Reese Witherspoon on Divorce, Her Keys to Wellness and the Liberation of Her 40s

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This is a chapter of Reese Witherspoon’s life that she’s writing. Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, Witherspoon gets candid about announcing her divorce, the freedom of her 40s and what it’s like to finally take a moment for herself.

Witherspoon, 47, is a powerhouse in Hollywood with over 60 acting credits to her name and a wildly successful production company, Hello Sunshine, to run. According to those who know her, Witherspoon rarely, if ever, slows down.

“She is one of the most highly productive human beings I’ve ever encountered,” Jennifer Aniston says. “It’s incredible.”

But now, Witherspoon is taking some time for herself.

“My brain has been going nonstop, and just life changes and running a company…” she says. “But that’s okay. I really believe creativity is infinite and you’re just looking for that next bit of inspiration, so if you go through a little slow period, that’s okay.”

The Keys to Wellness

For Witherspoon, a good green smoothie has been a major component of her day for over a decade. She’s even walked us through how to make it on Instagram, saying that you can use “anything green you have in the refrigerator” for this versatile smoothie.

Her big pro-tip is to pack in some good-for-you sweets to balance out all those bitter greens. She uses an entire apple, pear and banana. Witherspoon first caught wind of the recipe that would become her go-to from longtime friend Kerry Washington. “I was sat next to her at an award show,” Witherspoon says. “And I said, ‘your skin is just glowing, what do you do?’”

Washington told her that she credited it to the smoothie which helped clear her skin and strengthened her hair and nails.

In addition to this longtime staple of her routine, Witherspoon is trying to take it slower and invest more in herself. That includes using binaural beat therapy to fall asleep. “It’s better than any melatonin or sleep aid,” she says. “[It] turns your brain off.”

A binaural beat is an auditory illusion that has been utilized as a form of sound therapy. Essentially, playing two slightly different frequencies in each ear makes the brain create a new, third sound that’s in-between those original frequencies. While the medical evidence for its effectiveness is still being studied, it’s a fairly common form of sleep therapy.

Writing Her Own Narrative

There’s a reason why Witherspoon has been taking it a bit slower, recently. In March, she announced her separation from her second husband, former CAA power agent Jim Toth. She’s not unfamiliar with how this process goes, especially in the public eye. But this time, she’s a lot more in control.

“When I was divorced before, the tabloid media got to tell people how I was feeling or how I was processing, and it felt very out of control,” Witherspoon says. “To be able to talk to people directly about what’s going on in my life and just share it in the way that I share great professional experiences or personal experiences, it feels much more authentic to be able to say things in my own voice and not let somebody else control what’s happening. Then, of course, there’s speculation, but I can’t control that. All I can do is be my most honest, forthright self and be vulnerable,” she says. “It’s a vulnerable time for me.”

And despite what you might assume, Witherspoon says she’s felt more connected and less isolated since going public with her divorce announcement. “I think about how many other people are going through this experience,” she says. “I don’t feel isolated at all. I feel very connected.”

The Freedom of Aging

For Witherspoon, the big change in her life trajectory was having her first child at 22.

“Who do I want my daughter to see? I really want to be a woman she looks up to. … I worked on it a lot,” Witherspoon says.

And these days, she’s got a much clearer picture of who she is.

“I think you start to realize there’s a finite amount of time that you have to accomplish what you want to accomplish in this world and that worrying about other people’s opinions of you is a waste of your precious time,” says Witherspoon. “It’s a liberation in your 40s to feel free of other people’s opinions. I mean, they’re always there. They just don’t matter as much to you, and it’s a great feeling.”

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