The Ritual Diaries is a bi-weekly editorial series where we talk to our favorite creators, experts, and change-makers about how they take care of themselves in a busy world. This week, we spoke to Halleta Alemu, a Los Angeles based artist. Halleta is an actress, model, and writer; she is correctly working on her first book of written words in addition to live readings.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Given I have to turn off my alarm, the first thing I do is check my phone. I do a bit of scrolling, too. I’m trying to get better at not checking social media in the mornings but I’m also trying to give myself more grace. So, for now I’m letting myself do it. Otherwise, to get me energized I immediately sync my phone to my speaker and play music to get my morning started.
What is the last thing you do in your day?
Unfortunately, I’m going to be honest again, I scroll on my phone. I have a hard time falling asleep and I’m prone to overthinking spells, so I usually scroll and laugh at internet jokes until it wipes me out and I fall asleep. Or, I’ll call a friend and talk until the late hours of the night. I love talking on the phone. I think I got it from my mom.
What is the hardest part of the day for you — and how do you overcome it?
I’m a freelancer so I don’t have a set schedule to report to unless I’m booked on a job. That being said, the moment the day starts is a challenge because I have to make sure to set the tone of my day in a way that serves me. If I don’t rev my momentum correctly, I end up feeling directionless which ends up throwing off my mojo. I’m getting really honest here, lol, but I don’t think there’s any use in sugar-coating it. I’m a pisces, I don’t like structure, but if I don’t visualize at least a loose game plan for my day I end up drowning in the day’s possibilities and I get nothing done.
You juggle so many roles: actress, model, and writer. How do you balance all of your crafts and your mental health at the same time?
Like, I mentioned in my first answer, I make sure to give myself grace. Being an artist is one of the most beautiful ways to live in the world, everything around you is alive with poetry. But the commercial aspect, the making money of it all, can really tarnish that glow. It can really grate your spirit. I make sure I’m feeding my spirit and not just feeding the artist who needs to make money. Both need attention, but when I’m burnt out, it’s time to solely focus on the poetry of living.
What boundaries do you set for yourself for your own health?
This answer varies depending on where I’m at in life. Currently, I’ve set the boundary of no TikTok and no alcohol for the next month. My mind felt very garbled and noisy after hangovers and after long TikTok scrolling sessions. I would feel disconnected from my body. So anytime my body feels like it’s being attacked, I set a boundary. The body is the vehicle for my art so I have to be very caring and considerate of it.
Do you have any “cannot live without” products in your everyday routine?
Right now, I love Weleda Skin Food’s Original Ultra-Rich Creme. It’s the densest moisturizer I have ever encountered and my skin just drinks it up. I have to dilute it with another moisturizer though, but it’s perfect.
Do you have any rituals and if so, what are they?
Moving my body. The moment I wake up, I’m playing music and dancing throughout my apartment. Dancing as I brush my teeth and wash my face. Dancing in front of my mirror. It’s a fun way to fall in love with yourself. It helps me charge into the energy of the day and release whatever lifelessness or stagnancy is left in my body.
What would you tell your younger self about health and wellness?
Don’t only listen to affluent white women about it. Naively, I thought they were the gatekeepers of health and wellness ascension 6 or 7 years ago. Now, I am much more aware and educated that health and wellness should not be a matter of wealth, race, or status. It’s something every human being can be a master because it’s a practice of listening to your own body.
What is something that you look forward to everyday?
Listening to music, reading a really great piece of writing, and feeling the sun shine on my skin.
How do you “reset” yourself after a night out, a bad date, etc.
A long shower. Water heals everything. Then curling up in bed with fresh cut strawberries and Nutella. Then maybe some Love Island UK? Dream night.
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