Juan Veloz and Michelle Alonso’s Illustration: Julissa Calderon on Prioritizing Rest and Restoration in a Busy World

– Julissa Calderon is a Dominican-American actress known for her work in Buzzfeed’s “Pero Like” and Netflix’s “Gentefied” and Prime’s “With Love.”
– She grew up with a strong work ethic and the belief that rest was not a priority, but she has since learned the importance of rest and self-care.
– Calderon has found solace in journaling, prioritizing her mental health, and discovering new passions, such as fitness, during slower periods in her acting career.

Full Story

Julissa Calderon, a Dominican-American actress hailing from Miami, gained initial recognition through her viral videos with Buzzfeed’s “Pero Like.” Fueled by the desire to create Dominican representation and storytelling online, Calderon eventually broke into Hollywood with prominent roles in Netflix’s “Gentefied” and Prime’s “With Love.” As part of Latine Heritage Month, Calderon shares her reflections on the importance of rest and restoration in a culture driven by relentless grind.

Calderon’s upbringing as a Dominican child in New York, raised in Miami, under immigrant parents instilled a survival mentality. Witnessing her mother’s constant hard work, Calderon realized that rest was a luxury she rarely saw her mom or women in her community indulge in. However, in recent years, she has embarked on a transformative journey transitioning from a survival mindset to a thriving one, though not without struggles and internal conflicts.

Calderon’s acting career took unexpected turns, initially starting as a digital content creator for Buzzfeed. An intern recognized her potential and introduced her to the team. Consequently, her videos gained substantial popularity, resonating with her community by providing the representation she had yearned for during her own upbringing. However, Calderon came to a point where she felt limited and desired more. In a remarkable display of manifestation and surrendering control, she left Buzzfeed and within weeks landed her breakthrough acting role in “Gentefied,” learning the importance of trusting the process and the need for rest along the way.

Encountering burnout and facing personal challenges, Calderon found herself at a pivotal moment, longing for change. Engaging in reflective car rides and journaling became essential self-care practices to prioritize her mental health and well-being. Inspired by the power of journaling, she launched her own dream and manifestation journal, “Manifest That Sh*t.” The process not only transformed her relationship with rest but also fueled her desire to release a second journal focusing on introspection. Acting taught her the significance of rest, dispelling the notion of constant work portrayed on social media.

Rest and restoration have played a significant role in Calderon’s journey, allowing her to listen to her true self and chart her path. Slower periods in her career have enabled her to appreciate the value of self-care, with activities like working out and spending quality time with loved ones. These moments of reflection and rejuvenation have shaped her into the person she is today, and she recognizes the pivotal role they have played in her success. Julissa Calderon’s story serves as an inspiration, reminding us all of the transformative power of rest amidst the demanding grind culture of today.