There’s no denying that the life of a model is glamorous: photo shoots, fashion shows and travel to exotic locales grants a front-row seat to the best of what global culture has to offer. But all that excitement comes with its fair share of stress, from nonstop travel to late nights out to bossy photographers and fashion editors. So how do some of the world’s most famous faces take it all in stride and still manage to look so good? In the final installment of our Stress Less series, Carolyn Murphy shares her tried-and-true tips to keeping calm.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received on how to de-stress?
Avoid getting stressed! The way to do this is to do a mind and body "scan." Make a list of priorities and things that need to get done, put them in order and add to a calendar for structure. Check in with your body by breathing deep and closing your eyes; your body will let you know if it needs exercise, a massage or extra sleep.
I do the above and then I take action. I cut off technology, I don't make social plans. I prioritize my needs. At night, I take a bath and drink chamomile tea. If it's daytime and I have time, I'll go to the infrared sauna or acupuncture. I also believe in meditation and journaling.
Do you believe there is a connection between feeling stressed and the look of your skin? If so, what are your favorite ways to help your skin recover when it’s looking or feeling over-stressed?
Of course. You can see it around the eyes and jawline. The skin becomes sallow, dehydrated and puffy under the eyes, and the jaw [looks] tight. The quick recovery is to avoid caffeine and alcohol, two common crutches. Best is to drink lemon water with milk thistle to flush the kidney and liver, both of which "hold" stress. Using an exfoliating face scrub and anti-stress face mask is a big help, followed by a thick moisturizer. If you can dry brush your skin and take an Epsom salt bath, that's another way to de-stress the skin. Eating steamed veggies will naturally make you feel better and your skin will glow.
I really am a homebody and creature of comfort. I thrive on routine and structure.
When your schedule gets crazy and you’re traveling and working nonstop, do you carve out moments of relaxation for yourself, or just power through and relax after?
I usually power through and relax after I cry uncle! Lately I'm trying to carve out time ahead of time so I manage my stress better—I’ll schedule appointments each week, like acupuncture, massage and spa time. There is nothing better than being pampered and dozing while someone else takes care of you.
My favorite way to relax is also to stay homebound, cook, read a book, listen to classical music and not look at my phone or emails. If I can get out of the city for a few days and into nature, that's a big plus!
Tell us your other favorite ways to de-stress:
Yoga or cardio?
Yoga for sure! At home and not a class.
Salty snacks or sweets?
I love salty, like sauerkraut or kimchi!
Meditation or mindless TV?
I like both of those, and I'm guilty of the latter at the end of the day, in my bed with my dogs!
What is your favorite part of your job?
The creativity on set, the people I get to work with and, of course, sharing with women the tips I learn about self-care. The travel is also a bonus—and seeing the pictures—but really the process and collaboration is what means the most to me.
What is the hardest part of your job?
The most difficult part of my job is the travel, as it can be long trips, strange hotels and time away from my family. I really am a homebody and creature of comfort, so the travel can throw me off. I thrive on routine and structure.
Tell us about your dream day.
My dream day is waking up to quiet, in nature, trees out the window, fresh air and time to myself for an hour before being Mom. Then being with my daughter and dogs, family and friends, cooking, hiking, surfing or horse riding, even gardening. Sharing and laughing, then having quiet time again, early bedtime and a full night of sweet sleep. I enjoy the simple things in life.