Ajiona Alexus may be a Southern belle in the City of Angels, but a wallflower she is not. In 2018 alone, we’ve seen the 22-year-old grace the big screen with both Taraji P. Henson (“Acrimony”) and Gabrielle Union (“Breaking In”), in addition to starring in one of today’s most talked-about and controversial shows (“13 Reasons Why”).
And when she’s not staking claim in our Netflix queue or walking red carpets for the many projects on her budding résumé, the Alabama native is also slowing inching toward a career in music. When Alexus and I speak on the phone, she sounds like an old pro, though she’s just getting started. So I was interested to learn exactly how she approaches self-care in the midst of a schedule that doesn’t appear to leave much room for it. In her case, it’s all about stepping away from people and embracing those brief moments of solitude.
Ahead in her own words are the people, places, and things that have helped shape how Alexus cares for herself from the inside out. (Plus, the answer to a question we’ve always wanted to ask: What does a Netflix star watch on Netflix?)
I was fortunate enough to have a mom and dad in my life who I’m really close with. And we had open conversations all the time. So to have your parents there supporting you all the time is definitely an important step in growing up. My friends and family are all back home in Alabama or Atlanta. But usually when I have premieres or something going on, I fly my family out to go with me to those things. I’m a very private person; there’s probably just a handful of friends I actually hang out with.
But just being older and going through life experiences; you realize the things that truly matter. I think about myself and the inner me, more so than starting with the outer. It starts with my happiness, my health, my mental health. I think it’s most important to take care of your heart and spirit and make sure that’s not broken. I feel like that’s the first step.
I think it’s most important to take care of your heart and spirit and make sure that’s not broken.
Self-Care on Set
For one, the [“13 Reasons Why”] crew and cast is very supportive, so you know you always have somebody there. They even give us the option to have therapy, or whatever it is we need, they provide for us. It’s definitely unique. It’s more so if needed, not forced upon anybody, because you never know what people are going through. I think it’s good that it’s accessible. It’s a little easy for me to separate the two because I’ve been doing this for awhile, but when you’re off working, try not to take it too serious, even though it’s a serious matter. You have to have a positive balance.
It starts with my happiness, my health, my mental health.
The Perfect Day Off
Usually, I’ll wake up naturally, probably around 9am. That’s a comfortable time for me. And I’ll probably sit there, listen to music, ‘woosah’ [Laughs], maybe lie down for another four hours. I love Daniel Caesar. He’s just so relaxing and soothing. And I love me some Frank Ocean when I’m just vibing by myself. I love going to the beach, or going to a view or overlook where you can see the city. I go to the Mulholland Overlook a lot. Sometimes, I like going to the [Griffith] Observatory. I just try to go to the ones where there aren’t a lot of people.
The Fitness-Food Balance
I eat really bad, unfortunately [Laughs]. I’m always eating Chick-fil-A; probably some sweet and chili wings. I love sushi, too. And I like to top the night off with some red wine. But I’m definitely a fitness person. Sometimes when I’m working a lot, I find myself not doing it as much as I should. But I feel happy and rejuvenated every time I do it.
I love to sit in saunas, exhale and hydrate. But at home, I’m always trying new products.
I love to get facials. I’m going to this new spot called the Glam Bar. Gab [Union] actually told me about it. It’s in the Woodland Hills area; in the Valley. Lately, I’ve been going to Burke Williams Spa, too. I love to sit in the saunas, just exhale and drink a lot of water. But when I’m at home, I’m always trying new products.
Netflix and Chill
On Netflix, I love watching “American Horror Story” and “Bates Motel.” I don’t watch too much TV, but I guess when I do, I binge a little. “Imposters” is a new show that I watch. Also, I just started watching “The Comeback” on HBO, and I think it’s hilarious.