Uzo Aduba Says This Book Helps Her Get Through Life’s Big Transitions

·5 min read

As one of the most successful and prolific actors of the past decade, Uzo Aduba is used to doing press—lots of it. Whether it was for her breakthrough, Emmy-winning role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on Orange Is the New Black or her most recent Emmy-winning role playing Shirley Chisholm in Mrs. America, the Massachusetts native has become a red-carpet and talk show regular.

But opening up about her personal life has never been easy for the star, who is an Emmy front-runner again for her starring role as therapist Dr. Brooke Taylor in the HBO drama series In Treatment. “It’s hard because even though I talk a lot, I’m not much of a sharer,” she tells Glamour. “So that’s been a challenge.”

But it's also been cathartic, especially after a traumatic year. Aduba's mother, Nonyem, passed away in November from cancer, and to know Aduba is to know how close the two were and the influence she had—and still has—on her daughter's life.

“Talking about her has been a really healthy reminder that you don’t have to suffer in silence in this life, that there’s people in this world who are standing in support of you, who want to know how you are, and are genuine when they ask that question,” she says. “So that’s been great, and the show has also been a great reminder of what suffering in silence and losing track of your pain can look like, what happens when you don’t reach out. It's a healthy reminder to talk about what you're going through.”

It's also an important lesson in finding the small things that bring Aduba joy, whether it's an at-home facial or a Real Housewives marathon. “It's okay to not be okay,” she says. “When someone asks, ‘How are you?’ you don't have to say, ‘I’m great,’ if you're feeling sad or low or whatever. Don't invalidate your feelings.”

So in the spirit of self-care, we asked the 40-year-old to tell us what she finds comfort in now, for Glamour's latest edition of Your Fave's Faves.

The TV series that always helps me relax

Real Housewives! All of them! When we were filming In Treatment, I was behind on Real Housewives of New York, but I caught up on that when we first started, and then when we were filming, Salt Lake City premiered. I'm currently watching Beverly Hills. When I would come home from filming—and this is true for quite a few projects—I take a break by finding out what the ladies are up to and what’s happening in their world.

My go-to essentials for a DIY facial

During the pandemic I realized how much I really loved facials, so I bought a little steamer on Amazon that I could set on a table prop. It looks like R2D2 and cost about $40 or $50. I just put it on a stool that I have with some books piled on top of it, and I lay on my couch, put on a clay mask, and do a facial! Sometimes I use the Queen Helene mask, the green kind. Now I use Linda Ross, a facialist in L.A. I love her entire line, but she has this colostrum mask that you put that’s also like a clay one that you let dry. She also has a microdermabrasion scrub to take a layer off. I love her moisturizer too. It's just so good. And then I put on some super-chill music like Sade or H.E.R.

Queen Helene Mud Pack Masque

$10.00, Amazon

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My favorite way to find inner peace

I love to take walks. Whatever conversation I’ve been avoiding with God, I’ve had it by the time I’ve come back from a walk. I really do enjoy it. And I love flowers. Ordering flowers, picking up flowers, rearranging flowers, all of it.

The most comfortable loungewear

I have this white linen, knee-length nightgown from La Cera. It’s so beautiful. It’s lounge-about-the-house-wear. I also love a robe. I have numerous robes! And especially one that has pockets and an inside and outside tie. Then you can get real comfortable in it. I really like the waffle robes. And I love this rainbow onesie that my entire family has. I originally got them over Christmas the year before last.

The books currently on my nightstand

The Alchemist. That's a book that has followed me since college; every time I read, it comes right into my consciousness, like when there's a big transition about to happen in my life or a big life change. It just recently came into my space, and I like that it’s getting really simple and clear about the journey and what I’m seeking and why. And my dear friend Esther gave me this book called Grief Is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter. I haven’t started it, but it’s supposed to be really catching. It’s on my nightstand right now.

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

$20.00, Amazon

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“Grief Is the Thing With Feathers: A Novel” by Max Porter

$13.00, Amazon

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The most soothing body cream

I love Nivea Créme. I’ll use the lotion if it’s there, but I love the cream because it works, full stop. It will take care of dry skin in all climates. It smells incredible, and my mom loved it too. It immediately transports me back to when I was a little girl, and I’d be in my mom’s room, watching her get ready to go somewhere. She was huge into skin care and fashion and beauty, and I loved having that time together. She was a big Lancôme girl, which is probably why I love their skin care as well.

Nivea Creme Moisturizing Cream

$7.00, Target

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My go-to snack

I love a potato chip. Kettle sea salt regular potato chip or a Ruffles cheddar and sour cream. Delicious. And bananas. And cashews or pistachios.

Kettle Sea Salt Potato Chips

$3.00, Target

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Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Chips

$5.00, Target

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In Treatment is airing on HBO now.

Originally Appeared on Glamour