There's no need for daily shampooing, eye liner or gel manicures. And we all know jeans are solely for fancy people. But if there's one thing you should hold tight to in the age of social distancing, it's your self-care routine.
But that needn't mean you emerge from your shelter-in-place with a new vegetable-forward diet and the ability to do a yoga handstand, Lo Bosworth tells E! News. "I think there are a lot of people living on two ends of the spectrum," explains the TV vet who spun her reality show notoriety as Lauren Conrad's most loyal bestie on Laguna Beach and The Hills into a wellness empire. "People who are like, 'Oh my gosh, I have to do all of these things because they're helping me feel normal,' and then other people who are allowing themselves more freedom."
Take comfort in the fact that neither choice represents the "right" way to handle things, she stresses: "It's whatever feels good for you.
As for the 33-year-old, she finds herself squarely in camp number one. A longtime exerciser, she's nonetheless developed a new appreciation for movement in these stationary times. "It's the thing that I look forward to the most every day and it used to be the thing that I dreaded, but would complete," she admits, noting it's less about building lean muscle than it is about that physical and mental release.
"Right now I'm really doing it because it's keeping my sane more than anything else. I realize that moving my body, there's a mind-body connection happening for sure," she says. "I hope more than anything that I am able to maintain it because I do feel pretty good."
It's a feeling she would have killed for back in 2015 when an undiagnosed vitamin deficiency left her battling ailments both physical ("My gut was imbalanced; I was at the OB/GYN constantly,") and mental as she dealt with anxiety and depression.
Her personal epiphany came in the middle of a New York City drugstore, next to the tampon section, as she stared at the legacy products that had failed her and thought, We need to do better.
The a-ha moment spawned Love Wellness—her line of clean, female-focused personal care products—and a lifestyle shift that saw her committing to fitness and using her culinary school training to make meals centered around whole ingredients. Says Bosworth, "I live such a different life now than I did 10 years ago."
And we get it. In a world where your list of jobs may include, say, financial advisor, stay-at-home parent, elementary school teacher and short-order cook, the idea of squeezing in a workout or whipping up homemade healthy fare may feel damn near impossible. But if you can carve out a pocket of your day post-bedtime or just barricade the bathroom door for a few minutes, Bosworth can help you take it from there.
She shares her personal routine with E! News and delivers expertise on how you, on this Wellness Wednesday, can make self-care your business.
Take your vitamins
Okay, this is an obvious one for a person who helms a brand of products that address everything from bloat to a sluggish metabolism to stress. Bosworth's go-to blend is Good Girl Probiotics ("Formulated specifically for women's health, it supports vaginal tract health and urinary tract health,") the popular Bye Bye Bloat and the pH Balancing Cleanser "that's made for women's personal hygiene, so it replaces weird drugstore junk that's been on shelves for a really long time."
Break a sweat whenever possible
The basics still stand, says Bosworth: "It's really just simple things. It's drinking enough water. It's getting enough sleep. It's moving your body for a few minutes every day." For the New Yorker, that means streaming daily sessions of The Class by Taryn Toomey, an hourlong workout that's part calisthenics and plyometrics, part meditative experience.
"I typically walk everywhere every day, I'm so used to moving my body and so being stationary for so many hours of the day has caused my body to literally beg me for movement and explosive movement above all else," she explains.
And so while she used to be the type that would take a pause when the going got uncomfortable, "I've really started to love the deep discomfort that you feel when you're on your 50th rep. I'm actually looking forward to that feeling," she says. "I'm almost craving that type of, you know, physical discomfort to remind me that I'm alive, I have this body, it works. I'm still here." But even if she can only squeeze in a quick walk, "I think it makes a huge difference."
Get in the kitchen
Yes, Bosworth's creations are more restaurant-worthy thanks to her training on farm-to-table fare at The International Culinary Center in NYC, but you don't have to be a professional to borrow some of her recipes for success. "That experience really turned me onto nutrition and how to source healthy whole foods and try to avoid things that are packaged, preservatives, etc.," she says. "Because I realized that I was eating all of those things and I had been my entire life and I suspected that it was a contributing factor to why I was unwell."
And not only has she shifted the ingredients she uses in her meals ("I really try very hard to eat whole foods that are sourced locally or organically,") she did a complete life overhaul, swapping out "every single thing in my house that I put in my body, on my body, that I use to clean my house."
Try this simple mental exercise
To combat any anxious moments that arise (hello, global pandemic!), Bosworth says she "learned how to make friends with my anxiety and get outside of myself when I'm feeling anxious."
In that instance, she shares, she'll pretend that she's sitting in the corner, looking at herself, a practice that allows her to talk herself down: "You sort of give it a hug and you realize that it's there and instead of punishing yourself for feeling uncomfortable, you give yourself a warm hug and tell yourself that this too should pass."
Touch base with your squad
For Bosworth that means daily chats with her colleagues, but a Zoom session with out-of-state pals works just as well, even a brief text goes a long way, she notes. "I would say that being able to work with my team at Love Wellness every day, even though we are distanced at this point in time, has really been a touchpoint for me and has been getting me through my days," she says of chatting "all day long" with her 15-person team.
"They're really family and friends at this point," she continues, "and it's been remarkable to be able to lean into these relationships and support each other emotionally on a day-to-day basis."
Take a breather
If the impossible balance of work, childcare and life stuff means a workout just isn't going to happen that day, "Truly, lay on the ground and close your eyes and be quiet for three minutes," she suggests. (This is where locking yourself in the bathroom may come in to play.)
Though entirely rudimentary, "That's self-care," she says of gifting yourself a moment of peace and quiet. "Like, literally, lie on the ground. Ground yourself into the earth. Try to feel something. Breathe. I know that that sounds simple, but it can change your day."
Her relaxation routine involves a bath "to wind down," an episode of Friends and an early bedtime. "Treat yourself with kindness and take a pause when you need it, go to bed earlier when you need it, and step away from whatever you are working on when you need it," she advises, "even if it is just for a few minutes."