Corey Rae has had a big year—and it’s only January. The model, writer and transgender activist can already check “going to the Golden Globes with Amber Heard” off her bucket list (because yes, she did that), but that’s not the only ceremony Rae has attended this awards season. She was also recognized at the BlogHer Health conference, where she won a Voices of the Year award for the work she’s doing on behalf of the LGBTQ community.
It’s clear Rae’s star is rising—and fast. But how does she manage to juggle her myriad responsibilities while continuing to live an incredible, inspirational, authentic life? One part of her routine she never neglects: self-care. And in her January column for StyleCaster, Rae gives us a glimpse at what, exactly, her self-care regimen looks like.
Each new year, many of us vow to practice self-care. But what does that really mean? I’m a big proponent of “self-care Sundays“—filled with face masks and Netflix—but I also believe in the power of more inwardly focused self-care. In order to be my best self, I know I need to take care of my skin, mind and body. And over time, I’ve managed to work several consistent self-care routines into my schedule.
It’s important for me to have both daily and weekly routines. Every morning and every night, I wash my face—no matter what—and that, in itself, is one of the best, most refreshing feelings in the world. At least once a week (usually on Sundays), I use a volcanic mud mask to clear out any impurities in my skin, and then I post-game with a sheet mask that leaves my skin feeling extra soft and clean.
Something that never fails to make me feel like I can take over the world is a great manicure, but I can’t afford to have one weekly. I give myself manicures at least once a week (and paint a clear coat over my nails every day for seven days to keep the polish from chipping). And I try to treat myself to a professional manicure once a month.
Many of us get so caught up in our day-to-day routines that we become comfortable not challenging ourselves intellectually. One of the ways I try to combat this tendency? Educating myself constantly. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more books this year, and I’ve also changed my viewing habits. I save “binge-worthy” shows for the weekend and spend the week watching only documentaries.
I also keep my brain happy by thinking happy! Personal mantras—like “confidence is key” or “this too shall pass”—help me focus on the positive.
A big part of self-care has to do with being by yourself and learning to love your alone time. Hiking and spending time in nature tends to help me do this. I don’t necessarily have to sit in order to meditate; I can do it on a walk, on a hike or even in the shower. I space out until my mind reaches a peaceful place, and then take deep breaths. (I’ve found this ritual to be particularly helpful when I hit any kind of low point.)
Caring for your body is crucial, and I’m a big believer in the notion that forming positive habits now will pay off in the future.
I stretch every morning and every night—even if just for a few moments. I eat well with healthy portion sizes, and I try to have as much color on my plate as possible. I drink plenty of water (with lemon), and I find this also helps with my skin, energy level and overall health. I also take multivitamins and work out at least five days a week.
What does my perfect self-care Sunday entail?
It would combine beauty, brain and body self-love. I’d start by waking up and going for a hike at a nearby canyon. Then, I’d stretch, shower and moisturize my entire body (a daily ritual!). (Those of you who aren’t able to hike year-round can enjoy a walk around your block, or something similar.) That night, I’d treat myself to my two go-to face masks while reading a book or watching a documentary. I’d also light incense when I crawl into bed—I’ve found that falling asleep to a calming scent is the perfect finishing touch to an already-perfect self-care Sunday.
Though our society is becoming increasingly caught up in the consumerism of self-care, carving out time to focus on refreshing and reenergizing yourself doesn’t have to cost a single penny. If you start the journey of self-love every day—and I don’t just mean with Instagram-worthy face masks—you might find yourself growing in ways you didn’t know were possible. At the end of the day, self-care is about taking care yourself—your being in its entirety—and that’s an ever-evolving process.