Julie Chen’s life as a wife, mother and TV personality keeps her on the go all the time. Finding peace in the chaos has been a key to her prolonged success in the spotlight. When we talked with Chen for the March/April 2016 cover story, we asked her how she keeps herself balanced through her whirlwind of a schedule.
Q: How do you stay fueled for your busy schedule?
A: I have the same exact breakfast every day, and I’ve been doing it for about four to five years. I always have one poached egg and half a peeled grapefruit. Recently, I’ve borrowed this from Aisha Tyler – incorporating a grilled chicken breast and some sort of greens, with the poached egg over the piece of lean protein; this way I’m not as ravenous by noon.
Q: As a television personality, how do you handle criticism?
A: I’ll be the first one to laugh at myself—you have to have a good sense of humor. You also have to know how to separate those who are critical from a place of trying to make you feel bad, and those who are critical from a place where they’re trying to make you better.
Q: What are your favorite ways to alleviate stress?
A: I’ll call my sister. I call her all the time because I drive to work the same time she drives to work. If I’m talking to her about a problem, and I am getting worked up, she’ll always find a way to make a joke about the situation; then we’re both just hysterically laughing, and we just laugh our heads off.
Q: Work can be hard to leave behind once the day is over. What are your tips for keeping the work stress out of your home?
A: I could moan at home and take it out on people who have no control with helping the situation, which isn’t healthy, or if I have a workplace problem, I can rely on my workmates to help solve it with me.
Q: With your busy schedule, how do you find time for rest?
A: I get acupuncture because it’s a quiet space for 25 minutes—the needles, the heat lamps, being left alone for a minimum of 20 minutes. The lights are dimmed and soothing music is playing. I will get my deepest sleep there.