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    5 Realistic Habits That Have Made Our Editor Feel Like Her Best Self

    As I really get into my “mid-to-late 20s,” I’ve been prioritizing figuring out the habits and routines that serve me and make me truly feel like my best self. Through much trial and error, I’ve found the things that work for me when it comes to living a balanced lifestyle. I not only focus on my physical well-being but also on my mental and emotional health. And of course, I still have bad days and days when I don’t practice these habits, but being able to loosely stick to these things without putting too much pressure on myself has been the key to living a life that I am proud of. Keep reading for the five realistic habits that have made me feel like my best self:

    1. Make myself delicious, well-balanced meals
    Over the past few years, I’ve discovered a new love for cooking and preparing myself meals that are both fun to make and nourishing to my body. I find the process of cooking a meal that’s a little more in-depth to be extremely meditative, and I love experimenting and trying out new things in the kitchen.
    I’ve also learned to invest in nutrient-dense foods because prioritizing my health and general well-being is a genuine expression of self-love. I always make sure that my kitchen is well-stocked with produce, and for years, the #1 staple in my kitchen has been fresh avocados. I put them in and on everything, from salads to pasta dishes to, of course, toast. Fresh avocados are not only delicious and satisfying, but they also provide nearly 20 nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and phytonutrients. If you’re looking for some recipes, be sure to check out this FREE handout featuring delicious avocado-based dishes inspired by a Mediterranean-style of eating!

    2. Get active because I genuinely want to
    I have struggled to find a workout routine that works for me for pretty much as long as I can remember. I’m someone who goes through phases of really committing to a specific routine—whether it be taking classes, working out in a gym, or working out at home—only to get burned out after a couple of months and then not really work out much at all.
    I always put pressure on myself to stick to certain “rules,” such as working out a certain number of times per week or even hitting a step goal. However, I’ve discovered over the past year or so that the workout habit that works best for me is one that is flexible and includes activities that I genuinely enjoy. I listen to my body and do whatever type of physical activity suits me best on that particular day, including doing nothing at all if I feel like it doesn’t serve me. I’ve found that I feel like my best self when I fit in physical activity I actually look forward to, and for me, that includes long walks, tennis, and yoga.

    3. Actually make an effort at budgeting
    For most of the years of my adult life, I’ve actively avoided taking the time to budget my money. I’m a pretty laid-back person, so for a long time, I operated with an “out of sight, out of mind” viewpoint. However, I’ve been using a budgeting app for about six months now, and I can confidently say I wish I had started sooner. Having knowledge of the money that I earn, knowing how I spend it, and seeing real-time updates for my spending categories have definitely helped me feel more in control of my life and all the “grown-up” aspects of it.

    4. Make time for something “just for fun” every day
    I have been on a journey of practicing more mindfulness as a daily habit, and one of the main aspects of that is to do more things that bring me joy. I now have made a habit of making time to do something purely for fun every day. Sometimes these things are as simple as reading a book in place of watching TV or calling someone I haven’t spoken to in a while, or sometimes they are more adventurous, such as trying a new restaurant or exploring a new part of my city. I’ve found that in a world where we are often consumed by work and responsibilities, prioritizing fun and joy can be the key to keeping yourself grounded and happy.

    5. Start each morning with journaling and affirmations
    As hard as I have tried to become one, I am just not a morning person. But instead of beating myself up about that, I’ve found that there are other ways to start my mornings off on the right foot. Although I might not be waking up super early and fitting in a bunch of activities before starting work for the day, I can do a few little things while I drink my coffee in order to go into the day feeling balanced and ready.
    I made myself a list of affirmations for 2022, so I like to read those aloud every morning. Then, I’ll do a little bit of journaling, whether that be gratitude journaling, manifestation journaling, or even just open-ended thoughts. I’ve discovered that starting my day in this way helps me work through anything that may be weighing me down so that I can tackle the rest of my day with focus and energy.

    I Tried Blake Lively’s 8 Healthy Habits To Live By—Here’s What Happened

    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. More

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    Why Are People Taking a Shot of Olive Oil in the Morning, and Should I?

    Every year, there always seems to be a wellness trend that takes the world by storm (CBD and gua sha have entered the chat), and this year, it seems to be taking a shot of olive oil in the morning. If your TikTok algorithm is anything like mine, you might land on videos with juice recipes for PCOS, makeup tutorials, easy breakfast recipes, and the occasional Harry Styles montage (OK, OK—it’s a little bit more than the “occasional” Harry Styles montage). But when I started to see more and more videos on #guthealthtok of people taking a shot of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice in the morning, I had to see what the craze was all about. Read on for my deep dive into the fad taking TikTok by storm and whether or not a shot of olive oil and lemon juice should be added to your morning routine.

    @yourkoreanunni
    happy skin + gut = try it for a week 😮‍💨 #skincare #health #guthealth
    ♬ original sound – Amahree 💫

    What are people saying?
    If your “For You” page hasn’t fed you videos of people taking a shot of EVOO yet, here is a rundown of what the TikToks are saying: If you take a shot on an empty stomach, it can coat the walls of the stomach, improving mobility throughout the colon, and allow smooth bowel movement and digestion. Some people add a splash of lemon juice for benefits like improved digestive health. Even though it’s currently a TikTok trend, taking a shot of olive oil isn’t anything new: Communities around the Mediterranean have been doing this for decades, and the use of olive oil for both nutritious and medicinal properties dates back to as early as Ancient Egypt. 
    If I’m being honest, taking a shot of EVOO doesn’t sound incredibly appetizing, but I’m all about dissecting wellness trends and figuring out ways to improve my overall health. So I asked experts whether or not the shot was worth the hype. If this trend has sparked your interest as much as it did mine, keep reading to hear what the experts have to say about the benefits of olive oil and whether or not we should hop on this trend too.
     
    Benefits of olive oil
    When it comes to whether or not olive oil is healthy, the rumors are true. Apparently, olive oil is a superfood that contains anti-inflammatory qualities, helps supports the growth of healthy bacteria, and improves brain function. “Olive oil contains polyphenols and a fatty acid profile that may help to diversify healthy gut bacteria and reduce harmful bacteria,” explained Cassie Brown, MS, CHHP. “We need these fats in order to support our cognitive health, proper energy function, and nerve function, and they can help protect against diseases, promote satiety, slow our digestion for proper absorption, help the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and help hydrate and keep our cells proliferating.”
    Like other healthy fats, olive oil can help improve your gut’s microbiome. “Healthy fats help your gut absorb certain micronutrients like vitamins A, D, and K, which are key for optimal health,” agreed Tara Bassi, MS, CNS, LDN. It is also very heart-friendly, thanks to its ability to assist in regulating cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Bassi explained that maintaining healthy blood sugar levels can also impact your weight and overall digestive system.

    @mandanazarghami
    this summer we’re getting SNATCHED💅🏼 #summer2022 #oliveoilshot #guthealth #healthtips
    ♬ original sound – Amahree 💫

    So is the trend worth it?
    It is no secret that olive oil is our friend: EVOO makes for a perfect kitchen staple and is great for our everyday diet, but is it necessary to start our mornings with a shot? Brown expressed that there is never a one-size-fits-all approach to treating any symptom, and while there’s a lot of research on the health benefits of olive oil in general, there’s no research backing up that taking a shot of it on an empty stomach is more beneficial.
    Instead, she suggested that you can reap the benefits by pouring it on a salad, mixing it in a dressing, or adding it to a smoothie or meal just like you would any other healthy fat. Bassi agreed that just adding some olive oil to your meals throughout the day would be beneficial. However, every body is different, and just because a ritual is not studied does not mean it can’t make you feel good. If you are interested in trying the EVOO shot, it’s probably not harmful to take it in shot form (unless you have certain conditions that affect fat absorption), so talk to your doctor to identify if the extra dose of healthy fats is right for you.

    8 TikTok Wellness Trends You Can Try at Home More

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    How To Stay Productive at Work When the Warm Weather Is Screaming Your Name

    The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and we’re putting away our sweaters to take out our pastel dresses.
    With the change in the season comes a sense of renewal and excitement. Warmer temperatures feel fresh and light—a chance to start anew. With the weather getting nicer and new events popping up on your social calendar every time you look, it can also be a difficult time to stay motivated at work.
    The good news is that this shift can be a combination of an exciting time socially and personally and also a time of renewed motivation for your career.
    Let’s dive into six productivity tips that will help you accomplish this balance and be unstoppable in this new season.

    1. Refresh Your Goals
    Often, we set hefty goals and charge full speed ahead to achieve them. As we work to adjust our workout plans to achieve our fitness aspirations, our sleep schedules to fit our needs, and our skincare products to suit our environments, we forget that our goals need care and adjusting too.
    Every few months or so, I like to review the goals I have set for myself. I ask myself these questions:
    How do these align with my values? My beliefs? My deepest desires? How do I want to live my life? Does anything need to shift? How are the small goals I am working toward daily feeding into my overall dreams for my life?
    By asking yourself these questions, you are able to see if you need to pivot and where you need to do so. It helps you to remember how your daily life informs your future, reminds you why you are going after what you are, and gives you a new sense of purpose as you move forward.
    If you do one thing to stay motivated or get into gear as it gets nicer outside, it’s this. Take an hour or so with your morning coffee and get clear on what it is you truly are after and why.

    2. Get into the Practice of Preparing Your Weeks in Advance
    Now that you have a fresh set of goals or a fresh mindset around them, it’s time to ensure that what you’re doing in your daily life is leading you toward accomplishing them.
    My favorite thing to do is prepare and plan my week in advance. Every Saturday or Sunday, take some time to get intentional with your week. Map out all the things you have to do, the things you want to do, and the things you’d like to do. Purposefully schedule your work and personal lives (and leave some room for spontaneity for those spring and summer rooftop bars!).
    On top of this, clean up your space and do some self-care—do whatever you need to do to feel as refreshed as you can come Monday morning.

    3. Build Your Schedule for How You Want to Live
    There’s a lot of content out there for women who work for themselves and can build their days, to an extent, how they ideally see fit. Not everyone has that option if you’re in the more traditional 9-to-5 work model.
    Regardless of your work schedule, there are ways to build your life to more closely reflect that of what you hope to one day be able to do.
    For example, if your goal for your life is to own your own business and you envision yourself waking up, making a coffee, journaling, getting in a workout or morning walk, and then heading to your office space, start doing the pieces you can do right now, today.
    Maybe you have to commute at 7 a.m. so you can’t get in all of those things, but my bet is that you can fit at least one of those into your schedule before you head out the door.
    Just because you aren’t in your dream life yet doesn’t mean you can’t start getting closer today.
    In addition, make sure you are structuring your week around when you work the best. Again, this is not always possible with people pulling you in all directions, but you can probably afford to time block at least one morning or afternoon to work on a project you’ve been neglecting, depending on when your creative juices flow the best.

    4. Enjoy the Process: Take Breaks!
    As you’re building your schedule (and life), don’t forget to treat yourself.
    While you build in your practices to better reach your personal and professional goals, add in time for the simple pleasures of life.
    In other words, schedule breaks.
    One hack I have found helpful throughout the years, particularly if I’m working on something that may not be my cup of tea, is to time block an hour or two where I’m focusing on the project, knowing that once I hit that time limit or a certain point in the project, I can go for a walk to grab an almond milk latte down the street.
    Breaking your projects down into digestible pieces and scheduling breaks or rewards as you go can be a key way to ensure you are making progress and enjoying the process as you go.

    5. Get Outside (and Early!)
    The benefits of getting outside are endless. Now that we’re getting more sun, make sure you plan time to get outside as you build out your week.
    Now that many of us have shifted to working remotely, it can be easy to look up after three days and realize you haven’t left your apartment (just me?).
    One of my favorite ways to make sure I incorporate fresh air and sunshine into my daily life is planning a morning walk, whether that’s on my commute or just a few blocks depending on my day. On this walk, I listen to a podcast, music, or walking meditation to start my day off right.

    6. Plan a Refresh—Of Your Work and Your Life
    Last but not least, we hear a lot about refreshing our home and belongings when the weather gets nicer. It is a great time to clean out the old to make way for the new.
    But what about your work and life?
    Take some time to refresh what you have on your plate. Go through your inbox, your desktop, and the folders and files on your computer. Delete or archive what you don’t need. Review your to-do list. Are there items on there that have been there for months? Are they really that important? Take a look at your calendar. Are there items that can be removed? Are there meetings that aren’t beneficial?
    Dig into your documents, your to-dos, and your overall work—where can you declutter to help you focus on what matters most?

    I’ve Worked for Myself for 4 Years—These Are the Tools That Keep Me Productive More

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    10 Things To Do on Sunday To Set Yourself Up for Your Best Week Yet

    Whether you like it or not, Monday morning is coming. But it doesn’t have to be the stressful bummer of a day we make it out to be. There are productive things to do on Sunday that can not only set you up for success throughout your week but also actually make Mondays—dare I say—enjoyable. In fact, when you spend your Sundays fully recharging, getting ahead, and preparing accordingly, you might even feel excited and motivated to crush that Monday meeting or book a tough workout. Don’t believe me? Read on for 10 ways to give yourself a Sunday reset and have your best week ever. Be warned: You’re about to start enjoying your Mondays.
     
    1. Grocery shop, meal plan, and prep for the week
    Eating healthy can be as simple as being prepared so you have better-for-you options on hand throughout your busy week. Make a plan when grocery shopping and prioritize nutrient-dense foods like fresh avocados, which can serve as an accessible snack or addition to any meal that doesn’t require a lot of prep (perfect for weeks where you’re tempted to grab fast food on the go). The choices you make for your health and well-being are an expression of self-love, so choosing foods that you enjoy and support your health is an important way to invest in your well-being.
    Fresh avocados are satisfying and refreshing and provide nearly 20 nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and phytonutrients. They’re as delicious alone as they are in a variety of tasty recipes, which makes fresh avocados an obvious add to your weekly grocery run. If you’re looking for avocado-centered recipes, look no further:  Check out this  FREE handout inspired by a Mediterranean-style of eating!

     
    2. Do a quick tidying
    No matter how busy your week is ahead, it will feel so much more manageable when some of those chores you put off (looking at you, pile of dirty laundry) are taken care of and you start with a clean home. A one-hour deep clean or a quick closet reorganization can make a huge difference in not only your home environment but also how you feel for the rest of the week. If major chores like deep cleaning the bathroom or organizing the hallway closet feel overwhelming, start with a quick cleanup of the kitchen (doing dishes and wiping up counters), tidy up the living room (folding throw blankets and stacking coasters), and declutter your bedroom (that means putting away the clothes on your worn-but-not-yet-ready-for-laundry chair).
     
    Source: Jennifer Kathryn Photography for The Everygirl
     
    3. Unplug
    PSA for whoever needs to hear it: You do not have to (and should not) be “plugged in” 24/7. If your weeks feel overwhelming and Sundays are scary, consider doing a temporary digital detox to reduce stress. Mindless scrolling through social media or peeking at your work email may seem harmless, but they could make you feel drained and waste the last of your weekend. Unless your job requires you to be on call, deactivate all work notifications over the weekend to avoid having your phone become a source of anxiety unless you’re going to set aside intentional time to get ahead before Monday (more on that below). Even if you’re getting ahead on work, try putting your phone on “Do Not Disturb” or putting temporary locks on social media apps so you can truly recharge.
     
    4. Pick out a week of outfits 
    We make a lot of decisions every single day, even just within the first few minutes of waking up: whether or not to hit snooze, when to turn on the coffee pot, what to make for breakfast—no wonder we all feel exhausted and overwhelmed. No matter how big or small, decisions add up; decision fatigue is real. But good news: You can limit your decision making throughout the week by planning outfits (including which shoes you’ll pack to transition into happy hour on Thursday) in advance. You’ll limit some of the decision fatigue throughout the week so you can spend more time on those really important decisions that come up, but you also might find yourself excited for that power outfit or getting to rock your new pair of shoes instead of dreading the week ahead.

    Source: @waityouneedthis

    5. Clean out your inbox
    You already know unplugging on Sundays is important to recharge, but if you have severe Sunday Scaries just thinking about your Monday to-do list, setting aside some time to get ahead might help. Sundays should feel like Sundays (rather than an extension of the workweek), but spending just 10 to 20 minutes intentionally clearing out your inbox or going through all of your messages will help you start your week already feeling ahead. If emails aren’t a source of stress or you do want to unplug, try planning out your meetings and deadlines for the week instead. Just think about how good your Monday morning will feel when you’re already ahead.
     
    6. Set an intention
    At the beginning of the week, we’re always focused on to-do lists and goals, but what about setting an intention or a theme to focus on for the entire week? Setting an intention will help us get excited for the week and will also allow us to replace negative thoughts with phrases that can help us feel less stressed or more confident. To try it for yourself, pick an affirmation or “theme” (like staying present, moving more often, or having more fun) on Sundays and write it every day in your planner so you don’t forget it. Then, live your entire week around this affirmation or theme. Sunday Scaries, who?
     
    7. Check in with your budget and money goals for the week
    Self-care doesn’t always mean bubble baths or face masks. Sometimes, self-care means feeling in control of your finances and independence. While having a detailed financial plan and setting goals can help you reduce money-related stress and achieve what you want in life, feeling in control of your finances doesn’t always require a lot of time and energy. Spend five minutes on Sunday to glance over your bank account and credit card statements. Getting in the habit of frequently checking in can help identify fraud early on and will also give you a good idea of where you’re spending and where you can be saving. Set a financial goal for the week, whether it’s to put a certain amount of cash into your savings account or invest in a course or service that will improve your well-being.

    Source: ColorJoy Stock

    8. Make enjoyable plans for the week
    Got the Sunday Scaries? That’s because there’s nothing during the week that you look forward to (and what a sad way to live!). Schedule your week with more than just work meetings and workouts and make time for things you’ll actually look forward to. For example, schedule in a dinner with friends, when you’ll call your mom, or a couple hours where you want to bake that new recipe you’ve been dying to try. Instead of looking at Sundays like an end to a good weekend, start looking at Sundays as the beginning of a very exciting week.

    9. Schedule workouts
    You schedule meetings, appointments, and plans in advance, so why not schedule your workouts too? Not only will having an 8 a.m. jog or a 5 p.m. workout class on your calendar hold you accountable to make the workouts happen, but when you prioritize your health and well-being just as much as you prioritize a work meeting or coffee with a friend, you’re making a statement that self-care is just as important as every other aspect of your life (because it should be). Treat your scheduled workouts like any other item on your calendar: Show up on time, be prepared, and don’t cancel last minute.
     
    10. Organize your desk space
    A messy workspace, stacks of paper, or a snack wrapper from last Friday can add to the feelings of stress, overwhelm, and anxiety that come with the start of a busy week, so minimize as much clutter as possible on Sunday. Clean out your desk drawers, organize papers or mail, and even wipe down your computer. If you don’t have a designated workspace or solely work in an office, you’ll get the same benefits from detoxing your desktop (AKA deleting that folder of Christmas decor inspo that’s been sitting there since last December), organizing contacts, or installing any updates (to avoid that annoying notification throughout the week).

    8 Things To Do When the Sunday Scaries Set In

    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. More

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    9 AAPI-Owned Wellness Brands That Will Transform Your Health

    Being an American Born Chinese, I believe I have the best of both worlds—melding Chinese customs my parents passed down to me and my sister with American traditions. Growing up, I studied American history alongside learning how to read and write Chinese. On my family’s Thanksgiving table, you’ll find the usual suspects (you know, turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole) interspersed between a Chinese version of stuffing, noodles, and a bok choy dish. 
    In light of the recent anti-Asian racism, I’ve never been more proud to be Asian American. And as May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, I thought what better way to honor and celebrate our cultures than highlighting female Asian American-owned wellness brands that inspire innovation, creativity, and connection in our community and beyond. Keep reading to learn about eight companies to support today and every day. 

    From your skin to your period, Rael has got you covered. Founded by three women from South Korea, including CEO Yanghee Paik, who saw the need for quality feminine care in America, Rael combines high-quality organic materials from the U.S. with cutting-edge Korean manufacturing technology to create clean, sustainable, and cruelty-free products for women. It’s a one-stop shop for women, by women.

    Synonymous with self-care, the act of journaling has become a wellness trend you don’t want to sleep on. Enter: Silk + Sonder. In search of a tool to help her work through her feelings of anxiety and being burned out and unfulfilled, Founder Meha Agrawal discovered the transformative nature of journaling and created a subscription-based journaling model to make self-care a more joyful and personalized experience. Choose from a monthly, quarterly, or annual subscription (included in each journal are guided prompts and wellness trackers). 

    Sisters Julie and Connie Kuo grew up in the male-dominated footwear industry and set out to make a mark for themselves and other women by producing sustainable kicks made from repurposed plastic bottles. An abbreviation for authentic, versatile, responsible, and empowered, AVRE boasts a stylish collection for various types of workouts, not to mention a 3D technology that creates precise sizes, dramatically reducing waste. Oh, and did I mention their shoes are machine washable?

    After getting out of a toxic relationship and going through her own healing transformation through self-care and self-love, CEO and Founder Lin Chen started Pink Moon to create a space of empowerment and abundance. Best described as a platform that marries emotional health and self-love with sustainable beauty, Pink Moon curates a unique shopping experience featuring vetted female-led brands and their eco-conscious and ethically minded goods. Talk about girl power. Browse gua sha tools, vegan lipsticks and nail polish, perfume oils, and so much more (they even have workshops!).

    A cup of tea has always been more than just a beverage for Sashee Chandran. Coming from Chinese and Sri Lankan descent, she has always viewed tea as a form of connection, community, and nostalgia, bringing back fond memories of her childhood. Wanting to recreate the magic of a high-quality tea experience she grew up with without the waste of tea bags, she established Tea Drops, an assortment of bagless, organic, whole-leaf teas. Shop by tea type, flavor, caffeine level, benefit (immune support please!), and mood (can I get some stress relief?).

    When CEO and Cofounder Sarah Paiji Yoo became a new mom, she was determined to find a solution to single-use plastic after learning that all disposed plastics were contaminating the water and food she was feeding her baby. Born out of the lack of household products that didn’t come packaged in plastic, Blueland specializes in eco-friendly cleaning supplies that are as safe as they are effective. Their collection also includes hand soap, body wash, and laundry essentials—all sans harmful chemicals, because a clean, non-toxic home equals better health for you and the environment. 

    When Lulu Ge went off birth control and experienced debilitating cramps, bloating, headaches, and sleepless nights, she was determined to change the narrative around menstrual symptoms as an accepted part of just being a woman. Instead of masking the pain with toxic drugs and more synthetic birth control, she turned to herbal medicine and soon after got the idea to create Elix to provide greater access to the holistic approach for menstrual wellness. Through an online health assessment, you’ll get a personalized herbal treatment plan and be on your way to your healthiest cycle yet. What’s more, all Elix offerings are 100% organic, ethically and sustainably sourced, and vegan and gluten-free.

    After years of living off fast food, Julie Nguyen developed a laundry list of health issues. Not until she changed her diet did she realize the impact food can have on her health and well-being. Julie built Methodology, a weekly meal-prep service, to help people take the guesswork out of creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle so they can focus their time and energy elsewhere. Customize your subscription based on your diet preferences, cuisine, days needed, and type of meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack). The best part besides the convenience and delicious options? All the food is pre-cooked and delivered in glass jars that are picked up for recycling.

    A daughter of a potter and a farmer, Shizu Okusa was influenced at an early age to appreciate and feel a connection to Earth and nature. You wouldn’t find over-the-counter medicines in her household but rather hot stones and herbal drinks. But her career didn’t always match her balanced upbringing. After working as a Wall Street trader for three years, she knew she was destined for more. After leaving her job and traveling abroad where she learned Ayurveda, she eventually founded Apothékary. A plant-based “farmacy,” the brand offers herbal and adaptogen remedies (all organic, fair-trade, and non-GMO) for everything from skin and gut health to sleep and sex drive. 

    20 Books by Asian American Authors You Need to Read More

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    Don’t Let Swimsuit Anxiety Ruin Your Summer—Here are 5 Ways to Love Your Body More

    When you get that first taste of 70-degree days at the end of spring, the excitement of summer begins to build. But it’s also the time of year when I start to become more aware of my body. Through fall and winter, I live blissfully free of the anxious feelings surrounding what my body looks like. But like clockwork, as soon as the warm weather hits, bathing suit anxiety sinks in. Quite frankly, I am over it.
    Bathing suit anxiety is bigger than just not feeling confident in a bikini. The truth is that the way we view our bodies can have a serious impact on how we live our lives, and developing a positive relationship with our bodies is important for our well-being. According to the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, women and girls are more likely to opt out of important life activities when they don’t feel good about the way they look, and 17% of women claim they won’t even go to a job interview when they’re not feeling good about their appearance.
    We’ve grown up in an era where talk of having a “summer body” is common jargon, but every body is a summer body. Despite what we may have been told, doing workouts you don’t enjoy or trying trendy diet plans isn’t the path to loving your body more. To have an anxiety-free summer, we have to learn to love our bodies by going inward, and these are the steps to take that will help you get there. 

    1. Connect to your body
    Like most things in life, it’s hard to connect with something we don’t fully understand, and your body is one of them. Our bodies do amazing things for us every single day: They allow us to move, breathe, nourish, and pleasure ourselves, yet we often don’t notice it. There are a lot of different ways to connect to our bodies and appreciate them more. One way is through the breath: Breathing is something we do subconsciously (thank you, body!), but taking time every day to scan the body and notice how breath moves through the body can be so powerful. This practice allows you to further understand your emotions, lets you notice where you feel things in the body, and helps you develop a stronger connection to it.
    Another fun way is through self-pleasure. Masturbating means you value yourself enough to give yourself pleasure and reminds you that you deserve pleasure. It can be one of the most powerful ways to show your mind that your body is beautiful and worthy of love. If you don’t already, start incorporating masturbation into your routine. The best way to develop self-love is by practicing it.

    2. Find a workout you love
    If you dread waking up every morning to go to your workout class, why are you going? Exercise does not have to be (and should not be) something you dread doing. There are so many forms of workouts available to us today, from online classes in the comfort of your home, running groups, spin, pilates, yoga, boxing—the list goes on and on. Similar to food or taste in clothes, not everyone will like the same things and it takes time to find what you enjoy. Moving your body and breaking a sweat should be fun; after all, exercise releases endorphins. Our bodies feel good after we exercise (while maybe a little sore), and changing our mindset around working out to be viewed as something we look forward to will help us love and appreciate our bodies even more.

    3. Change the narrative
    For a long time now, women have been told that they have to look a certain way to be happy, find love, and be successful. So it’s no wonder we have anxiety around what our body looks like. We have to unlearn everything we were taught early on and relearn what body positivity is; we have to change the narrative. Sometimes, this can involve real inner work with a therapist to look at why we don’t love our body or internally replacing critiques with compliments, but no matter where you are on your self-love journey, there are some simple steps you can take to create a healthier narrative around your body. 
    The moment you have those negative thoughts about what your body looks like, push them out. Give yourself a list of affirmations to resort to whenever you are not feeling great about the way your body looks. Some examples are, “I am worthy of love in this body,” “I am beautiful,” or “I deserve to be happy in this body.” Tell yourself over and over again how much you love this body until you start to believe it.

    4. Wear clothes that make you feel good
    Fashion is a great way to boost your confidence, but there are also times when clothes can make us feel less than great about ourselves. Get rid of any item in your closet that doesn’t make you feel good when you wear it, whether it’s because it is uncomfortable, no longer fits right, or doesn’t make you confident. Every time you get dressed this summer, choose clothes that make you look in the mirror and say, “I love my body.” It’s the same when shopping for swimsuits or dresses: Choose items that make you feel good and will not have you worrying about the way you look. Fun fact: I only buy high-cut swimsuits now, after years of being miserable in low-cut ones. Fashion should only ever make you feel better about your body, and if it’s doing the opposite, it’s not doing its job. 

    5. Cleanse your social feed
    Your social feed is yours and no one else’s. It should be a place you go to feel inspired, laugh, and be entertained. If you feel worse every time you close an app, it’s time to cleanse your feed. It’s time to say goodbye to those workout videos that make you feel like you’re not “toned” enough or the supermodels and celebrities who have you thinking twice about how you look. If these posts are making you feel worse, it’s not worth it.
    Instead, build your feed with accounts that inspire you, motivate you, and make you laugh. Find one account you love and build from there. You can even make it a habit to cleanse your feed once a month, so if anything negative makes its way in, you can quickly remove it. If the apps altogether are too much, try taking a break for a little while. Social media has a strong impact on our mental health and the way we view our bodies—make sure it is a positive tool for self-love and not the opposite.

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    The Summer Wellness Trend You Should Try, Based on Your Enneagram

    As a new season fast approaches–one filled with warmer weather, beach days, and hopefully a few long weekend getaways–it’s the perfect time to switch up your wellness routine and add something new to the mix. Wellness trends have been popping up everywhere (#grateful that TikTok introduced us to the Hot Girl Walk back in 2021 and YouTube showed us the 12-3-30 workout that had everyone running to buy a treadmill). The list of wellness trends to try is endless and continues to grow, but not every trend will be the right one for you. To make it easier, we’ve broken down the hottest summer wellness trends and picked out which one you should try based on your enneagram.

    CBD Oil
    Type Ones are all about getting things done. They are purposeful, self-controlled, and rational, and while they are known to excel at the office, they may need a little extra help relaxing and chilling out, which is why CBD oil is the perfect trend for a Type One. Whether you’re adding a few drops to your morning coffee or taking a roller on the go, CBD oil is perfect for helping to ease the nerves and relax a little during high-stress moments. Everyone needs a little help in managing stress, but especially for a Type One, CBD will be their new best friend.
    To try our favorite, use code THEEVERYGIRL for 20% off your first order!

    Facial Massage
    Type Twos are known to be very caring and generous, but it’s time to put some of that care back onto themselves. The perfect wellness trend for a Type Two involves a little indulgence and pampering, like giving yourself a facial massage. Invest in an ice roller, gua sha tool, or a jade roller, and set aside some time each week for a facial massage. Not only will it feel incredibly relaxing, but these tools can also help with lymphatic drainage, puffiness, and wrinkles. Talk about a win-win!

    12-3-30 Workout
    Type Threes value wellness activities that make them feel good and challenge them to better themselves. As a driven and success-oriented Type Three, the ever-popular 12-3-30 workout is an easy choice for their fitness routine. The workout involves setting a treadmill to a 12 percent incline and walking at 3 miles per minute for 30 minutes. It may sound easy, but do not be fooled–this workout can be intense. Type Threes will love incorporating it into their new routine and feel accomplished after completing the workout and seeing their progress. 

    Guided Journaling
    Type Fours can be sensitive and withdrawn while still being expressive. This combination makes guided journaling the perfect wellness trend for them. It is a creative practice that allows them to express their inner thoughts and emotions in a safe place, with equal parts guidance and imagination. There are many different types of guided journals available: The Five-Minute Journal, gratitude journals, or even Q&A journals, which ask introspective questions. Type Fours will be eager to try out this creative wellness trend. 

    Adaptogens
    As the perceptive and innovative one of the group, Type Fives are known for being curious and willing to try new things. Adaptogens (the plant-based herb known for reducing stress) are right up their alley. While this wellness trend has been circling on Instagram and TikTok for quite some time now, it has roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic healing traditions. Try adding the powder to juices and smoothies, or find in a tea form as well.

    Meditation App
    The best wellness trend for a Type Six is a meditation app. Sixes are known to be security-oriented, responsible, and sometimes anxious. Creating a meditation practice will help any Six remove anxious feelings and incorporate more zen into their life. There are so many meditation apps to choose from–Headspace, Unplug, SuperHuman–and each one has lots of options for any situation (walking meditations, sleep meditations, five-minute meditations, etc.). Start a 30-day challenge and see how it goes.

    Digital Detox
    Type Sevens are busy, spontaneous, and sometimes a little scattered. With the chaos of day-to-day life, a digital detox is just what they need to unwind and relax. Taking a break from all social media platforms for a week or simply unplugging for an hour every night before bed will do wonders for a Type Seven. In a world that is deeply attached to technology, unplugging for a period of time can have vast benefits on sleep and mental well-being. 

    Cold Therapy
    Type Eights are powerful, willful, and not afraid to back down from a challenge. So naturally, something challenging like cold therapy is a great fit for their confident spirit. There are different ways to practice cold therapy, like plunging into a cold pool or shower or in a cryo-chamber, but either way, cold therapy can boost the metabolism and help reduce inflammation, swelling, and sore muscles. This wellness trend is an intense practice and can have great results, but it’s important to make sure it is done safely, so talk to your doctor about the best cold therapy methods for you.

    Hot Girl Walk
    As the easy-going, agreeable, and receptive type, a Hot Girl Walk was made for Nines. The premise of a Hot Girl Walk is that each day you go for a walk outside for about one hour, and you think about three things: What you are grateful for, what you want to achieve, and lastly, how hot you are (duh!). They are simple and a great way to get into a positive, healthy mindset. The Hot Girl Walk was coined by TikToker Mia and is a wellness trend made for those warm summer days ahead.

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    On Your Period? Here’s a Self-Care Guide for That Time of the Month

    It’s that time of the month when cramps, bloating, fatigue, and other unglamorous symptoms rear their ugly heads. That’s right–I’m talking about what Cher Horowitz refers to as “surfing the crimson wave” (see: Clueless), otherwise known as being on your period. The good news? With some TLC for your mind and body, you can turn the dreaded week into an opportunity to tune in to yourself and your needs and just go with the flow (pun intended). Read on for period self-care practices to incorporate during the week of your menstruation to honor, celebrate, and get in touch with your body.
     
    1. Nourish your body with iron-rich foods
    You’ve likely heard of cycle-syncing, or making lifestyle adjustments according to your hormonal fluctuations that occur throughout the month. In other words, The Cycle Syncing Method® suggests changing up your routine to support your body’s needs based on the different phases of your menstrual cycle.
    During your period (AKA the menstrual phase), your hormone levels drop, leaving you feeling anything but energetic. Now is the time to load your plate with nutrient-dense and iron-rich foods and ensure you’re consuming enough calories. For protein sources, think wild salmon, beef, chicken, or turkey. Vegan or vegetarian? No problem! Stock up on lentils, chickpeas, or pinto beans. And we can’t forget veggies, of course. Consider dark, leafy greens like spinach, chard, and kale to be your best friends this week. Finally, add herbs and spices like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon, to your dishes for a boost of anti-inflammatory goodness.

    2. Stay hydrated  
    You know that motivational water bottle you’ve been saying you need to get (because a little encouragement never hurts)? Well, now’s the time to “Add to cart” (Amazon Prime FTW) because hydration is key, especially during this stage. Give your coffee maker (or barista, if we’re being honest) a break this week, and swap your cup of joe for non-caffeinated teas, such as red raspberry leaf tea. Red raspberry leaf is packed with nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and E, as well as calcium, iron, and potassium. Still not convinced? A study showed that red raspberry leaves may reduce the menstrual cramping caused by the spasms of pelvic muscles (excuse me while I go clear out Whole Foods’ entire inventory of raspberry leaf tea). 
     
    3. Go easy on your workouts
    Ever notice how enticing your bed becomes with the onset of your period? While cozying up in bed all week isn’t realistic (a girl can dream), listen to your body and avoid putting your body through any strenuous exercise. Hit pause on your HIIT workouts, marathon training, or any Rocky-inspired sessions. Instead, opt for lighter, low-impact forms of exercise, like walking, stretching, Pilates, or restorative yoga. Or get your endorphins going while soaking up Vitamin D by heading outdoors for a low-key hike, jog, or swim. Sure, staying active during your period has many benefits, like lessening fatigue and mood swings, but if you’re feeling especially drained, there’s nothing wrong with taking a rest day or two. 

    4. Schedule time in your calendar for R&R
    When you’re accustomed to a fast-paced, go-go-go lifestyle, it can be hard—even uncomfortable—to allow yourself to rest. You may be used to pulling a 6o-hour work week or double-booking your calendar, but this week is not the time to go full speed ahead. Rather, take the week to slow down and make time for yourself. Lighten your schedule with fewer work meetings and social obligations; block off time to take a warm bath or get a massage; get sexy if you’re up for it, or romance yourself with some self-love if sex isn’t in the cards; step outside and connect to the earth through grounding; and optimize your Zzz’s by keeping your bedroom cool and resisting that “just one more episode” urge. 

    5. Let go of what may be holding you back
    Just as the uterus sheds its lining during the week of your period, it’s time to self-reflect and release anything that’s no longer serving you, whether it be people, habits, beliefs, or a job. According to Alisa Vitti, the creator of The Cycle Syncing Method®, this phase is the optimal time to evaluate your life and process your reflections because your level of clarity and intuition is at its peak. What can you let go of that’s keeping you from being your highest self? And by doing so, what can you create space for? Try implementing journaling, manifestation, or meditation to guide you toward living your best life. 

    6. Consider alternative menstrual products
    As convenient as tampons are, they’re not budget or eco-friendly, and using them seems counterintuitive when the point is to release and let it flow. With many innovative and sustainable substitutes to traditional period products available today, making the switch has never been easier. Before your “Flo” comes around again, consider reaching for feminine care alternatives like period underwear, menstrual cups, or menstrual discs. And if you find yourself in a pinch and scrambling to the nearest drugstore (we’ve all been there) or you just prefer to use tampons, go the organic route (sans chemical additives). Because being mindful of your body and the planet doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. 

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