More stories

  • in

    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

  • in

    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

  • in

    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.

    What You Should Manifest This Year, Based on Your Enneagram More

  • in

    The Everygirl’s Summer of Wellness Checklist—15 Ways To Have Your Healthiest Summer Ever

    Whether it’s barbecuing on a patio while drinking rosé or lying on a beach with a good read, summer was made for indulging in the greater joys of life. It’s easy to ditch the gym when the weather is nice or forget to drink enough water when you’re busy hanging with friends (we’ve all been there), but a summer of wellness doesn’t mean you have to stick to your same healthy routines; it just means adjusting based on what your body needs for the season.
    The good news is that having your healthiest summer ever also means having your best summer ever. We’re not here to give a list that takes away from enjoying everything summer offers; this checklist is here to enhance every moment, so you can soak up the sun and head into fall feeling better than ever. Here are 15 ways to have the healthiest (best!) summer yet.

    1. Exercise outdoors
    If the sun is shining, you might as well be soaking it up. Summer is a great time to take your workouts outdoors, whether it be running, playing tennis, doing yoga in the park, or hiking. You’ll not only be breaking a sweat but also be soaking up vitamin D and getting the fresh air your body is desperately craving after a winter indoors. 

    2. Protect your skin
    SPF should be your best friend this summer, and—lucky for us—there are some amazing brands to choose from that are lightweight and perfect for everyday wear. If you haven’t already, start incorporating sunscreen into your daily skincare routine. After all, UV rays are stronger than ever, and we all want to maintain flawless skin year-round. 

    3. Eat in season
    Not only is eating in season more nutritious, but it’s also more affordable and leans into what your body is craving. This summer, choose fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, peaches, cherries, cucumbers, corn, beets, and radishes. You can even go one step further and shop for it locally.

     
    4. Shop locally 
    Ditch the grocery store and hit up the local farmers market instead. Summer is the best time to find fresh and local produce that usually tastes better than store-bought. Shopping locally also means you get to support your community too.

    5. Take a vacation
    It’s time to put that PTO to good use. Everyone needs a vacation, and this summer, actually take one. Whether it’s a month-long trip or a weekend getaway, take some time to relax and unwind. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and taking some time away from your busy day-to-day schedule is necessary for overall well-being.

    6. Hydrate
    If you achieve one thing on this list to have a healthy summer, let this one be it. Drinking water can sometimes feel like a chore, but it’s so important to hydrate, especially as the weather gets warmer. You can even try adding fresh mint, lemon, or lime to boost the flavor and nutrients.

    7. Stretch more
    Stretching is a highly underrated activity that we should all be doing more of and not just after workouts. Stretching can not only help strengthen your muscles and reduce the possibility of injury, but it can also help with digestion. Try taking 10 minutes every day to stretch and slowly see the difference it makes in your body.

    8. Upgrade your cocktails
    Who doesn’t love a summer cocktail? You can find me on a patio with a glass of frosé all summer long. But this season, try upgrading your summer cocktails by opting for vegan and organic wines, less-sugary cocktails, or even a mocktail. You’ll wake up Sunday morning hangxiety-free.

    9. Try a new hobby
    Always wanted to take a painting class? Or maybe try out paddleboarding for the first time? This summer, start a new hobby—something you’ve always wanted to do but never had time for. A healthy summer is all about balance, which means prioritizing time for yourself and pursuing passions, interests, and new adventures.

    10. Buy a swimsuit you love
    This summer, find a swimsuit that makes you feel confident because beach days should be something you look forward to and not something you stress about. But swimsuit anxiety is real, and the #1 way we can combat it is by loving our bodies more, so make it your mission to find the swimsuits that make you feel as amazing and confident as you already are.

    11. Unplug from tech
    If there was ever a time to unplug from our phones and computers, it’s during the summer. Try spending a whole day without social media and plan to read a book at night before bed instead of watching TV. Bottom line: Take some time to live in the moment and away from screens. 

    12. Exfoliate
    Whether you wax, shave, laser, or simply spend a lot of time outside in the sun, our skin can become very dry in the summer. Taking the time to exfoliate can help lock in moisturizer and reduce the redness and bumps that may come from the many things we do to our skin. Our skin is our largest organ, and we must take care of it.

    13. Start an herb garden
    Embrace your inner green thumb this summer and start an herb garden. You can start one no matter the size of your home, and taking a couple of sprigs of fresh mint for a salad or cilantro for tacos will make you feel like a proper chef.

    14. Switch up your coffee order
    It’s iced coffee season, but instead of just switching your drink from warm to cold, try switching up the add-ons. An ingredient like cinnamon is full of antioxidants, and collagen is great for hair, skin, and nail health. Soon, you’ll be bragging about your coffee order to everyone.

    15. Manifest your healthiest summer ever
    Having your healthiest summer ever is really about embracing a positive mindset. Write down all the ways you will have a healthy summer (taking from this list and adding your own). Once you get clear on how and why you want to manifest a healthy summer, nothing will stop you from this being the best one yet.

    10 Ways To Upgrade Your Routine for Summer More

  • in

    What is Gua Sha? Everything You Need to Know About the It Skincare Tool of 2022

    I know a thing or two about stress, and I’m (unfortunately) pretty well acquainted with the toll stress can take on the skin and body: acne, texture, dullness, and so much puffiness. My mom says it’s all the french fries I eat, but I certainly wouldn’t eat (as many of) the fries if I was relaxed!
    So I went on the hunt for products that could both help my skin and help me destress. I tried the spoon in the fridge (OK, TBH, that was painful!), tons of eye creams, and cutting out dairy (didn’t work for me, but it might for you!). My first obvious choice was a jade roller (how could you go wrong!), but the more I researched (AKA stalking all my favorite beauty bloggers on Instagram for hours), I decided to get in on a trend early.
    An Amazon Prime delivery and a month or so later, my gua sha stone and I are basically BFFs. Because I’m so obsessed with my nightly gua sha massage ritual, I’m giving you all the details about what it is, what it does, and how you can do it at home. 

    In this article

    What is Gua Sha?
    Gua sha (pronounced gwa-shah!) is a tool (or tools) used to scrape the skin to promote circulation. Ancient Chinese medicine utilized the gua sha tool thousands of years ago to increase blood circulation and heal the body. 
    When you give yourself a gua sha massage, you’re essentially scraping all of that water and lymph under your skin to the edges of your face and pulling it down your neck to drain. It’s kind of gross but also super cool, huh? It moves all the blood around under your skin, so after a gua sha session, your face is plump with fresh, new blood to the surface.
    In Chinese medicine, gua sha came in the form of soup spoons and other items (which isn’t exactly what all the gua sha stones you see on Instagram look like). Generally, gua sha is made of either jade or rose quartz stones (jade is known for purifying and healing your energy).
    Here, I’m discussing gua sha as a facial tool for massage. However, there are larger tools that can be used for gua sha on the body. I’m dying to find an acupuncturist to see all the amazing things gua sha could do for my body now that I’ve seen how it helps my face!

    Benefits of Gua Sha

    Improves circulation
    Gua sha is the tool if you want to increase blood flow in your face. Circulation in itself has so many benefits, from decreasing inflammation, adding a glowy look to the skin, anti-aging, and more.

    Aids in lymphatic drainage
    Suffering from extra fluid in your face? Gua sha can help with that. Lymphatic fluid is basically all the fluid coming from your lymph nodes that hasn’t quite made its way back to the cardiovascular system. Massaging the skin helps drain that fluid from your face (yuck), and gua sha is the best tool to get that all to come out.

    Source: Pavel Danilyuk | Pexels

    Relieves muscle tension
    As you scrape the gua sha across your skin, you’ll start to feel your face instantly relax. For years, everyone thought I had TMJ because of my jaw issues, but it turns out, I clench my jaw while I’m sleeping when I’m stressed (so basically all the time). As soon as I started using gua sha, I immediately noticed that my jaw felt less tight, and I was able to relax it more than ever.
    The scraping motion you do with a gua sha stone breaks up the muscle tissue, called fascia, which brings circulation and causes the muscles to relax more. If you are dealing with stress and can feel it in your face, gua sha is a super-easy way to bring some relief while adding some awesome self-care to your day.
    An added benefit: fewer headaches!

    Can help with skin dryness
    Stop the presses—gua sha might save all of you dry-skin gals! Yet again, when you push all of those toxins out of your face, your skin begins to plump up with moisture since it isn’t weighed down anymore.

    Reduces breakouts and helps with anti-aging
    Yep, gua sha is basically a miracle worker. All that lymphatic drainage lurking in your skin is bound to cause some buildup, which is what can lead to acne, texture, and dullness in the skin. The massage, therefore, brings elasticity and brightness to the skin. Using firmer pressure can even help you tackle fine lines and wrinkles.

    Adds facial contours
    No need for expensive contour powders with your gua sha! As you scrape your gua sha stone across your cheeks, you’ll start to notice facial contours you never knew you had. While this slimming effect is only temporary, over time, getting the blood circulating and moving around all that lymphatic drainage can only help if you’re trying to slim down your face.

    How do I do it?
    [embedded content]
    You can do gua sha massages after either the serum, moisturizer, or oil step of your routine. I prefer to do my gua sha after I’ve applied all the products to my skin because it helps the stone glide across the skin effortlessly.
    Each gua sha tool is shaped differently, so find the side that works best for the different contours of your face. I first use the side with the divot on mine to fit the contours like under my eyes, on my cheeks, and on my chin, and then I take the curved side for my forehead and down my neck and chest.
    Because you’re about to push all these toxins out of your face (sounds amazing, right?), I like to make sure my neck is decongested before I start pushing all the gunk down it. In three different sections (both sides and directly under my chin), I run the tool toward my face for about five to 10 strokes.
    Then, in a sweeping motion, I scrape the gua sha tool from the middle of my chin to right under my ear on my jawline and repeat five to 10 times depending on how excited I am to hop into bed. I do the other side and then continue up the face, scraping the gua sha from the corner of my mouth to my ears, under my ears, and just above my eyebrows. It sounds like a lot, but it’s so relaxing that you’ll be wishing you could rub that thing over your face for hours (If you can’t tell, my gua sha and I are in a serious, committed relationship right now).
    If you need a visual, the video above is a great tutorial! Once you start gua sha-ing away, you’ll get into your own groove of how you like to do it.
    As you’re massaging, don’t be afraid to add some firm pressure. Obviously, we’re not trying to bruise ourselves, but if some redness or little red dots appear, that’s normal. Redness means that the gua sha is bringing blood to the surface, so it’s doing its job!

    I already have a jade roller. Do I need both?
    Depending on your needs, both a gua sha stone and a jade roller can be beneficial. In my experience, a jade roller is amazing for helping products like serums and oils sink more deeply into the skin. I love using a jade roller to apply my eye creams at night as well as on top of sheet masks to help all that goodness soak in (one of my fave skincare hacks!). Gua sha, on the other hand, is more for massages than products. It helps you pull out all those toxins in your skin at a deeper level than the jade roller.

    Shop Our Favorites:

    I’ve Tried Hundreds of Beauty Products—and the NuFACE is the Real Deal More

  • in

    The Summer of You: 10 Ways To Upgrade Your Routine for Summer

    While we know summer self-care is important, self-care is not always as easy in the summer as it is in other seasons when everyone is cooped up indoors (and no one’s posting envy-worthy road trip pics). During warmer months, if you don’t live at a beach, crush intense workouts regularly, or go on dreamy vacations every weekend, it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out. I like to call it FOMOOAPS: Fear of Missing Out on a Perfect Summer (maybe a stretch?). But focusing on what you’re not doing is taking away from what you should be doing: caring for yourself. Screw the FOMO and instead, make this the summer you put yourself first. Here are 10 ways to upgrade your routine to make the most of the season.

    1. Switch up your workouts
    If you’re stuck in a rut because you take the same workout class every day, summer is your solution. Consider taking your HIIT circuits or yoga flow outdoors: Bring your mat and sun salutations to the park or go for a walk instead of running on the treadmill. Summer is also a great time to try a workout you’ve never done before: Go for a hike, try an outdoor class, ask a friend to join, or try a totally new type of workout. Bonus: Thanks to the longer days, warmer weather, and brighter sunlight, we often have the most energy in the summertime, so take advantage and up the intensity: Go for a high-energy dance class if you’re usually a relaxing-flow kind of girl or train for the marathon you’ve always wanted to run. Just don’t forget your SPF!

    2. Make your own summer vacations
    Ah, remember childhood (or High School Musical 2) when summer was synonymous with vacation? Summer break meant no school from June to August and weeks of pool trips and popsicles ahead of you. Even if we’re grown-ups now (womp, womp) and don’t get a summer break from work (but like, isn’t that a great idea?), you can still apply the same mentality. Summer serves as the perfect reminder that work should be a part of your life, not your entire life. Take advantage of your PTO, whether that means taking a long weekend for a road trip with friends or a mental health day here and there to sleep in, get outside, and enjoy your life. And if all else fails, turn every weekend into a mini vacation (or staycation) to make the most of the season (and your life). 

    3. “Summer clean” your house
    Why should spring cleaning have all the fun? Let me introduce you to summer cleaning (AKA turning your home into the warm-weather oasis you deserve). Since clutter in the home translates into clutter in the mind, having an organized, clean, and happy home will help you enjoy the warmer months and boost your mood (I mean, how happy does an organized closet make you?). Spend a day organizing your junk drawer, donating clothes you don’t wear, and optimizing the space in your kitchen. But “summer cleaning” doesn’t just have to be the tedious stuff: Update your decor for a happier season by trading darker home accents with more colorful accessories, add a colorful print or two to the wall, and make minor upgrades with of-the-moment trends to brighten up your home. Minor changes like fresh flowers in vases or citrus oil in a diffuser can also make all the difference. 

    4. Eat fresher foods 
    While you may crave hearty dishes and warm meals in wintertime, you’re more likely to crave fresher foods come summer. Healthy eating is easy when the weather is warm. Your body wants lighter foods, herbs are in season, and vegetables on the grill suddenly sound as good as pasta or pizza. Take advantage of grocery stores full of produce in their prime (think: juicy tomatoes, fresh strawberries, and sweet corn), base grocery lists and recipes around the many delicious fruits and vegetables that are in season, and snack on crispy bell peppers or delicious watermelon. Also, make an effort to add more water-rich foods to your diet for bonus hydration points, like watermelon, cucumber, zucchini, and tomatoes. 

    5. Update your skincare for the season
    Imagine this: It’s the middle of summer 2022. You’ve got an effortless glow that even the lifeguards envy, and the disturbing amount of sweat and SPF on your skin at all times doesn’t even break you out. If it sounds too good to be true, know that you can score a killer tan without the harmful rays of the sun (thank you, fake tanning products!), and just because you’re loading up on SPF or sweating more does not mean you have to suffer through acne. Your skin just needs different things in the summer than it does in the winter, so update your routine accordingly. Include exfoliating acids to slough off dead skin, use cooling tools to de-puff and calm inflammation, make sure you have proper sun-care, and, if you’re looking to fake tan, opt for a high-quality faux glow for the summer skin of your dreams.

    6. Take advantage of longer hours
    So you know that days are longer during the summer, but have you ever thought about changing your daily routine to make the most of those long days? Longer days mean more sunlight, and more sunlight means more energy (think about it: waking up at 7 a.m. when it’s already light out is way different from waking up to a dark, cold 7 a.m. that still feels like nighttime). Take full advantage of the extra energy by waking up early for a workout or even just adding 30 minutes to your morning routine for some extra “me” time. And when it comes to staying lighter later, bring your post-work routine outdoors, whether that means eating dinner on your balcony or going on a run instead of opting for the treadmill. 

    7. Go tech-free
    One of the best parts of summer is that there is so much to do that’s not watching TV or staring at your computer screen (winter, I love you, but you forced me into some major Netflix black holes). Commit to going tech-free for at least a couple of hours every week or even a small amount of time every day. Go on a hike, read a book, or spend time with friends sans Instagram posting. No matter how you choose to spend your tech-free time, put down your phone, close your laptop, and turn off the TV to enjoy the screen-free time. If you want more of a challenge, consider going on a social media break for an entire week or limiting social media to one half-hour block a day.

    8. Walk everywhere
    “Fitness” doesn’t have to mean intense, exhausting, hour-long workouts. Instead, it just means simply moving as much as possible and living less sedentarily. True self-care is not about pushing yourself to the limit or reaching exhaustion but rather about just doing more of what you know makes your body feel good. One of the best parts of summer is that walking everywhere is not only possible, but it’s also pleasant. Cue up your favorite summer playlist or a new podcast episode and vow to walk everywhere (at least) within a one-mile radius (bonus: it’s better for the planet). For farther destinations, get creative about your transportation. For example, walk to the farther train stop to get in some extra steps or try bike riding for a quicker method that’s still active. 

    9. Grow your own produce
    Even if you don’t think your thumb is green, the summer season is the ideal time to start growing herbs or vegetables (you can do it, I promise). Let’s talk about why: Growing produce is healthier for you, better for the Earth, and easier on your wallet, and it just feels empowering to be able to whip up a pesto with basil from a pot outside. If you have a yard and the space, start with basics like tomatoes and lettuce (easy-to-grow summer produce). If you’re in an apartment or don’t have space outdoors, grow fresh herbs on a windowsill or with a smart garden.
     
    10. Remember that social health is self-care
    Community care is not only one of the top wellness trends of the past couple years, but it’s also a crucial part of self-care that we often overlook. I’ve been there: the temptation to skip beach days with friends because you’re feeling insecure or getting stressed about dinner plans because every item on the menu will make you bloated. But having strong relationships (and enjoying them regularly) is not only something we want but also something we need. Instead, remember that laughing with friends is truly better for your health than a green juice, and happy memories affect you way longer than a salty margarita ever could. Yes, you can always take care of your body, but this summer, prioritize taking care of your relationships too.

    How to Change Your Beauty Routine for Summer
    According to our beauty editor More

  • in

    5 Things To Do Now To Have a Hot Girl Summer

    It’s finally time for Megan Thee Stallion’s favorite time of year: hot girl summer. Our Instagrams and TikToks are filled with influencers lounging on pool floats in trendy bikinis, posing in front of the Coachella Ferris wheel, and sipping cocktails on beach vacations. And while I love summer as much as the next girl, I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced a true “hot girl summer” because I’ve never been fully confident or lived the hottest season of the year to the fullest. This year, I’m prepping now to make sure I have my happiest, most confident, and fullest summer ever. 
    BTW, that’s what hot girl summer is all about: being your happiest self and making the most out of the season in a way that’s meaningful to you—not about fitting into a certain bathing suit size or looking a certain way in your denim shorts. To quote the Hot Girl Queen herself, “Being a hot girl is about being unapologetically you, having fun, being confident, living your truth, being the life of the party, etc.” So whatever hot girl summer means to you, read on for five easy tips to start manifesting it now.

    Feel confident in your bikini body
    Summertime can bring up a lot of emotions when it comes to preparing for bathing suit season, but let’s get one thing straight: Every body is a bikini body (say it again for the people in the back!). So whether you’re into trendy suits or more classic options, focus on wearing what you like and makes you feel good. After all, confidence stems from owning your body and loving yourself just the way you are, and that’s the kind of energy we’re taking into the summer months. That being said, I know it can be tricky to find the right bathing suit, but luckily, there are brands creating swimwear for a variety of body types to help you feel like the hot girl you already are. 

    Practice safe sun exposure
    At the risk of sounding like a mom, don’t forget your SPF. It’s one of the most (if not the most) important skincare considerations year-round but especially when we’re spending more time outdoors in the summer. Aim for at least SPF 15 on an everyday basis and at least SPF 30 if you’re planning to go outside. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, and then reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. For more info on the best protocol to protect your skin, talk to your dermatologist. It might seem tempting to forego sun protection to achieve that bronzed glow many of us are after this time of year, but you can always faux a glow (more on that below), and your future self will thank you for taking care of your skin now.

    Give yourself a glow-up
    With the weather heating up, it’s time for shorts, dresses, and swimsuits. Bottom line: You’ll be showing off more skin, so why not give yourself some hot girl self-care beforehand? Kick things off by exfoliating with a body polish to slough off dry, winter skin (this also helps prep skin for hair removal if smooth legs and a hair-free bikini line are a part of your hot girl routine or reduces the risk of in-grown hairs and course hair if shaving isn’t), and apply a self-tanner or a brightening lotion for that summer glow. The goal is to pamper yourself in whatever ways you enjoy so you can look and feel your best from the inside out. 

    Take time off
    If you’re looking for a sign to use your PTO, this is it. Summer is usually when families and couples take trips, but don’t be afraid to plan your own hot girl summer vacation with friends or even solo. Research shows that taking time off can help us feel more mindful and present, improve heart health and sleep, and reduce stress levels. Bonus if you’re vacationing solo: Spending time alone can help you take time to reflect and reconnect with yourself, improve your sense of self-confidence and empowerment, and allow you to enjoy your freedom to spend your vacay exactly how you want. Whether you can get away for a long weekend, take a whole week off, or plan a staycation on your off day, plan your own mini vacay with whatever budget and time work with you. Alexa, play Work Hard, Play Hard.

    Update your fitness routine
    Hot girl summer is the perfect time to reevaluate your workout routine and revamp what feels boring, stale, or exhausting. Thanks to more energy due to extra sunlight and more options due to the nice weather, you can revamp your exercise routine to whatever workouts make you feel most empowered. Whether it’s a power yoga flow in the sunlight to tap into your inner goddess, a pole dancing class to unleash your sexy side, or a classic hot girl walk (a go-to, if you will), get rid of any part of your fitness routine that feels habitual or draining, and opt for workouts that make you feel connected to your body, sensuality, and confidence.

    Want To Be As Confident as Rihanna?
    Here Are Her Best Tips More

  • in

    6 Easy Ways to Fight the Midday Slump

    I’ve loved working from home for many reasons: my two fluffy coworkers (my pets), comfy clothes, access to a full kitchen with all my favorite snacks, and no commute. But my favorite part about working from home was being able to take a quick snooze when the dreaded midday slump hit every day. Even if it was just 20 minutes, it made such a huge difference to help get me through the rest of the day. 
    Now that I’m back in the office, I miss this WFH perk the most (aside from snuggling with my cats all day), and I find myself heavily relying on a third or fourth cup of coffee each afternoon to keep me going. But there are some days when even coffee isn’t enough to wake me up, so I’ve been trying out other natural ways to help fight that 3 p.m. energy slump. If you also find yourself in need of a midday pick-me-up, read on for the six methods I’ve been using to feel energized in the afternoon. Just an FYI: These tips are meant to ease the occasional lack of energy or fatigue that comes in the afternoon from time to time, but if you’re experiencing extreme fatigue on an ongoing basis, you should consult your doctor. 

    1. Get moving
    Thanks to Legally Blonde, we all know that “exercise gives you endorphins” and “endorphins make you happy.” According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the release of endorphins due to exercise can create activity in the brain that can help keep you awake. Plus, exercise raises your body’s core temperature, which signals to the body’s clock that it’s supposed to be awake. While you may not be able to lift weights or complete a full HIIT workout in your cubicle, there are a few ways you can incorporate exercise into your workday. Try practicing a quick yoga flow, pedaling on an under-desk elliptical, or even just taking a walk around the office. No matter what, get up and move however you can to wake up the body and get more energy. 

    2. Drink water
    Dehydration can cause all sorts of issues: headaches, bad breath, and–you guessed it– fatigue. According to Healthline, not drinking enough water can cause fatigue because dehydration leads to less blood flow to your brain, causing drowsiness. Some studies have shown that even mild dehydration can negatively affect mood. Stay consistently hydrated all day every day, but if you find yourself hitting an afternoon slump, try reaching for a glass of water to increase hydration levels rather than a cup of coffee. If you struggle with your daily water intake (guilty), try infusing your water with fruit, using a 64-ounce water jug, or having a glass of water with every meal. 

    3. Get outside 
    Daily lunchtime walks were another benefit of working from home, and I loved them so much that I’ve actually incorporated them into my in-office routine too. Aside from being a nice change of scenery from my desk, Business Insider reported that spending time outside can help you beat the feelings of fatigue and increase serotonin levels thanks to vitamin D. Spending time in nature has also been shown to help with concentration and problem solving, which we could all use more of in a workday. If you’re in the city, try taking a walk around the block or eating your lunch outside to get some fresh air and soak up the sun.    

    4. Have a snack
    …but not just any snack. If you’ve ever experienced an energy crash after a sugary treat, you know that not all foods are created equal. Reach for complex carbs like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and beans paired with proteins like cheese, nuts, or hard-boiled eggs. These nutritious snacks will keep you fuller for longer for sustained energy, meaning they’ll refuel your body for the rest of your workday. 

    5. Try aromatherapy 
    When I think of aromatherapy, I typically think of using calming scents like vanilla or lavender to unwind from a long day, but they can have invigorating properties too. According to Healthline, peppermint oil is known to increase alertness, rosemary can help with focus and brain functioning, and citrus oil (specifically lemon, lime, and wild orange) can improve mood. Other energizing oils include bergamot, cinnamon, eucalyptus, frankincense, French basil, ginger root, juniper berry, lemongrass, pine, and thyme. Take advantage of these invigorating oils by setting up a small diffuser in your office or rolling them on your wrists whenever you feel your energy begin to fade. 

    6. Start something new
    My afternoon slumps are the worst when I’ve been working on the same task for too long. Taking a break from your current task—especially if you’re working on the computer—can help prevent eye strain and refocus your mind on a new task. I personally like to check in with my coworkers, write a to-do list, or make a phone call to help switch gears and stimulate my mind by changing the way I’m using my brain. Harvard Business Review suggested tackling your more in-depth or decision-making tasks when you have the most energy and saving simpler tasks like cleaning out your inbox for later in the day when you’re feeling more tired.

    Lacking Energy These Days? Us Too
    Here Are 5 Ways To Boost Your Energy More