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Photography by Olivia Rose

Small rituals make home a place for rest and rejuvenation. In The Wind Down, we explore the wellness routines of people we admire.

When actor Kiersey Clemons wants to start her day on the right foot, she does it twice. “I like taking advantage of being able to sleep whenever,” she says. “I love that I can wake up at 5 a.m. and then take a nap at 10 a.m.—there’s something nice about having two mornings.” The past few months have given her a well-deserved break from her busy schedule. Clemons’s latest movie, Antebellum (which also stars Janelle Monáe), is now streaming, and she has several more projects lined up, including Z, the postapocalyptic Zorro movie, in which she’ll act alongside Gael García Bernal. 

For now, though, she’s making the most of her free time at the Los Angeles home she shares with her girlfriend, finishing Love Island, and enjoying the freedom to snooze whenever possible. Here, she shares the self-care strategies that keep her feeling her best while she’s stuck inside. 

Start fresh: In the morning I walk right outside, lie down on the grass, and immediately get sun on my body—it’s a kind of meditation.

Write it down: I write down my dreams in the morning. I had been having really crazy ones about my friends, and I felt insecure about reaching out to them and saying, “Hey, girl, I had this dream about you—maybe this means something to you?” I had someone pull a tarot card for me, and it was basically about my dreams and how I should dig into them more. Since I’ve started becoming more intentional about recording my dreams, they’ve become even more vivid and clear. I get more messages.

Extra z’s: I will lie on the ground with a weighted blanket and my dog will come sit by me. I’ll listen to ASMR or rain sounds, so I normally fall asleep with AirPods in.

Skin saviors: I just picked up more sheet masks—I put them in the fridge and use them all the time, just because they feel nice. I’m also really devoted to this skin-care brand I just found, Surreal Skincare. I’ll layer on its serum, a moisturizer, and oil—I want my skin to be gushy. Earlier during quarantine, I found the Instagram account of the person who owns the line; she uploads videos of her making all the products. It was so cool to see the work and ingredients that go into them.

Reality relax: I would be lying if I didn’t admit I pour a glass of wine and watch Love Island while my girlfriend makes dinner. We get the wine delivered to our door—that’s how lazy we are. Right now we’re finishing up the last season, and then I don’t know what we’ll do. I also love Australia’s 90 Day Fiancé.

Soak it up: My mom always took baths at night when I was growing up, so I always felt like it’s the proper thing to do as an adult. I take them a lot when I’m working, because I get so tired. Whether it’s from the shoes I was wearing all day or something else, part of my body always hurts. Sometimes I don’t even want to wash my body; I just want to sit in hot water. Other times I like to use Epsom and magnesium salts, as well as almond oil and some lavender, or a bath bomb from the farmers’ market if I’m feeling cute. 

Comfy clothes: I started collecting lightweight vintage ponchos by accident. I never want to be fussy, and I can just throw them over my head. I also love to buy Hanes men’s tighty-whities. They’re so comfortable. I just tie-dyed a bunch of them. 

Required reading: Right now I’m reading Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde. My sister gave it to me for Christmas. When everything in the media is so violent and anti-Black, it’s nice to read Lorde or Toni Morrison. They make me feel good. Sometimes I’ll shout to my girlfriend, “Hey, listen to this line!”

To-do list: Before I go to bed, I like to sit with my planner and make a list of things to do the next day, otherwise when I wake up, I’ll feel really anxious. 

Light the way: I went to Lowe’s with a group of friends because we all needed to do a COVID hardware store trip. One friend was getting a lamp, and then I saw the night-lights and was like, “Oh, my God, remember these?!” I didn’t realize that I was still a little afraid of the dark until I bought one. I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes, but if I can see the night-light, it relaxes me. It makes me feel like a kid and my parents are just down the hall. I started with one night-light in my bedroom, but now I have them all over the house, like little fairies everywhere.

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