If you ask me, the first couple of months of the year are a trial period. Sure, I dipped my toes into a few new hobbies and tried my hand at maintaining some resolutions. For the most part, I even stuck with said new hobbies and resolutions, but January and February will always be slow months for me. They’re months where I stay in, do less, and generally take it easy. Spring is when I start to come alive—and this spring, I have big plans for what I want to accomplish, how I want to feel, and who I want to be. While that all sounds great in theory, I’ve got to start somewhere, and that place is my wellness routine.
I’m going to be honest: I’m not the best at sticking to routines and prioritizing self-care in the best of times. I get caught up in my to-do lists, have a go-go-go mentality, and let my wellness fall to the wayside. Prioritizing self-care is a big goal of mine for 2022 (and beyond) and now that the winter blues are firmly in my rearview mirror, I’m ready to upgrade my wellness routine for spring. Here’s how I’m setting myself up for the new season—and the rest of the year.
1. Getting ahead of my seasonal allergies
I said spring is the season I come alive, and that’s definitely true, but if I’m being completely honest, it’s also the season when I feel the most like my end is nigh. That’s how bad my allergies are. It’s to the point where I lose all nostril functionality all season long and forget what breathing normally actually feels like, my eyes will be so hot and itchy I’ll just want to flood them with cold water, and I’ll sneeze so often I start saying “I’m so sorry” before someone even gets the chance to say “bless you.” I love spring, but the onset of allergies makes me hate it, too. Enter: Picnic, the personalized allergy service that changed the way I view allergy care.
After one short quiz, Picnic provides you with a personalized allergist-approved treatment plan to help you tackle your specific allergies. But that’s not where your care ends. With Picnic, you can message your prescribing doctor anytime you have questions about your treatment or need to make an adjustment. I absolutely love that the treatment is tailored to me and my symptoms. So often I used to pick up a random allergy medicine from my local pharmacy, only to have to go back the next week because it simply wasn’t working for me. With Picnic, I no longer have to guess—I have a ton of resources and an expert to help me get a better handle on my allergy symptoms once and for all.
I’ve been using Picnic for the last two months, and while the true allergy season has yet to begin, I’m someone who suffers all year long. Since switching to my personalized plan, which includes Fluticasone (Flonase) and Loratadine (Claritin), I’ve noticed a major difference in my symptoms. This combination was prescribed to me based on my unique needs, and it’s worked so well so far. But if that were to change, I wouldn’t have to face the giant wall of allergy medicine at a pharmacy and gamble on what to try next. Instead, I can turn to the experts at Picnic to adjust my treatment to suit my changing needs.
With this newfound ownership of my allergies, I’ll have better control over my personal health this spring, which will in turn allow me to focus on all of the other wellness changes I’m looking to make.
2. Getting outside every day (yes, every single day)
Getting outside was not something I used to even have to think about. Of course, I’d find myself out and about in the sunshine and fresh air at some point in the day. Whether it was walking across the street for a coffee with a coworker or even just running errands on a Saturday, I used to be outside far more than I am these days. I work from home full time, so it’s not uncommon for me to go all week without ever really leaving my apartment (save for short dog walks each day). I welcomed the stay-at-home life with open arms and now have everything I need in the four walls I call home. I do all of my exercising in my office and cook nearly 100% of my meals each week (really). Truthfully, there aren’t a ton of reasons for me to get out of the house Monday through Friday unless I’m in dire need of groceries or have a rare social event. But while I love my little home life, I can tell my body needs more movement and fresh air.
One way I’m getting myself up and out more is by literally scheduling time outdoors in my planner. I want to go for 15-to-30-minute walks every day of the week and have those walks planned ahead so it becomes just another item to check off my to-do list (I love the satisfaction that comes from writing a little check mark next to a task). On days I feel lazy and just not into it, I’ll take a short route; when I’m feeling myself and can tell my body is appreciating the extra movement, I’ll romanticize the hell out of the walk and take the scenic route home. This very simple change can have major benefits to both my physical and mental health. It’s a real win-win.
3. Eating veggies with every meal
Listen: I love food and I love cooking, but I hate vegetables. In my early 20s, I detested them so much that I’d go literal weeks without eating a single green thing. Back then, I didn’t really feel the effects of my diet so much. But as I’ve gotten older, there’s a big difference in the way I feel after I indulge in my favorite fast food (McDonald’s nuggets, I love you) and how I feel after eating a well-balanced, home-cooked meal that includes a healthy side of veggies. While there will always be a place in my heart (and stomach) for the aforementioned nuggets, this spring, I really want to see just how much of a difference vegetables can make to my overall health. This means I’ll be setting out to do something that sounds kind of crazy to someone like me: eating veggies with every single meal.
If you asked me to do this when I was 22, I would have laughed in your face. These days, I know there are sneaky hacks to get more vegetables in your diet and I’m ready to use them all. Some personal faves: mixing cauliflower rice and regular rice together and throwing a handful of spinach into literally anything. As someone who used to hate vegetables, I wish I would have known about these hacks ages ago—you really can’t even tell they’re in your meal.
4. Writing more as a creative outlet
As someone who writes for a living, this is kind of an ironic inclusion to this list. But over the years, I’ve written more and more for work (which I absolutely love!) and less for me. That novel I had dreams of being published in college? Don’t know her. The journaling I’ve said I want to do every Jan. 1 for the last decade? Hasn’t happened. I’m in need of a creative outlet outside of work and it’s high time I pick up a pen and just write for the fun of it—not because there’s a deadline breathing down my neck.
Armed with a couple of new notebooks, an iPad (which is surprisingly great to write on), and designated writing time scheduled in my planner, I’m ready to let the creative juices flow this spring and see what happens.
5. Using Sundays as a reset day
One night while scrolling through TikTok, I came across a video of a woman showing how she used Sundays to completely reset. I’m talking laundry, cleaning, planning, and self-care. It was magical, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I’ve historically used Sundays as my “do nothing” days, and while I love having no plans and the freedom to just lounge around all day, the Sunday routine I saw looked both productive and relaxing—I knew I absolutely had to try it.
So from now on, my Sundays are getting a slight upgrade. I still won’t make any plans and will still have several hours of downtime, but I’m also going to use it as the day where I set myself up for the week ahead. I’ll make sure my laundry is fresh and my space is clean. I’ll check in with my budget and plan the week ahead. And then I’ll spend the evening with a face mask, a warm bath, and my current read. Just writing that all out makes me wish it was Sunday right this second.
This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Picnic, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.