She’s walking on sunshine… and working in it, too. While living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Alison Wu is running Wu Haus, an online platform dedicated to sharing tips for healthy eating, self-care, and wellness. “Whenever possible, I always strive for a holistic approach to my diet and lifestyle,” says Alison, and that includes when she’s working (and doing everything else) from home.  

We asked the influencer how she’s maintaining balance during a pandemic, and how she’s encouraging her followers to mindfully do the same.

How is quarantine changing the way you think about your job?

The pandemic has required me to look at everything differently. I feel extremely grateful that my brand and most of my work was already in the digital space. I’ve been trying to focus on sharing in a more vulnerable way, as I think people really need to feel connected to others through our shared experiences at this time. My dream is to open a boutique bed and breakfast in Mexico sometime in the next 3—5 years, so I’m still trying to hold onto that dream and move forward with it even though the landscape of travel has changed for the moment.

What message do you think is the most important to communicate with your followers right now?

Stay present, become okay with not knowing, and surrender. I’ve found the more I take myself out of my comfort zone, the more I am required to surrender to my experience. The more I can be present to each moment, the more I can accept the unknown. Staying in a bubble of comfort or control, though it feels cozy and warm, ultimately stifles us and leads to a sort of death. By throwing ourselves outside that bubble, we are forced to adapt and look at our experiences with new eyes.

How has your approach to wellness changed during this time?

It’s been harder for me to stick to a daily routine, but I’m being gentle with and more accepting of myself. Emotionally, it’s been a lot to process, which ultimately takes a toll on us physically. I’m working on being more and more present and focusing more on what I need in each moment and less on the anxiety and uncertainty of the future. 

How has your daily skincare routine changed? 

My skincare routine is mostly the same, but I’m applying Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40 twice a day because there’s a lot of sun here in the desert. I’m prone to perioral dermatitis, so my go-to everyday moisturizer is Avène Cicalfate Cream. I cleanse with alternating warm and cold water in the mornings, and with Osmia Black Clay Facial Soap before bed. I love January Labs Night Cream and Daily Brightening Tonic. And I use my rose quartz roller 1 to 2 times a day.

How are you creating (and keeping) healthy work / life boundaries?

To be honest, it’s really hard. It all sort of blends together for me because so much of my “work” is my life. I’ve learned to recognize when I feel uninspired or triggered by social media, and I take breaks when I need to. It’s important for me to be able to step away and reconnect with myself and my source of creativity, so I can keep sharing from an authentic place.

What are your pantry staples during quarantine? 

I’ve gotten into sourdough baking, so I have lots of flour on hand. All the nuts and seeds, medjool dates, all the pastas and rice, coconut milk, and dried beans. 

You feature so much amazing food on your Instagram. Is there one dish in particular you keep making? 

Risotto! I’m making it at least once a week. It’s definitely my favorite comfort food, and I love how you can use a base recipe, then switch up the veggies to make it different each time. Here’s my go-to recipe.

Zoom calls: makeup or no?

I hardly ever wear makeup normally. In quarantine, I’ve been using a tinted SPF moisturizer, but that’s it. This is the first time I haven’t had eyelash extensions in three-ish years, which took a couple weeks of getting used to, but I’m actually loving my natural eyelashes for the first time in my whole life.