Remembering to eat lunch every day is not a difficult task in and of itself. But between juggling a career as an actress, entrepreneur and fashion blogger, it’s something that Cara Santana has had a tough time with recently.
“I often forget,” she says, adding that her assistant’s insistence that she eat a proper meal at midday is one of the things for which she is most grateful in her day-to-day life. It’s a small act of self-care that’s become especially important as she’s hard at work on bringing Stepsto life—a full-length feature film written by Santana and directed by her fiancé, Jesse Metcalfe, an actor best known for his portrayal of John Rowland on Desperate Housewives.
The film, which is currently about halfway to its crowdfunding goal on the indie film platform Seed & Spark at the time of writing, follows the storylines of six people in New York City, all of whom are dealing with addiction. It’s a subject that’s hugely important to both Santana and Metcalfe as recovering addicts themselves, making for a unique intersection of work, personal life, and passion in Santana’s day-to-day that not everyone gets to experience.
“I love that my job and my life are so intertwined and that nothing is ever the same,” Santana says. “There is so much versatility to its structure and I have the opportunity to create things that really matter to me and be a voice of matters that I am passionate about.
“What I am learning is that self-care,” she continues, “is the ability to be honest with yourself and to listen to your truth, even in the face of conjecture, opinions and voices that make you question those things,” she says.
Here’s how she accomplishes all that, even on days she’s so busy she forgets to eat lunch.
“Take your criticism seriously but not personally.”
“I think for women especially, it is hard for us to separate and depersonalize our criticism. Hillary Clinton said this at a conference in NYC, and it really resonated with me. I think it’s important for us to reflect, but not to qualify ourselves [according to] the thoughts of others.”
“After a long night, it makes taking off your makeup so easy. My number one beauty secret is to never sleep with my makeup on, but sometimes, you’re just too tired for a full routine.”
Happy Place Outfit
“Cozy sweats. Currently, I’ve been living in a cashmere Rag & Bone camel-colored set. I also love my black cotton Alexander Wang sweats, especially for long flights on a plane. The great thing about sweats is that you can wear them with flats or heels.”
“My dad bought this for me for Christmas. The book teaches you all about perspective and when you are going and going and going, sometimes every battle feels like one of epic proportions, but in reality, it’s not.”
Productivity Hack: A Great Assistant
“[My assistant] keeps me focused and on track. She makes me sit down and carve out time, and ensures my answers are thorough. [She also makes] sure I have lunch, which I often forget.”
Most Opened App
Good Hair Secret Weapon
“Don’t wash it every day. Hair always looks better the second or third day for me.”
Flats, sneakers or heels?
“Depends on the occasion, but you can’t go wrong with a pair of Vans sneakers. They’re comfortable and go with anything – I stick with the classics.”
Self-care Method of Choice: A Good Manicure
“Shoutout to @nailartbymami. Having your nails done just gives you life. You can pull you hair back in a pony tail, you can have a clean face, but having your nails chipped—there’s just no easy fix.”