The year 2020 has given birth to many terms and phrases, but possibly the most prevalent one at the tip of many tongues right now is "Zoom fatigue." Manifesting in tired eyes, stiff neck, and/or an achy lower back, the National Education Association says Zoom fatigue occurs when we feel tired after overusing video conferencing. And while you could easily (and logically) turn to a therapist or trained health professional for ways to combat this very 2020 condition, you could also just take a page from Nicole Richie's book, which includes a surprising wellness habit she practices daily.
"The number one thing I tell myself I have to do every day is stretch," says the designer to TZR in a Zoom interview (ironically enough) arranged by supplement brand OLLY for its #InTheGirlsRoom campaign. "I'm on Zooms all day, sitting down, I'm not moving as much, and it's definitely harder to be active. For me, the most important thing to do is to stretch." (And she very well might be onto something there: According to studies, regular stretching of the body has been shown to help improve circulation, posture, and even prevent back pain.)
This seemingly simplistic habit also allows Richie a few moments to herself, which, these days, are few and far in between. "I used to wake up first thing in the morning and have two hours to myself and know that was my time to connect with myself, get organized and situated," she says. "Now, I have kids at home doing school, so I'm constantly on."
To keep some semblance of self-preservation, Richie holds some of life's more mundane aspects, like hair and skincare routines, near and dear — they're "good for my spirit" — and indulges in luxury loungewear to stay uplifted and feel good in the moment. She also finds joy in the little victories of the day. "One thing I've learned is how much more I can get done by doing a lot less," says Richie. "For me, and for [husband Joel Madden], our idea of killing a day is like slamming ourselves into the ground, but life doesn't need to be like that. I think this year has made me focus on how I spend my personal time, what I want to do creatively, and actually realizing how important these pauses really are."
While many have found comfort and solace in creating beautiful, cloud-like loaves of bread and indulgent, decadent meals, Richie has yet to subscribe to the culinary therapy trend (with the exception of her go-to banana bread recipe). In fact, she's on board with shortcut meals that take little time to put together and feed you for days. "I do a lot of overnight oats, lasagna, slow-cooker chicken tacos, and quesadillas," says the designer. "I like making things that will last." Spoken like a true parent.
With her beloved trips to the gym and local bookstore defunct for the time being, Richie has had to get creative in finding ways to nurture her body and mind. In between Zoom calls, the reality star has focused her energy on surfing ("I mean, I wouldn't do a recital or anything"), caring for the new family puppy, and enjoying time with her pre-teen children Harlow and Sparrow. "It's a moment in time," says Richie. "My daughter will be 13 in January, and she's only got five more years at home anyway, so I'm leaning into it instead of trying to remedy it. [...] We'll walk, we'll hang, we'll watch movies and argue about which one's we'll watch — just a real family vibe." Take that, Zoom fatigue.