Kyle Richards Is Focused on 'Being Strong and Feeling Strong' amid Separation from Mauricio Umansky (Exclusive)

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Richards speaks exclusively with PEOPLE about her recent lifestyle changes saying, "I'm doing everything I can in my power to make sure that I am unbreakable"

<p>Jon Kopaloff/Getty; Jesse Grant/Getty </p> Kyle Richards and Mauricio Umansky confirmed their separation earlier this year.

Jon Kopaloff/Getty; Jesse Grant/Getty

Kyle Richards and Mauricio Umansky confirmed their separation earlier this year.

Kyle Richards is leading with resilience following her public separation from Mauricio Umansky.

“When I feel good and my hair looks good, I feel unbreakable,” the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, 54, tells PEOPLE at Bravocon 2023 while promoting her Nexxus Unbreakable Care partnership. “And going through … [what] I'm going through now, for me right now, everything is about being strong and feeling strong physically, mentally, spiritually. So I'm doing everything I can in my power to make sure that I am unbreakable.”

Some of her intention to build strength includes lifestyle choices, which sometimes garner backlash from her RHOBH cast members. “I had a lot of heat from the cast in the beginning,” Richards says. “’You're not drinking’ and ‘You're working out every day’ and ‘You're going to work out, even in Vegas?’ I'm like, ‘I need to do everything I can to make myself feel as strong and happy as I can right now.’”

Related: Kyle Richards Admits She Needed 'Freedom and Some Space' from Husband Mauricio Umansky: 'It's Been Rough'

And it appears to be working.

"I do not feel my age at all," she says. "I feel better than I ever have ever in my life, which I never imagined. I heard people saying, 'Oh, you're going to love your 40s' when I was in my 30s and I was like, 'Mm. Whatever. I don't know.' I don't remember people saying [anything] about their 50s, but I've learned what works for me and I'm more comfortable in my skin."

"I have more confidence now," she adds.

<p>Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty</p> Kyle Richards attends Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.

Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Kyle Richards attends Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.

Richards and Umansky, 53, wed in January 1996. The pair, who first met at a nightclub in 1994, share daughters Alexia, 27, Sophia, 23 and Portia, 15, as well as Farrah Brittany (née Aldjufrie), 34, from Kyle's first marriage to ex Guraish Aldjufrie.

Richards and Umansky‘s separation was made public in July when PEOPLE confirmed through a source that they "have been separated for a while now but are still living under the same roof. They remain amicable as they figure out what’s next for them and their family.”

At first, the couple denied they would be getting divorced, saying they’ve had a “rough year” in a joint statement posted to Instagram.

The split has just begun to play out on screen, as Richards divulged her marital changes to costar Dorit Kemsley. “I feel like I needed a little freedom — freedom and some space,” the Halloween Ends star said when asked about Umansky’s limited presence.

Umansky — who appears on Buying Beverly Hills — is currently competing on Dancing with the Stars alongside partner Emma Slater. The pair were photographed holding hands off-stage, though they denied any romance assumptions. “We are not dating,” Umansky said in an Instagram Story video. “We are really good friends. We've been dancing together now for six weeks, four hours a day, every single day.”

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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo. BravoCon 2023 is taking place Friday through Sunday at Las Vegas' Caesars Forum, with secondary activities occurring at the Paris Theater. 

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