This Is Artist & Poet Cleo Wade's Self-Care Routine

Photo: @cleowade

Cleo Wade has built the power to move hundreds of thousands of people with her inspiring words, not by running herself ragged but by taking care of herself.

Wade, a poet, artist, and storyteller, has used Instagram as a platform to share messages of encouragement and activism. Her messages connect the dots between self-love ("Don't let old hurt get in the way of new love") and activism ("It should be hard as hell to get a gun, period") in an unprecedented way, making activism accessible to all of her 358,000 followers. Years of consistent writing for her Instagram audience led to several collaborations with brands, a Ted Talk, and eventually a hardcover book released in March called Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life.

Wade's poetry captures the essence of You. We. All. As her book's title suggests, it all comes directly from the heart. It speaks to the individual from a place of personal empowerment, giving her collective following the encouragement they need to be themselves in the world. So when she came to mbg to record a podcast (stay tuned!), we caught up with her on her own self-care rituals. Here are the self-care practices Cleo Wade swears by:

1. Take a bath.

"If I had a hard day, I'm in the bathtub with a podcast on, probably On Being or Tara Brach," she explained. "I am a big bathtub person."

2. Eat to give yourself as much energy as possible.

"I'm vegan, so that's been a gift in my life, especially for my energy levels," she said. "I don't eat a ton of gluten, either."

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3. Double down on the things that make you feel light and bright.

Wade said that a large part of her self-care regimen is recognizing what gives her energy. "I do things that allow me to have as much energy as possible, especially during the winter. It's so hard to get out of bed; you feel so fatigued, but that's when you have to double down on the things that make you feel light and bright," she said.

4. Choose your company wisely.

If someone is taking your time and energy and not giving it back to you, it might be time to reconsider. Wade, for example, makes sure to spend time with her close friends because they give her energy. "Sometimes my girlfriends are my self-care. Tonight we're going to the movies, sneaking a bottle of red wine into the movie theater, to see Ladybird," she said.

5. Honor yourself.

"The most interesting things are not beautiful because of a standard; I think they're beautiful because they're unique," Wade said. "We've gotten into a place culturally where we're really trying to homogenize the way we look." And while this idea is being dismantled one day at a time by forward-thinking and indie media, it remains true for many cultures. "Beauty goes hand in hand with individuality," she said.

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Ultimately, it's about finding your own individuality.

When Wade talks about her idea of success, so much of it is authentic self-expression. She found this herself by pursuing projects that made her feel good, buoyant, light, and energetic. "I think that you'll find that your lifestyle starts bringing to you the things that show in your outward space," she said. Instead of idolizing a person, place, or thing, take note of the things that truly bring you joy, and be honest, she said. Make it a point to leave out what doesn't, and you, too, will pave your own path.

Want more Cleo Wade? Here's how she fights depression and overwhelm.

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