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Lindsey Shaw's Morning Routine

Lindsey Shaw is an actress best-known for her role in Ned’s Declassified. She also starred in Aliens in America, ABC Family’s 10 Things I Hate About You, and Pretty Little Liars, among many others. These days, she’s a certified yoga instructor, coaches rising young actors, and, sometimes, eats Nana Joes Granola! We were thrilled to chat with her about her routines for both mental and physical wellness, how she takes her breakfast, and why she starts every day with “weird little chants.” Lindsey is such an inspiration for how to be a present, genuine human and we couldn’t be more excited to discover she’s a fan of NJG!



Are you a morning person? 

Not at all. I’ve got to have a very motivating reason to get up, like adulthood. I have the luxury of being able to work at night, so I’m typically waking up between 11 and 12. I get to go hike in the afternoon, then usually finish my projects around 2 in the morning, because that’s when I find myself being creative.

What’s the very first thing you do when you open your eyes in the morning?

I get up, I down water, then usually some liquid chlorophyll. It acts as an internal deodorant. But I still need the external, too, believe me. Then I eat a little bit. Just a shake with a little protein powder, or a protein bar. I’m on the CELCIUS train, it’s an energy drink that makes me feel really good. It’s taken me completely off coffee. Then I come out on the patio and write a list of all the things I need to do that day, spiritually, mentally, and physically.

I also start my day, every single day, with a chapter of whatever book I’m reading. It’s such a little treat to start my day with storytelling and levity. Sometimes, after I get something done on my to-do list, I escape with another chapter. It’s my reward.

What does your morning scene look like? 

I’m sitting at my friend’s breakfast table. We live in the same apartment complex, and it’s so nice to wake up with friends. She has a bowl of granola every morning. I have a bowl a little bit later in the day. We’re laughing, talking, crunching. It’s just a time for real contentment.

On a leisurely day, what’s your perfect breakfast?

Greek yogurt with a little bit of honey and berries and granola crunched up on the top. My favorite Nana Joes Granola flavors right now are Paleo Dark Chocolate and Cashew Butter & Peach. I also love oatmeal with berries on top. And I can’t live without turkey bacon. Can’t live without kiwi. Some tea, too. Something fruity, like a peach tea, or lavender and rose. Something really lovely and soft. Little introductions to the day. 

Any morning self care rituals?

I definitely dance around and shake it off, then I do a whole lot of weird voices. I wake up and I gotta move. I gotta let the energy out. I’m shaking, I’m doing my little chants, speaking in gibberish. Then I figure out how I’m going to work out. I usually do yoga, swim, or hike. I do a lot of walking - I walk a lot of the places I go to. I consider walking a meditation, not an exercise. I brush my teeth with a little tea tree oil because it makes me feel fresh and tingly. I water my little plants, I look at them and talk to them for a while. 

I never used to enjoy the small things. I was going in the wrong direction, and then there was this big pendulum swing, and a whole spiritual awakening in my life. A lot of things changed really drastically. Now I appreciate just watching this plant. Sometimes I do a face mask. I like the bubble sheet masks from Dermovia, it’s like lattice work on your face. I listen to a little bit of Insight Timer, something meditative. 

What do you do on those mornings you’re just not feeling it?

I rely on my friends a lot, a lot, a lot. I’ve also really solidified a bond with my mom that I didn’t used to have. And I rely on outside help to get proper mental support. I can lean on those people. I do regular writing and homework on my patterns and behavior. If I’m feeling upset, I write it out in a specific format. I need to do that to get out of the feeling. And I get out of the house, into wide open spaces. 

If I have those feelings, I need to address them right away. I am so lucky to have a schedule that is very off kilter and can be done at off hours. I’m side-hustling, but I’m so lucky to work from home. If I need to take some extra time, I do. Sometimes I sleep some of my feelings away, which is one of the least destructive ways I’ve found. After I’ve done the work, I’m resting through some of that stuff. Now that I’m writing it down, doing the work and making changes in my life, it’s easier to take it easy on myself. I acknowledge that this is hard, and it’s okay to take time to meditate on it.

What affirmations or mantras do you live by? 

I take the phrase, “When you know better, you do better,” and make it my own. I knew better for a really long time. For me, it’s when you FEEL better, you do better. I valued my brain over my heart and body experience. But it’s incredible how that affects your decisions. 

Another I live by is “one day at a time.” Stay in your own lane. That’s loving. You don’t do anyone any services by doing their work for them. And sometimes, love hurts. What I mean is, tough love is still love. My love seems to come out real tough but it’s still love. I like when someone is being upfront and honest with you. The best thing you can do is have hard conversations with the people you love. 

What brings you joy and energy?

Sitting. Being patient. Getting out of my head. I still get anxious, but I’m having pockets of contentment when I’m just looking at the trees. There doesn’t have to be continuous activity in my brain. I’ve just learned to sit and be content with doing nothing. Sit in the sun. Be in the grass. 

And what’s bringing me a lot of joy right now is being of service to other people. It brings me the greatest joy. I coach kids and friends with acting. I help teach. Being a conduit for these kids is healing my inner child. I just want to give them everything I have. And it gives me new validation when I’m in front of the camera. 

What role does food play in your life? Do you enjoy cooking? 

I am just now sliding into my cooking experience. I had a really tricky relationship with food for a long time. It’s why something like Nana Joes Granola is so nice. It’s filling. It’s something simple to eat. I’d rather do a bite of this, a bite of this instead of a big meal. I do love to make veggie pasta. I’m all about efficiency. I’m still getting my culinary flair, so for me food is fuel. And I love double-toasted english muffins. You know how the bread is a little too bready? It tastes like a fancy baguette when you do it this way. I’m very much a PB&J girl. I love a good poke bowl, a good acai bowl. I love to eat raw things, raw vegetables. Some of my favorite spots around here are TocayaMendocino Farms, and IzakayaOVE Pizzeria has the best pizza in the valley. And of course Le Pain Quotidien.

I like being hosted. Hosting is not something I’ve ever really gotten into. I just didn’t have the capacity in my life to host before. It’s such a joy to be a part of things now, and want to contribute. I haven’t wanted to before. By the age of 50, I should be able to make waffles.