How Issa Rae Beat Burnout After ‘Insecure’

Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic for HBO Max

If there was ever a blueprint to being self-made and successfully building your own table, Issa Rae would be the clearest example. But with every success story comes looming pressures and external demands that can lead to burnout, and that was the case for the actress, writer and producer

As the first star to grace Today’s inaugural digital cover series, Rae opened up about her experience with burnout due to consecutive projects that left little room for rest. 

“Even after ‘Insecure,’ like a dummy, I did an episode of ‘Roar.’ Then I flew to France, and I was like, ‘Why did I need to do that? I could have taken that two weeks in between to chill and prepare and do all these things?’ But I chose to do this episode,” she told the publication. “It was a great experience … but I know myself. I know how frustrated and/or tired I can get in some cases, and I’m not doing my best when I’m like that.”

Rae, 37, continued by adding that this last year taught her the power of planning out moments for rest and decompression “in advance,” otherwise, the Emmy-nominated actress would simply, “work, work, work, work, work.”

The Rap Sh-t creator went on to share how she’s since course-corrected by openly vocalizing to her team when she is in need of self-care time, even when she’s tempted with offers and new opportunities. “Because people will try you,” she says. “They’ll be like, ‘Oh, this is coming up, are you sure? There’s this much money here, are you sure?’”

At the start of 2022, Rae saw the importance of it after taking a much-needed break to regroup and recharge.

“After the finale aired, I got on a plane. I did all the stuff that I didn’t get a chance to do, like a honeymoon. I took all of January off and traveled and finally got a chance to just chill and think,” she shared.

Rae concluded her reflections by sharing a gem about how her social media presence is less of a depiction of her personal life and more of a collection of moments that she’s elected to share with her audience and fans. In short: she’s bringing the mystery back to being a celebrity.

“There’s an expectation people have that you need to keep up with their lives on social media, and it’s like, ‘No, you’ve got to talk to me,’” she says. 


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