How Lexi Underwood from Little Fires Everywhere uses meditation to keep calm
For Little Fires Everywhere actress Lexi Underwood, Sundays are a time to relax and unwind. Ever since the entertainment industry temporarily shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the 16-year-old has been trying to navigate doing her job in new ways while utilizing her free time for the other things she loves.
On Sundays, she tells HelloGiggles, “I’ll wake up, play a board game with my family, talk [with] my friends, or play PS4. I’ll also read and write. I love writing and creating my own content. I’m actually writing a script right now.”
Yet although the star has been using this time to engage in fun activities and connect with loved ones, she—like many of us these days—hasn’t been sleeping well. As a result, she’s been resorting to her trusty meditation ritual to help clear her mind. “In all honesty, I’ve been going to sleep really late. But before I go to sleep, I’ll meditate,” Underwood says. “I’ve been reading Self-Meditation by Barbara Ann Kipfer; it’s been my go-to meditation book.”
For this week’s Self-Care Sunday, we spoke to Underwood to find out how she’s been using meditation to help with her mental health during the pandemic. Here, in her own words, are her go-to practices, plus tips for other people who may be having issues maintaining a sense of normalcy during this difficult time.
My anxiety will come here and there. I hope that everyone will be okay and all of this will pass, and I hope that we don’t continue to lose more and more people. I’ve just been trying to keep myself calm with everything happening.
Go-to mental health practices:
I’ll talk to my friends, or I’ll write a script and find some way to be creative. Or I’ll play a video game with my friends, [which] will help uplift my spirits, and we’ll just talk and catch up. We will have our own little therapy sessions just to check-in and usually, after that, I’ll feel better.
I like to meditate throughout the week to help prepare for the next week and to clear my mindset that I had from the week before. I also love to exercise and do yoga on Sundays; it cleanses my body. Every time I do yoga, I never have a heavy heart or [feel] like I’m holding a lot of weight on my chest. It helps me feel light and ready to take on whatever life has in store for me. My friends and I will sometimes be on the phone together, especially now, and we’ll meditate or do yoga together.
I usually search for random videos on YouTube. I’m not the biggest yoga expert, as I recently started not too long ago. Right now I’m doing a bunch of home exercises. I’ll just search for random videos and whatever pops up first, I’ll try out.
I love cooking. My family and I love to cook together, listen to music, dance, have fun, and play games. Before quarantining, I kind of knew how to cook but I wasn’t as good with it as I wanted to be. But now that I have some time, my mom and nana have been teaching me how to cook, which has been super fun.
Also, I’m kind of a neat freak, so on Sundays, I like to clean my room and do laundry just to make sure I have a clean space for the following week.
Physical health tips
My uncle is a doctor and he [provides] support to me and tells me everything I need to take, especially when I did travel and was on the go. Right now, he’s been advising me on how to stay calm and the kinds of vitamins I should take, like vitamin C.
He also told me that when you order food, make sure to tell the delivery guys to leave it outside your door, make sure you sterilize everything, and don’t let anything touch the counters. While it was scary to hear all these protocols at first, I’ve now gotten used to them as I can be, but it’s still super scary. Right now, I’m just trying to stay calm and try not to lose track of the things I was doing before.
My dad isn’t with [my family] right now. We’re from D.C. and he went back to check on our house and bring our cat (who was living with his best friend) to L.A. to self-isolate with us. But then D.C. went on lockdown, so now he can’t leave. So the way we’ve been connecting with him is through an app, where you can stream a show or a game together. He also has a video game system at home, so we’ve been playing video games, too.
Quarantine life lessons
This experience has taught me to take a break, be grateful, and to not take any time that I do have with people for granted. Like, going to the store or a restaurant was never a big deal until now. I’m just trying to breathe and be grateful and thankful for the little things.
I absolutely love doing my skincare routine and taking a shower. I love doing a face mask and washing my hair (which is in braids right now). So I’ll usually take a shower on Sundays, listen to my favorite musicians, and actually have a self-care Sunday.
For hair, I love this brand called As I Am. They have these products that make my hair smell really good and my scalp feels super fresh. When it comes to [skincare products], I love Dermalogica and Cetaphil. I also love to use the Aztec Clay Mask; it makes my skin super smooth. Then I’ll use these crystal rollers over my face, which brighten my skin. I use Shea Butter for everything, like for my hair, skin, and face. Shea Butter is my number one product when it comes to self-care.
Advice for young people trying to maintain a sense of normalcy
In all honesty, I’m still trying to figure this out as well. I think the biggest thing is to make sure you’re talking to the people you were hanging out with before everything happened, and to try to maintain that balance that you had before everything happened. Be honest and open about how you’re feeling and don’t try to bottle everything in. When this first started, I was trying to bottle everything in, and it drove me crazy.
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