Being healthy isn’t a quick or easy endeavor — we get it! We certainly don’t have an unlimited budget for $15 green juices or enough hours in the day to spend two of them at the gym. In our “5 healthy habits” series we get inspired by tips & tricks from real women and share the healthful practices they’ve incorporated into their daily lives.
I’m an actress, so that means I’m often traveling for my job, working long hours, and living without a kitchen. It’s also a job that requires a lot of emotional stamina — both in the day-to-day at work, and when I’m between jobs, going out on auditions. Because of these demands, I’ve found that healthy habits for my mind are as just as necessary as the ones for my body. So, I could use this space to tell you about barre class, or how I discovered youtube exercise classes when I was trapped by a snowstorm, but the truth is I don’t always do those things. And I think the most important healthy habits are the ones you really keep, because they’re so basic and simple. Here are the habits I take with me on the road:
1. I take a walk. My parents always used to give me this piece of advice, and I thought it was corny. But now, it’s my go-to self-care tactic. I spend a lot of time in my head — thinking about my character, breaking down a script, or writing. And I have a career that involves a lot of disappointment. It might sound dramatic, but even when things are going really well, part of being an actor is that you hear “no” a lot. So, I’ve found that when I’m dwelling on a project I loved that I didn’t get, or when I come across a problem in my work that I’m too close to and can’t see clearly — I just take a walk. Even if it’s only around the neighborhood, when I come back, I feel a little better and often I have a new perspective. Plus, it’s my favorite way to explore a new city.
2. I try to listen to my body and give myself the rest I need. It turns out that sleep is really good for you. Shocking, I know. I’ve discovered that I need quite a bit of sleep, so I’m getting better at listening to my body, and actually sleeping when I get tired. I’ve found that getting an extra hour of sleep is often more valuable than doing an extra hour of work. And the habit of listening to my body is one I’m really happy to be cultivating.
3. I drink a little apple cider vinegar in water. I had a very weak immune system a few years ago — I was always getting sick, and I felt stuck in a bad cycle. A naturopath told me to drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water every day for immune support, and it’s really helped me. This one is easy — if I don’t want to bring it with me, most grocery stores carry it. And it’s inexpensive, so I don’t feel bad about buying a new bottle even if I don’t use it all. Sometimes when I’m feeling fancy, I put it in sparkling water with some stevia or agave, so it becomes a sort of tangy delicious soda.
4. I take my vitamins. Gummy vitamins, that is. Yes, I am a grown woman. I am a grown woman who refuses to take vitamins unless they are delicious. I’ve just accepted this about myself. And luckily, there are lots of delicious gummy vitamins for adults on the market, so now I have no excuse. My favorites are Smartypants gummy vitamins, and I always take a little baggy of them with me when I travel.
5. I read every day. On paper. This year, my resolution was to try to read something (preferably a book) on paper every day. The idea was just to read more, but I’ve found that it’s made a big difference for me in all sorts of ways. I believe that reading fosters my curiosity and creativity; I think it’s just basic care for my intelligence and brain. And I love taking a break from screens. I try to read right before bed, instead of transitioning straight from the phone to sleep, and I think it’s helped me get better rest.