Living Her Best Life: Chanel Iman on Creating Joy and Embracing Simplicity

·1 min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

In our new series Living Their Best Life, Oprah Daily sits down with notable names to find out exactly that—from how they maximize each moment to the daily rituals that keep them grounded. Here, Chanel Iman shares how she’s protecting her energy these days.

Chanel Iman is just like us, enjoying Stranger Things 4 and keeping up with her adorable daughters, 3-year-old Cali and 2-year-old Cassie (whom she shares with ex-husband Sterling Shepard), except, you know, for the fact that she’s a former Victoria’s Secret Angel who’s graced countless runways for Balenciaga, Tom Ford, Gucci, Oscar de la Renta, Louis Vuitton, and many more.

The 31-year-old supermodel runs a tight ship between hitting the red carpet, date nights with new boyfriend NFL pro Davon Godchaux, and working with Marshalls for a recent sweepstakes (entry is now closed) that's pairing one lucky grand-prize winnerwhich will be announced in mid-Julywith a brand stylist for the ultimate VIP treatment. Still, she finds time to sit back and relish life's simple moments. “I’m creating new memories with my kids and creating great energy around me, wherever I go,” she tells Oprah Daily. “I’m reconnecting family and friends that I haven’t seen in a long time [due to the Covid-19 pandemic]. I love to eat, so I’m always searching for good restaurants, and I love music festivals.”

Ahead, Iman gives us the scoop on balancing motherhood and self-care, the music that keeps her motivated during workouts, and letting go of bad habits.

Her Playlist Must-Haves

Kendrick Lamar’s [Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers] is great. I’m also enjoying Pusha T’s [It’s Almost Dry]. I love Afrobeats, so Wizkid and Tems are always on my playlist. When I’m working out, I listen to rap, but Afrobeats is usually playing when I’m cooking, or when I’m just hanging out around the house.

Her Source of Joy

I’m learning every day how to be the best mother I can be for my kids, and to have lots of patience, but it’s just fun as a mother to watch them grow. I am blessed enough to work in amazing cities, so I try to take my kids with me as much as possible whenever I travel, making a vacation out of the days that I’m off duty. Today, I’m going to Paris for Men’s Fashion Week, but I won’t be taking my kids this time, because they’re spending time with their father. I don’t like being without my kids for too long, but the time I do spend with them is even more precious now.

Her Secret to Staying Positive

I’m becoming stronger and wiser every day. I’ve been through a lot during these past couple of years, but every challenge has made me the strong woman that I am today. I pray twice a day, so in the morning and again when I go to sleep. I don’t meditate as much, but if I need to meditate, I will. Having a positive mindset and surrounding yourself with people who have good energy and who can help you grow is so important.

Her Shifting Habits

I’m naturally a shy person, so coming out of my shell, being social, making new friends, and connecting with people is something I am getting better with. I also pick my nails when I’m nervous or if I’ve just got a lot going on, so I’m trying not to touch my nails as much so that they can grow longer. [Laughs]

Her Happy Place

I think living my best life is trying not to overthink and enjoying the time we have here, because life is not promised, so appreciating every second with my children and my family is what brings me the most joy. Being surrounded by love is the ultimate happy place for me. I feel like love cures everything and makes everything so much better. When you give love and get love in return, there is no greater feeling.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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