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    I Cut 5 Unnecessary Spending Habits for 30 Days and This is What Happened

    Financial experts note that people tend to fall into two categories: savers and spenders. I’m the latter; I have a habit of making purchases based on what I want instead of what I need. To curb my impulsive “I can afford everything” buying mentality, I tracked my spending decisions over the past 30 days. Here’s what I learned—and how you can use these saving strategies to allow your dollars to add up in a more impactful way over time.

    Source: Colorjoy Stock

    1. I stopped buying coffee every morning
    I’m a self-proclaimed coffee junkie. I love the smell of freshly ground beans, the first hot sip of french roast on a blustery winter day, the icy jolt from a tall glass of cold brew. I also love the ritual of stopping at a coffee shop on my way to work. It feels like a special treat, just for me, before diving into the hurried tasks of my day. Oh, and I’m a mom to a nine-month-old for whom sleep is optional, so there’s that.
    However, the cost of each barista visit adds up quickly. I realized that I was easily spending around $2-6 a day. On a beverage! If you do the basic math, that is something like $500-1500 a year. Considering that is the cost of a super sweet vacation, I challenged myself to stop buying coffee for 30 days and simply make it at home.
    The first week sucked. I longingly stared out the window at my favorite cafe every time I drove past, and then took a sip out of my to-go mug of coffee made at home, which was… fine. It still got the job done; I mostly experienced the natural lows that occur from being disciplined (sigh) instead of spontaneous (yay!). Instead, I saved coffee purchases for meetings or dates with other people—moments when I could linger, chat, and truly enjoy my beverage with great company. This resulted in many upsides, such as a reduced caffeine reliance, more money in my pocket, and a better appreciation for treat yo’ self days. (Hint: it’s not a treat when you get it every day!)
    Monthly savings: $60-180

    2. I limited dining out to special occasions
    Growing up, my family usually went out to dinner to celebrate specific events: birthdays, relatives in town, Christmas Eve after late night mass. We ordered pizza a few times a year on Friday nights, complete with watching new episodes on ABC’s TGIF and drinking Pepsi out of the can. If that sounds lame, it wasn’t—because I knew that dining out marked a special occasion. Somewhere along the way I forgot that, and eating out became the norm due to a hectic schedule, lackluster cooking skills, and a taste for convenience.
    Typically, I eat out for lunch 1-2 times a week, and my husband and I either pick up dinner or visit a restaurant 1-3 times, mostly on the weekend. That can cost anywhere from $8-15 for a single lunchtime outing and $20-75 for take-out or a sit-down meal, not to mention the fact that labor costs are rising, which has led to restaurant prices inching up. To save money for 30 days, I made a conservative choice to limit weekly dining out to one lunchtime outing on my own and one weekend dinner out as as couple. I wanted to see if I could retrain myself to view dining out as a special, cherished event, rather than an everyday occasion.
    The result? I didn’t notice much of a difference; I simply needed to do a bit more meal planning for work and home. I also felt better health-wise and had more energy. Sure, pulling out a tuna sandwich and an apple at my desk felt less exciting than the Whole Foods salad bar—but spending the extra cash on a nice steak dinner with my husband and our favorite bottle of pinot noir later that week was worth every penny.
    Monthly savings: $32-60 (by dropping one individual lunch per week) and $80-300 (by dropping one dinner for two per week)

    Source: Colorjoy Stock

    3. I stuck to a list
    Otherwise known as, “how I avoided accidentally spending $100 at Target on shit I don’t need.” Even though the dollar section always calls my name and insists I need new notepads or decorative candles, I’m learning that if I actually stick to a legitimate list of items, I end up saving money. This approach proved useful at any store; before going on errands, I wrote down my list of items and then did my very best to only purchase those specific things. If I walked down an aisle and thought, “Oh! I forgot that I needed shampoo!” I asked myself if I was legitimately out of shampoo or if I was just running low. I discovered it was often the latter, and realized I could put shampoo, for instance, on my next shopping list. And at the grocery store, I learned that having a list kept me from buying (usually unhealthy) splurge items (like large packages of sour gummy worms).
    Was it less fun to shop that way? Well, yes. It feels limiting to buy what’s on your list rather than view a store as your oyster; however, I’m not made of money and need to stick to a budget. This helped, immensely. One surprising perk: I also saved a lot of time by sticking to a list because I didn’t aimlessly wander around the store every time; I got in and got out with the things that I needed.
    Monthly savings: $10-100

    4. I remembered how to have old-school fun.
    Once I became an independent adult, my idea of fun shifted to events that pretty much always cost money: drinks, dinners, concerts, plays, vacations, classes, parties… it all had a price, and I wanted to see if I remembered how to have fun the old-school way. You know, for free. Turns out there were plenty of things to do, like walking around the local art museum with a girlfriend, or running an informal 5k with my sister instead of signing up for an official race, or watching Netflix at home with stovetop popcorn.
    At first, it felt a little boring, but mostly because my expectations were accustomed to thinking about activities as being Instagram-able first and foremost. I also felt a little self-conscious and lame by offering up alternative suggestions to friends who wanted to go out. But I got over it, and my friends never honestly seemed to mind because they just wanted to spend time together.
    There’s joy in the simple things, like hanging out with the people you love with no agenda or timetable or required five-course meal. At the end of the 30-day period, I desperately felt ready for a nice glass of wine at a fancy bar; I wanted to fill up my calendar with everything fun. However, this exercise taught me to be more creative, more present, and more appreciative of people instead of things.
    Monthly savings: $15-200

    Source: Colorjoy Stock

    5. I took a break from my phone
    Earlier this year, I received a serious lecture from my husband about the fact that I went over our data plan pretty much every single month. This had become a massive habit of mine, and an expensive one since most cell phone carriers charge $5-15 for each GB of overage. To mitigate these unexpected costs, I forced myself to shut off cellular service for all applications unless I had access to Wi-Fi.
    I soon noticed that I absent-mindedly checked my phone alllll the damn time. Usually for no good reason whatsoever. Additionally, I used GPS when I didn’t need to (I mean… I know how to get from my sister’s house to my apartment) and browsed Spotify to my heart’s content during long car rides. And social media? I opened those apps constantly, just to look and basically distract myself from real life whenever I felt bored, lonely, or anxious. I also, gulp, came face-to-face with my penchant for grabbing my phone while driving, which is incredibly unsafe. I thought I was being quick at a stop light to glance down at my email, when I was really just making life on the road unsafe for myself and others.
    By putting my phone down, leaving it in my purse, or setting it aside, I not only saved money each month, I also had the opportunity to be much more aware on a daily basis. My emotional state improved, since I wasn’t continuously comparing my life to virtual reality. The data savings were great, but I felt grateful to kick a bad habit along the way.
    Monthly savings: $5-20

    Cutting these five items from my monthly budget taught me valuable lessons and put hundreds of dollars back into my bank account. Most importantly, it reminded me to make more meaningful, thoughtful financial choices, such as making extra student loan payments, money saved for a down payment on a house, and more bulk to my savings.

    How to Save Money When You’re Not a Saver More

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    12 Self-Care Practices You Haven’t Thought Of (That Are Completely Free)

    The buzzword “self-care” is certainly having a moment, but the concept of caring for your mind and body is not going anywhere. It’s easy to get swept up in work, friends, relationships, and to-do lists, and our own wellbeing often gets put on the back burner. Most of us are more comfortable prioritizing other people over ourselves, and we forget that self-care actually helps put us in a better state to provide for the other people in your life. We cannot be the best versions of ourselves if we are not practicing regular self-care and attending to our own needs. 
    But self-care looks different to everyone. What makes me feel good may not be so relaxing to you, and vice versa. The great thing about the rising buzz factor of different self-care methods is that there really is no shortage of options. The potential downside is that many of these options come with a price tag (looking at you, pricey bath salts and candles). To help us all add a little self-care into our lives without breaking the bank, I caught up with Morgan Raphael, creator of the Self-Care Society, to put together a list of 12 self-care practices you can start today (and not one of them requires your credit card).

    Meet the expert
    Morgan Raphael
    FOUNDER OF THE SELF-CARE SOCIETY
    Morgan is a wellness blogger, entrepreneur, and creator of the Self-Care Society, a community and resource for women to prioritize their mental health.

    1. Start a daily journaling practice
    There are so many great options out there when it comes to a daily journal with prompts, affirmations, and quotes. Morgan has her own version (which I love and highly recommend), but it can be just as impactful to simply put pen to paper on your own. Set aside a few minutes at the start or end of your day to do a “brain dump” and release those pent up emotions that may otherwise stay locked in your head.

    2. Make a daily gratitude list
    Practicing gratitude is huge when it comes to manifesting more good things into your life and is an extremely beneficial method of self-care that costs absolutely nothing. Start small by simply listing out three to five different things that you’re grateful for each day. But don’t just scribble out the basics—take time to appreciate each thing on your list and why you are grateful for it. The more gratitude you practice, the more you will find to be grateful for.

    3. Go for a walk (without headphones)
    For me, walks are crucial. I love stepping outside with no destination and no scrolling. I purposely take this time to myself without any music or distractions so I can really tune into my thoughts and how I am feeling. You will be so surprised with the amazing ideas you have and clarity you gain when you just take 5-10 minutes to unplug, get outside, and move the body.

    4. Call a friend who always lifts your mood
    Is there someone in your life who always seems to know what to say? Or maybe they always make you laugh, even when you’re in a bad mood? Sometimes the best form of self-care is knowing that you need a friend. Don’t take those friendships for granted and don’t hesitate to lean on the people in your life when you need them. Set aside some time in your busy week to connect with a friend, family member, or coworker who will lift your mood. Bonus: Taking this time for yourself will help you be that person for someone else too.

    5. Write a list of your accomplishments and goals
    Why don’t we do this more often? Goal setting is huge for me, but so is acknowledging what I’ve achieved. If you are ever feeling down about something in your life or you’re comparing yourself to other people, take a moment to list out everything you have accomplished (both big and small), and hold onto that list to come back to the next time you’re questioning yourself. Let’s all celebrate our wins a little more.

    6. Donate 10 items you no longer need
    Hello, Marie Kondo! Having moved nine times in the past 10 years, let’s just say I have perfected the art of tidying up. I have no issue saying goodbye to items that I know no longer serve me. Whether that means a Zara top you bought three years ago and never wore or an old stack of books collecting dust under your bed, never underestimate the power of simply releasing things that you don’t need in your life, and bonus points if you give them to someone who does.

    7. Indulge in a book, movie, or TV show that makes you feel good
    Did you spend your Sunday lounged in front of the TV watching old rom-coms and then feeling guilty about your lack of productivity? Lose the guilt! TV binging totally counts as self-care, and losing yourself in a feel-good show or movie can be a great way to turn off for a bit and recharge. For me, books are the ultimate self-care because it is one thing I know I won’t be multitasking (scrolling) during. Check out these 20 new books to add to your bookshelf ASAP.

    8. Stretch your legs up the wall
    I do this for at least 10 minutes a day, every day, without fail. Legs-up-the-wall is one of the simplest yoga poses and is considered a restorative yoga posture that offers many benefits like helping the body relax and reducing stress. To try for yourself, lie flat on your back with your legs stretched straight up the wall, set your timer for 10-20 minutes and simply relax. Try a guided meditation, listen to a podcast, or even read your favorite book while letting the body be still.

    9. Listen to a favorite playlist or podcast
    Personally, I thrive on building playlists on Apple and Spotify, knowing just what song I need to hear for my current mood. Sometimes that’s a Kygo pump-up song, and other times, it’s a break-up ballad to get those tears out. No matter what your mood, music can totally provide that much-needed release. More of a podcast fan? Choose one based on your mood, whether you need something light-hearted and fun or motivating. Click here for podcasts based on any mood, and click here for 10 of our favorite women-run podcasts. 

    10. Meditate
    This is one of those self-care practices that looks different for everyone. I personally prefer a walking guided meditation, but many people prefer to do their meditations sitting or lying down, reading or journaling, or without any music or prompts at all. No matter your meditation form of choice, there are many free apps and trackers you can download to start your meditation practice, and even just a few minutes a day can be extremely beneficial in relieving stress.

    11. Clean up your space
    Recently, as soon as my schedule got busier and I left my room in a mess every night, I started having trouble sleeping. Once I straightened things up, my sleeping patterns went back to normal. Coincidence? Perhaps, but clutter in your space directly correlates to clutter in the mind. The cleanliness of your home really does impact your headspace, and you should always aim to keep your home the same you would want it to look for visitors (because if visitors can enjoy it in tip-top shape, why shouldn’t you?). Take 15 minutes before bed to put away laundry, wipe off counters, and do the dishes. 

    12. Detox your social media
    Yes, social media can be a great place to discover new people, brands, and products or to catch up with friends and family. But we also can absorb negative content or get caught in comparison traps and feel bad about ourselves from a social media scroll. Take time to regularly go through your accounts and mute or unfollow anyone whose energy does not serve you. Your goal should be to make social media a place that provides you with nothing but joy and inspiration rather than comparison and negativity.

    The Next Self-Care Activity You Should Try
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    The Career Advice You Need to Hear Based on Your Enneagram

    Our careers make up a large part of our lives. We go to college to get a job, we spend time (and money!) to perfect our resumes to land our dream job in our field, spend 40+ hours a week trying to build our portfolios and make a name for ourselves, devour all the career advice we can—and we still have more than 30 years to go before retirement. So we might as well make it as good as it can be, right?
    Career advice is some of the most sought after here at The Everygirl, but it’s not one-size-fits-all. Not all of us struggle with the same issues, and what some of us have figured out keeps others up at night. But we found the best way to give targeted career advice to a large audience: the enneagram! Our favorite personality test might be the best way to learn how you can boost your career, improve your productivity, and reach all of your goals. 

    Ones are all about improving themselves. They’re called The Perfectionists because they want everything around them to be good and done correctly. They’re responsible and detail-oriented, making them strong candidates for jobs that require precision and accuracy. As an employee, you can count on them to turn in quality work.
    With their perfectionist nature, they are their biggest inner critic. They worry that their work isn’t good unless it’s perfect, which can disrupt deadlines or cause issues when working with a team. Understand what makes you a strong employee and leader and own it. Growing your confidence in the workplace will improve your quality and quantity of work. 

    10 Ways to Be More Confident at Work

    Relationship-oriented, caring, and supportive, twos are all about helping others. They make amazing coworkers and team members because they’re all about being there for every member of the group.
    When you’re creating friendships at work, make sure you set boundaries. Is this person just a work friend? Are you going to talk about work outside of the office, or is your friendship and work relationship separate? Keep these questions (and answers) in mind for a seamless relationship that is beneficial at work and at happy hour. 

    How to Set Friendship Boundaries at Work

    I’m sure there are a lot of threes reading this right now. They love leadership development and being the best employee or manager they can be. They’re always trying to level up their career, and they take a lot of pride in being career-focused. They’re goal-oriented and feel accomplished when they are appreciated and praised at work.
    Focus on building your career by finding your niche—where do you fit in your company? Are you the one who’s known for amazing customer service and personality? Or do you excel at following data leads and executing projects? 

    5 Habits That Make You Stand Out at Work

    The Romantic is idealistic and seeks meaningful experiences, especially in their careers. They long to create and show their artistic expression through their career, which makes them perfect for roles that require thinking outside of the box and discovering unique ideas and solutions for problems.
    Find ways to keep your productivity up to tackle your biggest goals, especially if a side hustle is on that list. Fours struggle with balancing their emotions with their logic mind, so focusing on your overall career goals instead of your goals within your current company will allow you to broaden your horizons. 

    9 Productivity Hacks That Will Help You Impress Your Boss

    If you’ve ever sat in your office and thought about how much more productive and efficient you’d be if you were at home, odds are, you’re a five. Fives are analytical and enjoy having time and space to themselves to work.
    Focus on building up your home office space (whether it’s a room with a view or your bed). This will give you the privacy and energy you crave to accomplish tasks and complete projects on your own time. 

    How to Make Your Daily Work-From-Home Routine Feel Fresh Again

    If you’re in an industry with a lot of competition, you’ll want a six on your team. They are trustworthy and loyal and will work hard to discover the strategies to accomplish team goals.
    Sixes are hyper-aware of what’s going on around them, so they have a sense of perception that others might not understand. However, this can also make them quite pessimistic and anxious, often causing them to focus so intently on their main goals while forgetting the small ones necessary to get them to the end. Look at your goals closely to discover the small steps you need to achieve them. 

    How to Turn Jealousy Into Productivity

    Sevens are amazing at staying in the moment, which allows them to be optimistic and adventurous. They’re the employees who will gladly take up new opportunities to travel to another office or try out that new productivity app that everyone is buzzing about.
    They love thinking ahead to future plans while keeping a fast-paced mindset on achieving and setting new goals consistently. All this can lead to burnout quickly, and the last thing a seven wants is to feel unmotivated and bored at work. To combat this, delegate tasks that bore you as much as possible and work on new, interesting projects as much as you can to get you excited again. 

    Why Your Work Burnout Might Really Be Loneliness

    Competition is a daily source of motivation and drive for an eight. In the workplace, they’re leaders who take charge and ask the necessary questions to propel their careers further. They’re always looking for the next opportunity, whether it’s a raise, a promotion, or a new leadership role.
    Keep your career thriving by asking for more duties at work. This initiative will certainly impress your boss when it comes time to discuss raises and promotions later in the year.

    How to Ask for More Responsibility at Work

    Nines are all about going with the flow, and when it comes to their career, they seek to harmonize and work with others as much as possible. They are easygoing and empathetic, so they understand and see all sides and possibilities of a conflict.
    While twos are typically considered the people-pleasing type, nines can often get caught up in trying to keep the peace in situations that actually call for a little productive conflict. Your relationships won’t suffer if you speak up about something that is bothering you—remember that, and you’ll start to feel more respected and confident in the workplace.

    How to Finally Stop Being a People-Pleaser

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    I Asked Shay Mitchell’s Trainer How to Get More Toned—Here’s What She Said

    You know her, you love her, and you grew up with her on Pretty Little Liars and rooted for her in You (I’m a Peach fan forever): Shay Mitchell is the relatable-but-stunningly-gorgeous queen we didn’t know we needed. Despite her unreal mansion, undeniable fame, and multi-million dollar company, she’s relatable enough to be our best friend (I mean, she posts herself eating pizza, so that’s something, right?). But there’s another superstar on her team who helps Shay be, well, Shay, and she’s becoming a celeb in her own right.
    Kelsey Heenan is a celebrity trainer, media personality, keynote speaker, and fitness host. Most recently, she was featured on Shay Mitchell’s workout series (it’s like breaking a sweat with Shay for free and from the comfort of your own home). What impressed me so much about Kelsey is not only that she has a celebrity clientele as impressive as her biceps, but her whole mission is to help people love and accept their bodies through food, nutrition, and mindset shifts. So, being the wellness nerd I am, you know I had to grill Kelsey for all her best nutrition and fitness tips to achieve your healthiest body ever. Read on for nine of her best secrets to crush a workout, eat foods that nourish your body, and help you get toned (Shay-Mitchell approved):

    Meet the expert
    Kelsey Heenan
    Celebrity Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and Co-Founder of HIIT BURN
    Kelsey has been featured in publications like Shape, Women’s Health, Forbes, and Nike Training, and she works with clients to improve their relationship with food, exercise, and their bodies.

    1. Focus on progressive overload
    Between HIIT, yoga sculpt, or good old fashioned strength-training, there’s a lot of confusion over the best type of workout to get stronger, but Kelsey is a big believer that strengthening is as simple as increasing intensity overtime, whatever that looks like to you. Her #1 tip for clients looking to get stronger is progressive overload. “Over time, increase the amount of resistance and tension you are putting on your muscles. Simple examples of this are lifting heavier weights or increasing reps of challenging bodyweight strength movements like push-ups and pull-ups.”
    In other words, be strategic about reps and weights. When you feel comfortable with one weight or rep count, increase slightly for a greater challenge and to strengthen muscles (but make sure it doesn’t sacrifice form so you don’t risk injury!). Also, be patient. Don’t start with 10 pounds and expect to get to 30 pounds by the end of the week. Take a couple weeks to feel comfortable with 10 pounds, increase to 12-15 pounds for a week or two, then move up to 20 pounds, etc. 

    2. Aim for just five minutes
    Spoiler alert: Even celebrity trainers can lack motivation. Whether it’s a busy day, a change in seasons that makes you feel lethargic, or just a period of life where you don’t feel like getting to the gym, Kelsey tells her clients that the most important thing is just to do five minutes of something. “During days and seasons where it feels impossible to stay motivated, commit to moving for just five minutes,” she said. “Stretch, walk, or do some squats and push-ups. Once you start moving, it’s often easier to keep going. If you still aren’t feeling it after five minutes, then be done for the day. Either way, you stayed true to your commitment and did what you said you’d do.” No, you don’t need to fit in a 60-minute intense workout every day to be fit. You just need to commit to five minutes when you’re lacking motivation.

    3. Prioritize whole foods, but be flexible
    I’m a huge fan of Kelsey because even though she’s a celeb trainer and a top expert in health, her approach is, well, approachable. You know I had to pick her brain for her best nutrition tips (because I refuse to believe that Shay Mitchell eats nothing except pizza, as her Instagram portrays). Her answer: Prioritize whole foods, but be flexible. “Prioritize one-ingredient foods for the majority of your meals like meat, veggies, avocado, nuts, rice, fruit, etc., but also enjoy your favorite foods periodically,” she suggested. Your diet should not feel restrictive (that’s just a recipe for failure), and food should not be separated into two different lists of ‘Eat This’ and ‘Don’t Eat This.’” 
    Instead, a healthy diet is a series of mindful choices to nourish your body and mind as much as possible. Kelsey gave an example of being on vacation: If you know you’re hitting up a delicious pizza spot for lunch, choose a veggie omelet at breakfast instead of French toast or split the French toast with the table so you can have a few bites but can still prioritize nourishing protein and veggies. Bottom line: Make choices that make you feel good while still allowing yourself to eat your favorite foods. “If an approach to nutrition is too strict, it will always be a means to an end.”

    4. Make sure you enjoy the workout
    No matter what workout you heard is best for weight loss, toning, or strengthening, it doesn’t matter if you’re not enjoying it enough to want to do it consistently. When you’re busy or unmotivated, you’re not going to do a workout you dread or makes you bored. While Kelsey likes strength training and HIIT, she said the best type of workout is the one you enjoy most. “There are so many ways to work out; the best one is the one you’ll actually do.” You may have to experiment with various types of workouts, gyms, or even playlists for your daily walks, but try new things until you identify the perfect formula that you look forward to and enjoy, and adjust when you start to feel bored of the routine.

    5. Find a balance of cardio and strengthening (that’s right for you)
    As a wellness editor, I get asked all the time if strength-training or cardio is more important and if you really need both. For example, does a runner really need a day of weight-lifting, or does a gym rat really need to spend some time on the elliptical instead of just the weight floor? Naturally, I asked Kelsey, and she gave me all the tea. “Everyone should focus both on getting stronger and regularly getting their hearts pumping, but there are many ways you can do that,” she said.
    Yes, everyone needs a healthy balance of both cardio and strengthening, but that balance will look different to everyone. For strength-training, Kelsey suggested lifting weights, bodyweight exercises, or carrying heavy groceries as ways you’re working the muscles. Likewise for cardio, whether you’re going for a run, walking, doing HIIT, dancing, spin, hill sprints, or chasing your kid around the playground, you’ll be improving cardiovascular fitness for longterm health. “There is no one type of workout that everyone has to do to be healthy. Personally, I don’t like going on long runs and would instead lift weights while getting in cardio with sprints. I enjoy these things and they align with my goals.”

    6. Protein and carbohydrates are key before and after a workout
    So you’ve already mastered the eating-whole-foods-with-flexibility thing? If you’re looking to get even more specific, veggie-filled meals with a balance of fats, protein, and carbohydrates are always important, but Kelsey recommended especially focusing on protein and carbohydrates before and after workouts for energy and recovery. “Before a workout, protein and carbohydrates can give energy, while after a workout, they both help refuel the muscles,” she said. But before you grab protein powders or processed bars, try to refuel using whole foods. Kelsey is a fan of eggs and fruit, chicken and sweet potatoes or rice, and a protein shake with some fruit. But more importantly, get to know what’s right for your body. “Everyone is different, so identifying what foods help you feel fueled well is really important,” she suggested.

    7. Rest is crucial
    Do you feel like you’re lazy or behind if you take a day off? FYI, you’re not lazy or behind, you’re healthy. We’ve talked a lot about why rest days are not only crucial for recovery, but taking time off also helps you be as fit as possible, and Kelsey totally agreed. “Rest is essential,” she stressed. “Rest days help the body and mind repair and recover as well as help avoid injury and burnout.” Take at least one or two days off every week to do light stretching, relaxing yoga flows, or gentle walks. Also, prioritize sleep (yes, that means even before that early morning workout) and never overdo it with your workouts. Listen to your body when it’s asking for a break, knowing that your body cannot be its fittest, strongest, or healthiest without it. 

    8. Honor hunger and respect fullness
    Being toned and healthy is not only about what you eat but also when and how. Kelsey knows that true health is freeing, so she doesn’t coach her clients to count calories, weigh their food, or have intense restrictions. Bottom line: If you’re hungry, eat. “A lot of people try to ignore hunger cues and eat a small meal or wait until the next meal because they feel like they ‘shouldn’t’ be hungry but then end up thinking about food all day, snacking more, or overeating later,” she said. “It’s not a bad thing to be hungrier on some days than others. Honor the body by feeding it when it’s hungry, pay attention to when you are starting to feel full, and slow down to evaluate if your hunger is satisfied.”  

    9. Prioritize your relationship with your body
    We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Mindset is everything. You can work out every day and eat totally plant-based at every meal, but if you don’t have a healthy relationship with your body, you cannot be truly healthy. Even if you’re looking to lose weight, look more toned, or change the way your body looks in any other way, you can still accept your body for where it is now. “There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to make changes to how your body looks, but even in the midst of body changes, we have to practice respect for our bodies,” Kelsey said. “Most people struggle with body image, but no matter your jeans size, it’s crucial to learn to accept the body.” 
    Why is body acceptance so important, besides that your mom used to tell you to love your body when you were in middle school? Negative language about our bodies can cut deep into our self-worth. We start working out and eating nutritious foods as a way to punish or change our bodies rather than because our bodies inherently deserve nourishment as they are. So how do we work on the relationship with our bodies? Kelsey recommended gratitude. “No one is going to love every part of their body every day, but practicing gratitude for what our bodies do for us will help us experience more grace and respect for our bodies.” Now that’s a fitness tip that I can get behind.

    7 Secrets To Maximize Your Workouts From a Personal Trainer

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    The French Girl’s Guide to Self-Care

    “Self-care” has become one of the trendiest buzzwords: We spend money on scented candles, at-home facials, matcha lattes, and quinoa; meditation apps are as popular as the latest Netflix show; and if you’re not glowing with the confidence that comes with “I Woke Up Like This” athleisure style, you’re not doing self-care right. We Instagram our “true selves” with #nofilter and post mirror pictures of our fat rolls because models and fitness bloggers made it fashionable.
    While all of these wellness movements are promoting important (and even revolutionary!) ideas in body positivity and health, I learned after living in Paris that self-care looks a little different to French girls. Parisians do not always feel the need to spend fortunes on health treatments and workout classes, cook the latest health-food crazes from TikTok, or feel stressed out and guilty when they don’t fit in gratitude journaling or meditation. The way they care for themselves is muted, private, and not trend-driven at all. Read on for five lessons I learned about self-care from Parisian women.

    1. They indulge regularly in what they enjoy
    No doubt, Parisians will have a glass of wine with lunch or an Èclair au Chocolat after work for no other reason besides wanting to enjoy it. Because they don’t fight cravings, you’d rarely find a Parisian overindulging. She enjoys every bite because she does not restrict herself from eating what she wants or hate herself when she indulges. PSA: Joy is a nutrient too. Yes, caring for yourself means giving your body nutrients that help you feel your best, but it also means knowing that food (and life) is meant to be enjoyed. 

    2. They accept their flaws
    No one is totally exempt from insecurities and pressure, Parisian or not. We can (and should) all be working on more self-acceptance, but I did notice a difference in how we think about and address our insecurities. When I left for Paris, I had the mindset of covering up flaws with makeup and fake tanner and adapting my beauty routine to whatever was trending or considered “beautiful” in society. I soon learned that covering up flaws is not very French. Parisians know how to accentuate, appreciate, live with, and maybe even love flaws. Makeup is used to emphasize unique features and fashion is used to show off curves instead of hide them. Parisians show up consistently as who they truly are rather than faking the beauty trend, clothing style, or personality du jour. 

    3. They are choosy with friendships
    Maybe you’ve heard the stereotype that the French can be cold or abrupt (I did not find that in my experience, BTW). I don’t think they get this reputation from actually being rude; rather, they’re selective about who they give their time and energy to. When I first arrived in Paris, mon professeur gave me tips on assimilating to French culture. I’ll never forget hearing that topics like religion and politics are commonly discussed with friends, coworkers, and strangers alike. Small talk like the weather that is considered “polite” to Americans is simply boring, and Parisians would rather talk about things that matter, even with a stranger on a bus or during dinner with friends.
    I found that French women are less likely to be “fake-nice” to someone they dislike out of politeness and won’t waste time or energy with people who don’t bring them joy. Therefore, friendships are always deep, meaningful, and lifelong. They find the people they click with and then are fiercely loyal to those friendships. After all, one of the best ways we can care for ourselves is to foster joy in our connections with other people we care about. 

    4. They have rituals that they stick to
    I’ll admit I’m a sucker for basically any new wellness fad or self-care trend (as a wellness editor, I tell myself it’s all for “research”). In France, you’re less likely to find cycling wellness trends or health practices that come and go. Instead, French women have tried-and-true go-tos for when they’re feeling extra stressed or their pores need unclogging (many that they learned from their mothers instead of fashion magazines). Bottom line: They prioritize rituals and routines that work for them instead of what’s making headlines, and they listen to what their bodies need, knowing they have an arsenal of go-to rituals to help it feel its best. 

    5. They prioritize simplicity
    There’s a reason infamous French beauty routines consist of a good moisturizer, a swipe of mascara, and smudged eyeliner: Parisians know that simple is best, and that goes for other areas of life too. Their meals aren’t complicated or packaged. Instead, they keep it simple: a cup of espresso, freshly baked bread, or a homemade salad dressing with Dijon, vinegar, and olive oil. They find pleasure in the details, indulge in whole ingredients, and spend money on the highest quality of fewer things instead of the cheapest, biggest, and fastest. The book French Women Don’t Get Fat explains that French women eat fewer, whole, high-quality ingredients instead of stocking a pantry full of complicated vegan snack foods in the name of health (not to out myself or anything) or grabbing something quick on the go. 

    I Used Self-Care as a Cop Out for Self-Love More

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    10 Celebrity Workouts You Can Try at Home RN

    PSA: Most celebs credit more than just good genes for their I-woke-up-like-this glow or flawless looks. It’s not like there’s something in the Hollywood water that keeps every A-lister in tip top shape and otherworldly beautiful (but if there is, I will get to the bottom of it). Most celebrities have entire teams behind them to help them be their best selves and put in a lot of effort to get fit for a movie or build up endurance for a world tour. 
    Lucky for us, celebrities are no longer just faces in our favorite films or voices on the radio. It’s the age of social media—we can look to the stars for hair inspo or beauty tips and can even use celebrities to plan workouts. Our favorite stars and their famous trainers have been sharing at-home workouts on their social media accounts so that us mere mortals have access to the behind-the-scenes teams, getting our own sip of the Hollywood water. Here are 10 celebrity workouts that you can do (for free!) RN:

    What you’ll need: One set of medium to heavy weights

    What you’ll need: One set of light weights and one set of medium to heavy weights

    3. Lizzo’s Strength Training Intervals

    @lizzoSeen a lot of slim chicks posting they workouts on here so I thought I’d join the fun. If you’re watching this just know you’re beautiful!♬ Tempo (feat. Missy Elliott) – Lizzo

    What you’ll need: Cable ropes and resistance bands or hand weights

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    What you’ll need: A medicine ball, resistance band, and one set of medium to heavy weights

    What you’ll need: A 10- to 25-pound kettlebell, Bosu ball, and a set of medium weights

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    What you’ll need: A long resistance band and a set of sliders (or use a folded-up towel!)

    What you’ll need: A Yoga mat or soft surface

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    What you’ll need: A pair of light to medium weights

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    What you’ll need: A yoga mat or soft surface
     

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    What you’ll need: A yoga mat or soft surface

    The Best Workout Equipment You Can Get on Amazon More

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    Sit at a Desk All Day? We Asked a Physical Therapist What To Do About It

    It’s currently month who-knows-what of working from home. After months of jumping from the couch to the desk to the kitchen table, I finally decided it was time to upgrade my WFH situation to a legit office setup (#adulting). But thanks to the countless hours I’ve logged hunched over a laptop, I’ve noticed my posture has gotten worse, my neck and shoulders are stiffer than ever, and my back is in knots. Sound familiar? I think all of our bodies could use a major mobility tune-up, but who has unlimited funds to have a masseuse on speed dial (a girl can dream)?
    According to JustStand.org, the average person sits for 12 hours a day. If you’re like me and go from sitting at a desk to sitting on the couch after work, those hours are much longer. With endless to-do lists, back-to-back meetings, and unlimited binge-worthy Netflix shows, it’s easy for me to let hours pass without moving. So how do we be more mindful throughout the workday and feel our best? I asked my physical therapist Kayla Hamm, PT, DPT at Myodetox to share her top tips and tricks to giving your body all the TLC it needs. The best part? They won’t cost you a dime. Read on for Hamm’s expert advice and four at-home mobility movements that will have you saying “bye-bye” to your aches and pains and “hello” to a healthy bod. 

    Meet the expert
    Kayla Hamm, PT, DPT
    Physical Therapist for Myodetox
    Kayla Hamm is a licensed physical therapist and personal trainer in West Hollywood, California with a background in sports rehab and performance training. She has worked with a wide range of professional and college athletes as well as patients dealing with chronic pain and neurological dysfunction.

    How to change up your routine for a healthier body

    1. Build movement breaks into your schedule
    We rely on our calendars to keep us on task and make sure we don’t miss a beat. If it’s not scheduled into our busy day, chances are, it won’t get done. Therefore, Hamm suggested adding a minimum of three to four 10-minute movement blocks into your schedule. The idea is to stop what you’re doing when that reminder pops up and get your blood pumping. These movement breaks will allow your mind and body to come up for air and, in turn, prevent burnout (yes, please!). Even just a 10-minute walk on your lunch break or a 10-minute yoga flow in between meetings can make a huge difference.

    2. Switch things up
    I don’t know about you, but I can work for hours straight without even realizing I haven’t moved once all day. As tempting as it might be to power through the workday at your desk, Hamm advised against it. “Changing positions every hour is ideal,” she said. For example, the change can be as simple as alternating between sitting and standing, moving from your desk to a couch so your body can sit in different positions, or heading to a nearby coffee shop to fit in a quick walk and change of scenery. And if you do like standing (we stan a standing desk!), “it’s OK to shift your weight from left to right. You don’t have to stand rigidly and distribute your weight evenly all the time,” Hamm explained. Whether you park it at home or turn your favorite coffee shop into your office, think of changing your position every hour.

    3. Start your day on the right foot
    Picture this: Your alarm goes off and you immediately reach for your phone to scroll through Instagram (after hitting snooze a few times). We all do it, but taking the opportunity to move your body instead of scroll through your phone is crucial. Hamm said to ditch the phone and get yourself moving first thing in the morning. “Whether it’s walking your dog, following a stretch video on YouTube, or jumping on your Peloton, making movement a priority sets the tone for the day,” Hamm said. Bonus points if you get your sweat on, but it doesn’t have to be long or rigorous in order to make a drastic difference in your body. “Do something intentional with your body every morning, even if it’s 15-20 minutes,” Hamm suggested. Your body will thank you.

    Poses to try at home
    Below, Hamm breaks down four easy-to-do mobility movements you can do at your workspace or at home. Spoiler alert: Not only will your posture improve and your stiffness dissipate, but Hamm said that these exercises have also been shown to decrease cortisol and increase work performance. Need I say more?  

    1. Seated Cat-Cow
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    Take a seat at the edge of your chair with your feet planted hip-width apart. Placing your hands over your chest, inhale and begin lifting your chest and eyes up toward the sky, lengthening through the back of the spine. As you exhale, turn your gaze down and bring your chin toward your chest. Continue to deepen the stretch by rounding the back until you’ve come to your end range. Alternate between these two movements about eight to 10 times as you inhale and exhale. 

    2. Seated Figure Four
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    Sit up tall in your chair with both feet planted hip-distance apart. Cross your right leg over your left thigh, then place the outside of your right ankle just above your left knee, creating a Figure “4.” Slowly hinge forward without rounding the spine until you feel a mild stretch on the outside of your right hip. Hold this for one to two deep breaths. Return to the starting position and repeat five times before switching sides. 

    3. Standing Lateral Line Stretch
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    Stand with the right side of your body next to a wall or chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step your right foot over your left and drive your hips away from the wall or chair. Next, raise your left hand up toward the sky and gently reach toward the wall or chair until you feel a stretch along the left side of your body. Return to the starting position and repeat six to eight times before switching sides.

    4. Standing Posterior Chain Stretch 
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    Stand behind the back of your chair and fully extend your arms forward, placing your hands about shoulder-width apart on the chair. Keeping the arms outstretched, slowly shift your hips back while softening the knees until you feel a light stretch in the back of the legs and arms. Hold this position for one to two deep breaths and then return to a tall standing position. Complete six to eight reps.

    How to Improve Your Posture While Working From Home More

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    9 Ways to Become a Morning Person (And Not Feel Miserable)

    As someone who is used to staying up until early hours of the morning to write (it’s good for the creative process) and has been known to not eat dinner until 9 p.m., I am a self-proclaimed night owl at heart. I’ve always pictured “morning people” as those irritatingly chipper, yoga-at-sunrise-just-for-fun, birds-help-you-get-dressed-in-the-morning type of people. *Major eye roll.* But here’s the funny thing about becoming an adult: Unless you have a cool job like an entertainer on a cruise or a night-shift security guard (Night at the Museum style), you kind of have to become a morning person if you want to be as healthy, productive, and happy as possible.
    I’ve been on a long quest to become said “morning person.” My quest is especially interesting because I live on the West Coast but my office is based in Chicago, which means my workday starts at 6:30 a.m. I had to get serious about becoming a morning person (like a real morning person) if I wanted to have a morning routine. And guess what? With a few tips, tricks, and early morning hacks, it happened. And if it happened to me, it can happen to you. So here are nine ways you (yes, you!) can become a morning person without having to fake it.

    1. Create a ritual you look forward to (even if that means waking up earlier than you need to)
    Not all of us can be the wake-up-and-workout type of people. If the thought of 50 squats or a yoga flow gets you pumped to get up and going, more power to you. But if you’re not the kind of person who gets excited for exercise, don’t force yourself into it first thing in the morning. You’ll get up much earlier and easier when you’re getting up for something you’re looking forward to the night before. My ritual consists of a cup of coffee, telling Alexa to play French café music, and reading for 20 minutes. But if French music doesn’t relax you and coffee isn’t your thing, don’t do my ritual—find your own. What’s something that centers you, inspires you, or gets you excited? Is it 20 minutes of meditation, taking your time to cook a nourishing breakfast, or a 10-step skincare routine? Rearrange the way you plan your mornings so that they’re not spent rushing out the door with a smoothie to-go but instead an entire ritual that you look forward to the night before.

    2. Streamline your morning routine
    In order to make extra room for all the good things you will look forward to, take care of all the things you won’t look forward to the night before. Make a list of every little thing you do in the morning that doesn’t bring you joy. Is there any way you can do these things the night before or at least do some prep work so it takes less time tomorrow? For example, make your lunch, clean the kitchen, get gas for your car, pack your gym bag, and lay out your outfit before your head even hits the pillow. Do everything you can to make sure you wake up every morning feeling prepared, calm, and ready for the day.

    3. Go to sleep five minutes earlier each night
    So you know you need seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but how many of us are actually getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night? The honest answer: not many. Of course you will struggle to wake up if your body needs more sleep. While an earlier wake-up time is the goal, in order to feel your best, you still need to reach those seven to nine hours. To train your body, start by getting into bed five minutes earlier. The next night, get into bed five minutes earlier than that. In just two weeks, you’ll be getting into bed over an hour earlier. Not only will it seamlessly adjust your body so you’re not lying in bed awake, but for those of you who are thinking, “I don’t have time to go to bed earlier!”, you’ll realize you actually do. Everybody has five minutes to spare. 

    4. Get natural light right away
    The first step after your alarm goes off should be to open your curtains or blinds so you’re getting light right away. Sunshine isn’t just a cheery way to start a new day; it’s a physiological need to wake up and feel energized. According to Sleep Advisor, sunlight tells the body to suppress melatonin, or the chemical that makes us fall asleep. In other words, natural light tells your body that it’s time to wake up even better than a cup of coffee can. If you’re waking up earlier than the sun or don’t have access to natural light first thing in the morning, try a wake-up light alarm clock that mimics the sunrise. Take “rise and shine” seriously, people! 

    5. Make it a habit
    Habits make change possible because they free our minds from decision making. In other words, morning people don’t think about getting up early, they just do. So don’t just set your alarm and hope for the best; know that early rising takes time to become a habit, and put in the work for a couple of weeks or until your body is used to the early wake-up call. As tempting as it may be to sleep in on weekends, try to wake up within an hour of your weekday wake-up time, at least while your body’s getting used to it. Use apps like Streaks to hold you accountable and help you make early rising a habit.

    6. Try “inverted snoozing”
    “Inverted snoozing” is kind of like playing a mind game on yourself. While it may sound silly, this technique has been the only thing to effectively break my snooze button habit. The trick is that you actually do hit the snooze button, but you don’t keep sleeping. For nine minutes (one snooze cycle), I do everything I can to not go back to sleep: brush my teeth, open the blinds, drink water, make a cup of coffee, etc. The trick is that I tell myself that once the snooze cycle ends, I actually can go back to sleep if I’m still tired. However, nine minutes of activity is more than enough time to tell the body to wake up. I’ve never felt the need to go back to sleep after the nine minutes are up, but having a fixed milestone (nine minutes) feels much easier than willing myself to wake up for the whole day.

    7. Don’t check your phone or computer for 30 minutes after waking up
    My typical morning goes like this: I groggily shut off my alarm clock, lay in bed for approximately 60 seconds while internally complaining that nap time isn’t a thing for adults too, and then grab my phone and scroll through Instagram for five to 10 minutes (or until I can will my tired body to get out of bed). Starting your day off with a scroll through social media instills in your mind that you’re already missing out on something. Plus, that’s approximately 10 minutes (more like 20, if we’re being honest) that I could spend doing something good for me. Break yourself of your phone habit by not checking texts, calls, or even emails until at least 30 minutes after waking. If it’s too hard to resist, keep your phone in a different room and use an actual alarm clock to wake you up.

    8. Work on saying “no”
    Ah, the mythical work-life balance: It’s an age-old conundrum that few claim to achieve and most struggle to find. But no one said balancing your well-being with professional and personal responsibilities would be easy. The truth is that getting enough sleep and feeling good the next morning requires mastering the art of saying “no.” If your roommate presses you to watch another episode of Love Island or your boss assigns you a last-minute project that will take you all night, don’t people-please your way out of your chance at better sleep. Of course, there will be the nights that are worth losing sleep for (life is about enjoyment, after all), but don’t stay up until midnight watching TV because you don’t want to say no to your roommate, and try suggesting to your boss that you’ll do better on the project the following day when you’ve had ample time to recharge.

    9. Schedule more things in your week that you look forward to
    Your appointment book or weekly calendar might be reserved for work meetings and doctor’s appointments, but start scheduling in things you’re excited about and can look forward to all week long. Honor and respect those “appointments” as you would everything else in your calendar because they’re actually just as important. Have at least one thing scheduled every day that you look forward to, whether it’s after-work drinks with coworkers, a fun Zumba class, or a packed lunch you’re especially excited to eat. Don’t go through every day following the same routine and going through the motions and to-do lists. The simplest way to get yourself out of bed: Give yourself a reason to get out of bed.

    The Morning Routine I Follow For the Busiest Work-From-Home Days More