Why 'Glow's' Britney Young is stepping away from her vision board during the pandemic
"When I set those goals, I didn’t know the world would be the way it is right now."
Sundays are a day to recharge and reset by hanging with friends, turning off your phone, bathing for hours on end, or doing whatever else works for you. In this column (in conjunction with our Instagram Self-Care Sunday series), we ask editors, experts, influencers, writers, and more what a perfect self-care Sunday means to them, from tending to their mental and physical health to connecting with their community to indulging in personal joys. We want to know why Sundays are important and how people enjoy them, from morning to night.
Before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began, Glow actress Britney Young, who plays Carmen ‘Machu Picchu’ Wade, didn’t have a regular weekly routine. When she would work on set, her schedule changed from day to day, which prevented her from getting her home life in order most nights. That’s why the 31-year-old, used Sundays to spruce up her house and reduce stress, a practice she’s continuing now.
“I always spend my day doing activities to help me prepare for the week and things that are fun and relaxing for me,” she says. “Luckily, I am still able to do all of those things from the comfort of my own home. Well, the comfort of my parents’ house. We are quarantining together and I am extremely grateful for it.”
But while completing chores—like doing laundry, going grocery shopping, and cleaning up her home—is part of Young’s Sunday M.O., she’s been trying to be kind to herself when it comes to planning for work, especially in regards to hitting goals and being creative.
“At the beginning of the year, I made a vision board and set goals that I wanted to achieve in 2020. I am doing my best to stick to those goals and still make them happen, but I’m also not putting pressure on myself,” she explains. “When I set those goals, I didn’t know the world would be the way it is right now. So I can’t be too hard on myself that, unfortunately, some of them won’t be attained this year. But I can do my best to lay the groundwork and start taking the steps needed so that I stay on the right track to cross the finish line.”
For this week’s Self-Care Sunday, we spoke to Young to learn more about her current weekend routine. Here, in her own words, are her go-to Sunday activities, plus advice for other people who may be struggling with feeling productive right now.
At the beginning of this experience with the stay-at-home mandate, my mental health was a bit all over the place. I wasn’t sure how to feel about everything. I was always trying to put on a happy face and be positive when I really just wanted to sit down and cry. Now, I feel like I have adjusted and have started listening to myself more. I am no longer forcing myself to feel a certain way. If I am in a good mood and happy, that’s fantastic. But if I really just want to have a good cry or be by myself, I listen and lean into those emotions. There is no right way to feel right now, so I’m letting my body naturally dictate my emotional and mental state, instead of forcing it to be a certain way.
Go-to mental health practices
I really love doing things that are going to make me happy. For me, that means sitting down and reading, having a mini-movie marathon, or watching a few episodes of a TV show. I am also really into puzzles and board games, so it’s nice to ask my parents if they want to play or help with a puzzle.
Wind-down practices to combat Sunday scaries
I’ll be honest, I am extremely proud of myself that I have gotten into a routine of turning off my phone about two hours before bed. Before, I would be in bed scrolling through my apps and the news right up until I turned my lights out, and I noticed that I wasn’t able to fall asleep within a decent amount of time. But now, I put my phone aside, grab my book, and read before bed. I feel much more relaxed and prepared for sleep.
Sunday workout routine
Usually, on a Sunday, I would head to my gym or hit up the community pool. But with everything shut down, I’ve had to find things to do around the house. I’ve been doing a few online yoga and barre classes, but my favorite activity has actually been going for walks in my neighborhood. I am quarantining with my parents in my childhood home, but I honestly don’t think I appreciated how beautiful my neighborhood was until recently.
I also have been trying to learn a new dance each week. I am a former cheerleader, and on my Instagram, I usually post a freestyle dance video just for fun every week. But my mom told me that I need to get some new moves, so I have been learning some of the trendy dances from different social media platforms and taking some online classes that dance studios in L.A. have been offering by recording those routines. Dancing is a great workout and it’s so much fun, I don’t even realize I am working out. Haha, tricked my brain into that one.
Physical health tips
I’ve been drinking a lot of water. I usually have a 32-ounce water bottle that I just refill throughout the day, but I recently changed to a 64-ounce jug, and it’s really helping me stay on top of hydrating my body. When [the pandemic] first started, I was acting like an extreme hypochondriac and every cough or tingle in my throat made me think I had the virus. I had to tell myself that worrying about every little thing is actually going to run my body down more.
Now, I wash my hands, don’t touch my face (whoa, baby, that was a hard habit to break!), and am keeping my distance from everyone. I am fine, I am okay. So I think changing my mindset and not worrying about getting sick has helped me to relax and just take care of my body like it should be taken care of.
I’ve been keeping in touch with my friends and family through texts, phone calls, and FaceTime chats. I will say, I am probably the only person who hasn’t really jumped on the Zoom bandwagon. I am trying to keep my communication and boundaries for my relationships the same as if all of this wasn’t happening. I am up for chatting and reaching out to my friends and family, but I also respect those times when I am not really feeling up for being as talkative, and instead, just want to keep to myself. And I also respect when the person who I am trying to get ahold of isn’t in the mood for chatting themselves.
Setting boundaries during quarantine
One boundary I’ve been learning to navigate is that I’m trying my best to not make all my conversations about the virus or about dealing with the stay-at-home mandates. Yes, I do check to see how people are feeling and if they want to talk about anything, but I don’t want our conversations to be just about that. I have found that constantly talking about it or focusing on it has been overwhelming.
I dyed my hair blonde last year, absolutely loved it, but I felt like it damaged my hair and relaxed my naturally curly hair texture. So every Sunday, I’ve been doing an at-home damage repair treatment with Olaplex No.3 Hair Protector. It’s amazing, and I feel like my curls are returning back to their true Shirley Temple form. I also have been using Lancome Rose Jelly Mask at night before I go to bed. It leaves my skin so smooth, hydrated, and glowy when I wake up. And it has a nice lightweight, nonsticky formula that’s easy to sleep in.
I’ve been washing my hands so much to get rid of germs that my skin has been incredibly dry, so I have been using L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream like nobody’s business. It keeps my skin smooth and hydrated, and it’s so lightweight it doesn’t feel heavy or oily. It smells so good I want to eat it…but don’t worry, I won’t.
Watch a movie. I am such a film and television nerd. It’s always been my passion since I was very young. It’s always been the activity that instantly puts me in a better mood. I love escaping into worlds that aren’t my own and watching these characters have their adventures. Especially right now, movies have allowed me to travel, to learn more about different cultures, feel every kind of emotion, and most importantly, have made me laugh. They have been everything I’ve needed right now.
Advice for people who may be struggling with being creative
Don’t stress it! For me, creativity can’t be forced. It has to fuel its own flow and provide its own current. If you’re feeling like you want to create, then get to it! But if you’re feeling the pressure to have to create, then guess what? That’s not being creative. That’s forcing it. I think sometimes people think we constantly have to be productive, and that we have to constantly be doing something. We don’t realize that the activities that we think are “unproductive” are actually productive, because [our] minds and body are telling [us] that’s what it needs to recharge, to relax, and to create. Listen to yourself and don’t try to put yourself under the pressure of what you think you should be doing. It will happen.