This 'Scandal' Star Makes Her Mental Health A Priority Every Day

Do you spring out of bed, ready to start your day, or hit snooze over and over again? That Morning Person is HuffPost’s attempt to make sense of mornings by peering into the routines of others. 

Bellamy Young’s secret to waking up happy relies solely on how well she takes care of herself the day before.

The actress, who plays President Mellie Grant on ABC’s “Scandal,” says that her health is a major priority both morning and night. That includes plenty of exercise, meditation before bed, scheduling regular doctors’ appointments and even going to therapy. Young’s daily health regimen also includes taking care of her eyes, an element that she says many people often ignore or forget about entirely.

She was recently diagnosed with chronic dry eye, a condition that affects more than4 million older adults, and became a spokesperson for Restasis Multidose as a way to bring awareness to the issue. The condition typically occurs when a person has poor quality tears or isn’t producing enough tears. Chronic dry eye can causeinflammation, pain and blurred vision as well as increase the risk for eye infection due to the lack of tear production. 

The actress thought that the pain she was experiencing was part of getting older as well as being subjected to studio lights for her job. 

“I didn’t know to think about the whole eye. I only thought about my vision,” she told HuffPost. “I never included comfort even in my assessment of my own eye health, which is why it was a mind-blowing moment [getting diagnosed].”

Now the actress makes sure she takes the proper steps to keepallaspects of her physical and mental health at the top of her mind. But how does she do all of that while maintaining a busy filming schedule?

Below Young breaks down her morning routine and explains how her well-being plays a role in how she tackles each day:

What time do you get up in the morning?

I like to wake up as late as humanely possible. Sometimes that’s 4:30 in the morning if I have to be at work at 5:15, and sometimes that’s 12 or 1 [in the afternoon].

Snooze button: Hit it or quit it?

Always snooze. Snooze it up! Snooze it twice.

What’s the very first thing you do when you get up?

Ugh. The first thing I do when I wake up is look at my phone. I hate that. Actually ― that’s not entirely true. The first thing I do is kiss my dog and then I look at my phone. So it’s balanced.

Do you prefer to exercise in the morning?

No! I don’t like starting my day with exercise. I like to start it with a smoothie and kissing some animals, then at the end of the day I deal with the sweat.

I’m a big walker. I walk like six miles a day. The motion and being in nature feeds my soul in a way that being sedentary doesn’t do for me.

How do you manage your mental health on a regular basis? What are your tips for starting your days anxiety-free?

Mental health is an enormous part of the health equation that we just leave out. For me, I’ve been in therapy a long time. I feel like everyone deserves to have a real champion in their corner. You know, your friends are there for you, hopefully your family is there for you, but a real, objective, wise party just to navigate you during times that are great and times that are low is crucial for me.

Also, I meditate every night. I like to do it before I go to sleep to really let the day go. I don’t want to be thinking about stuff like, “Oh, I should have said that line better!” or “Ugh, I hate that guy who cut me off in traffic.”

Finally, what’s your go-to breakfast?

I make a smoothie every morning that is so delicious. Obviously variety is not the key for me. I like ritual. 

Interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

  • Saudi king orders Khashoggi probe, Trump sends Pompeo to discuss case
    Finance
    Reuters

    Saudi king orders Khashoggi probe, Trump sends Pompeo to discuss case

    ANKARA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Monday ordered an internal probe into the unexplained disappearance of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a joint Turkish-Saudi team was set to search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he was last seen on Oct. 2. U.S. President

  • A year after blogger's murder, many questions unanswered on Malta
    News
    Reuters

    A year after blogger's murder, many questions unanswered on Malta

    A year since its most prominent journalist was murdered, the tiny state of Malta has still not solved the mystery behind her death, or overcome the bitter division left by her legacy. Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, who penned an anti-corruption blog, was killed on Oct. 16 2017 when a bomb placed inside

  • Trump says he spoke with Saudi king, sending Pompeo for meeting
    News
    Reuters

    Trump says he spoke with Saudi king, sending Pompeo for meeting

    U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he has spoken with Saudi Arabia's King Salman about missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and that he was sending U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with the king immediately. Trump also said Salman denied "any knowledge of whatever may

  • Jordan and Syria reopen Nassib border crossing
    News
    Reuters

    Jordan and Syria reopen Nassib border crossing

    JABER, Jordan/BEIRUT (Reuters) - The border crossing between Jordan and Syria opened to people and goods on Monday after being closed for three years, reopening a route that used to carry billions of dollars of trade for countries across the region. The Nassib crossing opened at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT), a

  • Italian cabinet to approve budget on Tuesday as EU, markets fret
    News
    Reuters

    Italian cabinet to approve budget on Tuesday as EU, markets fret

    Italy's cabinet was due to meet later on Monday but the approval of the 2019 budget, which envisages a jump in the deficit that has upset financial markets and drawn criticism from the European Commission, slipped to Tuesday. The government, backed by the right-wing League and the anti-establishment

  • Police puzzled over mysterious motorcycle at NKVE crash scene, fear the worst
    News
    New Straits Times

    Police puzzled over mysterious motorcycle at NKVE crash scene, fear the worst

    PETALING JAYA: The fatal road accident involving three lorries and a car at KM 14.5 of the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) on Friday had police scratching their heads over the case of a motorcycle parked at the scene with its engine running. The motorcycle owner, which was later identified as Amir

  • BMW teams up with Sweden's Northvolt, Umicore for electric car batteries
    Tech
    Reuters

    BMW teams up with Sweden's Northvolt, Umicore for electric car batteries

    The venture aims to design and commercialize a "closed life cycle loop" to give vehicle batteries a second life as storage products before recycling the raw materials, the companies said. European governments want to encourage the domestic battery industry to rival Asian players such as BYD

  • Tensions rise over women's entry to Indian temple
    News
    AFP News

    Tensions rise over women's entry to Indian temple

    Thousands of devotees joined street marches in southern India on Monday as tensions mounted over a recent Supreme Court verdict revoking a ban on women entering a famous Hindu temple. The Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala -- considered one of the holiest for Hindus -- in Kerala state has traditionally barred

  • Insight: Fleeing hardship at home, Venezuelan migrants struggle abroad, too
    News
    Reuters

    Insight: Fleeing hardship at home, Venezuelan migrants struggle abroad, too

    Smugglers, in ever growing numbers, emerge with a ragtag group of Venezuelan migrants – men struggling under tattered suitcases, women hugging bundles in blankets and schoolchildren carrying backpacks. This is the new migration from Venezuela. For years, as conditions worsened in the Andean nation&

  • Iran embassy in Ankara evacuated after 'bomb warning'
    News
    AFP News

    Iran embassy in Ankara evacuated after 'bomb warning'

    Iran's envoy to Turkey was evacuated from the embassy in Ankara on Monday after warnings of a possible bomb threat, local media reported. Earlier on Monday, DHA news agency said Iran's mission in the Turkish capital had been given an intelligence warning about a possible suicide bomb attack,

  • Survey: SST, debt revelation dampened Malaysian optimism over economy
    News
    Malay Mail

    Survey: SST, debt revelation dampened Malaysian optimism over economy

    KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — Malaysian confidence in the country’s economic prospects took a dip in the last quarter as Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) lustre started to wear off, the Malay Economic Action...

  • Stalemate: Britain's May under mounting pressure to rethink Brexit plan
    News
    Reuters

    Stalemate: Britain's May under mounting pressure to rethink Brexit plan

    British Prime Minister Theresa May will face mounting pressure on Monday to rethink her plan for leaving the European Union after Brexit talks reached a stand-off at the weekend over the so-called Irish backstop. Less than six months before Britain leaves the bloc and days before May heads to Brussels

  • BlackRock and Blackstone CEOs withdraw from Saudi conference - source
    Finance
    Reuters

    BlackRock and Blackstone CEOs withdraw from Saudi conference - source

    BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink and Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman will no will no longer attend a high profile conference in Saudi Arabia, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday, becoming the latest senior executives to withdraw amid concerns about a missing journalist

  • Jihadists fail to quit Syria buffer, throwing deal into doubt
    News
    AFP News

    Jihadists fail to quit Syria buffer, throwing deal into doubt

    Jihadists in Syria's Idlib failed to meet a Monday deadline to leave a planned buffer zone ringing the country's last rebel bastion, casting fresh doubt over a deal to avert bloodshed. A Russian-Turkish truce agreement reached nearly a month ago for the northwestern region gave "radical

  • Bavaria election shakes Merkel's coalition, far-right rejoices
    News
    Reuters

    Bavaria election shakes Merkel's coalition, far-right rejoices

    Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian sister party said on Monday it would back political stability in Berlin after suffering big losses in a regional election which their far-right foes hailed as "an earthquake" that would rock the coalition government. The conservative Christian Social

  • EU ministers say still time for Brexit deal as failure looms
    News
    AFP News

    EU ministers say still time for Brexit deal as failure looms

    Frustrated European ministers on Monday insisted there was still time to reach a Brexit deal despite the latest failed round of divorce talks, but the EU warned it was stepping up preparations for failure. Meeting in Luxembourg, foreign ministers from the bloc's 28 members admitted that no agreement

  • Missouri Woman Fired For Blocking Black Man From Entering Apartment Complex
    News
    HuffPost

    Missouri Woman Fired For Blocking Black Man From Entering Apartment Complex

    A white Missouri woman who tried to prevent a black man from entering his

  • Taiwan invites pope to visit after historic China deal
    News
    AFP News

    Taiwan invites pope to visit after historic China deal

    Taiwan has invited Pope Francis to visit the island in a move aimed at deepening ties with the Vatican after the Holy See signed a historic deal with Beijing. Vice president Chen Chien-jen made the invitation during an audience with the pope ahead of the canonisation of Pope John Paul VI on Sunday,

  • 13 dead as flooding hits southwestern France
    News
    AFP News

    13 dead as flooding hits southwestern France

    At least 13 people died as violent rainstorms turned rivers into raging torrents in southwestern France on Monday in the latest episode of wild weather in Europe, officials said. Flash floods swamped a number of towns and villages around the fortress city of Carcassonne, leaving a trail of overturned

  • German prosecutors raid Opel over diesel allegations
    News
    AFP News

    German prosecutors raid Opel over diesel allegations

    German police said Monday they had raided French-owned carmaker Opel, amid reports the manufacturer was the latest suspected of having manipulated diesel cars' exhaust emissions to cheat regulatory tests.

  • Merkel's fragile coalition shaken by Bavaria poll debacle
    News
    AFP News

    Merkel's fragile coalition shaken by Bavaria poll debacle

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government looked more fragile than ever Monday after two of its three parties suffered severe election setbacks in the state of Bavaria. The poll debacle for the conservative CSU and the centre-left SPD cast a dark cloud over Merkel's troubled grand

  • Thousands Of Floridians Could Be Without Electricity 'For Weeks' After Hurricane Michael
    News
    HuffPost

    Thousands Of Floridians Could Be Without Electricity 'For Weeks' After Hurricane Michael

    When Hurricane Michael smashed into the Florida Panhandle last week, the

  • Sole crossing between Syria and Israel-held Golan reopens
    News
    AFP News

    Sole crossing between Syria and Israel-held Golan reopens

    The sole crossing point between Syria and Israeli-controlled territory reopened Monday after a four-year hiatus, as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime bolsters its control in the wake of sweeping advances against rebels. The reopening of the crossing on the Golan Heights was the result of

  • Turkey detains 5 over migrant truck crash that killed 22
    News
    AFP News

    Turkey detains 5 over migrant truck crash that killed 22

    Turkish authorities on Monday detained five people in connection with a deadly migrant truck accident in which 22 people were killed, reports said. Among those detained were three Syrians, state-run Anadolu news agency said. The migrants, who had several inflatable dinghies with them, were reportedly

  • Belgian PM Michel's party slips seven months before national vote
    News
    Reuters

    Belgian PM Michel's party slips seven months before national vote

    The liberal party of Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel lost ground in local elections, throwing into doubt whether he will be able to continue his centre-right coalition after a national vote next year. Belgium will hold federal and regional elections on May 26, the same day as elections held across