Though the global COVID-19 crisis took a toll on everyone's physical and mental health, the change of pace also helped Glee alum Amber Riley learn how to better take care of herself.
"In the beginning [of the pandemic], it definitely was difficult, but I just had to regroup and figure out a new routine. Routine is really important for me as far as mental health goes," she shared with PEOPLE. "So I had to kind of figure out what my new routine was going to look like. It hasn't been perfect, because life is never perfect anyway."
The actress admitted "it took time, but I gave myself grace first" — and slowly but surely, everything began to fall into place.
For Riley, self-care means getting enough sleep, exercising and listening to her body.
"Keeping centered though your day is all about how you get it started," she insisted. "Everyday, I'm up at 9:30 a.m., I walk my dog, I make breakfast, I look over my calendar and then I work out."
Regardless of what your own self-care routine consists of, the singer-actress noted that self-love is a "forever journey ... not a destination."
"It's not a place that you are ever going to arrive. We're ever-changing and evolving and growing," she explained.
"Our society is always changing and growing and evolving. So I just try my best to check in with myself as often as I possibly can," the star continued. "And the journey — it's ever-growing and evolving. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's easy."
Riley's positive relationship with herself is one of the reasons KeVita probiotics wanted her to star in their latest campaign, which she said is about encouraging "people to love themselves from the inside out."
The brunette babe noted that their message is something she really believes in.
"What they've been talking about is gut health, and probiotics and prebiotics are so good for your gut. And I go with my gut, my intuition, a lot — especially when making a decision about what project I want to do, or when I'm in the studio and I'm writing," she shared. "It's so important that I can believe what my gut is saying and take care of my body."