(Living Well With)

Leslie Bibb's Morning Routine For When Things Get Chaotic

And yeah, drink lots of water.

It’s first thing in the morning in Australia when actor Leslie Bibb hops on the phone. While most of us are bleary-eyed and unable to string a sentence together so early in the day, Bibb is energized. Perhaps it’s her relaxed morning routine that sets her on the path to success (more on that later), or simply that the Iron man star is excited to wake up in her current locale. Whatever it is, Leslie Bibb is both positive and full of sage advice.

When Bibb first arrived in Australia to film God’s Favorite Idiot, she explains that her six months of suitcases left her feeling overwhelmed, so one of her first tasks was to help reestablish a routine while she spent two weeks self-isolating. “When I got into quarantine, I made a janky calendar so I could knock off each day,” she explains. “I was scratching it off like an X on each day.” And while she’s now allowed to leave the house, Bibb explains that after spending the last year and a half traveling and living out of suitcases (she’s been in New York, LA, London, and Australia), it’s the act of rooting herself in a routine that’s helped to keep her grounded. “Achieving something like that makes me feel better... I love a schedule.

Bibb adds that while the pandemic has shifted her idea of normal, life as an actor is always changing, and juggling schedules with her partner and fellow actor Sam Rockwell can be tricky. “It definitely makes you have to become more fluid and less rigid,” she explains. “Sam and I always say that ... He's in London and every house or apartment we have, I'm like, how can I make it home? Wherever I am, I have to make it harmonious.”

Below, learn more about what Bibb has been up to at her current home in Australia, including her latest cooking obsession and the first outfit she splurged on (it’s Prada).

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What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

I try to drink water first thing in the morning. Sometimes it's hard, I try to get as much water in me, at least like 20 ounces so I can check that off the list. As Sam likes to say, I hydrate. And I am a morning person, by the way, so I like to get up early and I like to listen to some jazz. And then I try to do yoga with my yoga teacher, this wonderful teacher in Los Angeles, Jenny Brill. It just gets me back in my body.

When you have the chance to treat yourself, what do you do?

I think yoga is like a treat for myself because I do a private [lesson], which is nice. Also, I love getting a facial, doing something nice for my skin ... I'm not such a clothes horse. I want to be, I love it, but I sometimes get overwhelmed. I like to touch things, I like to go into a store and touch it and try it on. So sometimes online shopping can feel like opening Pandora's box.

What are you listening to these days?

You know I like to loosen it up and just let [Spotify] decide because I’m over here [in Australia], my computer and all of my technology is a little wonky. I love a little Chet Baker in the morning, and I like a little Thelonious Monk, and a little [John] Coltrane. You can never go wrong with a little Coltrane.

One thing you can’t live without is...

My little Bose speaker. I like to be able to listen to music and dance and just fill the space because you're by yourself. That quiet, that feels really nice.

I will [also] tell you, I like to cook. When I got to Australia, the first thing I did do is go buy an iron skillet, which I love.

Where are you dreaming of traveling to? Why?

I feel really lucky because I got this great job in Australia and I'm in this magical place. I've always wanted to go to Australia. I'm getting to check off two great things ... visit a country I've always wanted to visit, as well as get to work with really amazing people right now. So I feel like I'm getting two for one and that's great.

I will say that when everything goes back to normal, I want to go to Greece, desperately. I'm really interested in exploring Greece.

What’s your go-to secret weapon when you want to look and feel good?

Putting on something pulled together. Especially because of the pandemic lately, you don't really need to dress up, but it's like "Oh yeah, I'm going to put on that cute pair of boots, and that really cute pair of socks, and that great dress.” I try not to wear a lot of makeup because there's so much makeup at work, I try to give my skin just like a little baby breaks ... just putting on a red lip ... a red lip is an immediate game-changer.

Do you have a favorite workout/wellness practice?

Yoga for me has been a really centering, good thing. I always try to meditate. I've done a meditation class. I have a mantra. I have it all. But it's hard sometimes. My brain can get a little busy. Yoga is my go-to to get me in my body.

What’s the best piece of relationship advice you’ve ever received?

An old therapist of mine ... we were talking about relationships — and this was before I met Sam, I feel like she helped me conjure Sam into my life — I was talking about some guy and I said, "He's not really my type." And she went, "Oh, interesting. What's your type?" I went through my list of my X, Y, and Z, which is my type. She just sat there and she looked at me after I finished. She waited and then she goes, "How's your type working out for you?"

I don't know why, it stopped me dead in my tracks. She said, your type is how you want the world to actually see you. And I thought, "Oh yeah." I could be missing out on what I needed. Your type is how you want the world to see you, it feels very ego-driven, right?

What’s a healthy meal you always make/order?

I'll tell you what my new obsession lately is ... it's two things. One is instead of buying cans of beans, doing an old school dry beans: soaking them overnight, and then making my own hummus so I'm not buying it. Doing it truly from scratch, so if I'm making chili, all my beans are dry, and then it's nothing from a can. Then the second thing I've really gotten into is learning how to make curries. I would say that coconut milk, and coconut cream, and curries have become my new obsession in the kitchen. I'm obsessed with making a Thai Curry.

Do you remember your first big splurge? Do you still own it?

I bought myself a full head-to-toe Prada outfit. I bought a pair of shoes, a brown leather jacket, and these great pants.

I [had it] forever, but I don't anymore. It was when Prada was doing this whole line of velcro ... everything was latched with velcros. But I held onto it for forever and forever and forever, and finally... I don't like a lot of clutter, so if I'm not wearing something ... I constantly am cleaning out a closet. I live in New York too, space and closet spaces ... you don't have a lot of it sometimes. So I'm constantly [editing] my wardrobe.

What’s the small stress-saving luxury you swear by at home?

My Ninja is my thing. It's a go-to ... And I don't even think I've scratched the surface of what it can do. I make my own pesto, I make my own hummus, the other day I made from scratch cauliflower soup. And this is the other thing, I'm really into making my own broth. I do my own vegetable stock or my own chicken stock. It's so silly and corny, but I love it. I have a thing about opening a fridge and seeing a full fridge or a full freezer, like the way my aunts and my mom always used to have when I was a kid. It just makes me feel faith, and like I'm taken care of if there's food in the house in that way.

What are you saving up for at the moment?

What am I saving up for? I don't know what I’m saving up for. I feel pretty good right now. I think I'm okay with what I have. Right now is enough.

One thing you want to go back and tell your younger self?

You always hear the right advice at the right time. I think I had to go through everybody in my past order to get this piece of gold I have right now, which is Sammy Rockwell. I think that right when you think it's getting really uncomfortable when you feel like sometimes it's all lost, and when it seems darkest, I think that's when it's just getting good. That's when you're on the brink of real change and real evolution. That's the moment you need to be your most fearless. Whenever I see that happen with a girlfriend and it really feels like it is hitting the fan and everything's going wrong I'm always thinking, you're right on the brink of the biggest breakthrough. It always seems to happen. I know personally, that's when it's just starting to get good.