking care of yourself inside and out and help us share tips, tricks and advice with others. 

Jen Cedor holds a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School and currently works as a Staff Attorney providing access to justice to self-represented litigants in the Boston community.  In this capacity, she ensures that these litigants, who are marginalized, oppressed, and underserved, have the necessary tools to navigate the unfair judicial system.  Jen is also the President and Founder of HerMpowered. A nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring life to women and girls via healthcare and the law. At HerMpowered, women and girls are provided with education and resources surrounding legal and health issues that plague the community.  This nonprofit was birthed from her love and dedication to community. The goal is to save a life. HerMpowered can be found on twitter: @hermpowered and instagram: @hermpowered_official. 

Runako: How are you? Especially now with the on-going coronavirus pandemic? 

Jen: Honestly, I am doing well. When we first entered the coronavirus pandemic, I panicked. Last year, around this time, I was going through a tough time and when they asked that we stay home all I saw was last year’s darkness. This was not the case for me. I’ve experienced so much joy during this time. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable to share how happy I’ve been during, but, truly it is a feeling I know I deserve. Now, during this time we’ve experienced so many other things that has been unsettling: increase in racial strife, complete disregard for humanity on the political front, and an increase in selfishness of the community- all that has really caused me to take a pause and question where we are heading as a society. I’ve had nights where I am up wondering how I can educate the people, take part in making a difference, and successfully advocate for the liberation of our people, however, this has not taken the inner joy and peace that I feel. I’m truly grateful for this feeling and I hope it never goes away. 

Runako: How have you been taking care of your mental health? Have you implemented any changes to your personal routine?

Jen: I started therapy last year and was discharged earlier this year, however, I’ve been implementing things I learned in therapy. I learned to eliminate my triggers. I learned to practice self-care and this isn’t solely getting a massage, mani/pedis, and other fun things I like to indulge in, but being intentional about making sure I am okay is the goal. This means if I feel myself slipping, making a phone call to my therapist who left the line of communication open or writing down my feelings so I am able to process things as they occur. Also, for me, being scared of returning to a hurtful, broken place, is motivation enough to tighten up. 

Runako: How have you been taking care of your physical health? If not, why?

Jen: I have been taking care of my physical health and it’s been great. I initially started by walking/jogging 3-3.5 miles in the morning before starting work. I would do this for about 2-3 days out of the week. Now, I’ve switched to evening workouts and aim for 4-5 days. I started off the year with a health crisis that includes a few ER visits and this has really helped calm my anxiety surrounding that. I’ve also switched to a Black medical practice, which includes a Black doctor, nurse practitioners, and nurses. I’ve seen them like three times during quarantine and it’s great. 

Runako: We can’t forget about skincare, how has your skincare routine been during the quarantine? Any significant changes?

Jen: My skin care routine has been the same during quarantine. My skin is really sensitive so I try not to make a lot of changes. I also have a fear of breaking out so I try to avoid being too creative on that front.

Runako: What are some products you’ve been loving and using?

Jen:  My everyday staples: 

Himalya Botanique Neem and Turmeric Face Wash

Yardley’s  Activated Charcoal w/ Bentonite Clay 

Heritage Store’s Rose Water

Provence Beauty’s Avocado & Rosehip Oil 

Oh, and drinking lots of water. 

Runako: Any natural skin care tips or products you’ve tried and are now part of your personal routine?

Jen: The best thing I’ve done for my skin is not using lotion. I started using natural oils to moisturize my skin and I just love the results. The key is to also do this while your skin is still wet. It really locks in the moisture and will have your skin looking and feeling so healthy. 

Oils I have used so far (Now brand):

Apricot oil (so good!)

Almond oil (also good!)

On the list:

Avocado oil

Shea nut oil 

Runako: Do you have any go-to DIY skincare recipes or combinations that you can share? 

Jen: Grated carrots! This has been my go to for years. First I cleanse my face and apply the carrot as is, leave for a few minutes, and rinse off. If I feel up to it, I’ll add a little bit of honey to it and follow the same steps above. 

Runako: What’s a must in your personal care routine? (Don’t be shy)

Jen: Time alone is so important to me. Being able to just step away from everyone and everything is key. Taking that time of solitude to reflect, to work on my growth, and to rest has been so beneficial in my personal care. Also, prayer- being able to connect with God and just bring all my questions, worries, and etc…is truly how I make it on a daily basis. 

Runako: Any advice, tips or tricks you want to share? Something you might have discovered recently that might help someone reading this?

Jen:  ADitch the lotion- trust me. 

Push through- my motto for everything. Literally just push through. 

Offer yourself grace- over and over again.

Be kind and gentle with yourself- your spirit will thank you. 

And lastly, love yourself completely, with no hesitation and no barriers. 

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