Connie Wang is a senior features writer at Refinery29, whose work examines what fashion and style reveal about politics, culture, and the economy. She’s also the host of Style Out There, a documentary series that explores the connections between clothing, community, and cultures across the world. She and her writing have been quoted in The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, and New York Magazine. And when she’s not thinking about clothing, she tells us she’s usually thinking about what to eat. Wondering how this busy writer fits self-care into her packed schedule? She tells us below.

Bad habits you’ve cut from your daily routine?

  1. Trying extreme skincare products that I know won’t jive with my skin, but I still bought anyways because I am extremely impressionable to pretty marketing. Now, I stick to what works, even if it’s embarrassingly boring, mind-numbingly basic, and means that my medicine cabinet now looks like it belongs to a frat boy rather than a woman in her 30s!
  2. Apologizing in my emails when I’m just trying to project agreeability.
  3. Reading the news before bed. Now, I stick to fiction — it’s much less anxiety-inducing than reading the paper.

Good habits you’ve added?

  1. Keeping my emotions in check when I’m reading the news. Recently, I’ve done a lot of reporting that touches on how easy it is to be manipulated by what we read, which leads us to jump to conclusions, cast unfair blame, and reduce complicated issues to over-simplistic explanations. It’s toxic for us as individuals, and dangerous for journalism’s relationship with its readers. I’m more mindful of when articles are trying to spoonfeed me an opinion. I’m a skeptical person by nature, but practicing responsible reading has made me feel less frazzled about the information I take in.
  2. Throwing my daily contacts away in the trash can at the end of the night instead of leaving them on my nightstand to pile up like a tiny, disgusting hill of blue fish scales. I’m a recovering dirtbag, I’m sorry!!
  3. It’s very hard for me to brag about my accomplishments, even if I feel very proud of what I’ve done. I’m trying to do it more on social media, in meetings, even around my friends who knows it’s hard for me! If I’m not going to be my own advocate, then who will?

How do you take care of yourself throughout the day?

I have a boring answer, but I’m lucky to have a life where I have a fulfilling job that pays my bills, friends and family who are truly supportive and loving, a partner who I love and trust, and a body that — with help from the doctors I see because of my access to affordable healthcare — is relatively pain-free and strong. When it comes to feeling balanced, those things are the most important.

It takes quite a lot to send me spiraling. But when I feel on edge, I think about how lucky I am to sometimes even be in a position to feel frustrated about a change in a script or negative feedback about an article I’ve written. I believe that gratitude is a muscle — you have to constantly use it to benefit from it.

Are there any activities or hobbies you do to help you de-stress?

I am addicted to very trashy foreign reality shows like Cheapest Weddings and Secret Eaters, as well as very wholesome foreign reality shows like Hyroi’s Homestay and The Return of Superman. Watching them is like wrapping my brain in a gravity blanket.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

If I’m not traveling, I get eight hours of sleep a night. If anything, I’d like to wake up earlier on the weekends. If you leave me alone, I can easily sleep all day long.

Do you have a favorite wellness trend?

For many reasons (recreationally, sociopolitically, etc), I love the national wave of decriminalizing weed.

What is your favorite healthy food?

I love fermented foods — the smellier, the better. Stinky tofu, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, miso. They’re the best low-fuss side dish for dinner. I avoid it for lunch because of Refinery29’s open-office plan.

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