Elizabeth Hurley isn't one to shy away from a bit of holiday cheer. In fact, the 57-year-old Gossip Girl alum is celebrating the release of her latest project Christmas In The Caribbean, which premiered December 5.
The film centers around a woman named Rachel (played by Elizabeth) who goes through heartbreak after she's left at the altar. But her pain ultimately leads her to take the trip of a lifetime. There are several key themes in the movie: self-care, friendship, and love—all of which hit home for Elizabeth. So much so that she even took away a few life lessons from her character.
If you're curious to know more, you're in luck. Elizabeth sat down with Women's Health about how fitness, self-love, and mental health have changed as she recovers from a recent injury.
She's learning how to adapt post-injury.
ICYDK, Elizabeth tore all the ligaments in her ankle earlier this year and had to make some changes while filming the movie.
"For the last two weeks of the movie, I had to do all my scenes sitting down, and I had to be carried everywhere. And I had a wheelchair. In fact, my ankle's not completely better now," she says. "I know that at some stage, I need to have an operation, which will put me off my feet again for three months."
Still, Elizabeth doesn't let it impact her mental health, and reveals that her injury made her "aware" and "incredibly humble and sensitive" to those who live with various disabilities.
She has a no-diet rule during the holidays.
Christmas In The Caribbean is loaded with fun food-filled moments, with Elizabeth's character Rachel falling head over heels for a chef. And IRL, Elizabeth is just as excited to indulge in traditional holiday meals.
"I love roast turkey, roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts, Christmas puddings, and mince pies. I love all of it. I mean, I'm, I'm quite greedy by nature, and we always have a rule at Christmas that no one's allowed to be on a diet," she says. "We just eat anything we want, and it's great."
When she's filming, though, Elizabeth stays on top of mindful eating and prefers to steer clear of mid-day snacking. But if she really needs an energy boost, she opts for a banana or almonds.
"I try really hard to eat three times a day," she says. "I think the concept of snacking and grazing throughout the day is terrible for people's digestion. I think you need to eat and then give your body time to digest, use that food, and completely empty."
Elizabeth adds that she also doesn't want to end up digesting food as she's getting ready for bed. "My philosophy is eat well, eat enough three times a day, and stop snacking."
She grew up with self-care practices.
After long hours on set, it only makes sense to want to wind down. Luckily for Elizabeth, she grew up in a household where self-care was always a priority and credits her mother for teaching her how to manage stress.
"[My mother] used to call her bathtub her think tank. And when she finally got us all into bed, she used to always retire into the bath. And I think I've just copied her," she explains. "A candle and lovely oil in the bath. I take about 20 minutes to close my eyes and take it easy before I get out of the bath and start learning my lines or whatever I have to do."
She notes that her hectic schedule can often leave her feeling pulled in various directions, but grounding herself in the importance of caring for herself first keeps things in perspective. "Particularly for women, you know, we are the caretakers of the world, and sometimes we really realize that if we don't take care of ourselves, we're not going to be around to take care of others," she adds.
She took a few life lessons from her character.
Elizabeth's character goes through a journey of self-love, and a lot of the character development in the film is a true reflection of her outlook on self-love.
"We always tend to put ourselves on the bottom of the priority list of what we have to do. And I think there is a real movement now to try to encourage women to value themselves and value their own health and wellbeing," she explains. "It's not self-indulgent. It's vital."
She adds that while it's sometimes easier said than done, she does her best to remain committed to the practices that keep her going.
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