You know those article headlines that make your heart stop when you come across them (or is that just a weird me-thing)? Imagine my excitement when I came across this story on Vogue about Jennifer Aniston’s self-care routine and her secrets to looking (and feeling!) as good as she does. Yes, please! After reading the entire interview about five times through, I was inspired. As a wellness editor who loves a good self-care ritual almost as much as I loved every season of Friends, I wanted to get as close as I could to being Jennifer Aniston and try out every detail of her self-care routine for one week.
A photo of this week’s mood, for reference:
So what happened when I swapped out my self-care rituals for a Hollywood A-lister’s? Did I achieve her effortless beauty and lit-from-within glow? Did Jen and I (finally) become best friends, as having the same rock-solid self-care routine would make happen? Read on for Jennifer Aniston’s self-care rituals I added to my routine based on her interview with Vogue and my experience trying out each of them.
1. No phone for the first hour after waking
The first step in Jen’s self-care routine is probably what I need the most: less phone time. As someone who rolls over and checks Instagram within 30 seconds of waking up, it’s definitely time for a morning routine makeover. As for the details (we’re all about the details), Jennifer keeps her phone stored elsewhere and uses iPods or old iPhones for alarm clocks and sleep apps (which I probably would too if I was paid a billion dollars every time a Friends episode aired). But alas, no television fortune or spare iPhone for me, so I charged my phone across the room and forced my boyfriend to set an alarm on his phone for me (I cannot risk the temptation of turning off the alarm on my own phone when TikTok is just a click away).
Jen talks about finally checking her phone after about an hour to find text messages wondering where she is, which I can only assume is from her team of assistants, BFF Courtney Cox, or maybe Brad Pitt finally realizing he can’t live without her (we’ve known that for 20 years, Brad!). I don’t have a team of assistants or Brad Pitt caring about why I haven’t answered their texts, but at least my boss would notice if I was MIA, right?
At the end of the week, I have to be honest: My mornings were so much better. I had more time to fit in meditation (more on that below), and I swear I felt less stressed when the first thought of my day was not centered around catching up on other people’s lives or texts I had missed. I’m even inspired to keep my current phone when I get a new one just to use it for sleep apps and alarm clocks. That’s some bougie ish, but it’s also pretty genius.
2. Use the Pattern app
While this is technically not a core piece of her self-care routine, Jennifer did mention that her phone is reserved for texts, emails, and the Pattern app, of which I needed to try. If it’s good enough for Jennifer Aniston, it’s good enough for me (also, it’s free, so I’m down). I had never heard of Pattern, and TBH, it kind of blew my mind. It uses data to help you better understand yourself and others for the purpose of deeper connections. In a world where most of our screen time is spent watching people we don’t know dance or cook feta pasta, it was cool to spend some time exploring my personality and what’s going on in my life.
You can use it as a tool to understand yourself better, a reference to make goals (it gives you peak days/times), or even as a way to connect with people who share similar personalities and values. Think of it like a dating app, only instead of swiping left on gym selfies, you’re matched based on your deepest personality traits. I learned that I’m self-critical, deep, and passionate and also that I need to let go of the past (my therapist has been telling me that for years). It’s actually cool, and I thank the app gods and Jennifer Aniston for bringing such a fascinating tool into my life for free.
3. DIY a collagen latte
Probably the best thing to come out of this experiment is that I finally know Jennifer Aniston’s coffee order. Scratch that—she calls it a coffee routine. So when I order Starbucks, I will no longer tell the barista that a grande cold brew with one pump hazelnut and an inch of coconut milk is my order, it’s my coffee routine. In a pleasantly surprising twist of events, Jen’s morning coffee is pretty doable. She adds a scoop of collagen from Vital Proteins, a dash of cinnamon, and a packet of Stevia because she has a sweet tooth. Meanwhile, she steams her almond milk while this concoction is forming and will occasionally indulge in her guilty pleasure, hazelnut Coffee Mate (that’s the relatable queen we know and love!).
Luckily, for this experiment, I already had a milk frother ready to go, a gallon of almond milk on hand, and some collagen that I typically add to smoothies. I prefer the taste of iced coffee, but I quickly learned that collagen plus iced coffee does not equal a Jen-approved superfood latte. Collagen needs heat to dissolve or else it will turn into goop at the bottom of your cup (and not that kind of Goop). But once I nailed the hot coffee routine, I liked knowing I was getting some extra nutrients and protein in my coffee.
4. Be mindful of what your eyes and ears ingest
PSA: Your mouth and stomach are not the only body parts that digest. Jen is protective of her boundaries by limiting news sources, social media, and negative content. It makes me really happy that Jen is protecting herself because I would protect her at all costs. But this is actually a really great point because health is not only about choosing the best way to nourish our bodies with food but also about how to nourish our minds and souls. The podcasts we listen to, the people we spend our time with, the shows we binge on Netflix, the accounts we follow on Instagram, and the way we speak to ourselves (and others) are all things that feed us too.
I always try to be conscious of this by unfollowing or muting accounts that don’t serve me, watching comedies that make me happy over horror movies or sad shows, and limiting news to what I absolutely need to know. But this week, I was not only thinking about what not to watch, listen to, and read, I also made a conscious effort to consume more of what to watch, listen to, and read. Instead of scrolling through Instagram or watching Netflix, I read inspiring books and listened to motivating podcasts. To no one’s surprise, it was truly the most motivated I had been in a long time (and not just because I’ve been comparing myself to Jennifer Aniston a little too much).
5. Meditate after making coffee
Spoiler alert: Meditation was by far the most drastic change that came out of this week for me. It’s something I always think I should do but never really make time for. I tell myself I’ll meditate after I take my dog out, on my lunch break, or before bed, but it just never happens. Having a specific time built in to meditate (i.e. right after making coffee) was the game-changer because I actually did fit it in.
Jen explained that she meditates after “a few sips of coffee,” so I panicked because I wasn’t sure if she takes the rest of the coffee with her to meditate (will that be a distraction and ruin the purpose?) or lets her coffee sit there and get cold after a few sips (maybe normal for the rich and famous?). I need a detailed play-by-play, Jennifer! I ended up sitting down on my couch with my bougie latte in hand for about five minutes of meditation (I couldn’t let collagen go to waste).
Jen uses Insight Timer, so I used it and tried the courses she mentioned: lowering anxiety and how to create gratitude and abundance. Through this experiment, I learned that I definitely prefer guided meditations. There’s way too much going on in my little brain to sit in quiet stillness, and I don’t always know what to write when journaling. Insight Timer achieved what it promised for me—I instantly felt a little less anxious throughout the day, and I also felt major gratitude. This is nothing groundbreaking to the self-care world, but I give a morning meditation 5/5 stars.
6. Adopt a pro-aging mindset
As someone in their mid-twenties, whether I’m for or against aging is not a topic I’ve put much thought into. I like to think I’d already be “pro” because I regularly pretended to be 21 years old before I actually was. But I think we can all agree that of all celebs, Jennifer Aniston is the first one to come to mind when thinking of the buzzphrase “aging gracefully.” Not only does she look phenomenal at every age (like, how?), but it also seems like she hasn’t resisted getting older. Rather, she’s slightly adjusted her hair, beauty, routine, and relationships to each phase in her life without trying to look like Season 1 Rachel Green.
The biggest lesson I got from Jennifer Aniston’s pro-aging mindset is also something I’ve learned from my mom’s aging mentality: We are lucky to be able to get older because a lot of people don’t get the chance. I’m sure I’d feel less hunky dory about it when I get crow’s feet and gray hairs, but I do believe there’s something to be said about enjoying every age of life instead of wishing we could be younger. This week, I made an effort to make decisions for my future self by eating fruits and veggies, getting enough sleep, and moving my body, knowing that taking care of myself now is an investment in my future self. As Mrs. Aniston (Jen’s mom) used to say, “This is about longevity. It’s a privilege to grow old, but we don’t have to grow sick.”
7. Keep learning and educating yourself
It’s totally relatable that Jen casually mentioned to her manager that she wanted to educate herself more, so her manager arranged conversations with icons like Jay Shetty, Jessica Yellin, and David Sinclair (to be read in your best Chandler Bing-level sarcasm). I guess when you’re an icon yourself, you have access to all the other icons. But as a total wellness nerd who loved school (yeah, I was that girl), I love that learning is a key part of Jen’s self-care routine. The goal of wellness is really just growth: growing in health, growing in self-love, and growing in knowledge. When we’re constantly learning, we’re constantly growing.
I always make an effort to attend lectures, listen to podcasts, and read books to grow my health knowledge, but the major change from this week was how I saw those efforts. I typically see education as an extension of my career, like I’m staying up-to-date to be the best I can be at my job. But seeing it instead as a way to care for myself really transformed what I got out of it. Education, even in the name of a career, helps us grow as people, not just as a job title. If you ask me, that’s caring for yourself more than a face mask or smoothie ever could.
8. Supplement your health with products that work
To quote Jennifer Aniston quoting Dr. Sinclair, “As we age, our cells start to shut down and the lights in our body turn off. But you can turn those lights, those genes, back on.” One of the ways Jennifer likes to turn those genes back on and age as healthy as possible is through tried and true supplements, like the aforementioned collagen (she uses Vital Proteins, of which she is chief creative officer for the brand).
I’m typically wishy-washy with my supplements. I’ll get excited about a new multivitamin and take it religiously for a couple of weeks before forgetting about it altogether, or I know I feel my best when I’m consistent with my probiotics but can’t always seem to remember to take them. This week, I was more consistent than I’ve typically been with taking the supplements and vitamins my doctor and I decided were best for me. A major shift was (yet again) mindset: Rather than just another thing I was “supposed” to do, I thought of these supplements as another way to invest in my future self and to “keep the lights in my body turned on” as I get older. You bet I won’t forget to take my multivitamin again.
Overall, following an A-lister’s self-care routine was surprisingly doable. I loved spending a little extra time prioritizing the things I typically forget about, like tech-free time or meditation. However, the biggest takeaway I got from spending a week as Jennifer Aniston (I mean basically, right?) is that mindset is her secret. Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure she has a team of the best beauty gurus and wellness experts on speed dial and the best products that only money (and fame) can buy. But her actual routines are fairly simple. No two-hour workouts, strict diets, or 5 a.m. wakeup calls are needed to achieve Jen’s lit-from-within glow.
I love that the way she cares for herself is built around mindset. She’s not using self-care rituals as a mask to achieve an “ideal weight” or to stay young forever; she cares about health because she wants to live the longest, happiest life possible. Now if that doesn’t sound like the moral of a movie where Jen would play the lovable protagonist, I don’t know what does.