Why Karrueche Tran is trading in club nights for extra Z's: 'I've lived that life already'

Karrueche Tran shares how she balances social media and mental health. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)
Karrueche Tran shares how she balances social media and mental health. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)
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The Unwind is Yahoo Life’s well-being series in which experts, influencers and celebrities share their approaches to wellness and mental health, from self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to the mantras that keep them afloat.

Karrueche Tran is all about her peace and rest.

"I love my sleep. As I get older, I'm like listen, I do not play about my sleep leave me alone," says the Claws star.

Between a signature jewelry line, becoming the first AAPI actress to win an Emmy and a role on Peacock's most-streamed original series Bel-Air, Tran, 34, is used to the nonstop hustle and bustle that comes with a career in the entertainment industry.

But as great as being booked and busy is, it can take quite the toll on your mental health, especially in such a competitive industry.

"Oftentimes, I've found myself like, 'Oh, this girl booked this role,' 'I'm not doing enough,' or 'I'm not good enough' or 'I'm not a good actor anymore because I didn't book that [job],'" Tran tells Yahoo Life.

In the last two years, marked by breakthrough roles and a global pandemic, Tran has realized just how vital a positive inner monologue is and says she is more conscious of the way she talks to herself.

"I've just been very mindful of what I'm telling myself and what I'm thinking about in my head and how that affects my day-to-day," she says, adding that self-deprecation can materialize in every aspect of your life if left unchecked.

I can't do everything, I can't be everything ... and that's OK

"Having that type of energy constantly in your brain, at some point it exudes outside of you, whether it's in your energy, whether it's in your words, whether it becomes stress on your body or even acne," she says.

For Tran, repurposing those initial thoughts has been pivotal in shifting her mindset as her career progresses.

"I have had to learn to accept whatever it is. 'You're a little nervous?' 'It's fine.' 'How can we work through this?' 'Take some deep breaths.' 'Let's research.' 'What can you do to prepare?' You know, I've found ways to turn that negativity or that anxiousness into fuel," she says.

In addition to mindful self-talk, Tran also tries to minimize career comparison. This is admittedly made more difficult by social media.

"It's a battle, it's important to be mindful of what's real and what's not. Because when you're on Instagram, and you're scrolling, and you know, this person has this, or this person booked this job, and we're judging them, or we're judging ourselves, we're comparing ourselves and I had to let that go," says Tran.

Comparison is a slippery slope in general, but the fact that social media typically acts as a highlight reel for people's accomplishments can make it all the more detrimental.

"Rarely do people post their bad days or what they're going through. So everybody's life looks like glitter and gold," she says.

While she admits she too can get caught up in the seemingly-perfect personas displayed on social media, Tran tries to follow the mantra that what is meant for her will never miss her.

"I can't do everything, I can't be everything ... and that's OK," she says.

While a big part of her mental wellness routine includes tuning out the noise, she is a big fan of sound baths for anxiety and stress.

Sound baths are a meditative practice where participants are "bathed" in various healing sounds from different instruments, including singing bowls, chimes and gongs.

"One of my friends introduced me to sound baths before COVID and this was at a time where I was like really invested in self-care and kind of just going through a lot of stuff. So it was kind of like whatever I can do to kind of calm my mind or just to become a better person," says Tran.

The practice requires a certain level of calmness and Tran admits it took her a while to truly get into her serene sound bath groove.

"I'm nosy as hell. So I want to know, like, what they're doing, what is this instrument, what is the thing that I hear and you know, after a while, you're able to kind of like really relax into it," she says.

Eventually, Tran got so into the practice that she started hosting virtual sound baths on Instagram live during the pandemic.

"We actually got a lot of great feedback and even to this day, people are like, 'do your sound baths again.' So it's really interesting that even virtually people were still able to feel some sort of effect from it," she says.

When she's not rejoicing in the healing properties of sound, Tran loves to sweat out any remaining tension.

"I [just] did hot yoga which I love, because it's just so good for your body. We sweat so much and it's like a good detox," says Tran.

But overall, Tran finds the most peace in solitude.

"I really love to recharge in the sun, I really feel like it's a hard reset to my battery, I love the way it kind of fuels my body and I like to take time for myself. I like to sit in silence sometimes. I like to be alone," she says.

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