I wish I could tell my younger self to take the time to eat balanced meals that give me energy and not to rely on caffeine. In college, I saved papers for the last minute and drank, like, Diet Mountain Dew. In the long run, if you take the time to find healthy choices—lean protein and vegetables—you’ll be better for it.
I would tell my younger self to celebrate the things that make me different from everybody else. That would be a really boring world if all of the people were exactly the same. And I would tell myself to be kind to and not beat myself up so much. Life is long, and I’m still changing and growing into who I’m going to become. My body has been changing still. And I’m sure that when I’m in my late 30s, and after I have a kid, everything will continue to change. I think I expected perfection growing up, and I think that is a losing battle.
When it comes to marriage, I’d tell my younger self that it’s really about listening and about letting the small things go. Whenever there’s like a little argument, just let it go as fast as possible, give each other a hug and get right back to why you’re together. Things are bound to come up.
Be willing to laugh at yourself if you make a mistake. I’m letting things flow for me more now than I did in my teens and 20s, and that’s helped me in my acting and in my relationships.
Live in the moment. People are going to try to pull you out of the moment by asking, “What’s next?” You start to think, “What’s wrong with where I am?” So I go on hikes a lot with my husband. Being in nature puts everything into perspective.
Don’t make decisions out of fear. I’m a Libra, and we’re known for being indecisive. There will always be decisions to make, but the stakes are never as high as you think.
Please get more sleep! I’m happy I was having so much fun during high school and college, but sleep is so important, and I bet it would have helped my mood swings back in the day. I feel like I had way more mood swings then because I wasn’t sleeping enough and I was really pushing myself to the limit, wanting to hang out or stay up late at night. I remember finishing papers at 3 or 4 in the morning and being up for class at 7 a.m. I wish I got more sleep.
As told to Jacqueline Andriakos