Sitting in her small New York City backyard, actress Kate Walsh sips a cup of coffee, with her dogs at her side as she smiles serenely. For the busy star — known for her iconic characters on Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and 13 Reasons Why — relocating from California to the bustling Big Apple has been an adjustment, but every day, she tries to steal away for a moment of calm.
“I love it out here in the summer,” Kate shares with FIRST. “The fountain, ivy, geraniums…being around nature, even for a few minutes, gives me the sense of calm that helps set the tone for my day.”
In her youth, Kate admits that she was as “take charge” as some of her on-screen personas, but in her 50s, she’s found peace in accepting whatever the day brings. “I was always trying, trying, trying,” Kate admits. “But now, I more graciously and gracefully go with the flow, and it’s so freeing.” Here, Kate’s tips for tranquility, good health, and joy.
“I often wake up with a busy mind, so as soon as I open my eyes, I say to myself, ‘Today is a perfect day!’” Kate shares. “And I just slow down to appreciate what is right there. It doesn’t have to be grand: just, ‘I love my pillow,’ ‘I love my sheets’ — simple, tangible things to appreciate before I even get out of bed. Then, to round out my day, I’ll make a gratitude list before bed too. It truly melts stress!”
“I love my 70 percent dark chocolate!” Kate says. “It’s so energizing!” Bonus: Studies show that people who eat dark chocolate five times a week have lower blood pressure and can reduce their risk of heart disease by 57 percent.
“I’ll admit, there are many things I am radically insecure about,” Kate shares. “I second-guess myself a lot, and it can be draining. But given the way we grow up in a culture that makes us believe we’re never enough, I try to remind myself that’s just part of how I’m programmed. To counteract it, I try to listen to my mind and body without judgment. There are so many changes going on as we age, so when my brain wants to get judgy about why I need more rest, I remind myself that there’s no problem with doing that. The less I judge myself, the better I feel!”
Small Acts of Self-Care
“I’ve been drinking fresh celery juice for years — 16 oz. every day!” enthuses Kate. “It’s an anti-inflammatory , and it makes a big difference in my skin and energy. But there are other ways I care for myself too, like keeping moving with daily walks, yoga, or a fun class. For me, those small things are a huge part of self-care. Self-care doesn’t have to be linear like going to the gym: It could be stepping away for 10 minutes to let your body rest. Little ‘me moments’ keep me firing on all cylinders.”
Asking for Help
“In the past, I admit I always wanted to be in control,” Kate admits. “I was more of the alpha, do-it-all person, and it was good when I was younger. But then that approach stopped working. Now I’ve learned to ask for help, and it’s changed everything. I have a lot of support on day-to-day tasks and tend to accept what the day brings instead of trying to direct it. For me, that’s been the key to keeping calm, happy, and serene. Instead of looking at an impossible list of to-do’s that I’ve made, I look forward to letting things unfold — and life is just so much more delightful that way.”
Kate’s Secret to Beating Hot Flashes
“Part of my self-care routine is natural supplements — I’m so into them!” Kate says. “And when I went into early menopause a couple of years ago, I knew I needed to find one that could help me through it.”
In her search for something that would help her symptoms, Kate discovered Equelle, a daily supplement that contains a plant-based compound called S-equol. “I started taking it to help with the hot flashes, muscle aches and pains, and ever since, I feel so much better!” she beams. “I feel strong and like I’m in the best shape — in fact, I’m probably better now than I ever was!”
Kate was so inspired by her experience that she shared her menopause journey through Equelle’s Live Hot/ Stay Cool campaign last year.
“Menopause is almost like a haunted house — nobody wants to go in there and talk about it! But these supplements helped me feel well and empowered to start the conversation and face the challenge headon. I’m in the best part of my life right now: I’ve never been healthier or felt more well, and I want to help other women feel the same!”
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.