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    9 Disturbing Signs You’re Actually Not Eating Enough Salt

    Ah salt… The crack-cocaine of dinner parties. These health-conscious days, a raised eyebrow as you reach for the shaker is par for the “course”, given that too much salt can be detrimental to otherwise healthy bodies.
    But what if we told you that too little salt can also be bad for you? Yup: Sodium is actually a mineral that’s fairly critical for a number of your bodily functions, including fluid balance, blood pressure management and the nervous system.
    A condition called hyponatraemia results from a low level of sodium in the blood, and it’s caused by… you guessed it: Too little of this maligned condiment. In fact, head’s up Fit Fam: Hyponatraemia may be caused by drinking too much water, for example during strenuous exercise, without proper replacement of sodium, which could lead to a salt deficiency. Electrolyte drinks, on the other hand, replenish sodium stores.
    READ MORE: Will Collagen Supplements Really Make You Any Healthier?
    What Causes Low Sodium Levels?
    A string of medical conditions can lead to low sodium levels in the body: kidney failure, congestive heart failure, adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism and cirrhosis of the liver. Anorexia and certain meds can also cause a sodium imbalance. But it can also result when sodium is lost during prolonged sweating and severe vomiting or diarrhoea.
    For the majority of us, the only time this would be an issue is if you have a diet severely low on salt, or you’re doing some mega training accompanied by mega sweating. Drinking too much water during exercise may dilute the sodium content in your blood, and dehydration also causes your body to lose fluids and electrolytes, which may cause your sodium level to dip. So you need to get that balance right.
    READ MORE: Cold versus COVID — How To Tell The Difference
    So, What Should You Watch Out For?
    In long-term (chronic) hyponatraemia, where the blood sodium levels drop gradually over time, symptoms can be very non-specific and can include: headache, confusion or altered mental state, seizures and decreased consciousness.
    But the more subtle symptoms include: restlessness, muscle spasms or cramps, weakness, dizziness and tiredness – all of which can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
    How Is Salt Deficiency Diagnosed?
    The symptoms of hyponatraemia are not specific, so you’d need to pop in on your doc for a blood test to measure your sodium levels.
    READ MORE: Just How Worried Should You Be About Thyroid Disease?
    And How Is It Treated?
    Mild hyponatraemia may not require treatment other than adjustments in diet, lifestyle or meds. For severe cases, treatment often involves intravenous fluids and electrolytes.
    And If You’re Feeling Daring…
    Believe it or not, there are people out there who swear by downing pickle juice after a particularly heavy workout. This age-old remedy apparently works because pickle juice is made up mostly of water, vinegar and… salt. But, because there’s a bunch of conflicting evidence on its benefits out there, we suggest sticking to your regular electrolyte drink.

    READ MORE ON: Health Health Advice Health Conditions More

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    20 Workout Sets So Good, You’ll Actually Be Excited to Go to the Gym

    Whether you work out at home, in a gym, or head to classes to get your sweat in, you want to look and feel good going it—and don’t want to get caught realizing your leggings are see-through two minutes into your workout. (Or have them slipping and making you uncomfortable the whole time—been there, done that too many times to count). Feeling confident in your gym clothes is essential, and in 2022, matching workout sets officially reign supreme in the activewear department.
    Take it from us: Heading out in a workout set really does make you feel like that girl (like you have your life together even if you don’t in the slightest). It’s cliché, but it’s true: Your gym clothes can give you the workout motivation you’re lacking.
    Ready to sweat it out in style? We’ve rounded up 20 of the cutest workout sets you can get your hands on right now. 

    Feeling Bored With Your Workouts? How to Create (and Maintain) a Fitness Routine You’ll Love More

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    You Don’t Need a S.O. To Take You Out: 6 Solo Date Ideas to Add to Your Calendar ASAP

    Too many times we get caught up in scrolling for our next beau or babe on Bumble, spicing up our romantic relationships, or maintaining the platonic ones (especially over long distance). And since we’re always making space and time for our loved ones, sometimes we forget the most important person through it all: you. Ask yourself this: how many times this year have you actually thought about some solo date ideas? No, I’m not talking about a Trader Joe’s run (although it can be quite the self-care), but a real moment of dating yourself. 
    To some, this may sound absolutely outside of the box. How does a date work if it doesn’t have at least two people? This isn’t some ploy to force you to be anti-social, I promise. It’s a push to take better care of yourself, find your love language, and treat yourself accordingly. If that doesn’t convince you, remember this: If you spend your entire life waiting on other people, you’ll be waiting forever.
    You know that cute cafe you’ve been eying for months now? Grab your laptop and just go. That trip to the West Indies you’ve been pasting on your mood board for the past three years? Buy that ticket and make sure you get a window seat. Although the journey may be terrifying—introverts, I’m talking to you—there is something absolutely magical in doing things alone. All it takes is a little push and a long bucket list. 
    Here are 6 solo date ideas that’ll have you clearing your calendar for the rest of the year.

    1. Go to a Museum or Art Gallery
    Connecting with history and art is as therapeutic as it gets. Head to your local museum or art gallery and lose yourself in it all. When you’re alone, you can stare at a piece or dawdle in an exhibit for as long as you want. Nobody is there to rush or ask for your commentary.
    Use that time to think introspectively. How does the art relate to a similar experience you’ve had? Do you feel inclined to do more at-home research on a specific culture you came across? How do the brush strokes of a particular painting make you feel? Kudos if you head to a different city or state for this one.

    2. Book a Yoga or Fitness Class
    Working out with friends can be fun, but pushing yourself to do it alone can be extremely rewarding. Have you always wanted to try pilates? Maybe hot yoga? Head to your nearest studio and start sweating!
    Without being swayed by the commitment of others, you’ll be able to focus on your own goals and stay consistent, and you’ll be able to mold your regimen around your own schedule, too. Besides maximizing your flexibility, the intrinsic gratification you’ll experience will be much better than hearing a compliment from anyone else. And if you’re still wanting an accountability buddy, make friends at your gym or studio. 

    3. Have a Mini-Photoshoot
    Ready to start your trek to 1M followers? Even if you’re not eying being the next big-time influencer, grabbing your camera and taking pictures of yourself is sure to be a confidence booster. How many times did you find the perfect background on a girls’ trip, but the pictures just weren’t turning out how you wanted? Take this time to figure out new poses, your best angles, and some of the most unbelievable locations.

    4. Take a Cooking Class
    We can all admit that ordering out always beats cooking in, but it doesn’t hurt to sharpen your skills. If you’re exhausted with your current rotation of meals, find a local (or online) class that caters to the cuisine you’re obsessed with or want to know more about. Besides being a great way to connect with family and loved ones, it’s an amazing way to constantly treat yourself. There’s no better feeling than knowing your recipe tastes just as good (if not better) than it does at your favorite restaurant.
    If you’re out of luck with chefs that inspire you, Pinterest is always a faithful option. Here are some of my favorites I’m sure you’ll fall in love with: 

    5. Get Dinner and See a Movie
    Going back to the basics is always a great idea. Although there won’t be any moves by your date getting pulled on you (bummer?), it’s a great way to show yourself that these places aren’t only reserved for twos. For dinner, proudly request your table for one, and bring along your laptop or journal if you feel uncomfortable. It’ll become easier the more you go.
    If you’re an avid moviegoer or just an occasional one, challenge yourself to see a movie you haven’t heard of. The thrill just might be the beginning of your love for a new series, actor, or director. And who knows, you might even be pulling moves on yourself by the end of the night. 

    6. Be a Tourist in Your Own Town
    For many of us, home is our happy place. The idea of going outside might seem unappetizing, but I challenge you to throw on your favorite outfit, put your cellphone on DND, and treat your city like foreign territory. Check out all of the hidden gems, try new restaurants, and support some small businesses. You never know what you’ll find. 
    If you’re really feeling up for it, walk, roller skate, or bike ride throughout your city instead of driving. Too many times we use our cars as shields to not have to really be within the city we reside in. Take a new path and put yourself completely out there. It’ll be worth it. 

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    What Is Human Design, and Is It the Key to Unlocking Your Life Purpose?

    I’ve never met a personality test, astrology reading, or Buzzfeed quiz that I didn’t like. Call it ego, curiosity, or narcissism, but if a system claims to understand my personality traits and deepest desires, I’m all in. While I’ve dabbled in zodiac signs and am a fan of the Enneagram, learning about Human Design left me in awe. No matter how much I identify with the Type 2 Enneagram and how many times friends tell me “that’s so Libra of you,” finding my Human Design type didn’t just tell me the information I already knew but gave me insight into how I’m meant to live. Let’s let the experts explain.
    According to Dana Stiles and Shayna Cornelius, Human Design experts and cofounders of Dayluna, Human Design is Astrology meets Myers-Briggs–but it’s a little more complicated than that. Created by Alan Krakower (who used the pseudonym Ra Uru Hu), Human Design is a very specific and detailed system to learn more about your emotions, energy centers, and life purpose. Dana and Shayna provide an insightful and helpful overview below that gives you the basics without being overwhelming (I learned a lot!).
    However, Human Design is incredibly detailed and can give you insight into everything from how your body digests food to what emotion you’ll feel when you’re out of alignment. If you’re interested in learning more, I recommend a book like Human Design: Discover the Person You Were Born to Be or a podcast (Dana and Shayna have a great one called DayLuna Human Design Podcast) to dive deeper. But for an overview that will help you get started on your Human Design journey, read on for insight from Dana and Shayna on what Human Design is, finding your Type, and how to use the information to live out the life of your dreams.
     

    Meet the expert
    Shayna Cornelius and Dana Stiles
    Human Design experts and cofounders of DayLuna
    Shayna Cornelius and Dana Stiles are on a mission to help others achieve personal freedom and radical authenticity. They specialize in the realm of self-purpose and conscious entrepreneurship and cover topics such as spirituality and the new paradigm on their successful podcast, the DayLuna Human Design Podcast.

    In this article

    What is Human Design?
    Human Design is also called the Science Of Differentiation, the New Astrology, or the Science of The Aura. It’s a system that combines modern science with ancient modalities including Western Astrology, The I Ching, The Chakra System, and Kabbalah The Tree of Life. Based on your birth information, Human Design tells you how your energy is unique, how your aura works, how you are designed to make decisions/follow your form of intuition, what your unique set of gifts are, what your life purpose is, and much more! Once you know your Human Design type (more on that below), your Human Design Chart shows the blueprint for your unique energetic makeup and gives you the owner’s manual on how to operate your energy correctly.
    The purpose of Human Design is to support you in experiencing personal alignment.When we are in alignment, we feel less resistance in our life and more harmony, abundance, and ease. Instead of swimming upstream, we learn how to get in alignment with the flow of energy that can support us in living our purpose, with less effort and struggle.

    What sets Human Design apart from personality tests?
    Like Human Design, personality tests like Enneagram and Myers-Briggs are tools that can offer insight into how you may be different from others. While we can find great meaning and support in systems like Enneagram and Myers-Briggs, they are self-assessments, whereas Human Design is not. In personality type systems, you are answering questions about yourself to see what type you fall into, whereas Human Design is based on a calculation from your birth date, time, and place. It is similar to Western Astrology since it is based on the information of your birth, but Human Design also uses specific energy systems (chakras) in addition to astrology at your time of birth.
    Human Design is the inherent qualities that you were born with and will have your entire life. This difference between self-assessment systems and Human Design is important because, from a very young age, we learn and adapt to take on qualities that will make us be loved and accepted. It can be easy to define who we are based on who we think we should be instead of who we really are, without even having the conscious awareness that we’re doing it. Your Human Design shows you with great specificity what your soul inherently is, not who you have been conditioned to be.

    What’s my Type?
    You can generate your chart online for free using your birth date, time, and place.Look for the written category “Type” to see which Type you are. Every person falls into one of five different energy types: Manifestor, Generator, Manifesting Generator, Projector, and Reflector. These energy types describe how your energetic body (aura) is designed to function and the key role you are meant to play.
    Manifestors are here to impact and inspire others to make a change or start something new.
    Generators are here to use their ample creative energy to create, work on, or build what they love.
    Manifesting Generators are here to inspire others as they use their ample creative energy to create, work on, or build what they love in a diverse and varied fashion.
    Projectors are here to guide the energy use of others toward more efficiency and authenticity.
    Reflectors are here to empathetically feel the people around them to gauge the overall well-being of their environment.

    I know my Type…now what?
    Once you’ve discovered your Type, you will see that you have a corresponding “strategy,” or method to start putting your purpose into practice. By experimenting with applying this strategy to your daily life, you naturally start to use your aura correctly. Practicing this one aspect of Human Design is by far the most powerful place to start.
    Manifestors: Your strategy is to inform. This means communicating how you are really feeling and what you’re thinking of doing next with the world around you.
    Generators: Your strategy is to respond. This means focusing on being more present and tuning in your body’s positive energetic response to guide how you should use your energy in each moment.
    Manifesting Generators: Your strategy is to respond and then inform. This means focusing on being more present and tuning in your body’s energetic response to guide you about how you should use your energy in each moment and also keeping people in the loop as you go.
    Projectors: Your strategy is to wait for the invitation. This means not sharing your gifts, advice, or insight with others until they seem to be genuinely inviting you to do so.
    Reflectors: Your strategy is to wait for a 28 Day Lunar Cycle. This means giving yourself an entire 28 days to feel things out and find clarity before making any big shifts.

    How can I use my Human Design to live out my life purpose?
    Human Design supports you in building the confidence to navigate anynew circumstance as the most authentic and aligned version of yourself. Fully understanding who you are and how your energy operates will lead to you naturally livingout your life purpose. We often think of our purpose as one thing we came here to do, but really, our purpose is the energy we came here to be in all of the things that we do. When you dive in deeper, Human Design will show you many different facets of your purpose (beyond just your Type), but the amazing thing about Human Design is that even without knowing the deeper layers of your design, you can begin to naturally align with your purpose by starting with the given strategy and putting into practice the other insights Human Design can offer. 

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    Sydney Sweeney Swears By These 5 Wellness Habits

    To say Sydney Sweeney is a rising star is an understatement. Her on-screen resume reads like a must-watch TV ad: Euphoria, The White Lotus, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Sharp Objects—just to name a few. And she made her first debut at fashion’s biggest night out (AKA the Met Gala) this year, proving she can add fashion “It Girl” to her experience. It’s not all fame and fashion for the Idaho native though—she restores cars, sweats it out in the MMA cage, spoils her rescue pup, and prioritizes her mental health (a far cry from her Cassie and Olivia characters). I turned to my trusted celebrity sources to get the details on how Sydney finds balance. Read on for five ways Sydney looks after her mental well-being. Celeb or not, we can learn a thing or two from her. 

    Make time for self-care
    Carving out me-time has never been more embraced than it is now, but I’d argue that we could all still use a little nudge every now and then. Sydney backs me up on that. She reminds us that self-care is individualized and can shift depending on the day or season in your life. “You can be OK one day and it’s totally OK if you’re not the next because I think you have to start every day new, and you have to start every day trying to appreciate and love yourself, which can be difficult sometimes,” she said. Sydney’s form of self-care? Using her nifty ice roller, getting lost in HGTV, setting relaxing vibes with candles, and chilling with her dog.
    Deciding what you need to take care of you can be a challenge (let alone finding the time to squeeze it in). But self-care can make a world of difference between feeling burned out and empowered. So whether it’s building your sense of self-worth, working on catching more Zzzs, or moving your body, prioritize your mental wellness. 

    Stretch your budget
    You probably don’t think of your finances when it comes to boosting your mental health, but Sydney encourages thinking twice about how you spend your hard-earned cash. “My family has always ingrained value in stretching a budget and the importance of money to my mind,” she told Yahoo Life. “When you don’t save correctly and you don’t spend your money on important things where it’s supposed to be spent, [I saw] what the damage can be.” Sydney was taught the value of a dollar at a young age, and that has translated into her spending habits to this day. 
    Start by creating a budget, and start tracking your expenses to see where you can save (yes, there are apps for that.) If you’re ahead of the game (kudos to you!), there are other simple money-saving tricks of the trade: Give yourself 24 hours before checking out for any impulse and gotta-have-it-now buys, use coupon sites like RetailMeNot and Honey for necessary purchases, and unplug any unused electronics (looking at you, TV). The silver lining? Save a la Sydney, and you won’t cramp your hot girl summer style. 

    Practice self-love and body acceptance
    I know, easier said than done, but take comfort in knowing this: Even celebs get self-conscious and need to be reminded to practice self-love. Sydney told Glamour that she gets nervous before every red carpet appearance because she has to put her IRL self out there, instead of a character she’s playing. In her interview with Yahoo Life, she said self-confidence is a daily process. “Some days I will feel great and some days I don’t want to get out of bed, and I think that it’s OK if you feel both ways… And sometimes I’m not happy with myself or something just doesn’t feel right. I think it’s important for everyone to know that everyone has feelings, and it’s OK if you don’t feel confident one day, but just know that you’re beautiful, no matter what.” Our bodies do so much for us, and they’re the ones we’ll have for the rest of our lives. Bottom line: Do yourself a favor and take care of your body. 
    If “I love my body,” feels out of reach, that’s OK. Take a page out of Sydney’s book and start with honing in on all that your body is capable of doing, rather than what it looks like. There’s so much more to us than physical bodies after all. Try to take judgment out of the equation, and accept that self-love is a journey (with twists and turns, U-turns, and detours), not a race.   
     
    Sweat it out
    Sydney isn’t just a badass on screen: BTS, she’s killing it in her workouts. From practicing mixed martial arts (AKA MMA) to two-a-day walks with her dog, Tank, it’s no wonder she has rock-hard abs to go with her crop top and red carpet looks. Admitting she’s not a fan of the treadmill, she takes to her neighborhood or the beach for quick runs to clear her mind. And if she has more time for a workout, she gets her heart pumping with a workout video. (Is anyone else wondering if she needs a workout buddy? Same.) To make the most of your exercise routine, mix it up like Sydney. Try a new workout you may be intimidated by, or head outdoors for a stroll, hike, or run. It’s the perfect way to switch up your current routine if you find yourself in a fitness rut. 

    Learn a new skill
    As if her acting resume isn’t impressive enough, Sydney channeled her love of academia into business school classes while filming The Handmaid’s Tale. “I want to be able to read my contracts and know what the hell they say, so I’m not getting f*ed over,” she told Cosmopolitan. In 2020, she even launched her own production company, Fifty-Fifty Films, to support first-time female authors, nascent directors, and promising screenwriters. Could she be any more lovable?
    If you’re having car troubles or find yourself stranded on the side of the road, Sydney is your girl. Taking ride-or-die to another level, she told PureWow that she has always been interested in cars. And that’s no joke—she took apart and rebuilt a Ford Bronco. Whether it’s the Virgo in her or not, she’s doing her mental health a lot of good by continuously cultivating new experiences. In fact, research shows that learning new skills improves your mental well-being by helping you raise self-esteem and build a sense of purpose. So if you’ve been contemplating picking up a new hobby (think: journaling, reading, cooking), take this as a sign to get at it. 

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    7 Hacks I Learned From ‘Atomic Habits’ That Changed My Life—and Will Change Yours Too

    You may have come across Atomic Habits while scrolling through #BookTok or browsing Barnes & Noble looking for your next self-help read. After all, it’s been a consistent bestseller since its release in 2018. And as a book lover with a passion for books that cater to bettering oneself, I had to give this one a go. I am happy to say it lived up to the hype–I walked away with tangible tools to create better habits that I now stick with while letting go of old ones holding me back.
    Habits make up our everyday life, some as simple as brushing your teeth each morning or setting an alarm before you go to bed each night. These habits require little thought or energy and are ingrained into our routines. Starting a new habit is not always easy as keeping up with old ones, so it’s important to have the motivation and a good system in place to be able to stick with it. Atomic Habits breaks down a foolproof way to not only make sure you stick to your habits but also choose the right ones, and it even reverses theories to help break the bad ones too. So if you’re looking to build better habits, read on for the hacks that changed my life.

    James Clear
    Atomic Habits
    An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

    1. Improve by 1 percent every day
    Let’s say you want to lose weight. Your goal is to go to the gym every day and eat a healthier diet. At first, that may seem daunting, which is why the best way to start is to start small. Maybe it’s as simple as putting on your running shoes and walking outside for 10 minutes (it may not seem like much, but over time it adds up!) or adding leafy greens to one meal per day. Eventually, you can work up to 30 minutes or a workout at the gym and eat delicious, healthy foods for every meal, but focusing on the end goal will be overwhelming instead of helpful. “Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions, which build up the potential required to unleash a major change,” James Clear explains in the book. Oftentimes, we look at athletes or successful business leaders and wonder how they got to where they are and how they accomplished so much. The answer is that they started small and never stopped. 

    2. Start habit stacking
    The easiest way to introduce a new habit into your daily routine is to implement it with other habits you already have. Habit stacking is a formula for ensuring that your new habits don’t fall to the wayside. For example, if you want to create the habit of meditating each morning but find yourself forgetting or not having the time, the best way to fix this is by inserting it with another habit. If your morning routine consists of waking up, brushing your teeth, and pouring a cup of coffee, insert “meditate for five minutes” before you have your coffee. Set the intention, say it aloud, and then insert the new habit into your routine. Sometimes when and where you choose to execute a habit can make a big difference. 

    3. Be aware of your environment
    We are both victims and architects of our environments—AKA the home we live in and where we go to work and exercise. All of these different spaces can affect our habits for better or worse. If every night before you go to sleep you lie in bed and watch TV, over time your bed will be associated as a place where you watch TV. Working from the comfort of your bed may sound nice but can be much more difficult if your bed is already associated with a place of rest. Once we understand the relationships we have with the spaces we occupy, we can use that knowledge to help form better habits and break unproductive ones. As Clear said, “It is easier to associate a new habit with a new context than to build a new habit in the face of competing cues.” It’s no wonder working from home can be more difficult if you don’t have a designated space to do so.

    4. Use the “Two-Minute Rule”
    Clear’s two-minute rule states that when you start a new habit, it shouldn’t take longer than two minutes to complete. The idea is to scale down a habit so that it is more attractive and you are more likely to continue repeating the habit. If the goal is to write a book, start by writing one sentence each day. If you want to read more before bed each night, start by reading one page. If you want to work out more, start with jumping jacks for two minutes, or if you want to have a meditation practice, set the timer for two minutes–you get the idea. The more the process is ritualized, the easier it will be to continue. You have to start small before you move on to bigger and better habits.

    5. Try a commitment device or accountability partner
    We all start off with the best of intentions when we decide to form a new habit, but then life gets in the way and it becomes easy to forget why we wanted to start the habit in the first place. This is where a commitment device or accountability partner comes in. A commitment device is a choice made in the present to help control your actions in the future. For example, if you want to stop buying coffee every day, you can decide to leave your wallet at home to reduce temptation. Another version of this is an accountability buddy: someone who can help keep you accountable for your actions, understands your commitment, and can check in on you (read: a friend, partner, family member, coworker, coach, etc.). We value the opinions of those around us, which is exactly why an accountability partner can work to help build better habits.

    6. Make the habit satisfying
    It’s a cardinal rule in life that we repeat actions that are satisfying: eating ice cream on a hot summer day, consistently working out and releasing endorphins, or online shopping and receiving a package in the mail. We return to these actions over and over again because we remember how satisfying they were. The same tactic is effective when forming a new habit. There’s a reason why you book your next workout class right after you finish one and then a couple of days later debate whether to go. Providing immediate reinforcement tells the brain to keep going back to an activity, whereas delayed satisfaction is not as effective. In other words, when you’re starting a new habit, make sure it’s enjoyable so it will last.

    7. Reflect on your habits and progress
    Habits are great tools to help us accomplish our goals, but as we evolve and complete certain goals or set new ones, it’s important to look back and assess our habits and progress. If you set out to write a book and haven’t finished one chapter, maybe the habits you set are not working and need to be changed. Our habits should be our motivators and keep us engaged in our goals. They should be something we look forward to doing. Taking the time to reflect on our habits (both the good and bad) is a great way to make sure we are constantly challenging ourselves to do better.

    James Clear
    Atomic Habits
    An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

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    12 Things Healthy Women Do Before 8 A.M.

    Even if you wouldn’t call yourself a “morning person,” the wee hours before the day begins can serve as a great opportunity for self-care, wellness, creativity, reflection, and productivity. Your morning routine and what you do when you first wake up matter because how you spend your morning can set you up for success for the rest of the day. So stop scrolling through TikTok or hitting snooze, and try these 12 things right when you wake up.
    FYI, you don’t need to check every item off the list every day to be considered “healthy” (no one has time for that!). The goal is to offer inspiration for you to prioritize your health, turn happiness into a routine, and make the most of your mornings—whatever that looks like to you. Use these 12 things as inspo to experiment with or adapt to your morning routine in whatever way feels best, but above all, make your mornings work for you (yes, even before 8 a.m.). 

    1. Drink a big glass of water
    Drinking more water is one of the best things you can do for your body. Especially after sleeping all night, it’s important to rehydrate as soon as you wake up as a part of your morning routine to feel more energized. Make it a goal to drink a big glass of water in the morning right after you get out of bed (or before—no judgment). Before downing a cup of coffee, grabbing a bite to eat, or taking a shower, make it a part of your usual morning repertoire to rehydrate your body as soon as possible to avoid feeling sluggish or tired.

    2. Establish a skincare routine and stick to it
    So you work out, eat well, and drink water, but don’t forget to take care of your skin too. All you need is a quick routine, but if you have extra time or you love extra indulgence, put on a face mask or massage in oil while you brush your teeth. You’ll be taking care of your skin for the long term while reaping serious instant-glow benefits for the rest of the day. And remember that it’s not just the skin above your neckline that’s important. Take care of the rest of your body with hydrating body lotion or oil, and apply the same care as you would to your face on your neck and décolletage.

    3. Set your alarm a few minutes earlier than you need to
    If your mornings feel like a race against the clock, consider waking up a litter earlier to have a slow, calm start to your day. You might have limited control over your mornings (like an early work start time or a child to take care of), so waking up just 10-15 minutes earlier than you need to will help you feel more in control and calm throughout the entire day. Whether you spend your time meditating, indulging in a luxurious skincare routine, or simply listening to the quiet and satisfying sound of your coffee brewing, you will not miss the few extra minutes of sleep.

    4. Don’t look at your phone
    If the first thing you do after your alarm goes off is check your email or answer text messages, we need to talk. You’re starting your day off reacting to what others need from you instead of giving yourself time to focus on what you need. Give yourself a little time to be fully present instead of falling prey to a reactive, response mode from all of your notifications and alerts. Stay off social media, don’t check your email, and ignore text message alerts for at least 30 minutes after waking up.

    5. Make your bed
    Not only will it feel good to get into a made bed later at night, but it’s also important for the success of your day. Making your bed first thing every morning means one small win before you even have a cup of coffee, which subconsciously will motivate you to achieve thousands of small wins throughout the day (and you know what they say about small wins: They lead up to really big ones). Plus, Gretchen Rubin found in her research that it’s the easiest and most common daily habit you can do to boost happiness.

    6. Carve out 15-30 minutes for yourself
    Maybe you’re used to getting straight to work tasks or your to-do list, and you tell yourself you’ll meditate, move your body, or sit and read later in the day, but how often does that really happen? Place “me time” at the top of your to-do list instead of hoping you’ll have time later by setting aside 15-30 minutes every morning to do something just for you. Write, draw, paint, listen to your favorite playlist, practice French—whatever it is, make sure it’s something you’re excited to do. Another option is to spend a few minutes reflecting before beginning your day by journaling or meditating.

    7. Connect with someone you love
    We’re all about some alone time, but connecting with the people you love is a crucial part of your self-care routine too. Connecting first thing during your morning routine will give you the warm and fuzzies all day long and help you remember that the point of life is to enjoy it. Pause for a minute to pet your dog, smile at your roommate, call your mom, kiss your significant other, or write a thank you card to a coworker. All it takes is 60 seconds to check in and reconnect with the people you love most. 

    8. Eat (or prep) a healthy breakfast
    PSA for those of you who claim to not have time for breakfast: Breakfast is a crucial opportunity to fit in more nutrients and give your body energy to get through the day. If you don’t feel like eating when you first wake up, no worries. You can always eat something later in the morning when you are hungry—just try not to skip straight to lunch altogether. Not sure what to make? Try these breakfast bowls, healthy breakfast ideas, and sweet or savory options. If your mornings are usually rushed, prep your breakfast the night before to make your morning routine a little quicker.

    9. Clean one area of your home
    Ugh, we get it. Who wants to do chores before a long day of work? We’re not suggesting you pull out the mop bucket or deep clean an entire room first thing in the morning (we can’t all be Monica Gellar!). You can truly make a huge impact in less than 15 minutes by putting away laundry, wiping the counters, or unloading the dishwasher. You’ll be able to enjoy your day and feel less scattered when your space is clean. Plus, you won’t be pushing off more chores to do later. 

    10. Prep lunch or dinner
    Eating healthy requires thought and preparation. If you wait until you’re starving to think about your next meal, you’re more likely to go get fast food or heat up something from the freezer. If you only have a minute, plan what you’re going to eat for the rest of the day, much like you plan out your calendar and to-do list. It can either be a recipe based on what you’re craving or what you’re going to order from the restaurant down the road. If you have 10-20 minutes, start chopping veggies or even throw ingredients into your instant pot. It will save you time later and ensure you’re making the healthiest decisions possible. 

    11. Make a to-do list
    It’s easy to start the day with your head swimming with everything you need to do. Stop, take a breath, and start writing. Writing everything down on paper will make it easier for you to focus on one task and feel less overwhelmed. Don’t forget to also prioritize life goals. Of course, you’ll always have to do the mundane house chores or tedious tasks, but figure out where you can outsource those items and prioritize what will get you closer to your goals first.

    12. Move your body
    Aside from helping you feel accomplished, adding a workout to your morning routine will help your body feel more awake, energized, and productive throughout the day. But don’t worry: If you don’t have the time (or energy) to go on a run, do a fitness class, or get to the gym before 8 a.m., you don’t need a full workout to reap the benefits. Try going on a walk to get outside, doing a quick yoga flow to move your body, or stretching to warm up your muscles. No matter what type of movement your body craves in the morning, it will help wake you up and keep you energized all day.

    These Products Will Make You Excited to Get Out of Bed

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    5 Easy Things I Do to Prioritize My Mental Health on a Daily Basis

    When I graduated college a few (OK, a little more than a few) years ago, I suddenly found myself plunged into adulthood with no direction. Up until that point, every step in my life had been laid out for me. But now, the next steps were up to me and I had no clue where to go. I started just going through the motions and hoped to fake it ‘til I made it, but it didn’t take long for that plan to completely fall apart. The days grew monotonous, I had no idea what I was doing with my life, and I started becoming incredibly anxious about the future. I overthought every decision and let my mind run away with my deepest fears. I started trying to control every aspect of my life, even though I knew deep down that was a fool’s mission. My mental health had truly never been worse—I just didn’t realize I was on a downward spiral until I was already fully in it.
    When I finally realized what was happening, it took a ton of work to get out of it. But now, I’m in a better place than I ever was before and know exactly what I need to do if I ever catch those anxious thoughts and feelings worming their way back into my mind. The key to keeping my mental health where it needs to be is consistency, but I’m not about elaborate routines that I have to build my entire life around. Instead, I focus on five simple things to make sure I prioritize my mental health on a daily basis. This is what works for me:

    1. Stick to my treatment plan
    Source: Social Squares
    I know I’m not alone in this, but I used to feel a ton of shame talking about my anxiety. I hid the fact that I went to therapy and heaven forbid anyone knew I was taking medication to help with it. But truthfully, there’s no shame in putting your mental health first. Now, I’ll be the first to recommend someone seek therapy and will happily share my experience with SSRIs (common medications used for anxiety and depression) with anyone wondering or curious. This kind of treatment only works if you stick to it, and having worked with my doctor to figure out what’s best for me, I’m now settled into a medication that actually eases my anxiety. To make it super easy for myself, I leave my prescription right on my desk so I never forget to take it in the morning. For anyone hoping to do the same, I recommend turning to Hers, a one-stop solution for all of your personalized mental health needs.

    When I first started on this journey, I had to go to a bunch of different doctors for various parts of the process: the initial referral, the prescription, talk therapy. It was so much to juggle while also not being in the best place mentally. I love that Hers offers personalized anxiety and depression treatment plans that include both counseling and prescriptions—all online. With Hers, hours spent on the phone trying to find an in-network provider and driving all over town to pick up prescriptions or sit in waiting rooms are a thing of the past. Access to care is a huge barrier when it comes to seeking help; Hers makes it so easy by providing patients treatment plans that work with their needs and schedule rather than the other way around.
    Interested in trying Hers for yourself? Click here for 70% off your first month of treatment!

    2. Move my body
    Source: Pavel Danilyuk | Pexels
    I have terrible news: Exercising regularly is good for your mental health. Prior to beginning therapy, I didn’t really have an exercise routine. Sure, I would work out here and there, but I was one of those lifelong athletes who suddenly didn’t have a clue how to stay in shape after quitting sports. When my therapist recommended I try to get a routine going, it gave me the push I needed to finally do it. I knew my body needed it physically, and setting aside the fact that exercising produces endorphins, which, thanks to Elle Woods, we know make people happy, my therapist provided this logical explanation: When you’re exercising, you can’t really focus on anything else, and afterwards, you’re too tired to.
    I try to work out at least four days a week and absolutely notice a difference in my mental health when I fall off this routine. Whenever I’m feeling particularly down or anxious, even just a little bit of movement is enough to make me start to feel better. And sticking to a consistent routine has allowed me to manage my anxiety so much better overall.

    3. Take a sleep supplement
    Source: Ketut Subiyanto | Pexels
    One of the biggest ways my anxiety affects my daily life is in my sleep. To put it simply, I don’t sleep well. No matter what time I go to bed, I always find myself struggling to fall asleep and instead just chill with nothing but my thoughts for company. In addition to a strict wind-down routine (I’m talking skincare, no phone, a good book), taking a sleep supplement is a crucial part of lulling me to a restful sleep. I usually take a simple melatonin gummy I get from the drugstore, but I have recently tried Equilibria’s CBD sleep gummies and am a true convert. They help me relieve any lingering stress and fall into a gentle sleep—but they’re not so strong that I’m super groggy in the morning.

    4. Get out of bed right when the alarm goes off
    Source: Miriam Alonso | Pexels
    This is probably the hardest adjustment I’ve made to my daily routine, but the payoff has been huge. As someone who loves a good nap and looks forward to bedtime every single day, I relish the opportunity to hit snooze and steal a few extra minutes of sleep. Sometimes, I’d even hit snooze until the minute before I needed to be logged on for work, roll out of bed without properly waking up, and get right to work. Unfortunately for my sleep-loving self, that’s not sustainable and those few extra minutes of sleep actually make me feel worse rather than more rested. When I started foregoing the snooze button (one of the hardest breakups of my life, TBH) and getting out of bed right when my alarm went off, I found myself feeling more energized after going through my morning routine, allowing my mind and body to wake up, and then getting to work. On days I sleep in a little too late, I’m sluggish, irritable, and simply not my best self.

    5. Take breaks from work
    Source: Color Joy Stock
    Repeat after me: “I do not have to be glued to my monitor for eight straight hours every single day.” This one became absolutely crucial when I started working from home. It became so easy to sit at my desk for hours at a time without getting up to go anywhere. I didn’t have coworkers to chat with, have to head to a conference room for meetings, or go out to lunch—all things that used to be part of my daily life. Since I started working from home full time, it’s just me, my desk, and my computer for eight hours a day. The “bed to desk to couch and back to bed” cycle was so real and allowed me essentially no time to actually de-stress throughout the day. To help combat this, I try to take a few-minute brain break from the screen every hour or so. And I don’t mean I look away from my laptop and scroll on TikTok for a few minutes. I’m talking about a real break. Whether I stretch for a couple of minutes, play a quick game of fetch with one of my dogs, or go for a walk, I try to give my brain short breaks throughout the day to keep stress and anxiety at bay.

    The Best Life Lessons You Learn in Your 20s, According to a Therapist

    This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Hers, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More