Aja Naomi King is a planner. She comes prepared for everything, kind of like that straight-A student who anticipates a pop quiz before anyone else. But throw in a pandemic that upends daily life, and even the most focused can’t help but be rattled.
“I’m a bit of a control freak,” King says. “So being in a situation where you have no idea what’s going to happen or when it’s going to end is really hard.”
That’s why trying to focus on what she can control—whether it be her self-care routine or her activism—is the most important thing to the How to Get Away With Murder star right now. For starters, there’s her involvement with L’Oréal Paris’s Women of Worth campaign, which is working to nominate women championing change through a wide variety of causes, including fighting COVID-19. “It’s just remarkable watching how everyone has taken the time to go outside their comfort zone and make as much of an impact as possible,” she says. “It’s been really incredible.”
Not to mention comforting. In such strange times, we asked King to tell us what she’s doing to maintain a semblance of normalcy, from the tried-and-true to the one-and-done.
Glamour: How has your self-care routine changed, if at all, while in isolation?
Aja Naomi King: Before quarantine, I really had to pick and choose what I had enough time for. Now I spend a lot of time doing intense breath work and meditation to calm my mind and body. I also like to wake up in the morning and thoroughly cleanse my face and then massage it with my fingers or a jade roller. It just makes my skin feel nice and helps relax me. It’s stuff like that that keeps me uplifted.
Speaking of being uplifted, is there any music that has been keeping your spirits up?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Robyn, especially the song “Call Your Girlfriend,” because it really pumps me up. It’s just such a good song. And then also a lot of Buena Vista Social Club, because that music is very relaxing and sexy.
What have you been doing with your nails in quarantine?
At the beginning, I was still caring about how my nails looked and was doing them. I love light, pale spring colors. But then I stopped because I really don’t like painting my own nails. I’m not great at arts and crafts and they always look kind of shitty. So I actually went and got some press-on nails. I was like, “Okay, it’ll look nice and all I’ve got to do is stick it on.” But that was so weird for me. I didn’t enjoy it so I removed them immediately and gave up.