Ashley Graham knows self-care went out the window in 2020. The year 2019, on the other hand, was “the Olympics of self-care on social media, before the pandemic,” Graham tells Bustle. “Now everyone is just like, wait, what does help? How can I continue to be a strong, healthy person through a pandemic?” Now that it's 2021 — and everyone's a bit more used to the chaos of the pandemic — Graham's self-care routine gives the supermodel and entrepreneur exactly what she needs to feel grounded and healthy.
To help others do so, she partnered with Airbnb to headline a limited series of online experiences that focus on hitting “reset” on your self-care practices and prioritizing your personal well-being. These will be part of the platform's Online Experiences, a virtual way to try different wellness routines (like facial yoga in Spain) from the comfort of your home. Graham’s course is called “Loving Yourself In 2021,” and is all about embedding self-love into your daily life rather than making it something to check off your to-do list.
During the session, Graham will host an intimate conversation (with up to 10 people) over Zoom, and all money raised will go to The Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), which works to end mass incarceration in California. Booking will open at 5 p.m. ET on Feb. 3, and the course will be held on Friday, Feb. 5 from 5 to 5:45 p.m.
If you miss it, don't worry — Bustle spoke with Graham to get a taste of her wellness habits.
What is your daily self-care routine?
I do prayer daily, I try to stretch or do some sort of movement. I don’t have to get sweaty or go to a gym, but I try to move my body in some way. Let’s be honest: It is so hard to work out right now whether the gyms are open or not. I get why people are in classes — being around all those people is motivating.
My favorite [online] yoga is Sky Ting. People stuck at home [or] working from home need to move [their] bodies and stretch. It’s one thing to get out of the house, good for you, but you can get on the floor wherever you are.
Do you have any rules about who you surround yourself with? How do you keep out negative people?
I have a good one-liner. I always say “bad company corrupts good character.” Basically, you are who you hang out with. You have a choice. But for me, I am the friend that will correct you in the moment, unfortunately. I’m like, “Don’t say that about yourself, say this.” Of course I always say it with an upbeat attitude because I see the glass as half full, not empty. I think it’s not about pointing a finger but about looking at how you can change and then being an example [to others].
"I do a lot of prayer. It's like making a vision board with your mouth."
How do you talk yourself out of a low moment ?
I do a lot of prayer. Some people do meditation or chant or do yoga. For me, it’s been prayer nights where I turn the lights off, walk around my apartment, and pray out loud. I pray out loud because my words have power, impact, and directness over my future. It’s like making a vision board with your mouth.
How can others start affirmations?
It’s really weird to talk to yourself in the mirror; you have to just get over it. Something that I have done before, if I want to memorize something or get it into my soul, [is] record it in a voice memo and I'll turn it on and listen to myself. We live in a generation where we’re constantly on our phones making TikTok, Insta Stories, whatever it is — you are talking to yourself in the camera. But [if] you can’t talk to yourself in the mirror and say I love you, there’s an issue. I do understand that it’s awkward to give yourself compliments or be your own hype person.
My affirmations are very personal and can be so simple, like "I love you, I’m bold, I am brilliant, I am beautiful, I am worthy of all." Just start with what is the biggest issue in your life [right now.]
What do you want people to take away from your Airbnb Experience?
I hope that they can take away something that’s going to improve their self-care. Self-care isn’t something that can fall off your to-do list. It needs to be something you prioritize daily. I think the people who are signing up are excited about more options and amplifying where they are with self-care, or are curious about how to just start. I want them to take something tangible away and not something off of Instagram that feels phony.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.