Vanessa Hudgens spills on working out, winding down and waking up (including this must-have)

In a weekly series, USA TODAY’s The Essentials, celebrities share what fuels their lives.

Vanessa Hudgens is taking it easy.

"These days, it's been pretty chill," says Hudgens, the most exciting part of her day being rescuing a bird that flew into her house.

The slower pace is deserved for the star after a whirlwind 2023, during which she got engaged and married to baseball player Cole Tucker and continued adding accolades to her 20-year career in Hollywood with major moments at the Met Gala, red carpets, the CFDA Awards and more. Hudgens is also leaning into entrepreneurship, running drink brand Caliwater, which she founded alongside friend and business partner Oliver Trevena.

"I feel like everybody's so dedicated to the hustle and the rush, and there's so much more to life than that," she says.

Hudgens, 35, breaks down her daily essentials for prioritizing a slower pace (and how she keeps up when things are busy).

Vanessa Hudgens' workout routine includes yoga, exercise classes

"I love taking time for myself every day to do something active. I feel like it's just a great way to like keep your serotonin levels up and stay healthy."

Hudgens, who says she's "pretty consistent" in her routine, says there's nothing better than a "yoga high."

"I found what I like and works for me and I stick to it, and that's just a rotation between reformer Pilates, indoor cycling and yoga.

"I've practiced yoga since I was 16. … And I feel like I've gone through all the different types of yoga like with power flows and Ashtanga and Bikram. I just rotate out what feels good, what I feel like my body needs in that moment. Sometimes it's a bit more active, and sometimes it's a bit more passive, but I feel like yoga is just really great for the mind."

The morning pick-me-up Vanessa Hudgens swears by to keep her hydrated

After a workout class, especially hot yoga, Hudgens, of course, reaches for a Caliwater ("It's the best way to like replenish your hydration afterward," she says). But a cold can of cactus water is also her go-to for starting her day.

"Honestly, part of my everyday life is … first thing I do: wake up and drink a Caliwater," she says. "I've been waking up earlier recently. So then I just naturally have a little more time to myself in the morning before I go to a workout class, like snuggle up with (her dog) Darla, who is the biggest little cuddle bug in the world. But just really taking advantage of slow moments, (which) I feel are so important."

Hudgens, whose favorite Caliwater flavor is prickly pear, will then "continue to intersperse it throughout the day."

"Whether you're having a cocktail and want to use it as a mixer, (which) is a great way to kind of balance out to your alcohol intake because you're hydrating while dehydrating. (Or) you can also have it the next day when you are hungover because it will help your hangover and the hydration. So it's just been a really amazing staple in my life."

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How Vanessa Hudgens stays organized

"I try to just take it one section at a time. I'm very, very grateful for the help that I have because it's very confusing and I tend to get things scrambled. It's hard. I feel like everyone's always talking about balance, and I'm like, 'Yeah, that's great. But I'm more of an extremist.' So it's kind of all or nothing with me."

Hudgens uses "all of it" to keep up with her busy life: "It's Google calendars, shared notes and emails, schedules."

Downtime for Vanessa Hudgens includes comfort TV, crafting

When she's not working on upcoming movies like "French Girl" with Zach Braff or the impending "Bad Boys" sequel (and sorry Baby V fans, but she reveals there's no new music on the horizon), Hudgens is settling in for something good to watch.

"I love watching movies and TV shows. Especially right now, I feel like there's so many great films that are out. But, of course, I have my guilty pleasure dating shows, which is literally all of them.

"I just finished 'Love Island Australia.' Before that, I was watching 'The Golden Bachelor,' before that, it was '(Bachelor in) Paradise.' Just kind of whatever is happening in the rotation, because I do go through them."

Catch 'Love Island Australia', 'The Golden Bachelor' and 'Bachelor in Paradise' on Hulu.

The Essentials: Gerry Turner is no longer a 'Golden Bachelor' after wedding. Here's what he needs for his daily life.

She also taps into her creative side.

"I also love crafting in whatever sense of the word, whether it's painting, which I grew up doing, or beading – I just made myself a belly chain yesterday. And baths, I'm a big bath girl."

What newlywed Vanessa Hudgens recommends for big celebrations

Hudgens has one major suggestion after her wedding to Tucker in December, when they tied the knot in a private ceremony in Tulum, Mexico.

"Polaroid cameras. I love my Polaroid camera. I have so many Polaroids floating around," she says.

"I love being able to capture the moment, but (having) it be embedded into film. And rather than just taking a zillion shots, you only take one."

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Vanessa Hudgens on workout routine, wedding essential and comfort show