More stories

  • in

    8 Wellness Rituals You Can Do From Bed

    We’re officially in the “let’s stay in” season, and I can’t think of a better excuse to cancel your plans and refresh your wellness routine. But there’s no need to dust off your yoga mat or even leave your warm, cozy bed. Yes, you read that right—it turns out your bed is not just for sleeping (and nookie). Because getting out of bed in the morning is that much harder nowadays thanks to less sunlight and colder temps, we’ve rounded up wellness rituals you can do from the comfort of your own bed. The goal? Getting your mind and body right so you’re waking up (or going to sleep) on the right side of the bed. Consider this permission to hit snooze and not crawl out from under your covers. And PJs encouraged. 

    1. Get it on 
    You don’t need a reason to give yourself pleasure (it’s always your right!), but a stay-in-bed-all-day kind of day especially calls for getting sexy, whether it’s a two-to-tango or solo session. Take the time to explore your sensual side, discover the positions that will deliver the most satisfaction for you, put your vibrator to good use, or better yet, do all of the above. After all, you have all day, and there’s no denying that the end result is more than just the big “O.” Sex releases those feel-good hormones (AKA endorphins and oxytocin) that can help us relax and unwind, not to mention reduce stress and anxiety, boost immunity, and get better Zzzs. Talk about getting the most bang for your buck. 

    2. Catch up on shut-eye
    Sleep may be the obvious activity to do in bed, but if your body is telling you to rest, don’t deny yourself beauty sleep. The best part? You’re already in your coziest sleepwear and your bedroom is likely at the optimal temperature for Zzzs (65°F-72°F, FYI), making it the ideal scenario to catch up on sleep. While taking a cat nap doesn’t make up for lost sleep, it can help you feel more rested during the day. And if you’re falling short on your sleep hygiene, squeezing in an extra few hours here and there can reverse the short-term damage on your well-being (think: poor decision-making, lack of energy, mood changes). Avoid dozing off close to bedtime since it can disrupt your sleep at night and, instead, shoot for an afternoon snooze no longer than 90 minutes.  
    3. Practice breathwork 
    Have you ever noticed yourself holding your breath while waiting for your inbox to refresh or going through the comments of your last post? With our constant state of being on high alert thanks to to-do lists, work emails, and social media, we’re inadvertently holding our breath more than we realize, further increasing stress. Enter: breathwork, or conscious breathing exercises to evoke calmness in your mind and body. Not only reserved for yoga or meditation, breathwork is linked to many health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety levels, increasing confidence, self-image, and self-esteem, boosting immunity, and developing joy and happiness.
    So how do you get a piece of the action? There are several breathwork techniques you can try, so experiment with which vibes with you the most. My go-to is the 4-7-8 method anytime I feel anxious: Empty your lungs of air, breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale out of your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat another three times for a total of four cycles. 

    4. Schedule worry time
    Let’s be real: No one is immune to worry, and although there’s no escaping it entirely, we can learn to do it effectively. It may seem counterintuitive to pencil in time to brood over what went wrong in that past relationship or how you’re going to be able to afford to buy your first home, but the idea is to limit the amount of time you spend ruminating, rather than letting it take over your entire day.
    Start with setting a timer for 15 minutes each day to pinpoint and work through the worries bogging you down, whether that means just sitting with them or journaling, and keep it consistent day after day. When you catch yourself fretting outside of your designated time, put your worries on hold until the appointed hour comes around again. Not convinced? Several studies have found that scheduling time to worry is an effective way to reduce anxiety and get better sleep. Bonus: You’re more likely to find solutions to your worrisome thoughts and have more time in the day to do things that bring you joy.

    5. Stretch it out
    Getting in movement while staying in bed may sound too good to be true, but all you need is a few stretches to fill your wellness cup before you’ve even had your coffee. Stretching prior to getting up can do wonders for your health. For starters, it can help wake up the body, improve circulation, and turn on the parasympathetic system (AKA the “rest and digest” system), which puts us in a more easy-breezy state-of-mind and sets the tone for a calm morning and day ahead. Try a series of movements like the single-knee pull, side-lying quadriceps stretch, and hamstring stretch, or channel your inner yogi with some basic poses, such as cobra and child’s pose. 

    6. Pamper yourself
    Multi-tasking in the form of putting on a face and hair mask, wrapping yourself in a weighted blanket, diffusing essential oils, all the while meditating is absolutely welcomed. In other words, pile on the self-care that speaks to, nourishes, and fulfills what your body is telling you it needs. Not only does taking care of yourself equip you to better cope with daily stressors, but research also suggests it promotes resilience, reduced stress, improved immunity, increased productivity, and higher self-esteem. Your new glow-up is just an added perk. 

    7. Visualize your highest self
    What better place is there to daydream about your goals than your bed? A study showed that “imagination is a neurological reality that can impact our brains and bodies in ways that matter for our well-being.” Simply put, what your brain imagines is a lot like reality, so go ahead and visualize your deepest desires into fruition. The power of visualization extends beyond imagining your future and realizing your hopes and dreams—it also helps decrease stress. Where do you see yourself in five years? Picture what you’re doing, where you are, who you’re with down to the micro-details and using all of your senses. To take it a step further, you can create your future self through guided meditation, saying or writing daily affirmations, or creating a vision board. 

    8. Just be
    There’s always something to get done, whether it be work, shopping for groceries, cleaning, laundry. How often do you just sit or lie in stillness? I don’t know about you, but there are countless mornings when I wish I could stay in bed all day and do absolutely nothing. Take this as your sign to do it (I am!). Maybe that looks like turning down the lights and spending time in silence or cueing up a soothing playlist and closing your eyes. If that’s a bit too quiet for you to relax and quiet your mind (same), try playing a mindless TV show on the background (looking at you, Love is Blind) while you read a magazine and sip on a homemade PSL. Bottom line: Being still soothes your nervous system, offers you the space to go inward, and cultivates mindfulness. 

    The Wellness Habit You Need To Start Before 2022 Ends, According to Your Zodiac More

  • in

    I Can’t Stop Talking About Anne Hathaway’s Glow—This Is How She Gets It

    There’s something voyeuristically satisfying about separating fact from Hollywood wellness fiction. And there’s nothing more fun than diving deep into the health trend du jour. But in a world where celebs swear by cold plunges, celery juice, and colonics, it’s refreshing to see a star reap the benefits of a simple wellness routine. Of course, I’m talking about Anne Hathaway. Yes, in always-relevant news, Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi, Princess of Genovia gets glowier year after year—and still manages to resemble her 2006 self in look-alike Devil Wears Prada outfits. 
    Thanks to a particularly revealing interview with her trainer, Don Saladino, and the hints she’s dropped about how she seems to age in reverse, I walked away from my research with a clearer understanding of the not-so-magical magic of Hathaway’s look. Keep reading to learn how Hathaway has managed to fall in love with fitness, keep her energy high, and embrace an easygoing approach to  feeling and looking her best.

    1. She makes SPF non-negotiable
    Given our youth-obsessed culture, I’m not interested in perpetuating an anti-aging narrative for the sake of aesthetics alone (even Taylor Swift would rather we ditch the double-standard allure of the “sexy baby”). Hathaway voiced similar feelings in an interview with The Sun. In it, she spoke more at length about her commitment to keeping the sun’s harmful rays at bay. She also cited her grandmother’s battle with skin cancer as motivation to apply (and reapply) the SPF. And given Hathaway’s Irish and French ancestry, her mother always emphasized the importance of protecting her lighter complexion. In a 2019 Allure profile, she called Actinica’s SUN Protection Anti-Aging & Non-Melanoma Lotion her go-to. Bonus: Reviewers call it “very moisturizing” and are obsessed with their resulting dewy glow.
    But Hathaway doesn’t stop there. While the products we apply topically are a key component of skin health, she takes it a step further with an old school, yet effective approach: the humble umbrella. Especially on sunny days, you can find her hiding beneath the shade. While you might be tempted to skip over this admittedly cumbersome trick of the trade, know that umbrellas can block a significant percentage of ultraviolet light—at least 90 percent of rays if you opt for black. 

    2. She stays hydrated
    Hathaway swears perpetual glow is more often the result of easy, accessible habits than sexy treatments and trends (though she is partial to the occasional $450 ‘red carpet facial’ from celebrity facialist Tracie Martyn). Like her commitment to sunscreen, she’s a hydration enthusiast. Along with the many benefits of staying hydrated we all know well—promotes healthy digestion, boosts energy, and protects our joints—drinking enough water help maintain a healthy complexion. 
    Though I find most buzzy wellness practices that tout detoxifying capabilities admittedly suspect, water will always be a solid healthy habit to lean on. While positioning regular hydration as a miracle cure is an overblown claim, research does show that severe dehydration can cause skin to lose its elasticity.

    3. She expresses herself authentically
    Trends come and go, but authenticity is forever (and, unfortunately, hard to come by). Hathaway knows this well and applies it not only to how she carries herself but also to her style and self-expression. According to TheThings Celebrity, when it comes to makeup, she emphasizes sticking with a tried-and-true moisturizer and applying it twice a day. As for her eyes—one of the key features she highlights in almost every look—she makes eyeliner the mainstay of her daily look. And when it comes to mascara, Hathaway opts for a lash-thickening pick—Lancôme Hypnôse Volumizing Mascara is her fave.
    However, you can use all the best products and practice all the wellness rituals, but they’ll only go so far without a healthy, loving relationship with yourself. Hathaway is adamant about promoting self-compassion and kindness, and it’s one of the many reasons she’s our collective celeb crush. When she spoke about cyberbullying on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Hathaway shared a quote that stuck with me for years: “If you don’t love yourself when someone says horrible things to you, part of you is always going to believe them.” BRB, adding that to my 2023 vision board immediately. Her words are proof that getting a healthy glow is a multifaceted effort. True beauty is the result of working on yourself from the inside out. 

    4. She puts her mental health first
    In an interview with The Chalkboard Mag, Hathaway’s trainer Don Saladino shared his philosophy behind an effective fitness routine. While you might jump to the conclusion that someone who’s trained the likes of Blake Lively, Emily Blunt, and Scarlett Johansson would favor a “no pain, no gain” approach, Saladino instead focuses on building resilience by promoting a positive mindset. When discussing how he helped Hathaway prepare for her role in WeCrashed (the miniseries tracking WeWork’s rise and fall), Saladino emphasized the importance of taking mental and emotional inventory to get a clearer understanding of how you’re showing up to your workout. Bottom line: He helps Hathaway find joy in every workout. 
    Strength training is at the core of their sessions together, and before you write it off in favor of cardio-heavy workouts, let’s review the benefits. Strength training not only tones the body, improves mobility, and boosts metabolic rate, but it can also build confidence and be an empowering way to help you take up space. If you’re looking to recreate the seeming ease and joy that Hathaway steps into every day with, 2023 might need to be the year you make strength conditioning your thing (oh, and it doesn’t hurt to find your power color either).

    5. She focuses on feeling good
    With the prevalence of Instagram and TikTok pointing to our society’s ever-growing obsession with appearance, it’s no surprise we fixate on the end goal. But when it comes to developing Hathaway’s workouts, Saladino wants to make one thing clear: For anything to be effective, you have to pay attention to the process. Rather than prioritizing weight loss or designing a results-oriented routine, Saladino is all about functional fitness. In other words, he wants the work he does with Hathaway to help her feel better in her day-to-day life. “My goal is for a client to leave after 45 minutes feeling better. Maintaining what I call ‘mood quality’ is of the utmost importance,” he told The Chalkboard Mag. That’s right, when it comes to committing to a workout routine or any wellness habit for that matter, self-compassion is key.

    Lili Reinhart Shared Powerful Tips for Managing Anxiety More

  • in

    The Wellness Habit You Need To Start Before 2022 Ends, According to Your Zodiac

    It’s no secret that taking time to practice self-care is crucial for your overall health. But with a plethora of wellness rituals out there, how do you know exactly which one will help you feel your best? It turns out the answer is written in the stars. Turning to your sun sign can provide some guidance on the best way for you to recharge, relax, and renew through the rest of this year and into the next. Keep scrolling to learn the wellness habits to start before 2022 ends, according to your zodiac sign.

    Aries: Get out in nature

    Although getting in movement is an absolute-must for an Aries, it can be easy to put exercise on the back burner when you’re exhausted or it’s freezing outside. But even during the coldest months, there are numerous health benefits to getting out in nature—even if it’s for a brief period of time—so make it a priority to get outside more. This can be done through hot girl walks, hiking, or even a quick walk to your mailbox. You may need to bundle up, but implementing movement into your routine and breathing in fresh air regularly will leave you feeling rejuvenated and calm.
    Taurus: DIY spa treatments

    As a Taurus, you love the finer things in life. Carving out time to pamper yourself is guaranteed to soothe you, and what better way is there to cater to your indulgent side than with some DIY spa treatments? This can be anything from face masks and mani-pedis to body scrubs and everything in-between. If you really want to create a relaxing atmosphere, light some candles, play some ambient music, and wrap yourself up in a plush robe with a glass of rosé in hand.

    Gemini: Practice gratitude

    As a Gemini, your spontaneous nature and insatiable curiosity make it so you’re always on-the-go and onto the next goal or project. This makes it easy for you to forget and appreciate all that you already do have, which is why taking the time to practice gratitude can be so beneficial. No matter how you do it—whether you think of three things you’re thankful for when you wake up in the morning or write in a gratitude journal—practicing gratitude will help you slow down and be more present. And when you’re present, you can fully soak up everything the world has to offer.

    Cancer: Take baths

    Of all the signs, Cancers are the most caring. However, as natural empaths, they often feel drained, so taking the time to recharge and renew is crucial. Since Cancers are ruled by the element of water, taking baths can be incredibly restorative. Water has long been associated with cleansing your mind, body, and soul, so get intentional with your bath routine and add crystals, flowers, dried herbs, or Epsom salts for added benefits.
    Leo: Call loved ones

    As much as Leos love the spotlight, they also love connecting with others, and research has found that social connection helps improve physical health and overall wellbeing. Chatting with your loved ones over FaceTime or Zoom will help nourish and strengthen the bonds you share with your loved ones; you’ll stay updated on what’s going on in their lives and vice versa. To cater to the part of you that feels an inherent need to shine, swipe on your favorite lipstick ahead of time or throw on a new outfit to show off for the camera.
    Virgo: Meditate

    Virgos tend to be extremely meticulous, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Sure, it’s good to be organized, but planning everything down to the last minute can be stressful and exhausting. So before the year comes to an end, set a goal for yourself to meditate once a day, even if it’s just for two minutes. Meditation will help you relinquish some of that control you’re always trying to hold on to, clear your mind so you can make better decisions, and make you feel more grounded and calm.
    Libra: Stretch

    As a Libra, maintaining balance in all areas of your life is a necessity, and stretching regularly or in place of exercise occasionally can help ensure everything in your body is working in harmony. The tighter you are, the more prone you become to injury and the more tension you inevitably carry around with you. Additionally, stretching has been shown to increase serotonin levels and decrease stress. There are so many stretches out there that go beyond the basics, but for starters, check out these stretches that are good for digestion, these stretches that help anxiety, or these stretches that can help you orgasm for an added bonus. 
    Scorpio: Journal

    Scorpios may have a mysterious aura, but they’re in tune with their emotions and often experience emotional extremes deep down. The best way to release those deep-rooted feelings? Journaling. Not only will journaling prevent negative or bitter feelings from building up, but it will also help you work through and analyze any tricky or uncomfortable emotions you’re currently experiencing. In turn, you’ll see things more clearly, which will help keep you from becoming cynical and suspicious of everyone you meet.
    Sagittarius: Cook new recipes

    Being born under a Sagittarius Sun means being born with wanderlust in your blood, so it’s not surprising that people with this sign in their astrology birth chart are often prone to feelings of restlessness and boredom. Although traveling is the best way to satisfy this craving for exploration, making new recipes is the next best thing. Get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different cuisines and recipes from all around the world. You’ll learn more about other cultures, expand your cooking skills, and have the opportunity to incorporate healthier foods into your diet.
    Capricorn: Drink a gallon of water per day

    Capricorns are all about practicality, and drinking plenty of water is one of the easiest and most practical wellness practices you can incorporate into your daily life. Not only does a gallon a day keep the wrinkles at bay, it also makes your body feel better. Staying hydrated helps alleviate aches and pains, improves circulation, and acts as a natural detoxer. The easiest way to ensure you’re drinking enough water is to carry around a large water bottle with you at all times. And if you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding in slices of lemon, orange, lime, or cucumber.
    Aquarius: Practice Yoga

    The entire goal of yoga is to bring the mind and body together, which can be especially helpful for Aquariuses. As an air sign, you’re naturally rational and idealistic, but this logical POV makes it easy to become detached. Practicing yoga can help you get in touch with your emotions, which can teach you how to deal with them—no matter how uncomfortable they may be. Once your mind, body, and heart are working in tandem, you’ll feel more balanced and better than ever.
    Pisces: Work with crystals

    As the dreamer of the zodiac, you have an uncanny ability to reach beyond what is tangible and experience things others cannot, which is exactly why you should work with healing crystals. There are numerous crystals recommended for those born under a Pisces Sun, but two of the most popular are amethyst and aquamarine because they’re the two birthstones associated with this sign. Amethyst is associated with the crown and third eye chakras and can help anyone struggling with the need to escape by releasing a calming vibrational energy and promote better sleep by placing it underneath your pillow. Likewise, aquamarine is associated with the throat chakra and courage, so wearing it around your neck can help empower you to try new things and communicate effectively. Be sure to do your research so you can find the crystal that works best for you.

    Your Zodiac Sign Might Be the Secret to Feeling More Confident and Happy—Here’s How To Tap In More

  • in

    What Our Wellness Editor Is Buying on Cyber Monday for Her 2023 Self

    All year long, we talk about making investments for your health: make a smoothie, sign up for the workout, take 30 minutes for a meditation routine. But today, we have the chance to make investments in our health at a fraction of the price. I love a good Cyber Monday sale as much as the next girl, and while I can’t say no to a new pair of boots or pretty home decor, I get especially stoked for the wellness sales. I think of it as investing my money in my health instead of spending it on products or items I’ll never use. And this year, the sales are good.
    Yes, this is me officially encouraging you to take a pause from buying gifts for other people and to buy some gifts for yourself. Except these will be the gifts that keep on giving because the excitement doesn’t stop when you receive them in the mail: these items will actually help you become happier, healthier, more energized, and all around better. 2023 you will thank you. Read on for the wellness essentials that earned their place in my cart, and that can help you achieve all your greatest health goals–at a major discount.

    In this article

    Athleisure wear and gadgets that will make you want to work out

    Supplements that will make you feel your best

    Kitchen updates that will inspire you to eat healthier

    Self-care products to treat yourself 

    Our Wellness Editor’s Go-To Supplements for Every Health Goal or Symptom More

  • in

    10 Habits Women Who Are Always in Shape Adopt During the Holidays

    I think we’d all agree that staying in shape January through October is one thing, but come Thanksgiving, keeping it up through the rest of the calendar year is a whole new ballgame. With holiday celebrations penciled in every weekend, treats everywhere you turn, and year-end deadlines to meet, this season can make anyone feel like throwing in the towel to maintain any semblance of a healthy routine. While it may take more intention and motivation to stay healthy during the holidays, women who are always fit have the best-kept secret: keeping up simple habits to lean into joy and keep the stress at bay. 
    PSA: Being “in shape” doesn’t mean looking a certain way or weighing in at a defined number on the scale. Rather, it means being your highest, best, healthiest self—however that looks or feels for you. With that in mind, let’s dive into the 10 habits that women who are always in shape adopt during the holidays. 

    1. They shift their focus
    Truth: It’s easy to get wrapped up in the holiday sales frenzy (looking at you, Black Friday), a schedule overbooked with social obligations, and checking off everyone on your list. But women who are always in shape don’t get sidetracked by alluring emails, parties overflowing with food and drinks, and the commercialization of the season—they focus on fostering connections and making memories to nourish and care for their bodies. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you, prioritize activities that bring you joy, and hygge-fy your home (give me all the cozy blankets!). Your body will reap the benefits. 

    2. They don’t have “good foods” and “bad foods” in their vocabulary
    If women who are always in shape stand by one thing, it’s that a healthy approach to wellness is not all or nothing, especially when it comes to food. It’s not polishing off an entire pumpkin pie or passing on every dessert that’s calling your name. Instead of swearing off sweets because they’ve been scorned with the scarlet letter “B” (for bad), healthy women know that they can have their cake and feel good about themselves, too. They enjoy every bite on their plate and don’t sweat the sugar high while still tuning into their hunger cues, which can prevent binging everything in sight later on. Oh, and their other holiday hack? Noshing on some protein and healthy fats before that Christmas soirée where you know your cookie habit will likely present itself.     

    3. They sip smarter 
    What’s this festive season without some holiday cheer in the form of libations? In-shape women know that healthy drinking during the holidays doesn’t imply having to go cold turkey and cutting out alcohol all together (but that’s OK, too!). Instead, it means knowing what your personal limits are and practicing mindful drinking. If you’re a one-and-done kinda gal and call it a night after knocking back one glass of mulled wine (same), cheers to that! And when the healthiest women enjoy a cocktail or two (or three) at the office holiday party, they have a few tricks up their sleeves: They eat a protein-rich meal or snack beforehand, opt for a healthier option (no sugary cocktail mixer), double-fist it with water, curb their alcohol intake 3-4 hours before bed, and keep supplements like vitamin B complex and activated charcoal on hand. 

    4. They don’t go on detoxes 
    PSA: Despite what diet culture has ingrained in us, you don’t have to go on a juice cleanse to make up for your holiday indulgences. Health-conscious women skip the associated shame and regret that often comes with overeating and don’t feel the need to “get back on track” the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas with calorie counting, restrictive diets, and intense workouts. The body detoxifies itself on its own, with the liver doing a lot of the heavy lifting to rid the body of substances it sees as waste or harmful. So let your body do its job, and focus on intuitive eating, stretching or engaging in light exercise, staying hydrated with water, loading up on veggies, and taking self-care up a notch. 

    5. They cook more meals at home
    Consider whipping up healthy, home-cooked meals a healthy woman’s love language and healthifying traditional holiday recipes without sacrificing flavor her repertoire. Preparing meals yourself not only equals control over what goes into them (read: more fresh, whole foods), but also more savings in your bank account (talk about a win-win). Bonus tip: Add in in-season produce like root vegetables (think: sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash) packed with micronutrients and dietary fiber to your dishes to help regulate your digestion and stay fuller longer. Need some inspo? Look no further than these plant-based holiday recipes. Even your most discerning relative will be going back for seconds, and they’ll still be none the wiser. 

    6. They adapt their workouts
    The weather outside is frightful, but that doesn’t mean your exercise routine can’t be delightful. The healthiest women change up their sweat sessions according to the seasonal changes and how their bodies feel. During the summer months, pounding the pavement or HIIT classes may have been what your body craved, but it should come as no surprise if your body is now telling you to slow it down with Pilates or yoga. What’s more, rather than seeing exercising as a chore or punishment for the one-too-many cookies they ate while baking the night before, the healthiest women keep the mindset that they have the privilege to work out and do it out of enjoyment.

    7. They get 7-9 hours of quality sleep–every night
    With Hallmark Christmas movies running on repeat and The Great British Baking Show: Holidays premiering on Netflix, it takes a certain kind of self-control to refrain from staying up until the wee hours of the night, especially when you don’t have to wake up early for work. But not getting enough optimal shut-eye often leads to a host of consequences, including lack of energy, anxiety, and poor decision-making, not to mention consuming more foods that are high in sugar and trans fat. Bottom line: Save the Fa-La-La-La-La streaming for the daytime and limit screen time at night. Rest, restore, and repeat. The result? Improved mood, strengthened immune system, stress relief, and maintaining a healthy weight. 

    8. They get in movement throughout the day 
    Whether its their active work break or dog-walking route, women who are always in shape make it a point to get some extra steps in because they know that walking can do wonders for their physical and mental health (but they don’t obsess over the number of steps they hit in a day!). Aside from improving cardiovascular fitness and helping sustain a healthy weight, regular walking can improve your mood, cognition, and sleep. Take the stairs whenever possible, park your car farther away when hitting the grocery store or mall for that essential recipe ingredient or last-minute gift, take the longer hiking path, put your desk treadmill to good use, and give your abode the Home Edit touch (guest-ready never looked better). 

    9. They get in tune with their feelings  
    The so-called “most wonderful time of the year” can also be met with holiday blues, leaving you with anything but holiday spirit. When the healthiest women are facing loss, family stress, a recent breakup, or not going home for the holidays, they make space for their feelings around it, tune out the noise around them, and go inward. Whether that looks like breathwork, putting pen to paper, meditation, or saying affirmations, they hit pause, take a moment for themselves, and pay attention to what thoughts may be ruminating and any sensations they’re feeling sans judgement. The takeaway? Seek mindfulness, and feel all your feelings, be kind to yourself, let go of expectations of what the holidays should look like, and just breathe. Holiday stress, be gone!  

    10. They don’t limit themselves to traditions 
    Over the years, you and your loved ones probably developed traditions around holiday occasions—from grandma’s to-die-for sweet potato casserole to competing for the family trophy in a game of touch football. But women who are always in shape like to shake things up and keep life interesting. After all, people who engage in a variety of experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions than those who stick to the same. Who says you can’t substitute the turkey for an Italian sausage lasagna or a vegetarian shepherd’s pie and deck the halls over a few days instead of all at once as soon as the post-Thanksgiving food coma subsides? Consider exploring new ways to observe the holidays, like rounding up your friends for a turkey trot, volunteering at your local food bank, fostering a dog in need of a home, or creating a vision board. One tradition always worth keeping around? Counting your blessings. 

    10 Insanely Easy Habits You Can Do To Be Happier This Time of Year More

  • in

    Everyone’s Talking About Going “Sober Curious”–Here’s What That Means

    Between Bella Hadid’s Kin Euphorics and Katy Perry’s De Soi, non-alcoholic spirits, wines, and sips are all the rage right now. Why? Influencers, celebrities, and wellness gurus alike are speaking up about opting for an alcohol-free lifestyle. This time of year, you may be questioning your alcohol intake especially as every event of the season is centered around a drink: there’s the wine at Thanksgiving, cocktails at the office holiday party, and boozy spins on our otherwise G-rated hot chocolate or apple cider. And though we may have once felt a pressure to partake in it all, the last few years have seen the sober curious movement shifting the narrative. So, is sober curiosity for you? Let’s investigate. 

    In this article

    What is sober curiosity?
    Let’s start with a very clear delineation of what sober curiosity is not: Sober curiosity is not the same as sobriety. Sobriety is going totally alcohol-free, and can be a result of alcoholism, alcohol abuse, or alcohol use disorder. Sober curiosity, on the other hand, involves a choice to drink less or limit altogether for physical or mental benefits. It’s important to emphasize that leading a sober curious lifestyle is voluntary and not the result of a diagnosed condition. Individuals who are “sober curious” may notice that they’ve been drinking more than they’d like or that drinking no longer serves them and decide to question or change their drinking habits for health-focused reasons. Sober curiosity can mean questioning your relationship to alcohol (experimenting with what it feels like to not drink, and why), drinking less alcohol, or living alcohol-free altogether. 

    Why is sober curiosity trending?
    I’m not sure what your social feeds look like, but as someone well-versed in the wellness world, mine are filled with health-adjacent influencers reflecting on their own sober curious journeys. Whereas Sex and the City gave cosmos their moment, 20 years later, many of us would rather Netflix and chill than go out to a bar, non-alcoholic bevvie of choice in hand.
    But why now? 2020 saw many of us turning to alcohol to cope; Ina Garten breaking out the extra-large martini glasses broke the internet and virtual happy hours–however short-lived–seemed like the only way to socialize. With more time than ever spent at home, we also had the space to reflect on our habits, and question why we were so quick to pour a glass of wine when we needed to relax.
    In her popular book, Quit Like a Woman, Holly Whitaker outlines our obsession with drinking. And with sober curiosity’s rise in social prominence, her words have not only influenced the wellness world, but the larger mainstream culture. Anecdotally, I’ve come across Instagram posts sharing the harrowing reality that alcohol is the only drug making people think there’s something wrong with you for not taking it. Unfortunately, it’s true—in a world rife with “mommy juice” merch, vinyasa and vino events, and just about every celebrity founding a wine or spirit brand, alcohol is so prominent in our culture that it can feel weird if you’d rather opt out. So now more than ever, whether or not people are wellness-obsessed, they are most likely questioning their own relationship with their alcohol of choice.

    The benefits of limiting alcohol
    Given the prominence and dependence of alcohol in our culture, it’s easy to see why breaking up with alcohol—in the short- or long-term—presents a challenge. It’s a part of how we socialize, conduct business, and build connections. Thankfully, one of the key progress markers of the sober curious movement has been proving so we can lead fulfilled lives even if we choose not to drink. And with that comes a host of health benefits. According to WebMD, quitting alcohol may lead to benefits such as better sleep, improved immune response, and healthier weight. In addition, since alcohol can greatly affect mood, as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression (hanxiety is no joke!), you may also experience boosted mood and self-esteem.

    Where to find sober curiosity inspiration
    One of the beautiful things about our digital world? If you’re considering making a lifestyle change, there’s no shortage of inspiration to help you get started and to keep you motivated. Below are a few Instagram accounts and books that I’ve found supportive in navigating an alcohol-free lifestyle.


    Though she single-handedly spearheaded the vibrant, layered smoothie trend, Alison Wu has shifted her focus to include design, mindfulness, and sober curious content. She’s an inspiring example of what it looks like to embrace life’s ups and downs without seeking something outside of yourself to make the journey easier. Watch her reflect on her experience of living four months alcohol-free above.


    Olivia Noceda is the mocktail-making queen. All of her recipes are inspiring and aesthetically-approved, but her alcohol-free drinks steal the show. She develops creative recipes for no-ABV drinks, like Sweater Weather Mocktail, Citrus Sour, Pumpkin Spice Espresso Mocktini (my fave), and more. P.S. Be sure to tune into her stories where she speaks vulnerably about her journey cutting alcohol out of her life.

    Quit Like a Woman

    This book has been one of the most influential resources in my journey, and many readers would agree. Holly Whitaker outlines her own experience in recovery from an alcohol addiction and uses her reflections to critique alcohol’s ubiquity in our world today. She offers particular focus on how Big Alcohol preys on women, exploiting our insecurities, wants, and needs to make alcohol all the more appealing. If you’re looking for a sober curiosity handbook, this is a great place to start.

    Sober Curious

    Ruby Warrington’s book lays out the benefits of quitting alcohol in the sub-title, “The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol.” Sounds pretty great, right? Warrington points out the incongruity of our green juice rituals, yoga practices, and self-care routines that sit alongside our drinking habits. Through research, interviews, and reflections on her own personal experience, Warrington breaks down the myths that keep us drinking and paints us a picture of all the opportunities sober curiosity affords us.

    Ideas for sober-curious fun
    One of the biggest obstacles to starting a sober curious lifestyle is the belief that we can’t socialize without alcohol. It’s a powerful misconception in our culture that we can’t have fun with friends, go on a date, or get through a family dinner without a drink in hand. But a little creativity can help you get outside of your comfort zone and discover new ways to put yourself out there. Below are a few ideas to help you begin.
    Try a new workout class. When I stopped drinking as much, I found renewed motivation to practice movement. I joined a barre studio and started seeking out yoga classes in my city. Bonus: It’s a perfect way to make new friends too.
    Go for a walk. Long live hot girl walks! Take one on your own, invite a friend, or suggest a little exploration-by-foot to your Hinge date. 
    Cozy up at a coffee shop. I’ve swapped many of my weekend outings and socializing for slow mornings, keeping my beverage-of-choice options to coffee instead of booze. And because there’s nothing better than posting up at a café with your favorite book or best friend, getting out of the house before 10 A.M. is a win-win.
    Join a sports league. Pickleball, kickball, volleyball—the list of amateur sports leagues to join is practically endless. Research what’s available in your city and get ready to play. Don’t worry, the purpose is to have fun, and I’ve made plenty of friends who can sympathize with my terrible serve.
    Start a new hobby. Whether it’s sewing, scrapbooking, reading, crafting, or the like, finding something you love to do is a great way to engage your creativity and connect with other like-minded people (I have no shame: Open-knit night at my local knitting store makes Thursdays my favorite day of the week).
    Invite a friend over for a baking and movie marathon. Sweets and rom-coms—is there a better combo?
    Try meditating: Building a mindfulness practice is a solid strategy for reducing the anxiety that can make us want to reach for a glass of wine. Stretch out on a yoga mat or simply sit on the couch for a relaxing meditation sesh.
    Reorganize a room: Whether it’s your closet, bedroom, or kitchen, there’s a healthy bit of satisfaction that comes with tackling a project from start-to-finish. Pop in a podcast to make it all the more fun.

    Here’s How Experts Say To Drink More Mindfully More

  • in

    50 Little Rituals That Will Keep You Happy, Healthy, and Inspired

    I’m happy to report that I am just now finding my way out of a weeks-long wellness rut. Following a cold, a root canal, and too much travel, I was feeling out-of-whack—and my mind and body were taking the brunt of it. Of course, our routines need a little shaking up every once in a while–when you start going through your rituals and routines mindlessly, you’re losing the most important part of any wellness practice: paying attention to your body. For some, that might look like finding a new fitness routine to keep your work stress at bay. For others, it might mean a non-negotiable daily date with your Headspace app to give your mind a little peace.
    The truth is we all need different rituals to help us stay well throughout all the many seasons of our lives. What works for one person might not work for you. And that’s OK—listening to and embracing your unique needs is the key to living in alignment and showing up each day as your highest self. So with that, check out these 50 rituals to start weaving into your routines today. Set reminders in your calendar or add them to your planner, and make a commitment to help yourself feel energized, inspired, and good.

    For feel-good fitness:
    1. Start your day with a 10-minute walk. Pop in a podcast or enjoy the morning quiet all to yourself.
    2. Build an intuitive stretching practice. Roll out your yoga mat, stretch, and shake out whatever parts of your body need a little love.
    3. Try swimming! It’s a great low-impact, aerobic exercise. And have I mentioned it’s fun?
    4. Join a tennis league. Continue the habit you started building in the summer. Most indoor tennis facilities offer weekly doubles leagues. Suit up and sign up!
    5. Book your workout classes at the beginning of the week and note them in your calendar.
    6. Practice a morning yoga flow. Pick postures from this list to support digestion or this one to reduce anxiety.
    7. Reflect on how you feel before and after you exercise. This can be written down in your journal, on your Notes app, or even just a mental inventory. Do you feel less stressed? More energized? Happier? Noting the changes in your state of being can help reaffirm the positive benefits of movement.

    For keeping a fresh perspective:
    8. Make your bed. You might roll your eyes, but there’s something to be said for the simple act of pulling your sheets back and fluffing up your pillows. It’s a small, simple accomplishment that sets a positive tone for the rest of your day.
    9. Write your morning pages. Popularized by The Artist’s Way, this exercise requires writing three pages of stream of consciousness writing first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to clear your mind of any anxieties and identify any potential stressors before you start your day.
    10. Exchange a list of gratitudes with a friend. At the beginning or end of each day, text a list of three things you’re grateful for.
    11. Read for 30 minutes at the end of your work day. Do you fall asleep when you read before bed? Don’t have enough time in the morning? This is the perfect sweet spot when you can be sure to take a break.
    12. Buy yourself flowers. Visit a farmer’s market or your local florist and pick up a bouquet to brighten your week.
    13. Fill a mason jar with your favorite quotes. Pull from it each morning and keep your quote nearby for inspiration.
    14. Prioritize focus work in the morning. Even if you’re not a morning person, you’ll be able to approach your projects feeling mentally fresh.
    15. Make a joy-boosting playlist. Embrace the high-vibe feeling when your favorite song comes on.
    16. Create a morning to-read list. Brainstorm a list of your favorite blogs and scroll through while sipping that first cup of coffee.
    17. Make busy work more inspiring! Cue up a few go-to podcasts to have at the ready.
    18. As the final part of your work day, write your to-do list for the next day. This will help you start your morning fresh and with a clear idea of what you need to accomplish.

    For decreasing stress levels:
    19. Download a meditation app and book a 5-10 minute slot in your calendar when you’re committed to only that.
    20. Take a few mindful breaths. While this is a wonderful way to start your morning, this ritual is accessible at any time of day. Download an app like Breathwrk where you can follow along with guided, science-backed exercises.
    21. Experience nature. However you most enjoy experiencing the outdoors—whether that’s a hike or simply sitting on a park bench—be sure you’re getting some quality time outside.
    22. Connect with your community. Make time to see or talk to your people regularly throughout the week.
    23. Set aside intentional no-screen time every day. Designate at least 30 minutes without any screens in sight.
    24. Love on your pet! You do this all the time, so why not set aside specific time to snuggle your favorite fur pal?
    25. Light a candle while tackling your inbox first-thing. It might actually make the experience… enjoyable?
    26. Romanticize your evening routine. Whether it’s a relaxing bath, a candlelit dinner, or a post-work walk, make the time after you shut your computer count.
    27. Incorporate relaxing products into your sleep routine: a weighted eye pillow, a lavender pillow mist, or a comfy-cozy duvet.
    28. Working from home, it can be difficult to feel like I’ve done “enough.” Instead of guilting myself into working past dinner, I set a stopping point when I tidy up my workspace, step outside for a walk, and carry on with my evening acknowledging that I’m done with the work portion of my day.
    29. Take a warm shower before getting into bed. Trust me, it’s bliss.

    For nutritious, soul-nourishing meals:
    30. Romanticize your meals. Spend a little time giving your food an aesthetic presentation: include a range of colors and invest in a few tableware pieces you love. Play music, light a candle, pour a fun beverage. Whatever you do—stay away from your phone.
    31. Meal prep (but make it fun!). Go to your favorite grocery store during the off-hours (Trader Joe’s traffic is light Saturday midday or *very* early Sunday morning), or visit the farmers’ market. Make a list, but also set an intention to pick up an ingredient that inspires you. Take the time to chop your produce and store it in the fridge in air-tight containers. You’ll breathe a sigh of relief knowing you’re set up for the week.
    32. …Or don’t meal prep. If you find chopping veggies or stirring pasta to be a source of relaxation, use your lunch break as an opportunity to unwind.
    33. Find your favorite warm beverage. Is there anything better than cozying up to a comforting mug this time of year? Whether it’s matcha, golden milk, or a PSL, pick your favorite and enjoy your prep-and-sip ritual.
    34. Take yourself out for a pastry and coffee at your favorite café. If it’s the weekend, post up for a while with a good book.
    35. Spend some time on the weekends pouring through your favorite cookbooks, food blogs, and influencers. Gather up one or two new recipes you want to try for the week ahead.
    36. Unwind with a warm cup of tea. I love a decaffeinated chai or chamomile if I’m in need of a good night’s sleep.
    37. Pick one wellness supplement to support your healthy eating routine. Try a greens powder, daily multi-vitamin, or anything that helps you feel your best. The world of supplements is vast and complex, so pick one thing and stick with it.
    38. Before taking your first bite of a meal, say a silent gratitude. Acknowledge the people, the plants, and maybe the animals that contributed to what you’re about to eat (and if you made the dish, share a little gratitude for yourself, too!).

    For a healthy dose of self-care:
    39. Wash your sheets once a week with a fresh-smelling clean detergent.
    40. Do a quick, five-minute clean-up of your space in the morning and at night. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference a few minutes can make.
    41. Clean out your closet each season. Marie-Kondo your wardrobe and keep only the clothes that spark joy.
    42. Apply lotion mindfully. Be present for the soothing, nourishing feeling you get from using your favorite moisturizer.
    43. Create a skincare ritual you’ll look forward to. If a 10-step routine feels excessive, pick a few products you love and lean in.
    44. Set out your workout clothes, WFH wardrobe, and whatever you need for your work day the night before. Bonus points if your ritual includes prepping breakfast.
    45. If you live in a home or can find space for one outside of your apartment, buy a bird feeder and enjoy watching the little guys that visit.
    46. Sleep with your phone in a different room. The easiest way to ensure you don’t mindlessly scroll before bed? Keep your phone out of sight, out of mind. And if you use yours as an alarm, invest in this pretty purchase instead.
    47. Keep your favorite essential oil next to your bedside. Apply to your wrists and breathe in the scent.
    48. Do a morning check-in. When you open your eyes, do a body scan and notice how you feel at this present moment. What emotions are coming up? Where is your energy? Is there anything about the day that makes you feel anxious? Excited?
    49. Put a picture of yourself as a kid next to your bed, taped up on your bathroom mirror, or anywhere in your home that you pass by regularly as a reminder to honor every day of your journey.
    50. Share your highs and lows of the day with a partner, friend, or family member. At dinner or the end of your day, check in with yourself and someone important to you. This is a great way to reflect on the positives and the challenges of your day.

    How To Update Your Wellness Routine for Fall More

  • in

    People Are Opting for a ‘Soft Life’–Will It Really Transform Your Wellbeing?

    The hustle culture. The nine-to-five. The daily grind. Whatever you call it, we’ve been conditioned to work, work, work, work, work (cue RiRi). It’s no wonder quiet quitting took off and made headlines. Another viral TikTok trend is taking it a step further by renouncing the stress and hamster wheel of the traditional job. Coined the “soft life,” the term refers to a lifestyle that embraces rest and ease, a notion that has gotten lost in today’s toxic productivity shuffle. So is living the soft life all that it’s cracked up to be? Read on to learn the ins and outs of the soft life’s MO and how to adapt it to your own life.  

    My vibe right now is just living life🌸 #fyp #minivlog #softlife #aesthetic #blackgirltiktok #miami #vacation #lifestyle #summer
    ♬ som original – crz

    What’s the soft life?
    Originating in the Nigerian influencer community, the term “soft life” or “soft era” describes living a life of enjoyment and comfort, while limiting stress. With 378.1 million views and counting on TikTok, there’s no shortage of content depicting the stress-free #softlife, popularized namely by Black women creators and influencers who are putting themselves first–and for good reason–in response to the hustle and “girlboss” culture of the 2010s. According to the Transparent Black Girl page, soft living is about Black women no longer accepting strength and work ethic as their sole identities.
    While some paint an extravagant picture of the viral trend with glimpses of fine dining, upscale vacations, and luxury everything (cars, clothes, workouts), others pass over the consumerism of it and focus on self-care (think: writing down affirmations, delegating tasks, setting firm boundaries). In other words, living the soft life is subjective, and anyone can experience it. The purpose of the soft life is to reject struggle, stress, and anxiety that comes with the rat race, and instead prioritize joy and experience.
    It’s not about scaling back on your career efforts like quiet quitting–it’s about prioritizing your joy first, which can mean quitting a toxic job or leaning into the aspects of your job you genuinely love. It’s not anti-work; it just means setting boundaries where you need (work, relationships, housework, etc.) so you feel less stress and more joy in your life overall. Soft living can look opulent, but at its core, it’s a mindset cultivating balance, self-awareness, intentionality, and joy. 

    soft life living only🥹
    ♬ original sound – Music table

    How do I live the soft life? 
    If the soft life movement blew up on TikTok, there’s got to be some truth behind or benefit to it, right? Much like self-care and wellness overall, no matter what the soft life means to an influencer or how it’s portrayed, you do you—do what brings you joy and what works for your mental, physical, and emotional health. Ahead, hacks to embrace the soft life in your own way. 

    Make time for rest
    PSA: Rest is productive. The laundry, work emails, and grocery shopping can wait. There will always be something demanding your attention or to check off your to-do list, but your mind and body aren’t built to run on empty. When you take the time to unplug, be still, and relax, not only will it pay off for your mental health, but also your creativity, productivity, and mood. To ensure you fit in your R&R, schedule your breaks and treat them as mandatory appointments, just as you would a health check-up or work meeting. 

    Manage stress
    A key component of leaning into the soft lifestyle is taking stress out of the equation (I know, that seems impossible). Because, as we can all attest, the “fight-or-flight” reaction of stress wreaks havoc on our well-being, often leading to migraines, digestive issues, and anxiety. We all handle stress differently, so it may take experimenting with different techniques to reduce it. Some tried-and-true methods? Therapy, meditation, breathwork, walking, and getting optimal sleep. 

    Establish boundaries
    Whether we’re talking work, relationships, or sex, setting boundaries is a non-negotiable for maintaining balance in your life and caring for your mental health. First things first: learn to get comfortable saying “no.” If you’re a people-pleaser (same) and the word doesn’t exist in your vocabulary, remember that by always saying “yes,” you’re also turning your back on things that are important to you—be it time off or respect. Instead, honor your needs and wants by being upfront and clearly communicating what is and what isn’t OK in your book, especially in regards to how you want to be treated. The result? You’ll create trust, foster healthy connections, and be more appreciated.

    Live intentionally 
    Sure, having a routine takes the guesswork out of your day-to-day, but when you’re running on autopilot, how much are you focusing on the present moment? The first step in practicing intentional living is clearly identifying your values and what the best, higher, happiest version of yourself and your life embodies. Then, actively work towards them. 
    One misconception of soft living is that you have to be swimming in money to enjoy life fully. Rather, it’s about being deliberate in how you spend your hard-earned cash and time (time is money after all). What experiences are important to you and make you feel good? Hone in on and go after those.  

    Don’t be afraid to enlist help 
    The common theme of the soft life manifested in yachts and skincare routines seen on TikTok alike? There’s no “hustle hard” narrative. That’s partly because the soft life way of life includes allowing yourself to be vulnerable and asking for and accepting help when you need it. Whether you have too much on your plate at home or you can’t keep up with work deadlines, we all have breaking points. And seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather an opportunity to build relationships and learn new skills from others. It’s an all-around win-win. 

    5 Tangible Tips To Recover From Burnout More