The work Soleil Moon Frye does to support public health causes she feels strongly about, including vaccine education and access, is about giving back. But it’s also something the actor does to take care of herself. “One of the biggest parts of self-care for me is being of service to others, and I really truly mean that from the bottom of my heart,” Frye tells SELF. “Anytime I can do something for someone else, I really do feel so much better.”
During the pandemic, the Punky Brewster child star—who recently reprised her iconic role with a reboot of the 1980s sitcom that premiered on Peacock in February—has worked with nonprofit Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) to set up free COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites, and more recently with vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) to raise awareness about the meningitis B vaccine with a campaign called Ask2BSure.
Frye has also learned over the years that prioritizing her relationship with herself enables her to show up better for others, whether that’s in her role as an actor and writer-director, public health advocate, or mother of four. “For me, the most important thing is my relationship with myself, and feeling love within me so my cup feels full,” Frye explains. She cultivates that relationship with inspiring books (The Four Agreements and The Prophet are two favorites) and practices that nurture qualities like gratitude and a sense of inner peace. “One of the most important things for me is to practice self-love, meditation, and prayer, and to really constantly check in with myself and my faith,” says Frye.
Building self-love and self-confidence with affirmations has also been key for Frye—and something she’s been modeling for her two teenage girls growing up in a culture full of messaging that runs counter to that. “So often, the programming from the world around us makes it hard, and we base so much of our feelings on the attention or lack of attention we get from others instead of really finding our source of self-love,” Frye says. She sees affirmations as a way to help rewrite those narratives. “Sometimes we don’t believe what we’re saying, and we just have to keep saying it over and over and over until we believe it,” Frye explains.
Something else Frye models for her children is being an informed advocate for the health of yourself and others. “My whole outlook around public health has grown so much in the last couple of years from being able to witness it firsthand from the frontlines,” Frye says. “I had the realization that I needed to gather more information and advocate for my kids.” She has since become passionate about spreading accurate information and awareness regarding vaccines, and their role in both family and public health.
This year Frye joined the Ask2BSure campaign encouraging parents to ask their family doctor about the meningitis B vaccine, which helps protect against viral meningitis B, a subtype of the highly contagious infection that causes inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.