10 Celebrities Who Stepped Away from the Spotlight for Self-Care
Time off is essential to self-care, but with the cultural imperative to work-work-work and check your phone 24/7, it can be hard to carve out time for yourself. These 10 celebrities — from Selena Gomez to Christina Aguilera — knew when enough was enough and decided to ditch the limelight for some serious self-care.
After traveling the world in 2016 for her Revival World Tour, Selena Gomez decided to put her health above work, telling her fans she'd be taking a break. "As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways," the singer told PEOPLE exclusively in a statement at the time. "I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges."
In October 2016, Demi Lovato said she wasn't “meant for this business and the media" and would be stepping out of the spotlight the following year.
The "Sorry Not Sorry" singer returned to work in July 2017 with a fresh mindset and new music. "Thank you for allowing me to take the time I needed at the end of last year to step away from all the craziness," she wrote. "I'll admit, I was worried that people would get upset with me. But what I saw was that instead of getting upset, literally every single one of you wrapped your arms around me and showed me how unwavering your love and support is."
Christina Aguilera kept it real, explaining why time off from filming the Emmy-winning series The Voice is crucial: "I absolutely need those breaks,'' she told the Associated Press. "I love being a mom and I think life is all about balance, and to me it's really important to take time off from the show.''
Last November, Shakira prioritized her health by deciding to postpone her El Dorado World Tour until 2018 after suffering a hemorrhage on her right vocal cord. “As much at it pains me, I know I need to heed the advice of my doctors and recover so I can give you all everything I’ve got once I’m on the road, and not risk any further injury,” the Colombian singer wrote. Shakira’s hiatus will continue until she kicks off her tour in June 2018 in Germany.
The Beauty and the Beast actress announced that she’d be taking a year off from acting in 2016 to work on her "own personal development," she said.
"It almost feels like the chemistry and the structure of my brain is changing so rapidly sometimes," Watson told Paper. "It feels as if sometimes I'm struggling to keep up with myself. It's a really cool period of time for me."
After suffering an apparent meltdown, which included shaving off her hair and attacking paparazzi with an umbrella, Britney Spears took time off to seek treatment and regain custody of her children. The fading superstar when on to make a major comeback, reclaiming her throne with chart-topping tunes and a $30 million Las Vegas residency contract.
Lady Gaga ended her Joanne World Tour earlier than expected for health reasons. The popstar announced on social media on Feb. 3 that she was canceling the final ten shows of the European leg of the tour because of her battle with chronic pain disorder fibromyalgia.
“I love this show more than anything and I love you, but this is beyond my control," she wrote. "London, Manchester, Zurich, Koln, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin. And Rio. I promise I will be back in your city, but for now, I need to put myself and my well-being first."
After taking a three-year break, the pop star returned to the studio in the summer of 2016, later performing at the 2017 Grammy Awards. "It's called taking care of your mental health," Perry said, calling her hiatus "fantastic."
The YouTuber turned entrepreneur Michelle Phan disappeared for more than a year. Returning in 2017, she posted an 11-minute video explaining that her break was ultimately to reconnect with herself.
"Who I was on camera and who I was in real life began to feel like strangers," she said. "Money can bring out the worst in people, and I was no exception. My insecurities got the worst of me. I became imprisoned by my own vanity, and I was never satisfied with the way I looked. The life I led online was picture-perfect, but in reality, I was carefully curating the image of a life I wanted, not had."
The actress and producer announced that she would not be taking part in promoting the final season of her HBO show Girls in 2016 for health reasons. "As many of you know I have endometriosis, a chronic condition that affects approximately 1 in 10 women's reproductive health," she wrote to fans. "I am currently going through a rough patch with the illness and my body (along with my amazing doctors) let me know, in no uncertain terms, that it's time to rest."