"Whatever that thing is for you that makes you feel valued, make time for it," says Hudson, who's partnering with Olay to share the secrets of her skincare routine
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Jennifer Hudson is on a self-care kick.

The actress, singer and mom to 11-year-old son David Daniel Otunga, Jr., has made it a point to find time to regenerate over the last 13 months, and now she's partnering with Olay to get the word out about the importance of making time for yourself.

"I've done it all … homeschooling, work. The days I call 'double duty' are the hardest days to care for yourself, because there's just not enough time in a day," she tells PEOPLE exclusively. 

The star, who initially partnered with Olay last fall as part of its Maximize, Don't Minimize Me campaign (in which notable women shared inspirational stories of their unique journey to help empower others), says it felt right to team together again to spread a message of wellness. 

Jennifer Hudson; Courtesy OLAY
Credit: Courtesy OLAY

"I like how Olay supports women, celebrates self-care and allows you to be yourself," Hudson shares. "That's just the type of girl that I am, and I just felt like it was a good match."

Hudson practices her first healthy habit when the alarm clock goes off. 

"I make sure how I start my day is consistent, so I begin with my skin care and work my way down [my body]. I'm very particular about what I put on my face. I use Olay's Regenerist Whip SPF 25."

She loves that light-as-air, former PEOPLE Beauty Award winner "is easy to use, and it has everything: from your vitamins to your sunscreen. You don't have to use several different things."

When it comes to her p.m. moisturizer, "Regenerist Retinol24 is really great," she says. "And I try to end my day the same way I started it – with a regimen – but I also listen to my body, and do what it needs."

And for the Respect star, music has played a huge role in her keeping herself upbeat over these tumultuous months. 

"Music dictates my every emotion, so what I listen to varies. I can't pick one song! If I'm bike riding, then I need some reggae music or something: Bob Marley, that type of vibe. Earlier, I was listening to Lauren Hill, because it's raining and I need a chill, relaxed day. If I'm with my kid, I let him take it over."

Hudson admits committing to a regimen didn't happen overnight.

"It took me a while. We women can forget about ourselves," she says. "During the pandemic things have slowed down enough of me to be able to say, 'Hey, what do I want to do? How can I care for myself?' and put myself in the forefront and make it a serious priority. It's been a tough time for all of us, but I like to try to find the positive and highlights of it as best as I can. Selfcare was one of those things for me."

Jennifer Hudson; Courtesy OLAY
Credit: Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic

But she's already starting to think about how to ensure she keeps up her routine with her calendar fills back up again.

Says Hudson, "I have to make a habit out of doing it now. So, taking a moment each day for myself. I love even just sitting in the mirror brushing my eyebrows, or picking out an outfit. Whatever that thing is for you that makes you feel valued, make time for it. That's important."