Renée Zellweger Says She 'Sometimes' Doesn't Check Phone Until 6 at Night to Avoid Social Media

The two-time Oscar winner says she spent her time during the pandemic "outside every day, building things and planting things"

Renee Zellweger for Harper's Bazaar
Photo: Mel Bles

Renée Zellweger is good about limiting her screen time.

The two-time Oscar winner, 52, talked about how she manages to avoid social media in a profile for Harper's BAZAAR's April 2022 issue. Her HGTV star boyfriend Ant Anstead, meanwhile, posts regularly on his Instagram — sometimes featuring Zellweger with him.

Zellweger explains, "I don't look at my phone sometimes until 6 o'clock at night."

If she wasn't killing time on her phone, how did she spend at-home time during the pandemic? "I was outside every day, building things and planting things. Nature does what it does and, you know, the squirrels and I were at war," Zellweger said. "Like, 'Why you gotta dig that big hole there?' "

"I'm out there every day with my shovel and my bucket," The Thing About Pam star added. "Then I'm inside tinkering. 'Cause you get quiet and you get creative. Busyness is the enemy of creativity."

Renee Zellweger for Harper's Bazaar
Mel Bles

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Zellweger has previously opened up about taking a break from Hollywood from 2010 to 2016. Back in 2019, Zellweger spoke to PEOPLE about the hiatus, explaining that while away from the spotlight, she learned "that I like being privately creative very much."

That same year, the actress told New York Magazine that she also had to prioritize her mental health when opting to take a break from acting. "I wasn't healthy," she said at the time, calling the break crucial. "I wasn't taking care of myself. I was the last thing on my list of priorities."

Coming to that realization inspired Zellweger to try therapy for the first time in her life, she recalled. Her therapist then helped her navigate the emotions she was feeling during her retreat from the business.

Renee Zellweger for Harper's Bazaar
Mel Bles

"He recognized that I spent 99 percent of my life as the public persona and just a microscopic crumb of a fraction in my real life," she said. "I needed to not have something to do all the time, to not know what I'm going to be doing for the next two years in advance. I wanted to allow for some accidents. There had to be some quiet for the ideas to slip in."

Zellweger added, "I had a good five-year period when I was joyful and in a new chapter that no one was even aware of. Six years. It was important, that time. It's a quieter life, and I love it."

The Thing About Pam airs Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on NBC.

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