For PEOPLE’s 2020 Most Beautiful Issue, Chrissy Metz opened up about finding moments of beauty and peace in a time of uncertainty. The This Is Us actress, 39, who just released her emotional new single “Talking to God” from her upcoming debut country album, wrote the below exclusive essay.

Having the space and time to really put yourself first can help in a situation like this — whatever it is that makes you feel good in the morning to start your day.

For me, it’s my gratitude list, prayer and meditation, and taking my vitamins and drinking my lemon water. It sounds so silly, but it sets the tone and allows the space to be really present throughout the day for a conversation or any way I can be of service. But putting yourself first is hard — it’s something that I always struggled with.

For more from Chrissy Metz and other women featured in PEOPLE’s Most Beautiful Issue, pick up this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday

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Sometimes we think, “Why am I stressed or worried about this or that? There are people who are on the frontlines risking their lives.” But all of our feelings, no matter what they are, are important to feel right now. And they are, of course, relative. I don’t know anybody who’s been through something like this before, so we are learning and adjusting as we go. I think it’s important to practice being gentle with ourselves and stop judging everything that we’re doing — or not doing. We are processing so many feelings at such a high speed, it’s overwhelming.

And yes, so much comes from comparing and despairing. But we have to remember that everybody has their own way of grieving and navigating uncharted territory. What if we were gentle with other people too? If something works for someone else, then that’s what works for them. Everything is not for everybody.

Watch the full episode of The Beautiful Issue Cover Story: Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson streaming now on, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

We are really learning to live in the present. I think that’s really what we’re looking for, because we’re either afraid about the future or obsessing about the past. And it’s always okay to stop and reevaluate each day as you go. Being gentle with ourselves is the key — and it’s the best thing we can do.

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