When it comes to self-love, I’ve always been an all or nothing kind of gal. I’m either on top of my routines doing the absolute most (6 a.m. wakeup, 7 a.m. hot yoga, 9 a.m. saying positive affirmations to myself in the mirror) or I’m feeling anxious and low on motivation while simultaneously avoiding human contact and responsibilities because I just can’t—there’s no in between. So if there are any sort of wellness tips I gravitate to in life, they’re the ones that are realistic, no-hassle, and attainable which proves to be especially important on those days where I’m feeling like I’m in a little bit of a slump.
In an effort to find balance and consistency between who I am when I’m super high energy and who I am on days where I’m simply not feeling it, I’ve built up quite the repertoire of go-to wellness tips that I turn to to stay loving myself, even if I’m not up to moving mountains. Tried and true, here are 10 no-hassle steps I’m taking today to feel better by tomorrow:
1. Going grocery shopping and filling my fridge with plenty of nutrient-dense foods
If there’s one sure way that I know I can get myself out of a funk, it’s doing a grocery run to fill my fridge with plenty of nutrient-dense foods. Time and time again, I’ve fallen into the “I’ll just get fast food delivered” pit which, while initially indulgent, nine times out of 10 leaves me feeling sluggish and super guilty about the fact that I just dropped $30 instead of making something that would make me feel better. When I want to set myself up for a better tomorrow, I love filling my fridge with a lot of fruits, veggies, and foods with good fats and fiber to make feel-good options within reach.
And when it comes to making sure I’m showing myself love by fueling myself with nutrient-dense foods I love having fresh avocados on hand. It’s virtually the only fresh fruit with good fats and plays a dual role in helping me meet both my fruit and good fat recommendations. Prioritizing nutrient-dense foods helps me to honor my body in a small way that makes a huge impact. From snack time to dinner and beyond, fresh avocados are one of my go-to grabs when I hit the grocery store and they help me to satisfy my hunger while nourishing my body and mind. Also, they taste incredible. Click below for a FREE handout featuring delicious avocado-based snacks inspired by a Mediterranean-style of eating!
2. Listening to a mood-boosting playlist
If I’m having an “off” day, one of my favorite tried and true ways to get back on track is to have a one-woman dance party to one of my favorite playlists. Listen—don’t knock it til you try it. I pop on my favorite playlist and start dancing and singing like nobody’s watching. And TBH, it’s super therapeutic. There’s something about scream-singing along to my favorite song that makes me want to run through a wall and definitely boosts my mood. 10/10 recommend.
3. Tidying up my workspace
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, one of the first things to go and one of the areas that I pay attention to least is the cleanliness of my apartment. And in turn, having my physical environment cluttered makes me feel, well, not so great. I’m not super type A, but I’ll admit: I feel so much better when I tidy up even a small area, especially if I’m spending a decent amount of time there (cough, cough: my workspace).
If my place is a mess, I’ll set a five-minute timer to clean up as much as I can beginning with one small area at a time. Starting with just five minutes is usually enough to get me to keep going beyond that amount of time. I’m definitely motivated by progress, so once I get going, I’m usually inspired enough to keep going. And if for some reason I just can’t go on after those five minutes, it’s still five minutes of tidying that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. It’s truly a win-win situation where I’m investing a small amount of time in something that I know will make me feel better.
4. Connecting with others
When I’m not feeling the greatest, there’s one task above all that I simultaneously dread the most and know will likely cure me. And that, my friends, is phoning someone I love. Working up the courage and energy to ask for help or just put myself out there isn’t always the easiest task, but I’ve never left a phone conversation with my bestie or my mom feeling worse or the same as before. Connecting with people I love, even if it’s for just a few minutes over video chat, gives me a sense of belonging, reminds me I’m not alone, and usually results in a good, unexpected laugh that boosts my mood exponentially.
5. Doing some light exercise
One area that I’ve made progress by leaps and bounds over the course of the last few years is my relationship with moving my body. In accordance with how I typically tackle things (all or nothing), I used to truly believe that if I wasn’t dripping sweat, burning an upwards of 500 calories, or crushing a new fitness goal every day, it simply didn’t count. For me, this would result in a ton of dread when I was heading to the gym and was detrimental to my motivation to move my body at all. Especially on those low-energy days, I couldn’t muster up what it took to hit those high-intensity workouts, so—*spoiler alert*—I’d do nothing at all.
Since I’ve healed my relationship with fitness, I know just how much a lower-intensity, quick workout can do for my body and my mind. Gone are the days of absolutely wrecking myself at the gym. Don’t get me wrong: When the stars are aligned, I’ll do a high-impact workout here and there. But my 15- to 30-minute walks, 12-3-30 treadmill days, and stretching have proven to improve my mood tenfold (no pre-movement dread or anxiety required).
6. Writing in my journal
If there’s one therapy takeaway that I turn to above all others, it’s journaling. When I’m feeling anxious or low, one of my most tried-and-true ways to get my ruminating thoughts and feelings into the physical world are to brain-dump them onto paper through journaling. I’ve tried some more structured prompts in the past, but I’ve found that they work better for me when I’m feeling a little more inspired and high-energy. On those in-between days or if I’m in a bit of a mental slump, brain dumping has been my saving grace. After a good journaling session, my mind feels clear and new thoughts and challenges that enter my brain feel a lot more manageable.
7. Doing a five-minute meditation
OK, I can’t lie. I might be the worst meditator that I know. But the way I see it, that also makes me someone who has a ton of potential (my “most improved” award will be here any minute now). I’ve found that doing guided meditations works a lot better for me and, like my brain dumping via journaling, helps me most when I have a far-too-full brain and not a lot of energy to spare.
Sometimes, I’ll meditate in the middle of my workday to clear my mind before a meeting or when I find myself getting overwhelmed by tasks (especially when every single one is labeled as high-priority). Taking that step back has been so good for my anxiety and has helped me tackle my day with more focus and calmness. Other times, I’ll meditate at the end of my workday to help get me out of “work mode,” which has been a game changer for my end-of-day shutdown routine.
8. Moving my nighttime routine up by 30 minutes to get a head start on sleep
I’ve gotten a lot better at prioritizing my nighttime routine, but the reality is that even with a curated system for sleep, I don’t always get to sleep as early as I’d like. And the older I get, the more I realize how much sleep affects my mood, alertness, and efficiency the next day.
I’ve found that cutting down my evening TV binge sessions by just 30 minutes has helped me start my nighttime routine earlier and has helped me get to bed at or before my intended sleep time. I’m definitely not cutting out my TV time altogether, but three-hour-long episodes are a bit excessive. As long as I tell myself “it’ll be there for me tomorrow,” I can usually peel myself away from the screen and get a good head start on my sleep game.
9. Swapping scrolling on social media with a light read to wind down and relax
For years, one of my worst habits has been scrolling social media (TikTok, Instagram, Facebook—you name it) as a way to “wind down” when I’ve time and time again learned that it does the exact opposite. Between being blinded by blue light, seeing something that can make me anxious and get my adrenaline pumping, or falling down a TikTok rabbit hole until 2 a.m., I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to scrolling. I’ve started reading lighter novels before bed which has done wonders for my wind-down routine. After a few pages of focused relaxation, I’m able to let sleep catch up to me and take me into the night.
10. Setting tomorrow’s alarm for 20 minutes earlier than normal
If there’s one “I-hate-to-admit-it” way that I can ensure that I start tomorrow off on the right foot, it’s setting my alarm for a mere 20 minutes earlier than I normally do. Starting my day off with an additional 20 minutes to prioritize myself—journaling, meditation, doing my skincare routine at my leisure, romanticizing my morning cup of coffee, or reading (the world truly is my oyster)—is probably my favorite way to kick off a day. Even if the day ends up being hectic, knowing that I carved out a few minutes to show myself some love is such a good feeling that surprises me every single time.
This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Fresh Avocados — Love One Today, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.