25 Famous Women on Their Self-Care Rituals

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“I have a bath every single day of my life.” — Emma Watson

It’s all too easy to get consumed by worries of the moment, but consciously taking time to ourselves to engage in activities we enjoy can be incredibly fortifying to our emotional, mental, and physical health. Below, 25 women — from Hillary Clinton to Beyoncé — discuss how they get much-needed “me” time and a break from stress, whether it’s splurging on a nice pair of socks, relaxing in a hot bath, or taking a long walk in the woods. As Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle would say: “Treat yo’self.”

Tracee Ellis Ross

“My beauty regime is a huge part of how I care for myself. Really my beauty regime is about what I put in my body, so it’s about getting my sleep and drinking lots of water. I love water out of glass, not out of plastic. It tastes so much better. I’m big on hydrating internally and externally, so there’s a lot of oils and hydration that I use. I love moisturizing. I’m the girl on the plane who will go wash my hands, spritz, and add a layer.” – Elle, March 2016

Emma Watson

“I have a bath every single day of my life. And if I can have two or three — amazing. Nothing terrible is going to happen in the bath, so I always find time for that. I’ll take phone conversations in the bath, anything.” – Into the Gloss, March 2017

Viola Davis

“You know what? Especially with women, we are usually the caretakers of everyone except for ourselves. If I don’t take care of myself and I’m taking care of my daughter or my husband or whatever — I’m running on fumes. I have nothing left to give. Nothing. But when I take the time to take care of myself, to go to the doctor, go to a spa, get a deep-tissue massage, get adjusted by chiropractor … I feel like I can face life with a renewed vigor and renewed passion.” – Refinery29, February 2017

Constance Wu

“You learn how to negotiate self-care and endurance over a long period of time. I was so used to doing indie movies — the filming schedule for those lasts a couple of weeks. It’s easy to keep up your energy for that because it’s an exciting three weeks. That’s not to say my show isn’t exciting, it is, but after three months that adrenaline is not enough. You actually have to participate in self-care to keep that energy.” – Variety, October 2016

Anne Lamott

“That’s about 90 percent of my theological life — radical self-care. Put your own oxygen mask on first. I watch the self-talk that goes through my mind, and if I am being critical with myself, I shake myself out of it. I do for myself exactly what I would do for you — make a lovely cup of tea, or a hot bath, or go buy myself a fabulous pair of socks. I believe that you take the action, and THEN the insight follows — I do loving things for me, stroke my own shoulder, put myself down for a short nap, and the insight follows: that I am a wild precious woman, a human merely being, as E. E. Cummings put it, deserving of respect, tenderness, protection, delight, and solidarity. And that is what Home looks like for me now.” – Cosmopolitan, April 2017

Diane von Furstenberg

“It is so important to take care of yourself. I drink a lot of water, eat mostly fresh fruit and vegetables, and do yoga once a week and go hiking every chance that I get. It is so important to take time for yourself and find clarity. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.” – Elle, November 2014

Laverne Cox

“[Self care]’s hard. I’m shooting Doubt, and it’s going really well. The schedule has been really hectic, so self-care for me lately has been trying to sleep and eat right. I had a therapy session today. I have an amazing new therapist. We’re doing somatic therapy. So trauma is defined by too much too fast too soon. We can experience really great stuff too much too fast too soon, and our bodies can experience that trauma even when it’s great stuff. Right now I’m trying out different somatic therapy techniques, but I really just need a vacation. I’m planning one after Doubt — in a tropical place.” – NBC, October 2016

Michelle Obama

“Sometimes I give myself a break. So I will retreat a moment from the fray, just to breathe. Because what I’ve learned is that my immediate reaction cannot be the deciding reaction. So sometimes I just sort of step back a second, and while I’m stepping back, I talk. I reach out to my friends, my mom, my girlfriends; I vent, I release, I have sounding boards, I get pep talks from colleagues and staff, and then I go back in … We each have to find our own coping mechanisms — and this isn’t just in terms of the hesitation of finding our voice, but in how we deal with our own stress. It’s almost like sports. You have to learn how to play through a loss, play through pain, play through an embarrassing decision on the field. Maybe you get a time-out, you go on the sidelines, but you’re going to get back in.” – Women’s Health, August 2012

Emilia Clarke

“Bathtime is a ritual! You’ve got to get the right temperature, you must have good bath salts or Epsom salts and dissolve them properly, and you need bath oils to get some scents going. I don’t do bubble bath — it makes me feel too much like a kid. I have to soak for at least half an hour. If I had time I could be in that bath for three hours, although me having three hours to take a bath is like finding a leprechaun at the end of the rainbow.” – Violet Grey

Audre Lorde

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – A Burst of Light, 1988

Gisele Bündchen

“After adding everyone’s schedule on the calendar, I make sure that everyday I have some sacred time for myself, so I can recharge. I noticed every time I felt overwhelmed I would hold my breath. I had to learn to stop, relax and take long deep breaths and within seconds I would feel more clear and ready to deal with the situation in a more loving way. Meditation also has been a wonderful tool. I notice that when I don’t take the time to do it, I am not as centered, patient or clear.” – People, April 2016

Karlie Kloss

“I think taking time to detach … For me that’s key, you know? Really making time to take care of myself, to exercise, is ironically relaxing to me because it actually allows me to kind of just have a natural release of endorphins and release of stress. I really like to meditate. I’m not really good about routine because my days are always so different, so I have this app called Headspace, and I love to just plug my headphones in. And in ten minutes, if I’m in the car or if I’m going to class or work or wherever I’m going, I just need ten minutes in the morning to kind of totally chill out and get centered and get focused for the day.” – Byrdie, January 2017

Amanda Chantal Bacon

“I try to work in a quick abhyanga a few times a week. Standing in the shower, before I turn the water on, with a cup of warmed sesame oil (not toasted) I spend ten minutes on self-massage using circular movement toward my heart. I then use a chickpea flour to scrub my body in the shower. It’s a practice that sweetly nourishes and soothes the nerves, helps with lymphatic circulation, and makes for the loveliest soft and flushed skin.” – MindBodyGreen, January 2016

Issa Rae

“I typically make a hot toddy (using orange tea and Fireball Whiskey), lie out on my chaise, and listen to a podcast like The Read or Left, Right & Center, depending on whether I want to laugh or pay attention to what’s going on in politics.” – Bon Appetit, January 2017

Beyoncé

“We have to care about our bodies and what we put in them. Women have to take the time to focus on our mental health — take time for self, for the spiritual, without feeling guilty or selfish. The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself.” – Elle, April 2016

Amandla Stenberg

“I am a pretty spiritual person, and that’s because my mom is a practitioner at a church (non-denominational church Agape). I don’t consider myself (religious), but I do believe in a kind of organisation to the universe and events that transpire. I think that just having an internal knowledge of things unfolding how they are supposed to is self-care. My mom calls it surrendering. She’s a surrenderer.” – Dazed, April 2017

Yoko Ono

“In the morning when you wake up, do your stretching, wash, and do your affirmation thanking the universe for what you/we have.” – her Twitter, January 2017

Hillary Clinton

“I’ve had my ups and my downs. In the last months, I’ve done my share of sleeping, a little soul-searching and reflecting, long walks in the woods. [Laughter.] And in those moments, I am thankful for my own village, my community of family and friends who have supported and encouraged me. I have also been buoyed by the love and support that I’ve received from the young women I have mentored over my lifetime. They inspire me every day.” – Girls Inc. luncheon, March 2017

Cynthia Erivo

“Meditation, yoga, working out, and eating well. That’s my wellness. And I think occasionally you have to treat yourself, so if you do need to take yourself shopping, go take yourself shopping.” – The Cut, July 2016

Kerry Washington

“Sometimes, when we’re feeling challenged in life, we feel a pull to isolate, and for me part of the joy of being a wife, a mother, and in a cast of friends is allowing myself to be in spaces of love. So being open to that love. Then, for me, self-love is like, Am I sleeping enough? Eating well? Not: Am I eating well to be able to fit into my skinny jeans? But: Am I eating well to be healthy and strong? And to acknowledge the good, because there is always a lot of good.” – Glamour, April 2017

Shailene Woodley

“I think everything about my lifestyle is fairly alternative. I gather my own spring water from mountains every month. I go to a farm to get my food. I make everything from my own toothpaste to my own body lotions and face oils. I could go on for hours. I make my own medicines; I don’t get those from doctors. I make my own cheese and forage wild foods and identify wild plants. It’s an entire lifestyle. It’s appealing to my soul.” – Flaunt, September 2013

Audrey Gelman

“I know that when I’m taking care of myself and engaging in self-care, even if it’s just making sure to shower consistently, it actually has a real impact on my mood. That’s mainly the reason why I do it.” – Into the Gloss, September 2016

Erykah Badu

“I guess it’s the daily routine. I don’t have any particular thing I do ritualistically. I do the same thing every day. I get up. Drink a lot of water. Have a wheatgrass shot. Drink some green juice. Eat as healthy as I can. I’m not trying to win an award for being the best vegetarian, just want to be healthy. Take a salt bath. Do things that my parents were never able to do. I’m blessed to do anything I want so I decide to take the best care of my body and my family in the same way. Holistically. Vitally.” – Origin Magazine, January 2013

Dolly Parton

“I just try to center my own self, and go back to my spiritual self, and just ask God to anchor me. I try to meditate a little bit and try to be still and think about good things, and take a good, hot bath. Just kind of lay in the tub and meditate and pray and all that. Everybody has their own little ways of getting rid of stress. I’ll also get out and walk around on our farm and wander around on some little trails, get out and see nature. And remember all the things that are supposed to really matter, instead of trying to destroy each other with all the negative stuff that we can think up.” – Hello Giggles, November 2016

Jane Krakowski

“I think I used to sort of segregate things. Work was this and life was this and exercise was this. And I feel as I get older or I become more relaxed, I feel like wellness is my whole being. It’s trying to be happy every day or find something to be appreciative of every day, instead of being only stressed about what you have or what you don’t have or what you accomplished or what you didn’t accomplish in a day. Maybe this is from having a child, but I get happiness from my son every single day. I feel like that has changed my wellness in many ways.” – The Cut, June 2016

25 Famous Women on Their Self-Care Rituals