What does your daily routine usually look like? Do you undergo a 10-step skincare routine in the morning, or do you pat on some SPF and head out the door? Do you pack your lunch for the office or take a trip to your favorite salad bar? It’s no surprise that “routine” went out the window the minute our offices, gyms, and favorite restaurants closed. However, just because you’re staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t find a new routine that makes you feel as good as possible. Today, three Everygirl editors are sharing their daily routines while working from home to inspire you to find what works best for you. Maybe you’ll find some tips for your own routine, or maybe just you won’t feel alone when you want to hit the snooze button one more time.
Some of us prefer tea, others prefer coffee; some of us are early risers, while others are night owls. However, the one thing we all have in common is a persistent sweet tooth and a simultaneous desire to achieve our healthiest and best selves. That’s why we’ve all made Lily’s Sweets a key part of our daily routine. Lily’s offers quality chocolate with no added sugar, meant for baking and snacking (and bake and snack we do!). Read on to find out our favorite ways to incorporate these sweet treats into our routine and how we stay happy (and sane) while working from home:
6:15am: My alarm goes off for an early-morning workout. It took a lot to become a morning workout person, but now that I’m in the routine of it, it’s completely changed my days—how much better I feel throughout the day is well worth waking up earlier.
Workout: Every day, I try to combine running and strength training. I find that for my body, it makes me feel the best and is the most effective. If the weather permits, I love to make my run outside (I’ll run to the gym and around it before I go in for weights, or I’ll go for a run on the lake and will follow with weights in my apartment’s gym).
7:30am: I get back into my apartment and grab my dog to take him for a walk—we love our little morning routine together (or I do and pretend that he does too because he gets a bite of cheese after).
7:45am: Time to start coffee and take a shower. I love to have my coffee waiting for me when I hop out of the shower and do my skincare routine. (No fancy milks or additives, I just love a splash of a flavored creamer, preferably vanilla).
8:00-8:15am: Get ready for the day. Feeling put-together is vital for me, so even when I’m working from my apartment, I love to throw on some bronzer and mascara and some clothes that I didn’t sleep in. It helps me remind myself that it’s a work day and that I need to get my head in the zone.
8:30am: Work starts for The Everygirl. I always start my day by checking emails and going over what I have to do that day. I start my to-do list the night before, but articles often come in late at night, so I usually have to move my priorities around a little bit.
My day consists mostly of copy editing and writing, and I always start my day with copy editing. It’s relaxing and almost therapeutic to me, and it’s a great way to ease into my day and get the creative juices flowing without forcing them.
10am: Breakfast. I like to eat my breakfast a little later in the day, and it’s almost always overnight oats. On Sundays, I throw together a big bowl of them, then every morning I’ll portion some out and top it with peanut butter and banana. It’s super filling and keeps me feeling energized throughout the whole morning—and is super tasty!
10am-Noon: Work. I find that I feel extra productive in the morning and more creative in the afternoons. During these hours, I always try to put my head down and crank out some really good work time, specifically concentrating on the things that I’m not super excited about, but don’t want to put off any more. It opens up the beginning of my afternoon for my favorite part of the day: writing!
12:30pm: Lunch and a dog walk. Sometimes it feels like half of my day revolves around my dog, and honestly, it kind of does. We have a set schedule of walks, and it honestly has amazed me how much more active he forces me to be. I love getting outside with him and being able to really take a step back from work for a little while, so I start the afternoon feeling completely fresh.
I wouldn’t call myself a good cook by any means—I more fall into the “just competent” category. My lunches are always something easy. Since I eat oats for breakfast, I love to add some protein to my lunches with eggs. I’ll generally sautee up some veggies and cauliflower rice for a makeshift stirfry or will bake some sweet potato—both of which are topped with an egg or two. They’re both tasty, and I actually look forward to eating them, but it requires the most minimal effort possible.
1:30pm: A caffeine fix and starting my second-half of the work day. I love starting my afternoon with a cup of green tea with lemon, but on certain days, a second cup of coffee is an absolute necessity. I love teas as much as I love coffee, and I always keep a pitcher of a fruity iced tea in my fridge that I opt for some days with lemon and some mint—it’s refreshing and helps wake me back up!
Then, I start writing whatever articles I have due that day. By this time, I feel fired up and ready to go, and my creativity feels at its peak. If I have multiple articles due, I’ll write a draft of each one, then will go back and tweak each of them one at a time. I find that this really helps me not to force words when they aren’t coming and gives me time to sit on each article for a bit.
5:30pm: Finish up work. I usually wrap my work up around this time and shift my focus to what I’m eating for dinner. I usually have a couple of things meal prepped, but I like to make a side every day so it doesn’t feel like everything is just warmed up from the fridge.
Lately, I love making tacos with turkey meat and some avocado or Banza pasta with classic tomato sauce. Both feel hearty and filling but have some nutritional values too, which helps me stay full all night long (I’m always hungry, so this can feel like a challenge!).
6:30pm: Every night, I take some time to read other publications’ articles from the day. I love to see what different sites are covering and to gather inspiration for the next day. I do about an hour of reading and keep a note in my phone of story ideas that I get from them. I love to peruse through fashion news and sites to get ideas for upcoming trend articles, and these always get me super excited and looking forward to the next workday.
7:30pm: I’d be lying if I said this time was spent doing anything but watching reruns of Real Housewives or Dance Moms. They’re both my guilty pleasures, and I’m not ashamed of either of them (no, not even Dance Moms).
I always have been—and probably always will be—a snacker. I also happen to have one of the biggest sweet tooth’s known to mankind, so no matter how I cut it, I have to have something sweet at night. Lily’s Sweets have been the perfect replacement for the scoop of ice cream or Reese’s that used to end up being my fix. Their products are stevia-sweetened and have fewer calories than other chocolate, so I get to indulge while still knowing I’m not loading up my body with a ton of artificial sugar a few hours before I’m going to bed. My personal favorite? Their milk chocolate peanut butter cups. They taste just like higher-calorie versions but with no added sugar—which is a dream come true for a chocolate-craver like me.
8:30pm: A longer walk with my dog. One of the fitness goals I try my hardest to reach every day is my calorie-burn goal on my Apple Watch. It helps me keep track of how much I’ve moved and holds myself accountable. During this time, I love taking a longer walk with my dog—usually a mile or two—to hit my move goal for the day. It’s become a part of my routine I look forward to so much—I listen to a podcast and stroll around and just completely relax.
9:00pm: Skincare routine. My nighttime skincare routine is therapeutic to me—I take my time and look forward to it every single night. I double-cleanse my face and layer on my products and do a little gua-sha and feel clean and ready for bed.
9:15pm: Reading and essential oils. I’ve always been a big reader, and I’m always in the middle of a book. I love to spend this time unwinding and reading some of whatever I’m into at the moment (it’s basically always a thriller). Sometimes this lasts for a half-hour; sometimes it keeps me up way later than I planned—but either way, it helps my mind escape and shut down before I try to fall asleep. I love to diffuse some lavender essential oils during this time to feel extra zen (even if it is the placebo effect).
10:30: Bedtime. One of the biggest changes I’ve made in 2020 is falling asleep to Headspace’s sleepcasts. They are truly incredible and have changed my nightly routine more than anything has in years. When I’m ready to try to fall asleep, I queue one up, and it helps me fall asleep quickly (and I’ve found that it helps me have a better, more well-rested sleep too because my mind isn’t running so much).
6:00am (-ish): Wakeup. My Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock app wakes me up between 5:45am and 6am (depending on my REM sleep), which is truly the most soothing way to wake up. My goal is to eventually be able to jump right out of bed, but if we’re being honest, I scroll through Instagram for a few minutes until I will myself to get up. First thing’s first: teeth-brushing and tongue-scraping before anything else. I then make my bed (a must!) and change into workout clothes (I know it will motivate me to workout later).
6:10am: I turn on the kettle to make warm lemon water and get straight to skincare while the water heats up (I love a good multitask). Since I work from home full-time, my skincare consists of a peel pad (or just a wet washcloth, but I never wash my face in the mornings), serum, eye cream, and oil that helps prevent the skin from blue light damage (if anyone’s going to get blue light damage on their skin, it will likely be me, as I stare at a screen 24/7).
6:15am: While sipping warm lemon water, I try to squeeze in 10-15 minutes of “me time,” which is just a less intimidating name for meditation. My favorite form is reading from a meditation or spiritual book, but I also love journaling or listening to the Headspace app. Somedays, this “me time” looks more like writing out to-do lists for the day if I’m feeling out of control, but no matter what, I make sure to get some time in to set myself up for the day.
6:30am: Work. Even though I live in LA, The Everygirl office hours are Central Time, which means my workday starts at 6:30am. It’s been a nice way to force myself to become a morning person because (let me tell you) I have not always been one. Now, I love getting sh*t done in the early mornings. It’s time to crank up the music, put on the blue light glasses, and take on the world (OK, dramatic, but how else would you motivate yourself to be productive early in the morning?).
9:00am: Breakfast. Usually, a couple of hours will pass before I realize I haven’t eaten yet (if I’m being honest), so I eat around this time. Breakfast is either a superfood smoothie (I love leafy greens, berries, flax seeds, coconut oil, collagen powder, and adaptogens), or a big bowl of fruit topped with tahini, coconut shreds, and a few of Lily’s Sweets Dark Chocolate Chips to treat myself.
12:30pm: Lunchtime is honestly the best time of my day. I feel like it’s so important for my mental health and productivity to take advantage of a full lunch break, so I make sure to shut down my laptop and spend some time rejuvenating for the afternoon. I’ll make a quick lunch which is typically some kind of vegetable stir-fry or avocado toast with a salad. Some days, I squeeze in yoga stretches if I’m feeling tired or drained (it works better than coffee!), and other days I watch the trashiest reality TV show I can stream while I eat to turn my brain off for a little bit (life is all about balance!). I have the biggest sweet tooth, so I need dessert after lunch (yes, “need”). I’ll make avocado pudding or almond butter with Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips and raspberries (trust me, it’s good!).
2:30pm: Coffee time! The weirdest thing about me might be that I prefer coffee in the afternoon. Coffee doesn’t make me feel more awake, but I like to have it as an afternoon pick-me-up because the smell is refreshing AF. Because I’m extra as hell (oh, you couldn’t tell already?), I take my coffee with coconut milk, inulin powder for prebiotics, and Ceylon cinnamon. I also add a few drops of a vitamin D supplement, because low and behold, I’m the only Californian who is deficient and my doctor recommended adding the drops.
4:00pm: I’m typically wrapping up the workday between 3:30pm and 4:30pm and will write my to-do list for the next day. I’ve found that this helps me wrap up work because I won’t feel stressed about what I have to get done the next day. I usually get ready to workout, which typically includes a snack like almond butter and banana or Siete Grain-Free Tortilla Chips and dip from my local farmer’s market (read: food is the highlight of my day).
4:30pm: I work out most days of the week. For a long time, I worked out because I knew I was “supposed to,” but I’ve trained myself to work out because of how it makes me feel. I have less anxiety and more energy on the days that I work out, so I crave some form of movement every day. Since I work from home full-time, I like to get out of my apartment for a workout like a HIIT class, barre, pilates, or hiking on a trail near my apartment (SoCal #brag). While staying at home, I’ve been doing similar workouts by streaming online and taking a walk as often as possible to get outside.
6:00pm: It’s my next favorite time of the day, AKA dinner. As aforementioned, I love cooking, so I take my sweet time making cauliflower-crust pizza, some kind of curry, or a plant-based pasta (my go-to’s that are boyfriend-approved). I pour myself a tall glass of wine, play some Frank Sinatra, and am not afraid to dance around the kitchen like a true loser. It’s sometimes the best part of my day and reminds me to make every day feel like a special occasion. My boyfriend and I typically eat dinner together and either catch up on our days or watch the latest Netflix show we’re obsessing over. Connection with loved ones is a part of my wellness routine, whether it’s calling my mom, having happy hour with friends, or spending time laughing with my boyfriend. After all, you can eat all the leafy greens and workout every day, but nothing will make you truly healthy if you’re not connected and happy with the people you love.
7:30pm: I’ve been studying nutrition for the past few months, so this is the time of day that I spend listening to lectures from doctors and health specialists. Call it my inner nerd, but I’ve always wanted to learn as much as I can about nutrition and using food as medicine, so this is my time to geek-out. Staying curious has made me more passionate at work and more productive overall. I also have peppermint tea with fresh ginger and a few squares of dark chocolate. People think I’m weird, but I prefer my chocolate so dark that it tastes tart and bitter. I love having a few squares of Lily’s 92% Cocoa Bar or the 70% Cocoa Bar if I want something a little sweeter. Dark chocolate is full of amazing fiber and antioxidants and can even be categorized as a superfood as long as it isn’t loaded with sugar, so I’m getting some extra health benefits while indulging my sweet tooth.
10:00pm: I begin my “unwinding time” with the very best intentions. I plan to get into bed and be sleeping soundly by 10:30pm every night, but (spoiler alert!) that rarely happens. I brush my teeth, go through a nighttime skincare routine (face wash with a Clarisonic brush, face mask, then toner, serum, overnight mask, eye cream, and facial oil). I’ll either read before bed or put on a show like New Girl, Friends, or The Office to watch in the background (my anxiety can get worse at night, so I remind myself that all is well with some happy, mindless entertainment). I like to diffuse lavender essential oil to help me relax and will typically fall asleep around 11pm (more often with the TV on than I’d like to admit, but Ross and Rachel’s relationship drama is just so damn soothing).
7:30am-8am(ish): I get up and out of bed. My alarm has definitely gone off a few times, but I’ve ignored it (bad, I know), but now it’s time to get up so that I can get changed, grab some coffee or tea (most days, it’s both—a cup of coffee and a cup of decaf herbal tea), and get ready to start work at 8:30.
8:30am: Work begins at The Everygirl. I make sure I’m signed into Slack, which we use to communicate amongst the team, check my email to see if there’s anything that needs to be handled right away, and check any Asana tasks that need to be done sooner rather than later. I also look at my schedule to remind myself if I have any meetings or other things that I need to remember. It’s easy for me to get sucked into what I’m doing and lose track of time for an hour or more, so I need to make sure I know what time any calls or meetings are scheduled for ahead of time. Then, I make sure to add to my to-do list for the day so that I know where I’m headed.
10:15am: I start to wonder if it’s too early to eat lunch, particularly if I skipped breakfast that day. If I can’t make it until lunch, this is when I’ll usually have some fruit or something else to tide me over.
11:30pm: Lunch. I usually break for lunch between 11:30am and 12pm, but it honestly varies by the day. If I’m caught up in something, I’ll wait and eat later, but if I have an early afternoon meeting, for instance, I might take a lunch break a bit sooner. Ideally, I pull together a lunch based on leftovers in the fridge: roasted veggies, greens, cooked chicken, grains, etc. This might look like a marinated veggie salad, chicken salad, or a grain bowl.
I spend the rest of my lunch break (if there’s any left after cooking and eating) planning what I’ll make for dinner—should it be French onion soup or chili?—and any baking projects I’m planning to undertake. Recently, I’ve made an orange challah recipe, focaccia, and carrot cake cupcakes, but I think it’s time for something with a little chocolate. Maybe a coconut chocolate chip cookie with Lily’s? Sounds pretty good to me. Because Lily’s sweetens its chocolate with stevia, not sugar, I feel like I have a bit more control over my sugar intake for the day. Plus, with flavored bars like hazelnut, salted almond, blood orange, and salted caramel, I can gussy up any recipe I please without putting in too much extra work. That means that even plain old chocolate chip cookies feel like they’ve gotten a serious upgrade.
3:30pm: Time for another cup of tea. I’ve been a tea drinker for a long time, but whenever I’m working from home, an afternoon cup is basically an essential. I don’t know what it is about it, but at this point, it’s pretty much a daily habit, and I rely on it to help me power through the rest of my workday.
5:30-6:00pm: I wrap up work for the day. I usually sign off between 5:30 and 6 so that I can (hopefully) get a workout in for the day. I thought it’d be easier for me to convince myself to workout daily if I was working from home, but it turns out that walking into my apartment after commuting and immediately changing into workout gear motivates me more than having spent the day working in leggings (who knew?). If there’s anything that I want to make sure to accomplish or check in on the next day, I write it down quickly before shutting my computer for the day so that I don’t forget about it.
6:15pm: Workout, unless my excuses for the day win out. I have struggled more than I thought I would with daily workouts lately, but when I do convince myself to fit in a workout, I can’t go wrong with dance cardio. It’s fun, it makes me laugh at myself, and just generally lifts my spirits. If it’s not dance cardio or sculpting exercises, it’s likely a good yoga flow to help me feel balanced and banish any anxiety I’m feeling.
7:00pm: Make dinner. I love to cook, but over the last few months, I felt so stressed by cooking. Within the last few weeks, however, things have taken a real turn. I’ve been having so much fun in the kitchen, scouring the fridge, freezer, and pantry shelves for all kinds of unloved or forgotten about goodies that can make dinner so much better than it otherwise would be. Who would’ve thought that using the dregs of a tomato spread as the base of a chicken marinade would be legitimately fun? (Yes, I know I’m a total loser.)
9:00pm: Start to unwind and get ready for bed. I am the worst at a bedtime routine, and it’s one of the things I most want to change about myself and my life in 2020 (not looking good so far). I make a cup of bedtime tea to calm myself down, do my evening skincare routine, change into the comfiest pajamas I can find, and settle in to either read or watch TV. I know, watching TV before bed is bad, but I’m doing what I’ve got to do right now, ya know? I spray an essential oil spray on my pillows and then it’s time for bed. It usually takes me forever to actually wind down and fall asleep (yes, the TV, I know)—don’t be fooled by my 9pm start time. I’m likely out around midnight, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. There’s always tomorrow!
This post was in partnership with Lily’s, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.