Adulting is a hustle: One that is exhausting, stressful, and totally overrated. But how to ensure you’re keeping yourself centered, taking the time you need for yourself, helping your skin look its best, while still having fun in the process? We caught up with New Orleans native Cleo Wade, an influencer, artist, poet, and storyteller who has even been referred to as “the Millennial Oprah” to share her tricks to remaining centered and happy.
Known for offering creative inspiration and life lessons through poetry, mantras, and affirmations, Cleo attended a pivotal poetry summer camp when she was a little girl and attributes the beginning of her poetry bent to her teacher telling her group, “All you have to do is not make any sense.” She later fell in love with the idea that somewhere in the world, you could be someone who used her imagination for a living. “I spent the next 20 years working other jobs and really getting to know myself so that when I was ready to speak up, I knew what I wanted to say,” Cleo says.
Schedule Time to Yourself
Now a successful writer and poet, Cleo is always on the move. And when it comes to adulting tasks, Cleo’s least favorite is running errands. “I am such a homebody, so whenever I have one of those days where I have to run around from place to place, I just dream of getting home to get into my bathrobe,” she says. The antidote for her is scheduling time to herself for her own happiness and cultivation of inner bliss during the week. “It’s important to me that I take time to listen to myself and be still,” Cleo says. “We can be so rough on our bodies, minds, and hearts, and it is a gift to just take time to be gentle with yourself, whether it’s reading on the couch or listening to a podcast in the bathtub,” she says.
Stay In Tune With Your Needs
In addition to a good, warm bath, Cleo's learned to have a few key items on hand to help her embrace self care and work with her flexible and ever changing routine. “I never started washing my face until literally a month ago," she says. "Before I went on my book tour, I wasn’t used to wearing makeup everyday — suddenly getting my face clean at night was really important. I used to just use a makeup remover pad and throw some oil on my face and it wasn’t a big deal, but suddenly that wasn’t enough," she says. After struggling with skin issues, she realized her skin was missing the TLC it needed. "The Bliss Makeup Melt Wipes saved my skin," she says. "I started breaking out because I wasn’t taking care of my skin and taking the time to clean my face. I now use these makeup wipes at night and it’s made a huge difference."
In addition to preventing breakouts, Cleo realized she needed to take a self care moment for her skin as well. "I’ve also been flying a lot this book tour and I’ve realized that it can seriously stress your skin out," she says. "I use the Bliss In The Honey Mask to rehydrate while calming irritated skin.” Cleo says since the mask contains lavender, she uses the mask after a long day of travel to instantly relax and revitalize fatigued skin.
And When All Else Fails, You Need A Bed Picnic
One of Cleo’s favorite moments of happiness is taking part in a little activity she refers to as “bed picnics." “I usually never eat in bed, but every now and then when I'm having a tough day I will lay down a blanket, order Chinese, get a great bottle of red wine, and marathon-watch a TV show and obsess over my favorite female leads."
Find the Thing That Works For You
Cleo gravitates toward anything with lavender in it because it's so multi-functional. She puts lavender essential oil in her diffuser for a calming atmosphere and rubs it in her hands and takes deep inhales when she’s feeling anxious. “I also sage my home everyday to clear the energy,” she notes. She is also a self-proclaimed oils fanatic to help rejuvenate her skin. “Body and face oils are everything to me because I travel so much,” she says.
Separate Work From Play
“I have a writing room in my house, so when it’s time to separate work from home-life I burn lavender incense and start winding down for the day,” she says. Another great serenity hack? She also uses lavender epsom salts when she takes a bath. “Because I work in my house most of the day, lavender really helps me end the work day,” she says. She’s also come to view cooking as a personal meditation. “Usually when I start to cook dinner, that’s when the work day is officially over. I listen to music, dance around my kitchen, and burn lavender," she says. "I have a very specific playlist that gets me into the relaxation zone.”
Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously
Finding ways to unwind during the week and taking care of herself yields many positive results for Cleo. “When you know how to replenish, you are much better at being in the world,” she says. “When we are exhausted, we have less patience and understanding for others, and when we don’t know how to give to ourselves, we are not great at giving to others. Self-care is how we refuel.”
Cleo says it's important to not feel guilty when you take some quality time for yourself, be that a bed picnic or a dinner dance party. She knows that it helps her to be way better at showing up for other people. “I definitely take time to myself to refuel every single day, and at least once a week I will take a full day and night just being by myself at home,” she says.
But to Cleo, there is nothing better than walking around NYC. “My girlfriends and I have a tradition of walking across the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn on the weekends. It is so fun to hop around the vintage stores and little bars there.”
Credits: Art Director: Colleen Lennon; Producer: Andi Nash and Cassie Doyle; Photography: Diggy Lloyd, on figure; Photography: Tom Medvedich, still life; Editor: Amanda Elser Murray; Hair Stylist: Felicia Burrows; Makeup: MaryGene Rose; Wardrobe Stylist: Dana Cohn; Set and Prop Stylist: Astrid Chastka
Style Credits: Dress: Tibi; Shoes: Loeffler Randall; Earrings: Jennifer Fisher; Top: 3.1 Phillip Lim; Pants: Self Portrait; Shoes: Brother Vellies; Earrings: Dannijo; Ring: Jennifer Fisher