As if you didn’t already know, I’m big on self-improvement. I much prefer a self-help book over a fiction novel, love a good makeover rom-com, and my daily affirmation is to show up as my highest self. But now that the temperatures are dropping and killer Netflix series are coming out every day (anyone else binge all of Emily in Paris in one day?), it feels like much more of a struggle to prioritize self-improvement and our overall wellbeing. So for you, dear readers (and selfishly for myself), I’ve compiled seven things we’ve been doing every day to keep up our health goals. Here are the hacks and routines our team has been buzzing about that’s helping us all eat healthier, stress less, and feel like our best selves:
1. Incorporating CBD for stress-relief
If you haven’t heard, our team is obsessed with Equilibria CBD products. Beth has been taking baths with the Mineral Soak when she needs a little TLC, Abigail puts the Daily Drops in her morning coffee to help stop her mind from racing, and Allyson’s husband loves the Relief Cream so much that he requests it nightly to ease neck tension (Everyhusbands count too!). Whether you want an excuse to fit in a little extra self-care or need some quick stress-relief, CBD is the perfect addition to your daily routine. Not sure where to start? Try the Brilliance Box or Balance Box to try out all of our favorite products.
2. Not looking at our phones before 9am
Some of us wake up and immediately scroll through Facebook like it’s the newspaper, while others stay in bed too long because we’re catching up on Instagram stories we missed while sleeping. But for my mental health and overall wellbeing, I’ve been challenging myself to stop looking at my phone first thing in the morning. Not only does checking social media start your day with a focus on what other people are doing in their lives (rather than setting the tone for what you’re doing in your life), but it can waste your precious morning time. Try waiting to check social media until a specific time (like 9am) or an hour after you wake up. You can also try little tricks like not checking your phone until you’ve made a cup of coffee, did some gratitude journaling, or finished your skincare routine.
3. Making one small change to your diet every day
At The Everygirl, we believe that healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult or restrictive. We’re big fans of adding more nutritious foods into our routines instead of going on intensive diets or restricting food groups to eat healthier. For a fun challenge that won’t feel too difficult, try making one small change to your diet every day. For example, add kale to your pasta, order a side salad with your takeout, drink an extra glass of water, or replace your afternoon Goldfish snack with carrots and hummus. Making one change a day will feel manageable enough to be sustainable, and you might even find recipes or a new routines you’ll like enough to turn into habits. After all, a healthy lifestyle is just a series of minor habits that snowball into major changes.
4. Waking up (and going to sleep!) a few minutes earlier
If your mornings feel like a race against the clock or an episode of Chopped (anyone else get anxious watching timed cooking shows?), you’re probably setting yourself up for an equally stressful rest of your day. Waking up even slightly earlier gives you more time so you’re not rushed through your routine, and you might even be able to fit in enjoyable activities like stretching, meditating, or gratitude journaling. If you have limited control over your mornings (like a super early work start time or a child to take care of), try waking up just 10 minutes earlier than you need to. Those 10 minutes to yourself can help you feel more in control, centered, and calmer throughout the entire day. Yes, this also means you should try to get into bed a little earlier as well. If that feels impossible, try turning off the lights just five minutes earlier than you did last night.
5. Managing money based on what sparks joy
If Marie Kondo can do it with closets, we can do it with our bank accounts. Truth be told, as a self-proclaimed “creative,” I never even thought about taking a business course in college, and the extent of my money knowledge upon graduation was how to budget for Starbucks. But I started understanding personal finance in a different way when I realized money was just an exchange of value for the effort and energy that we’re giving about 40 hours every single week. Thinking about personal finances as my life’s energy helps me manage my money based on what’s truly worth spending on and saving on.
For example, does it really bring you joy to get dinner with the friend who always gossips, or to buy the pair of pants you’ll never end up wearing? Managing your money based on what does and doesn’t bring you joy will reduce stress that comes with spending money on the items and experiences that you truly love. That also means you should invest your life’s energy in yourself: get the gym membership, purchase that online course, and open a savings account.
6. Have a workday cut-off
So your office day “ends” at 5pm, but you find yourself responding to emails, finishing projects, or putting out fires well into the night? Been there, done that! But work-life balance starts with leaving work at the office (or at your designated kitchen-table-turned-desk) and using your off-hours for yourself. Especially if you’re working from home, establish a non-negotiable end time, like 6pm (if you need an extra hour), and transition out of the workday with a closing ritual. Whether it’s Slacking your work wife good night, changing into pajamas, or lighting a candle and closing your laptop, a ritual signals to the brain that it’s no longer work time. Not only will establishing a firm end of the workday help with improving work-life balance, but it will prevent you from stressing about your to-do list for the next day.
7. Going on more walks
Since being in quarantine, we’ve been adjusting the way we think about fitness. Personally, I’m no longer prioritizing a designated workout time (which meant no exercise at all if I couldn’t fit in a good calorie-burn), and instead, I’m doing what I can to live less sedentary. The easiest (and best) way to be more active throughout the day is to go on more walks. Looks like my Fitbit was onto something: getting in your steps has many physical and mental health benefits.
Plus, it’s not only good for you, but it’s enjoyable and easy to fit into a busy schedule. Especially after being stuck indoors 24/7 for the majority of 2020, I crave being outdoors more than I ever have. I’ve been going on more hikes, using 10-minute work breaks to take a walk around the block, and walking to the nearby coffee shop instead of driving. Cue up a podcast, grab a warm jacket, and get outside for more walks before the weather gets too cold.
What hacks or routines help you feel your best?
This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.