Chill Chat

The "Weird" Wellness Ritual Shay Mitchell Does Each Morning

The actor shares her self-care habits and go-to workout playlist.

Shay Mitchell on the "weird" wellness ritual she does each morning, along with other self-care habits.
Pacific Press/Getty Images

In Chill Chat, Bustle sits down with stars to chat about all things wellness, from their favorite workout to their hacks for getting a good night’s sleep. Here, Shay Mitchell reveals her go-to spa treatment, how she makes “Christmas in a cup,” and the surprising wellness hack she swears by.

Shay Mitchell's fitness routine became non-existent during the pandemic. “I hardly worked out; I wasn’t shooting anything, so I didn’t feel inspired to get off the couch,” she tells Bustle. “Being a new mom with a delicious baby to play with didn’t help either!”

Mitchell, who gave birth to her first child, Atlas, in October 2019, says that implementing small changes at a time makes working out feel less daunting, especially after a tumultuous year like 2020. “As long as you're moving your body, that's a workout,” says Mitchell. “It doesn't have to involve lifting weights or following a specific fitness plan.”

When it comes to practicing self-care these days, she swears by facial steaming treatments infused with essential oils and frequent trips to the farmer's market to bring a sense of calm and joy amid a busy schedule. “I do my best to keep a level head and be grateful for where I am and what I have,” says the Pretty Little Liars alum.“I've also spent a lot of time educating myself about the social issues we’re facing today, and have tried to get involved where I can... feeling like I'm contributing and learning definitely helps to maintain a cool.”

Below, Mitchell shares how she gets an energy boost each morning, the wellness trend she’s eager to try, and why microgreens always make an appearance in her salads.

Matcha or coffee?

I had coffee this morning; I probably have coffee four days out of the week.

What’s your favorite way to get your coffee?

I'm a Coffee Bean [& Tea Leaf] girl. I love the crushed ice. During Pretty Little Liars, Ashley [Benson] and I would meet at Coffee Bean and then show up to set with our iced coffees. But a friend came over and showed me how to use my French press, so I feel like quite the barista these days.

What’s on your workout playlist?

Mine would probably just be continuations of Beyoncé all day, but I usually follow my friends’ playlists since they update them regularly. They have much better music taste than I do.

Do you have any weird wellness rituals?

I end my showers with five to 10 seconds of freezing cold water, which not only wakes me up, [but] it’s doing something good for my skin — I wish I could tell you about all the amazing health benefits.

Tea or kombucha?

I love tea — Good Earth Sweet & Spicy Tea is my favorite. Everybody that I give it to asks, “Did you add sugar?” because it has natural sweet flavors like cinnamon and orange. It smells like Christmas in a cup.

What’s a healthy habit you want to start doing?

I need to learn to make something besides a salad. I don’t want Atlas to just know Postmates or UberEats. I want her in the kitchen helping me and knowing what’s going into our food.

Do you have any go-to salad toppings?

Kimchi and sauerkraut. I add microgreens, too, because it makes me feel like a chef, and it makes every dish look so fancy.

What about smoothies? What’s something you’ll always include?

A little bit of maple syrup to sweeten it up. That’s the Canadian in me jumping out.

Is there a wellness trend you’ve always wanted to try?

I’ve seen people jump into freezing cold water after a sauna. It seems like a very extra version of what I do with my morning showers.

Speaking of saunas, what’s the one spa treatment you'll always pick?

I absolutely love and cannot live without a lymphatic drainage massage. I also used to love going to Korean spas because they have those hot-cold baths. Ugh, I miss that so much.

What’s the best fitness advice you’ve ever received?

If you set goals that are too lofty, they're harder to maintain. It’s better to know your limitations and implement things you can stick to in the long run. And if you need to skip a day, great. Just hit it harder the next time you feel good.

This interview has been edited and condensed.