For nearly two months, Julianne Hough has been social distancing at home amid the coronavirus pandemic — and embracing a slower pace of life.
Like many others, the Los Angeles-based entertainer, 31, has felt emotional highs and lows while self-isolating, but overall "I've actually felt very grounded and peaceful and calm," she tells PEOPLE exclusively.
The star — who's continued to teach her KINRGY method virtually — credits her positivity to the "daily practices and routines" she's carved out for herself.
"Like any other person on the planet, I start my routine, and some days I'm really adamant about it, and some days I forget to do my morning pages," says Hough, who tries to meditate, practice breathing exercises and journal before beginning her day. "I will tell you, I feel the difference immediately."
Now, the star is teaming up with Light + Fit (which is donating $200,000 to the Movemeant Foundation to support the health and wellness community) to launch a new app called Working Well to encourage remote workers to make time for their physical and mental wellness throughout the day.
"The Working Well plug-in can be added to Slack so people can get daily tips and reminders, as well as different classes and instructional videos," says Hough. "We all know innately what is good for us, but I think that it's just sometimes hard to make that commitment. Everyone has this opportunity to do these tips and tricks, and even though you're alone at home working, if we're all connected through this wellness plug-in, people will feel like they're doing something together."
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At the helm of two companies — KINRGY and Canary House Productions — Hough says she's felt the stress of making sure her employees have "food on the table" over the last several weeks.
"We were about to do [KINRGY] pop-up [classes] and [the instructors] were gonna be getting paid, and then all of a sudden their work is completely gone," she says. "The hardest thing for me during this time is just the responsibility I have as a CEO and founder to make sure everyone feels safe and provided for."
Her fears aside, Hough — whose husband Brooks Laich has been busy with projects at their Idaho home — says the extra time has allowed her to reevaluate what matters most in life.
"This time has really given me space to think about the things that are important in my life, my day-to-day interactions," she says. "I thrive off hustle and creation and energy, but this has given me the space to actually take an hour — which I never have done before — to make a meal for lunch, and go outside and breathe in the air. I just feel more grounded and at peace. Time and space is in its own weird place right now, but I feel like I can breathe."
Aside from Hough's KINRGY guides, the Working Well app also offers strength and HIIT workouts, meditation, yoga and more. "I've been very fortunate that I have these tools I've been working on for many, many years that I know work for me," she says about her own wellness journey. "Everybody's different and unique, and that's why it's so cool to have this plug-in because there's something for everyone."
Hough has been candid about the transformational journey she's taken over the last couple years of her life, and the star says she now feels more passionate than ever in her 30s.
"This is a different phase of life. I think in your 20s, you're really trying to figure your own fulfillment out and your artistry," she says. "In your 30s and your 40s, life switches and you're like, 'What can I give to the world?' I feel very lucky that I'm able to find my passion and my purpose."