Meet Jessica Diaz-Hurtado, a multi-media storyteller and creative. She helps edit She Shreds, a magazine focused on highlighting women artists and musicians. Jessica is also the co-founder of Necia Media Collective, an online network for women of color artists and creators.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

These days, I'm a documentary producer working on telling stories focused on marginalized communities. I find ways to bring other people's voices to light through visual storytelling. I also help edit a music magazine focused on women, which is such an amazing opportunity where I learn so much about other women's artistry. I learn about their paths, how they work and how they interpret their world through a creative lens. I think it's really important to support one another in order to lift each other up. If she's winning, then I'm winning. To me, to support other women is to also support yourself and your dreams too. 

2. What does a healthy relationship look like to you?

A healthy relationship always starts with respect. It's about seeing each other as humans, as people, regardless of what walk of life we're coming from. I'm still learning, but from what I've lived, communication is key. Not only what we communicate, but most importantly how we do so. Tone, body language, intonations, etc, can say so much without many words. I've been in unhealthy relationships, and as a woman of color, I've ended up carrying the burden of silence. It has shrank me. But I've healed and am healing from those experiences and know how to spot unhealthy behaviors. I put myself first and stay away from people with that energy. I've seen how that energy can eat at people. I think if we approach one another, literally, with how we would like to be treated, people would be much more open. They'd find ways to connect with one another that can help foster healthier relationships, and healthier lives.  

3. Was there a time when you needed to set boundaries? Why and how?

I'm constantly learning how to find ways to not really set boundaries, but how to find a balance that works for me. Most recently, I've been trying to find a balance with my ambitions. Sometimes, my dreams are so big, and I have so many of them, that I overwhelm myself. This paralyzes me sometimes and makes me feel like I can't pursue some of my projects. So for my own creative health, I've learned to identify boundaries to strengthen my discipline. This means taking time to write things down, to set realistic goals, and to try and not make myself feel bad for not having the time to pursue all of my ideas. This is something I'm still learning, but it's necessary for me in order to actually start or even table some ideas. I think it's taught me and helped me accept that no, I can't do it all. And that's it's ok if I can't do it all. We aren't supposed to "do it all", that's why life is so big. Every moment will have its time.  

4. What does your self-care routine look like?

I used to think self care was only reserved for Sundays. At a specific time, place and doing a specific thing. And yea, that's cool that I started my self-care like that because it introduced me to a way of thinking that made me intentionally take care of myself. But as I've become more aware about my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health, I've tried to look at self-care as a way to live rather than a routine. I've tried to be as conscious as possible to always take care of myself, from tiny things everyday to special treatments. This looks really different for me depending on how I'm feeling, on what life throws at me . Sometimes, self-care is going to the gym and going super hard. Other times it's skipping the gym, and instead resting at home, or catching up with a friend. Self -care can be meal-prepping healthy foods for the week, or just being like YOLO and eat that pizza, that pupusa, that burger. Self-care can be going to a therapy session, or watching reality TV after a long day of work. It can be getting together with my sisters one night to have a glass of wine and it fill with chisme, or it can be being by myself the whole day and staying away from social media. Self-care can finally be treating myself to some new clothes, burying myself in a book, or simply talking with my abuela in El Salvador. It means distancing myself from some when I need to, it can mean holding on to my loved ones as much as I can. Self-care means catching myself and apologizing when I know I'm wrong, it means feeling ok to feel proud when I'm winning. My self-care can be contradictory. It can be healing and frustrating. It means figuring out what works for me when I need it to.