In Chill Chat, Bustle sits down with stars to chat about all things wellness, from their workout playlists to their most reliable self-care hacks. Here, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan talks about the best wellness advice she’s ever received and her hack for when she feels overwhelmed.
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is not ashamed to admit she loves watching documentaries about serial killers. “I totally am one of those people,” she tells Bustle. Her all-time favorite? Don’t F*ck With Cats. “As a Canadian, I remember when that was actually happening on TV and people were reporting on it, so it was really cool to see it in a documentary.”
If the Never Have I Ever star isn’t streaming a doc, there’s a good chance she’s listening to a true crime podcast — specifically, “Internet Urban Legends” or “Serial Killers.” It’s fitting, then, that Ramakrishnan has teamed up Spotify for its recent launch of “Find the One,” a digital experience that helps users find podcasts that best fit their interests. “I’m regularly listening to podcasts and listening to music — just having those outlets to relax with are a large part of my wellness routine,” the 19-year-old tells Bustle. “Even if it’s talking about serial killers, it’s still nice to have something running in the background.”
Besides what she streams, Ramakrishnan says her favorite form of self-care is centered around food. “For me, it’s not just about eating the food myself, but eating with others,” she tells Bustle. That doesn’t mean she cooks, though — a distinction she makes very clear. “My brother and the rest of my family can cook. I don’t want to step on their toes, you know? I wouldn’t want to add to the competition,” she jokes.
Here, Ramakrishnan talks about her most “out-there” wellness ritual, the reason she doesn’t take baths, and the one ingredient she’ll always put in a smoothie.
Can you walk me through your morning routine?
My day is always a little different, but I’m not a morning person so I’ll always try to schedule stuff for later in the day if I can. I’ll start off by waking up late, usually by feeling my dog sleeping on my feet. I roll out of bed, shower, brush my teeth, get changed, all that jazz. Go see what’s in the fridge. Then I’ll down some food and get to work. It’s a very typical 19-year-old morning routine.
Do you drink tea or coffee?
I’m definitely more of a tea person. Jasmine green tea is my favorite — I’ll take it with a little bit of milk. The best form it comes in though is bubble tea.
What would you say is your weirdest wellness ritual?
I don’t know if it’s weird because I feel like a lot of people do this, but if I’m ever overwhelmed, I’ll just go bother my dog. I’ll hug her and squeeze the crap out of her, and I’ll also start play-fighting with her. Annoying her is my favorite thing.
Which would you pick: baths or saunas?
Saunas because baths are weird. Hear me out: In theory, they sound fun. They look great in movies and how we depict them. But if I’m on my phone in the bath, I already know I’m going to drop it. I don’t want to ruin my phone. If I’m reading a book, it’s going to get wet. So, what’s the point? I might as well sit somewhere and just not do anything, you know?
Fair point. What’s something you’ll always put in a salad or smoothie?
In a salad, croutons because they’re the most non-vegetable part. In a smoothie, mangoes. I love mangoes.
Have you picked up any wellness practices from your family or friends?
I’ve recently been putting a lot of effort into a good hair care and skincare routine. My grandma is all about taking care of your body and your health. She’s also been trying to get me to take a lot of vitamins, so I’ve been trying to incorporate that.
Is there a wellness trend you’ve always been interested in?
I don’t know if I want to try it because it seems scary, but acupuncture. It baffles me — it seems like some horror movie stuff. But people say it doesn’t hurt.
What’s the best wellness advice you’ve ever received?
Something as simple as my mom telling me to think before I go off and do something. Sometimes I can be very impulsive and do things just to get them done — I’m always go-go-go. It’s simple, but to just shut up and think for five minutes is very helpful.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.