Well Intentioned: Kathryn Hahn on the Power of the Purge, And How to Creative Direct Your Dreams

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From mantras to meditation, mindfulness to manifestation, Well Intentioned offers an intimate look at how to make space for self-care in meaningful ways, big and small.

Longtime fans of Kathryn Hahn are likely unsurprised by what the Internet has dubbed the Hahnaissance, the well-deserved mainstream success of one of the funniest women in Hollywood. Whether you met her in Anchorman or Step Brothers or came to love her in Bad Moms, you likely haven’t missed her Emmy-nominated work as Agnes (aka Agatha Harkness) in the acclaimed Marvel Universe Scarlet Witch spin-off, WandaVision. “It’s insane,” Hahn admits of the nods from the Television Academy, not to mention how her summer has played out: for the last few months, Hahn has been living with her family in Greece where she is filming Knives Out 2 alongside Daniel Craig, Ethan Hawke, and Kate Hudson. “It’s like Mamma Mia over here. I’m gonna buy a boutique hotel in a little resort and never come home,” she jokes of the fortuitous career turn, which is enough to make anyone’s head spin. But the 48-year-old mother of two, who recently partnered with homecare brand 9 Elements, is focused on staying present with mantras, meditation and finding solace in simple rituals, like doing laundry. Oh, and staying off social media. “I’m a technophobe,” admits Hahn, who, in a refreshing twist, is not on Instagram. Here, the talented actress reveals her tips for decluttering her mind—and her closet.

1. Set Intentions for Your Dreams

“I’m historically not a great sleeper and it’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. But my friend introduced me to this way of working through your dreams, and how you can actually look forward to your dreams as a continuation of your creative work, because a lot of powerful stuff happens while we sleep. So if you set an intention that you’re going to try to resolve something, or I’ll ask myself a specific question to answer in my dreams, it actually makes me excited to go to bed. These are things I learned through acting coaches that I’ve bastardized into my own thing, but the idea is to figure out how to use your sleep as an effective learning tool and not something to dread. I also try to keep devices away from my head, and I like giving myself a self-oil massage. I did a short Ayurvedic detox and cleanse at the Surya Spa at the Proper Hotel that was incredible. They have great body oils there, and I love Vintner’s Daughter for my face. I’m obsessed with those products. I also have one of those neck hammocks, that you hang on a door-knob and it literally cradles your neck, which is super helpful before bed. Over the pandemic it was the best chiropractor massage substitute. You just have to really be sure no one opens the door on the other end!”

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The Original Neck Hammock

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

Surya Spa Calming Body Oil

2. Shed Unnecessary Stuff  

“This was a great tip from the pandemic—to learn what is essential and what is non-essential. Let’s just close the non-essential business in our lives! I’ve used the space shuttle as another metaphor for this: when it takes off, the things that are unnecessary just start to fall off. I am a big purger of stuff, and I love to organize a closet. I would love to be a professional closet organizer. Every once in a while I like to put my hands on everything I own and if I haven’t worn something in a while: donate or sell. People hold onto stuff for so long that they just don’t wear—it drives me crazy. We don’t have that much closet space anyway so I just like having the good stuff that I’ll wear over and over and again. I have earned those old Phoebe Philo Celine pieces that I’ve been digging for in the deep Web for a couple years! I’m into the sustainability of used clothing, too, so I love The Real Real, Vestiaire Collective, and I love Grailed. I’ve gotten some great Martine Rose there, and I got an unreal Celine trench coat—old Celine, of course—on eBay! 

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3. Give Gratitude

“Before I get out of bed I try to do a gratitude list, to wake up and write something down instead of staring at a screen. It can just be something I’m grateful for in my body, in my home, in my world, which is hard because we’re so tough on ourselves. I have notebooks for these things, which I burn through until they’re done. I use them for collages, too, with cut outs of art that my kids make and images from artists that are a turn on for me. I’m really into printing things out and taping them down so I’m obsessed with Scotch tape—and double-sided tape. I had also been trying to read a Mary Oliver poem with my husband every day, which is so romantic. We stopped, but we really need to get back on that! “

4. Do Laundry

“My hubby does lunches, I do bedtime and clothes. I don’t know why laundry is my department, but it’s the only cleaning I love to do. There is something meditative about it. I use 9 Elements detergent because I love the smell and it prevents hard-water buildup which, let’s be honest, none of us have time for! My clothes finally aren’t stiff and those yucky yellow armpit stains are gone and won’t be coming back. The fact that it was founded by two women scientists also doesn’t hurt. In Greece there are no dryers, and everyone hangs-dries their clothes, which makes so much sense and I think we might try it when we get home.”

9 Elements Liquid Laundry Detergent, Eucalyptus Scent

5. Meditate and Breathe

“As I get older, I need to do some sort of sitting still every day to center my brain and to try to stay present. My brain tends to run ahead or fixate on the past, and meditation and breathwork help. This is all very new to me, though. I can’t tell you how many years people have been throwing meditation books at me—literally throwing—and I was always like, “What are you talking about? I’m never reading this.” But after this year, I thought, I’m going to give it a shot—anything ego-dissolving is beneficial because oof, it can get loud in here. And it can be any kind of meditation—anything away from a screen, even just walking, or being with my kids and talking about nonsense. Again: it’s about presence. There’s a yoga teacher out in L.A. named Kyle Miller and she has a couple of online classes I like. I saw her over Zoom a few times a week during the pandemic and her breathwork class opened my world. It’s just sort of a more active meditation, especially for people who can’t sit with themselves. But it really does center you and clears out the cobwebs. I’m traditionally a reactive person and it’s such an anxious time, so this has helped me learn how to take a breath before I say something, or press send. In Greece I’ve seen two shepherds with their flocks, and I’ve never seen more content people in my whole life. We’re all so anxious. What is wrong with us?! My mantra has become ‘I am light, you are light, we are light,’ and repeating it just helps the ego chill.” 

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