Actress Nina Dobrev fully understands the importance of female friendships, which is why, whenever she and her BFFs (like, you know, Julianne Hough and Nikki Reed) are in the same city, you can bet she’s convening a women’s circle.
“Being around my girls, getting enough time with them, and their laughter is therapeutic to me,” says Dobrev, who just joined model Gigi Hadid as an ambassador for Reebok. (She’s the face of its new Les Mills collection, FYI.) “My friends are all goofballs and weirdos, and we’ve all become a squad bonded by the strange things we do and say and think and are.”
Even when Dobrev’s not physically with her friends, she stays connected: “I was away for four months filming, so I didn’t get to see the girls, but I still see the texts. I see their photos and their work-out plans. Even when I’m halfway around the world—I get FOMO!” But rather than focus on what she might be missing out on, Dobrev puts her energy into maximizing the quality girl time she does have with her peeps—the Vampire Diaries star’s got the art of planning an epic catch-up sesh down to a science.
Scroll down to see Nina Dobrev’s 5 tips for hosting the perfect hangout.
Start the night off on the right (read: early) note: “I usually tell people to come over around 6:30 p.m. because the girls and I can talk,” reveals the star. “Whenever I’ve started at 8:30 or 9 p.m., we’re still going at 2 [a.m.], and I’m like, ‘Okay, mama’s gotta work out in the morning—I can’t drink any more wine and do what I need to do!”
Figure out the menu on the fly: “We often grab one of my recipe books—I have a lot of them—and flip through to a random page,” she says. “We’ll go to the grocery store right by my house, buy all the ingredients, and make whatever it is.”
Have plenty of libations on hand: “Sometimes we’ll use [cold-pressed] juices to mix with our tequila,” explains Dobrev. “So you’re retoxing while you’re detoxing!”
Besides cooking, plan time for plenty of self care: “We watch movies—usually rom-coms,” says the actress. “We also have hot tub hangs. So we’ll go from the hot tub to the freezing cold pool—I don’t want to pay for heating—then, we’ll run in my bedroom to the steam shower. Then, do it all again on repeat for a while. [It’s] our version of cryotherapy—it’s less glamorous, but it works!” (Another option, she says, is to plan part of your next girls’ night around a trip to a bath house of spa to replicate the circuit with your squad.)
Have plenty of (healthy) late-night snacks on hand: “I’ve turned into such a health food nut,” the celeb confesses. “I’ll take one of those chocolate protein bars, put it in the microwave for 20 seconds so it melts down, then put coconut-almond butter on top.” Sounds like a recipe for sweet dreams.