How 14 Powerful Women Are Practicing Self-Care Right Now

Glamour
·21 mins read

The year 2020 has given us a lot of reasons to be stressed, anxious, and depressed. Which is why self-care—actually making it a part of your routine, and not just promising yet again that you’re going to start meditating—has never been more important. It’s the oxygen mask that enables us to go out into the world and meet the many challenges we’re facing. 

This year especially, the nature of self-care is evolving. For some people, it’s a face mask, or a trip to the nail salon, or a workout. For others it’s time with family or an indulgently early bedtime. And for others, self-care is activism—protesting, donating, caring for yourself by caring for your community. 

All of these are valid.

Since we could all use more motivation to practice self-care, we asked women in different industries with busy lives what self-care looks like for them and how they’re fitting it into their day. After all, 2020 is a marathon—and we’re all going to need to be in shape to keep rising to its challenges. 

Learn a new language. 

Aja Naomi King, actor and L’Oreal Paris brand ambassador

What’s been the most stressful aspect of this time for you? 

Not having any kind of control over what’s going to happen. A word I say to myself whenever I am getting really anxious is surrender. Surrender your mind, surrender your thoughts. Because you can’t control it. You can only be where you are and take care of yourself where you are. 

What’s one act of self-care that’s been helping?

I’ve been working on learning some German because I am in a relationship with an Austrian man, and that made me want to learn more of that language. Austria is one of the most incredibly beautiful places I have ever been to. The countryside is green like you have never seen green. So I can speak a little now. It’s really nice to take the time to learn something new. Being challenged to do something that you know absolutely nothing about is incredibly calming because it takes all your focus—you don’t have time to think about everything outside of that. It’s really nice.

Try a new way to meditate. 

Nastia Liukin, gymnast and Olympic gold medalist

How would you rate your stress and anxiety compared to your normal?

It admittedly took me some time to adapt to the current reality. Ironically, I became frustrated at myself for not taking it in stride—that caused more anxiety. I finally realized that it’s okay to not be okay right now. 

What’s one act of self-care that’s really been helping?

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to incorporate meditation into my daily self-care practices. Even before stay-at-home orders were in place, I was unknowingly preparing my headspace for what was to come. Now that the world is where it is, I’ve been leaning into that practice even more. I’m a really big fan of Core—a physical device paired with an app, which provides a distraction-free, immersive meditation experience. If meditation isn’t your thing (which, on some days, is me), I work out. Moving my body has always cleared my head and set me up for a more positive day.

Core Meditation Trainer

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Why is it important for you to keep prioritizing self-care?

Self-care is simply acts of self-love. At a basic level, it provides us with comfort in a time of stress and anxiety. As a society, we are craving love right now. The more love you can give yourself, the more love you can spread. Taking time to work on ourselves individually, I believe, will allow us to be better members of our global community. It will lead to better understanding, better communication, better relationships.

Take action against inequality. 

Kristine Thompson, fashion blogger at TrendyCurvy and founder of fashion line Kin by Kristine

What’s been the most difficult aspect of this year for you?

Things have been incredibly emotional and difficult these past few weeks. On one hand there is a global pandemic that is still infecting many people. People are continuing to lose their lives from this disease, and it is just heartbreaking. But then it’s compounded by the video that has caused a worldwide uproar of the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police department. It has caused such a wide range of emotions from anger, devastation, sadness, and even numbness.

How has your activism helped you feel a sense of purpose?

I felt that there was a need for more Black women to be seen in fashion and fashion media, so I started my blog to insert myself into those spaces. I have used my platform to highlight Black businesses as well as bring attention to social issues and injustices that we’ve faced. 

Now more than ever, though, I feel ignited. I feel as though people are listening that have never listened before. And although we have been proclaiming Black Lives Matter as the fundamental truth that it is, many are waking up to the reasons why that had to become a movement in the first place. The history of oppression of Black people in this country is robust, but I’m hopeful that now, collectively, we can start to address and take actions against that.

Why is it important for you to prioritize self-care right now?

I remember a particular time when I was working in an office. A video of an unarmed Black man being killed by the police had started to circulate. It was one of the first videos that I had seen like that, and I was stunned and heartbroken. I contemplated not even going into work because I was so distraught. I went anyway. To my surprise, everyone at work was business as usual while I could barely even get out a good morning. I tried to go about my day normally, but I found myself crying in the shipping room in the back in the middle of the day.

I tell that story to say that you have to take time to disconnect and heal. Seeing those types of videos (and the many that have come after that) is emotionally damaging. You cannot go about your day trying to block out what you have seen. It’s important in situations like this and others to fill your day with some sort of positivity. It’s paramount to your mental health.

What’s one act of self-care that’s really been helping? 

I have, surprisingly, really been loving cooking lately. I run to Pinterest or the internet for recipes and just experiment in the kitchen. It’s actually been really fun, and I’ve discovered so many new meals that I love. I also now have an air fryer, which I’m obsessed with and don’t know how I ever lived without. The brand that I have is from Cooks and it’s really amazing.

Air Fryer

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Set a slower pace. 

Misha Nonoo, fashion designer and founder of her own clothing line

How would you rate your stress and anxiety compared to normal?

As a businesswoman, I find it nerve-wracking enough going on maternity leave when things are running smoothly, but when this tragic outbreak started happening, I was supposed to be “offline.” My team is incredible, and they’ve been able to navigate these uncertain times and allowed me to have time as a mum. It’s these things, along with the health of my loved ones, I can be grateful for when I start to feel stress. My son is also a new and constant source of joy in my life, which helps me remove myself from the headlines. 

What’s one act of self-care that's really been helping? 

I’ve been able to maintain my daily morning meditation, which is crucial for starting the day with a clear, organized mind. But a new self-care ritual I’ve started is reminding myself that it’s okay to take things at my own pace. It may sound simple, but it’s so easy to compare your postpartum self to others and how they may have been able to “bounce back” in areas you might be still working toward. I remind myself there is no reason and no rush to return to my priorities from before having Leo. He’s everything I could ever want to focus on right now, and I’m enjoying my time cherishing him. 

Why is it important for you to prioritize self-care right now?

With a new baby, you aren’t often thinking about yourself, and with everything else going on in the world, your mind can be consumed with worry, anxiety, or even hopelessness. We’ve been fortunate to quarantine with family who have been a big help with Leo and allowed me to take some moments to rest my mind and body. These moments I have with a Dr. Barbara Sturm face mask and good book allow me to be a better mum, and keep a positive outlook on these uncertain times.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Clarifying Mask

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Create a calming skin-care ritual.

Shani Darden, celebrity esthetician and founder of Shani Darden Skin Care

What are you doing to practice self-care right now? 

Keeping a dedicated skin-care routine always keeps me centered. With everything going on, it helps to have a consistent routine, and I always look forward to it. I start off every day with 20 minutes in my Deesse Pro LED Mask. It’s a very calming daily ritual for me to start off my day with a glow! I always rely on Retinol Reform to keep my skin looking its best too. It boosts collagen in the skin, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, evens out my skin tone, and keeps my skin clear, so I can’t live without it.

Deesse Pro LED Mask

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Shani Darden Skin Care Retinol Reform

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Why is it so important to prioritize self-care?

I find that I am able to be more present and positive overall when I focus on my own rituals, which includes skin care and exercise. When everything seems uncertain, having a routine makes the biggest difference in dealing with anxiety and stress.

Take long showers. 

Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, founder of self-care spa Chillhouse 

You’ve literally built a business around self-care. What role does it play in your life? 

Self-care became part of my daily ritual, having access to all these services and products and conversations—it just became second nature, doing the things that we preach at Chillhouse. So for me, while it was my business, it was definitely a part of my lifestyle too. It is just an extension of who I’ve become. I mean, it’s not an indulgence for me any longer. It’s a necessity.

Chill Tips

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Stay Home Hoodie

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What is self-care looking like for you right now?

You know, it’s varied, honestly. Some weeks I’m just like, I need to shower for a very long time and meditate. I don’t ever really sit down to meditate, but I find that during my shower time is when I meditate—I sit under water for a long time and do nothing, which might be a little weird. But that’s what makes me feel good. I think our bodies just aren’t prepared for this level of stress, so I’ve definitely tried to let myself be a little lazier. 

Scream it out.

Ariane Goldman, founder of maternity clothing line Hatch Collection

How’ve you been handling the roller coaster that is 2020?

I’ve been experiencing these strange ebbs and flows of anxiety. I don’t know if it goes so far as depression, but definitely some moments of sadness that just come out of nowhere. It’s almost like a mood that I can’t shake and I’m just trying to, in all transparency, spare my family from it because I want to remain a leader in front of my team. But it’s very challenging because I can’t see these waves coming—so I’m trying to manage them the best I can.

How has your self-care routine changed?

I’ve been very much into The Class by Taryn Toomey. I never went to a physical class in my life—I was always concerned that she was a little too hokey for me—but a very dear friend of mine swore by it, so I started to stream her online. And I’ve got to say, all that hokiness of letting things out and exhaling and making noise and jumping up and down is exactly what the doctor ordered right now. I even sometimes tune into it fully clothed, like in my jeans and tee shirt, and just watch it just to chill me out and calm me down. 

I’m also doing my own pedicures with Tenoverten. I do Instagram sessions where she leads us through tutorials to teach us how to do it. I’m just trying to stay present and manageable so when I look in the mirror, I feel pretty okay about things.

Earthtone Trio

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Have a Zoom dance party. 

Marta Kauffman, creator Grace and Frankie and cocreator of Friends

How are you practicing self-care right now?

You know, I was just talking to my therapist about that. My dogs bring me joy. I spend as much time snuggling and playing with my dogs as I possibly can because they make me smile. I love to dance. So I’ve been Zoom dancing with the teacher from my in-person class because that brings me joy.

In some ways I think self-care is easier when I’m busy. Because everything is scheduled and I know that from this hour to this hour, that’s what I do. If I got home by seven o’clock, I’d get to take a bath—there were ways I’d built it into my schedule. One of the hard things right now is that getting motivated to do some of those things is very difficult.

Why do you feel like it’s important to prioritize self-care especially now?

I’m used to working from 6:45 in the morning until whenever we’re done shooting and then coming home and reading the script and reading an outline—my days were full. And now especially nights and weekends are so empty. It’s crucial to fill the time with something.

I’m actually making a new friend! It’s a woman whose stuff I follow on social media. We have friends in common, and she’s an incredibly brilliant writer, and passionate, and interesting, and we decided to have a Zoom cocktail and now we’ve done three of them. So that’s something I did.

Make your water feel fancy. 

Tiffany Masterson, founder of beauty brand Drunk Elephant

What’s one new self-care habit you’ve picked up?

I like drinking three huge bottles of water with these hydration tabs from Nuun and just mindfully drinking water. Just taking eight gulps every time I sip and making sure that I get two to three of those huge bottles in a day. That’s made such a huge difference in my everything: in my focus, in the pains in my back and shoulder, in my ability to move around and exercise, in sleeping. And that’s something I never do normally. 

Nuun Immunity

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Hydro Flask Lightweight Wide-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle - 32 fl. oz.

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How has your beauty routine played into that?

I just launched hair and body with Drunk Elephant. And so I’m using that a lot and just kind of taking mental notes for what’s next. And I’ve been focusing a lot on my whole routine—when you’re traveling as much and you’re kind of frantic and hurrying and rushing, you get out of your routine. You throw something on here, throw something on there, but sometimes you just don’t have time. This has been a time when I’ve really gotten to dive into all the products and think of ideas for other product launches. 

Drunk Elephant Kamili Cream Body Cleanser

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T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub

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Prioritize good sex. 

Cindy Eckert, CEO of The Pink Ceiling and Sprout Pharmaceuticals, creator of the medication Addyi, which treats low sexual desire in premenopausal women

What’s your self-care philosophy?

I always think of the Venn diagram with these intersecting circles of mental health, physical health, and sexual health, which I think is often overlooked. By virtue of what I do, I’m watching this impact on many people, including my own personal experience with it. So even though I’ve been stuck inside in sweats, I’m prioritizing sex and really for good reason: It’s good for mood. It’s good for sleep. It’s good for self-care. The body really does produce this magical cocktail of hormones when you have sex—including oxytocin, which impacts cortisol (which stresses us the hell out and keeps us from falling asleep). 

It’s what I do and my passion professionally, but even the personal piece of it has been important. When I’m feeling less attractive, in my sweats, just sort of getting through the days on Zoom call number 25, finding the sexy has been important.

We-Vibe Tango

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How are you finding joy in this time?

For me, joy is in connection. During this time there are so many lost connections that are being rekindled. Even, honestly, the fact that I’m doing these video chats with my entire team, the joy is seeing their faces, seeing them in environments I’ve never seen them in before and understanding their world a little better in that regard. Their dogs are popping on, their kids are popping in to say hello, and that’s been really joyful. That’s really been the best part of this.

Put on some music and clean. 

Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, creator of MTV’s Sweet/Vicious and Netflix’s Someone Great

What’s one act of self-care that’s helping you stay sane?

I have found a lot of comfort in doing tasks around the house where I can be away from screens. Turning on a record and cleaning my kitchen is something I’ve turned into me time now.

Crosley Cruiser Deluxe Turntable

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The other thing that’s been helping is donating—if you have the means to help out, I promise there is no better way to spend your money right now. 

Why is it important for you to prioritize self-care right now?

I mean, because duh? Everything is so, so scary and feels like such a question mark—if you aren’t doing what you can for yourself, there is no way you can function right now. Period. And self-care doesn’t have to be expensive! I feel like we associate self-care with face masks and bath salts and treating ourselves to goodies, and while that is of course lovely, self-care right now can be as simple as watching the sun set or FaceTiming your best friend once a week and checking in on each other’s mental health.

Lie in the sun.

Shawn Johnson East, Olympic gymnast

What’s been the most stressful part of this time for you? I think the hardest thing for me with all the chaos of just everything in the world is having a newborn. You wash your hands, and you wear your mask, and you listen to the news, but it’s just consuming fear. I’m already worried as a new mom of doing something to put my baby at risk. A global pandemic adding that stress and anxiety on top of it has been the hardest for me.

How are you coping with that anxiety?

It’s been a lot of conversations with my husband. He’s tried to play the calm, cool, and collected one, who’s like, “Oh, it’s fine. She’s okay. It’s not a big deal.” He’s trying to play devil’s advocate to calm me down, but it’s a lot of conversations and a lot of harsh realizations with myself that I can only do the best I can do. We’ll figure out a way to get through it.

So what is self-care looking for looking like for you right now?

We had a conversation really early on in quarantine and were like, “Okay, every day we’re going to give each other at least an hour, if not two hours, to where the other one will take the baby.” If it’s a workout, going and lying out in the sun in our backyard, if you just want to go drive around the city for two hours. You do whatever you need to, to take care of your mind and your body. I’ve been giving myself pedicures and trying to sun-bathe and read books and work out and just try to keep a somewhat normal life.

Try bullet journaling. 

Keltie Knight, correspondent on Entertainment Tonight and cocreator of the podcast LadyGang

How is your stress and anxiety compared to what’s normal for you?

My stress and anxiety levels come in abrupt waves. Somedays I’m jogging outside in the sun, taking time to read and feeling balanced and appreciative of this weird break, and the next I’m eating four ice cream sandwiches in bed, staring at the wall, picking at my disgusting un-manicured nail beds until they bleed, and feeling heartbroken our entire LadyGang Act Like a Lady book tour was cancelled. 

In the next instant, I’m feeling guilty that I’m feeling sad, because people are dying and losing their jobs, and I’m healthy and working from home and should be feeling so thankful. Then, I feel thankful. It’s a wicked circle.

What’s one act of self-care that’s really been helping?

I love to bullet-journal. I’ve been keeping various trackers during quarantine to help release some of the anxiety about the unknown. I’m tracking everything: my vitamin intake, my moods, TikTok dances I’ve learned, skin care, deep-conditioning my hair, books and podcasts, my periods, expenses, if i’ve watered the plants, even my bowel movements (sorry!). I find that using a bullet journal clears my head and helps me relax.

The Bullet Journal Method

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Lean into your emotions. 

Britney Young, actor and star of GLOW

What’s been the most stressful aspect of this time for you?

The hypochondriac in me went into overdrive when this first started. Every tingle, every sniffle or short breath, and I thought I had the virus. I had to reassure myself that I wasn’t sick and that the constant worry was actually wearing my body down even more. From the very beginning, there has been conflicting information on the seriousness of the virus and what we should do to stop the spread. It seems like our government officials, health care systems, and our fellow citizens haven’t really been on the same page throughout the whole experience. So it’s been hard to know who to listen to and what rules to follow. 

To handle the stress, I have told myself that I need to keep doing what I can to keep myself and my family safe and protected. That means washing my hands, staying home, keeping my distance, and wearing my face masks. I think if I can stick to that plan, I’ll make it through alright.

Sparkle Face Mask

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What is self-care looking like for you right now?

I have actually started listening to myself and leaning into my emotions instead of forcing myself to feel a certain way. At the beginning of this experience, I wasn’t sure how to feel. I was always trying to be positive and put on a happy face, when in reality I just wanted to sit down and have a good cry. Now that we are a few months into this whole thing, I have started letting my mind and body naturally dictate my mental and physical state, instead of forcing it. I remind myself not to be so hard on myself, that I’ve never been in this situation before so I am navigating it the best way I know how, which is to just let Britney be Britney.

Originally Appeared on Glamour