More stories

  • in

    My Daily Routine in Quarantine That Has Made a Huge Difference in My Health

    We all have daily routines. Big or small, healthy or unhealthy, our routines become habits that shape who we become. Sounds heavy, right? My daily routines sometimes look like Epsom salt baths, jade rolling while meditating, and checking every item off my to-do list while having enough time to add the exact adaptogen blend that’s best for my current energy state into my matcha latte. Other days look more like shoveling an entire box of Annie’s White Cheddar Mac n’ Cheese (the best kind. You can @ me on it) while working through lunch and bingeing Selling Sunset after dinner until I realize it’s 1am.Typically though, my days alternate between varying degrees of both examples. Routines don’t have to be total transformations or all-or-nothing, as if getting to bed too late or eating a candy bar after dinner cancels out the healthy rituals you kept up with all day. I’ve recently adopted a few specific habits while in quarantine that has made a huge difference in my overall health and wellbeing, and might improve yours too. Remember that it doesn’t have to be a major transformation for any of these routines to make an impact; even just one minor change can crowd out an unhealthy habit or make a huge difference on its own. Here are the daily routines that have made the biggest difference for me: 

    I keep technology away from the bedroom
    A relevant preface: I live in a studio apartment. The “bedroom” is also my workspace, eating space, sleep space, and living space, so I never thought the “no-technology-in-the-bedroom” rule could apply to me and the 650 square-feet that I call home. I used to charge my laptop in an outlet next to my bedside table, work while sitting in bed at night, and kept my phone next to me overnight. A couple of months ago, I designated a “tech space” at the kitchen table and left devices there to charge, use, and work on.
    Not only did this minor shift in geography transform my evening routine (no more working in bed!), but it transformed my morning routine. I no longer lay in bed, scrolling through Instagram until the last second possible. Instead, I get out of bed right away (since I have nothing else to do) and go through my brief morning routine. Not only does it help me sleep better when technology no longer takes over my life, but getting out of bed immediately makes me feel more awake and energized throughout the entire day. Not to mention that I have a better work-life balance as a byproduct, but more on that below. 

    I wake up 10 minutes before I need to
    Speaking of waking up easier, I need you to know that my workday starts at 6:30am. A couple of years ago, my move to southern California was all sunshine and rainbows (literally) besides the fact that my office is on central time. I actually work way better in the early mornings than in the evenings (so I enjoy the earlier end to my day), and I thrive on getting sh*t done before it feels like the rest of the world has woken up, but I’m not going to say that the wake-up part is always easy. Full confession: I used to groggily roll out of bed at 6:15am to quickly brush my teeth and make a cup of lemon water before the workday starts. 
    When quarantine hit and I realized I had to prioritize my mental health even more (though we should be prioritizing ourselves as much as possible, pandemic or not), I knew I had to find more time for myself in the mornings. I challenged myself to get up just 10 minutes before I absolutely need to. I spend those 10 extra minutes doing a meditation, stretching on my yoga mat, going through a full skincare routine, or lighting a candle and getting my day ready. No matter your work start time or when you wake up, getting up 10 minutes earlier than you have to allows you to take your time, keep your mornings calm, and help keep stress down for the rest of the day. 

    I eat fruit for breakfast 
    I get it; I used to do the whole omelet-or-protein-powder-smoothie thing, because my focus was getting in more protein than any other macronutrient or nutrient. When I transformed my nutrition mindset to be about adding more plants, I started eating more fruit in the mornings. After a while, I realized fruit filled me up without making me lethargic or painfully bloated like I usually felt by noon. So now, every morning, I’ll either dress up berries and pears with tahini, cacao nibs, and goji berries (I like to be #extra), and other days, I’ll cut up whatever apples or peaches are in the fridge.
    I have since let go of the idea that I need a protein-heavy breakfast to be healthy and, instead, opt for what makes my body feel its best: fruit. I’ve never felt so energized, had less digestive issues, and even have fewer cravings throughout the day. The lesson to take from this daily routine is not that you should eat fruit for breakfast too. Instead, the lesson is to listen to your body to identify what’s best for it. 

    I make the most of my lunch break
    Confession: pre-quarantine Josie used lunch breaks to watch 30 minutes of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (and I would fall asleep for 25 of those minutes) or work through lunch with a salad at my desk (I’ve had to force myself into better work-life balance). I still do love the occasional reality TV to turn off the brain while I cook and eat (nothing quite like fights between Denise and Rinna to help me temporarily forget about work woes and to-do lists), but I feel so much better when I check in with my body to identify the kind of break it really needs. Sometimes that looks like foam rolling, sometimes that’s getting other errands and chores done, and sometimes I go for a walk to get outside. Since making the most of my lunch breaks, I’m more energetic, productive, and happier.  

    I force myself to have a work cut-off time
    So your office hours “end at 5pm,” but 5pm turns into 8pm and you find yourself responding to emails, finishing projects, or putting out fires well into the night? Take it from someone who has been trying to perfect the work-from-home routine for years now: you need a non-negotiable cut-off time. I give myself a reasonable daily cut-off time (typically with an extra hour in case I do need some more time to wrap up), and then make sure that’s it for the rest of the night. Work-life balance starts with leaving work exactly where it belongs: at the office (or at your designated kitchen-table-turned-desk).
    I also transition out of the workday with closing rituals like changing into a(nother) loungewear set, shutting my laptop, tidying up my apartment, and physically crossing off the last item on my to-do list (so satisfying, right?). No matter when your workday ends, turn the last step into a ritual that signals to your brain that it’s no longer work time. (Pssst… a closing ritual is especially a hot tip if you find yourself checking emails throughout the night or can’t fall asleep because you’re worried about your to-do’s for the next day.)

    I make time for social connection
    I’ve previously talked a lot about the social mistakes that pre-quarantine Josie made (besides calling a teacher “mom” in high school and accidentally liking a post from 2015 when stalking a potential love interest, but those wounds aren’t healed enough to talk about yet). To paint you a picture, I used to think I had my shit together because I would go home early on Fridays to avoid being too hungover to make my Saturday morning workout, and would typically skip out on Taco Tuesdays and Wine Wednesdays because I had too much to do during the week.
    Responsible, yes, but I also didn’t acknowledge that social connection is just as important for our health as eating veggies and regularly exercising. Now, I prioritize social connection like I eat leafy greens with two meals a day and consistently move my body. Eating dinner with my boyfriend, Facetiming my college friends, or calling my mom for at least a few minutes every day has made me feel more motivated, fulfilled, happy, and healthy.  

    I drink a cup of tea before bed
    Since quarantine started, I have become all about the rituals. I’ve learned that while it’s hard to do the same thing every single day, there’s a reason children go through an entire nighttime routine to be able to fall asleep (anyone else miss bedtime stories?): rituals become habits that tell our bodies when it’s time for sleep. If some nights we read before bed, some nights we stay out late with friends, and some nights we work until midnight with no consistent rituals, our brains struggle to figure out when it’s time to sleep. Since bedtime is not always as consistent as I’d like it to be, I find consistency in rituals like having a cup of tea after dinner. Not only does a cup of tea get more nutrients into my body (I love peppermint tea, which can help digestion), but I’ve had it so consistently that all it takes to put me to bed is a warm, cozy cup of tea.

    I end my day with yoga or stretches
    In addition to a traditional workout earlier in the day, I’ve started doing yoga or some stretches right before bed, and it has potentially made the biggest difference to my health in the shortest amount of time. The purpose of yoga or stretches before bed is not to exercise my body or burn calories (like what I used to think was the only reason to move). Instead, I see nighttime yoga as 5-10 minutes of screen-free mental stillness. I feel such a drastic difference in my body when I get out of bed in the morning (if I say I typically feel stiff when I wake up, will it make me sound old?), but I also feel a lot more peaceful, calm, and content at night. I fall asleep quicker and stay in a deeper sleep than on days when I don’t fit in any stretching at all. Go through a few stretches tonight and get ready to sleep like a baby (your mind and body can thank me later).

    What daily routine has made the biggest difference in your health? Which of these rituals would you try? More

  • in

    I Finally Organized My Closet—Here’s What I’m Ditching vs. Keeping

    Fun fact about me: I’ve moved 10 times (soon to be 11) in the past nine years. No part of me loves moving… no matter how many times I settle into a new space, I just can’t seem to get the moving process down to a perfect science. To say that it’s one of my least favorite activities is an understatement. But, if there’s one positive to packing up once a year and relocating, it’s having the forced opportunity to come face-to-face with my clothing of “add to carts” past, sort out what I want to keep, donate, or sell, and facepalm myself for not wearing the one item I swore I would get use of upon purchasing.I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a hoarder but I will admit that I have plenty of faults when it comes to accumulating pieces in my wardrobe. First being that I am a sucker for a good sale. The limit to the number of times I’ve bought an item for the markdown alone simply does not exist. When I see a red sticker price, I become blind to reality and will overlook what otherwise would be a wardrobe deal breaker for me (i.e., a far-too-large and non-refundable floral dress from Madewell that mocks me every time I sift through my closet). 
    My second fault is holding on to pieces that “might be useful for a costume party.” Oh yes, ladies. I’m talking mesh, sequins, sparkles, and the whole nine yards. And to absolutely no ones’ surprise, these items sit in the back of my wardrobe, take up prime real estate, and wait longingly for the chance to be loved again. 
    And last but not least, I am a creature of habit. I prefer neutrals over color, opt for comfort, and return to my foolproof outfit combinations time and time again. But every so often, I think, “I should step out of my comfort zone.” That’s when I’ll buy something pink (gasp!), purchase a trendy item that “looked really good on that one IG influencer,” or invest in something I saw our fashion editor rock in the office pre-COVID. While there’s nothing “wrong” with the pieces I add in my feeble attempt to be cooler than I actually am, they simply don’t get as much love as the other pieces in my wardrobe.
    Four hours, two dramatic “I cannot go on” breaks, and a couple of sweat droplets later, I accumulated four garbage bags of clothes to donate, sell, and toss depending on their condition. In an effort to live a more minimalist life (and make room for new pieces, of course), here are the items I’m ditching and the ones I’m holding on to for dear life this season:



    Ditching: Right idea, wrong fit

    When the blazer trend came back with a vengeance, I ran to my local H&M and eagerly walked to checkout with three of them draped over my arm. Unfortunately, I missed the mark on these guys in the size department. I bought each to fit like a glove and I’ve learned after a few seasons of styling that I prefer a larger, oversized fit. I’ve added some mediums to my collection which I’m super happy with but, now, my fitted blazers don’t get a lot of attention. 
    Same goes for this plaid, sherpa-lined jacket that I loved when I bought it. I don’t know if I’ve shrunk it over the years or if I’ve just “grown,” but no matter how cute it is, I simply won’t wear it. Feeling like the Michelin Man when I squeeze into it/having limited mobility of my arms is not the move. 

    Ditching: Mesh

    This one doesn’t need much of an explanation. There was a short period of time in college where the trendy girls wore mesh tops/bodysuits with a black bra underneath. I could never work up the courage to actually wear them and, looking back, I am elated that that is the case. Regardless, I’ve been holding on to them for the off chance that I can use them in some kind of costume setting but I’ve firmly decided that if a costume calls for mesh, it’s not the costume for me! If mesh ever decides to rear its head and come back into style (the only shock left of 2020), I’ll reevaluate at that time.

    Ditching: The quarter-zip that’s seen better days

    Alright, I’m not going to lie… this one hurt. This Patagonia sweater has been with me through many trials and tribulations of life. It’s soaked up tears born from a bad breakup, been wine-stained during iconic pizza nights with my pals, and been washed with darks and denim galore in many unforgiving community laundry situations. Given the fact that this sweater was a beautiful shade of ivory at one point in time, I would deem it to be one of the most worn, sad-looking articles of clothing I’ve ever known. I think I’ve only worn it twice in the past year so I think it’s an appropriate time to part ways. Thank you for your service, you will be missed.

    Ditching: The “it was on sale” Madewell dress

    I bought this floral Madewell dress at their end-of-summer sale and there were three things that doomed this purchase from the start: 1) I didn’t need it (I have an impressive amount of floral dresses), 2) I didn’t really even want it, and 3) it was a final sale item. I know how careless that sounds… but a Madewell dress for $25? I couldn’t pass it up. To my demise, it didn’t fit me right and was non-refundable. Classic.

    Ditching: The trendy splurge item I never wore

    When visiting New York City one summer, I found myself in a trendy, overpriced boutique and was talked into this jacket by one of the sales associates. If I told you how much it was, you would probably spit the contents of whatever you’re sipping on all over your computer screen. The price of this jacket was so absurd but, for some reason, that did not stop me from being persuaded that I needed it. The jacket itself is fine, it’s just not my style. I kept promising myself that I would incorporate it into some outfit formula, but in the four years I had it, I just couldn’t seem to pull it off.

    Ditching: The first-time interview clothing that’s so not me

    OK, to be honest, I never liked any of these items from the start. When the time came for post-grad interviews, I needed a ‘fit to impress my potential employers. I walked cluelessly into Ann Taylor at my local mall and let one of the associates dress me (and by that, I mean that I sold my soul to the Devil). I abandoned my personal style to fit a cookie-cutter look of what I thought was a “professional investment” and honestly, I haven’t looked at them since my first interview in 2016. If I need to interview again at any point, I’ll pick up options that can be dressed down and incorporated into my everyday wardrobe.

    Ditching: The “out of my comfort zone” color I swore I’d wear but didn’t

    I’d say that, in life, I have a good sense of who I am as a person… that is until I find myself adding non-neutrals to my shopping cart. I don’t know what it is, but I’ll just never be a “pink” person. But does that stop me from thinking“wow, Jess looks gorg in blush pink, I should give it a try,” and attempting to swerve out of my comfort zone? Of course not! I’ve found that I can still experiment with other colors (burnt oranges, deep blues, and olive greens) without looking in the mirror and feeling like I’m staring at a complete stranger.

    Ditching: Non-versatile graphic tees

    Don’t get it twisted, I love a good graphic tee. But when I say graphic tee, I mean the ones that are oversized, can be tucked in with mom jeans, dressed up with a blazer, and made edgy with a leather jacket. I’m looking disdainfully at you, I-would-die-for-John-B. long sleeve (pictured below). If it didn’t pass the versatile vibe check, I didn’t keep it.

    Ditching: Unforgiving jeans

    I just simply don’t need the negativity of unforgiving jeans in my life. It is my personal opinion that all jeans should have a bit of stretch. Over the past few years, I’ve gained some weight (pandemic stress eating didn’t help my situation, it is what it is) and while most of my jeans still button, this pair is stubborn as hell. If a pair of jeans can’t handle me post-gnocchi at my favorite Italian restaurant, they don’t deserve me at my best. Bye, Felicia.

    Keeping: Oversized blazers

    If I haven’t yet made myself clear, I am obsessed with oversized blazers and I get so much use out of them. I have two right now (black and plaid) and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. They’ve been the perfect solution to Chicago’s “it’s not cold now but it will be later tonight” woes, will be great for styling business casual outfits we return to office life, and are super trendy with a graphic tee and hoop earrings. 

    Keeping: Loungewear that I’ve worn at least once in the last three months

    I’ve accumulated a lot of loungewear over this past year and I am not mad about it. Staying home during the pandemic has shifted my wardrobe priorities and, right now, my cozy clothes are getting a ton of attention. I’m sure there’ll be a day where I’ll have to sort through and edit out some of my comfy pieces, but thankfully, today is not that day.

    Keeping: Jackets for layering

    Disclaimer: Last year, I had so many bulky jackets that I had no choice but to downsize. At that time, I kept one of each jacket (leather, denim, faux fur, trench, shearling, etc.), so I truly didn’t need to do much organizing in that department this year. Nonetheless, I still did a once-over to see if anything could be sacrificed, but gleefully decided I was happy with my collection as is. 

    Keeping: Chunky knit sweaters

    OK, don’t come for me, but I truly believe there is no such thing as too many sweaters, especially when you live in a climate that threatens sub-zero temps in the wintertime. I kept all of my sweaters with the exception of those that were uncomfortable (yes, they exist) and/or didn’t fit well.

    Keeping: Maxi/midi skirts

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Midi and maxi skirts have changed my life. I’m already phasing them out for this fall (I had a few good runs with a chunky knit sweatshirt + long skirt + sneaker combo) but I am so looking forward to their return when the temps rise again. More

  • in

    10 Things That Made Our Lives Better This Week

    OK, everyone, hear me out. I think 2020 has gotten a really bad rap. I, for one, have been less than kind to this year. Every time that I hear an adverse piece of news, find myself picking up my spilled groceries during a monsoon on Michigan Ave., or stub my toe on the corner of my couch, I throw my hands up in the air, look to the sky, and dramatically shout, “2020 is the worst.” There’s no denying that this year is weird to say the least, but a part of me thinks that maybe 2020 doesn’t like what’s happening either. If we drown out all of the hot mess and tune in, I’m sure we’ll find that good things are still happening and beautiful moments are not canceled.
    So, in our attempt to be more positive and present this week, we’re sharing our highlight reel of the things that brought us joy last week. Whether it be a warm latte on a gloomy Tuesday, a cringey new Netflix guilty pleasure, or a FaceTime with an old friend, we’re celebrating the moments (big and small) that brought us joy last week. Cheers to tuning back in and finding happiness in what has been the most *unprecedented* year yet.

    This week I made it a priority to send my friends and family letters to let them know I’m thinking of them during this crazy time. These notecards incorporate beautiful illustrations and typography on the cover of each blank notecard. I bought these from one of my favorite artists this summer and just started using them. Writing letters to some of my favorite people truly brightens my week!


    A few weeks back, my family and I went through a hard time as we lost our sweet grandmother who was fighting her battle with cancer. What made my week was that my thoughtful cousin surprised me with this personalized fingerprint necklace. It was so unexpected but appreciated as I will hold it dear to my heart forever. It’s a great gift for those who may have lost a loved one and would like to have a keepsake in remembrance.

    PSA, everyone: I’ve done it. I’ve found the best pumpkin banana bread recipe of all time, ever. OK, maybe that is a tad bit dramatic considering that I’m not a baker by anyone’s standards and I haven’t experimented with too many recipes—but wow, this bread was an absolute treat (I’m so sorry, I had to). Not only was it tasty AF, but baking helped me to carve out some “me time” (sans blue light) and gave me the space to blast Folklore/pretend that I was in a dramatic movie where I am the main character. Also, of note, baking the bread made my home smell like the fall oasis of my dreams. 10/10 would recommend.
    READ: Cream Cheese Swirled Pumpkin Bread with Salted Maple Butter

    Overall I would say I’m a big reader, although I always go through phases of reading a bunch and then not reading much at all. I had kind of been in a reading rut for the last few months. However, this week I picked up a thriller in honor of spooky season and devoured it in two days, and now I can’t wait to start reading more again! It’s so lovely to be able to do something at home that doesn’t involve staring at a screen. The book I read was Then She Was Gone, a story of a mother unraveling the details of her daughter’s disappearance years ago. It is full of twists and turns that I never expected—making it the perfect escape for everything going on in the real world.

    Listen. I know. I KNOW. The first episode is hilariously bad. The way being an influencer is portrayed is ridiculous. She wears no less than SEVEN outrageous hats (including two… bucket hats??). But in all honesty, this new Netflix series is exactly what I needed right now. It’s light as a macaron and just as nutritionally sound, but the scenery and the enviable eye candy will take your mind on a blissful escape. Hearing the word “Gabriel” spoken in numerous French accents is charming in the extreme and the actual Gabriel is quite possibly the most attractive man I have ever seen. I also spenakfkfkadfkafkdfkadkfakfakdfakdfakfkasdfkads fkadsfkasdft a lot of the series comparing Emily’s time in Paris to my trip to Paris in which I ended up accidentally ordering 200 euro steak at a four-star restaurant at 2 am that I was way too drunk to remember and having a lot of cheap umbrellas break over my head. It rains not a single time in this entire show so take that as you will.
    WATCH: Emily in Paris
    If you do end up watching and have the same thought process I did (“Her phone case is way over the top. Actually, do I like it?? Wait, maybe I’ll buy it. I guess I’m into it now.”), I’ve done the work for you:

    It’s still hot AF here in LA, but I swear my skin just knows when it’s fall because it gets dry and dull starting on October 1. As an important precaution, I just tried this non-toxic AHA face mask, and it made a huge difference even after one use. For starters, it’s called “Acid Gold” which is the bougiest thing I’ve ever heard and sounds like a skincare treatment Rihanna would do. The non-toxic formula is loaded with a variety of “acids” that definitely sound like they’re going to simultaneously unclog my blackheads and banish dead skin cells. Plus, it contains pumpkin enzymes, which is pretty fitting since anything without “pumpkin” in the title (or ingredients) just isn’t interesting to me RN. Not to mention that besides all the glow-boosting, it contains papaya enzymes to reduce bacteria and sea buckthorn oil to hydrate skin, so that basically takes care of the dryness and pesky cold-weather pimples. Full disclosure, I’ve put on this mask at least three times already this week because it’s just that good. My pumpkin candles are lit, semi-spooky movies are on repeat (Halloweentown High is as scary as I’ll go), but my skin’s back in summer-glow mode, thanks to this mask.

    It’s currently 45 degrees in Chicago, which combined with quarantine, means I’m in full-blown hermit mode. Comfort is key this fall, and this jacket has been giving me life every single day. I’ve been wearing this both as I work from home and every time I leave the house (including a million walks around the block with my dog) and I just throw it on and it’s like smothering myself in a soft, glorious cloud (not to mention it’s super warm). It’s the perfect addition to a 2020 fall wardrobe and will be worth its weight in gold once the temperatures drop even more.


    If you read any of my previous stories, you know I deal with chronic anxiety. I feel like I’ve tried every self-care remedy there is. However, I’ve realized if I’m not taking the time to talk with a professional, there is no amount of self-care that can help. I have tried a couple of online therapy options, but my favorite (and the most helpful) has been Better Help. I take an hour each week to talk with my therapist, and I feel grounded. To take what I’m learning in therapy to the next level, I bought Cleo Wade’s, Heart Talk Journal. I love it already! Journaling my feelings before bed with lavender tea helps to calm my busy mind. I think the duo is even helping me sleep better.

    Being able to take the time out to meditate has been a challenge for me recently, but this week, I have been getting back into the rhythm of checking in with myself, and the MyLife app is perfect for that. Every day, I choose how I’m feeling, and the app recommends a few quick 5-10 minute guided meditations to choose from that’s perfect to help me relax and re-center myself. Afterwards, it checks in with you to see how you’re feeling again using cute emojis to track your progress. It’s a quick but effective daily reminder to give myself a break and focus on just me.

    On a busy Friday, I headed to a local shop down the street that sells Korean Beauty on the cheeeeap. Said shop is a major favorite, but while in the shop, I asked the owner what she thinks would work best for my skin: once as oily as a teenage boy who’s entire diet consists of Doritos and frozen pizza, now absurdly dry for no reason at all. She recommended a few products, this among them to help with my clogged pores. You use a little bit of the balm just like you would a cleansing balm, and massage it into the area (I focused on my nose) for 3-5 minutes. The first time I used it, I didn’t really notice a difference. But on a whim, I tried it again last night, and I was aghast at the bits and pieces coming out of my pores. It was the most satisfying experience, to the point that I plan to use this basically every single night this week for the joy of seeing my blackheads literally pop out of my face. Plus, it is so expensive that I feel amazing using it over and over again without worrying that I’m using up something special. All good things from me. If you have blackheads, please buy this and send me all of the pics of what came out of your pores because that is porn to me. More

  • in

    Everything I Want to Buy After Binging ‘Emily in Paris’

    A few months ago, I wrote about my current fashion muse and the joys of having a fictional character that inspires you to get out of your comfort zone with your wardrobe. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it has you throwing your plain, grey sweaters aside and filling your cart up with pieces you never knew you’d touch.To absolutely everyone’s surprise, 2020 just delivered us something we didn’t know we needed, yet another fictional fashion icon: Emily, from Netflix’s new Emily in Paris. Played by the fabulous Lily Collins, as our Graphic Designer Kelly said in our weekly meeting yesterday, “She just makes you want to embrace maximalism.” Not only are her outfits made impeccable by the addition of the backdrop of Paris, but they all have the je ne sai quoi of looking like she effortless threw five different colors and patterns onto her body—and more often than not, topped it off with a wild hat—and they somehow just worked. 
    After binging the series in one weekend (naturally), our carts are full of eclectic, out-of-the-box pieces that are, quite frankly, exactly what we need to get out of our quarantine slumps. Get ready for some bright colors, a lot of prints, and hell, even a beret or two.

    Source: Netflix

    Wool Blend Beret

    Emily rarely leaves her apartment without some form of a hat (often a bucket hat, but I’m choosing to respectfully ignore that), and the standout was, by far and large, her series of berets. I bought a beret last year and wore it endlessly throughout winter, and Emily encouraged me to pick up another one to wear this year. Trust me: it’ll make you forget about your collection of pom hats.

    Knit Houndstooth Cardigan

    A good houndstooth makes an appearance a million times in this show, and this cardigan with gold detailing fits the Parisian-chic bill.

    Source: Netflix

    Arin Bouclé Trench Coat

    One of my favorite looks of the series is a quick scene (where Emily meets Camille, who is also a font of chic style inspo), but the coat is perfection. I haven’t loved a bold coat this much since my J.Crew obsession in 2008, but if I’ve learned anything from “Emily in Paris,” it’s that I should work some bright color back in my wardrobe.

    Jeffrey Campbell
    Bourdin Mary Jane Pump

    Emily basically wears only heels throughout the entire series, which in addition to giving me extreme anxiety because she is indeed wearing them on cobblestone streets, inspired me to be more daring about my footwear choices. These Mary Jane pumps combined with tights, a skirt, and a jacket are the makings of a perfectly Parisian look to wear all winter long.

    Faux Fur Jacket

    Emily’s coats are abundant and all statement-making, and I’d confidently state on the record that nothing is more statement-making than a hot pink fur coat.

    Source: Netflix

    Double Breasted Suit Jacket

    While I’m not going to be trotting out any crop tops to work, I do love the myriad of jackets and blazers Emily tosses over them.

    Silky Scarf

    One of the best parts of Emily’s style is that it feels true to what an American girl would wear in Paris (bonjour berets!), and the scarves are no exception. I love how she pairs them under cardigans and jackets for a silky pop of texture.

    Source: Netflix

    Wool-Blend Shacket

    At Emily’s influencer lunch, she wears a green Chanel jacket that, quite literally, took my breath away. Everything from the tailoring to the color was sheer perfection, and while this jacket is slightly more muted than hers was, the structure and pockets are nearly identical—and you don’t need to shop vintage Chanel to own it.

    Textured-Weave Jacket

    Emily wears a tweed jacket (or 10) throughout the series, and it got me thinking “Why do I have absolutely nothing made out of this incredibly chic material” and googled tweed jackets for hours after. This textured jacket screams Emily—especially paired with a mini skirt and heel.

    Source: Netflix

    Houndstooth Tweed Bomber Jacket

    There are several memorable houndstooth moments throughout the series, and it has completely reignited my love of the fabric. This bomber is the perfect mix of classic and trendy—pair with a bright dress or a complimenting pattern for an Emily-approved look.

    Quilted Chain Bag

    Emily has a series of impeccable Chanel bags to match every outfit, and while we aren’t all on a Chanel budget, we can emulate the classic bags with this (much, much, much) less expensive option. Its quilted details and gold hardware will give you the same feel of classic femininity that Emily’s bag collection gives her.

    Source: Netflix

    Jacquard-Knit Cardigan

    A wild print? That’s what Emily lives for (not to mention that H&M literally styled this with a collared shirt and plaid skirt—which is arguably exactly how she’d wear it).

    Source: Netflix

    Ruffled Cotton Blouse

    I was so into the extraordinarily ruffled shirt Emily dons to hide her outrageous hickey that I immediately bought this top. I can’t wait to pair it with that houndstooth bomber or a classic plaid blazer.

    Collared Pearl Sweater

    One of the most joyous things about this series for me was the excessive amount of statement collars that Emily wore—and what makes a collar a statement more than some pearl embellishments? Emily would approve on all fronts.

    Colburne Colorblock Coziest Textured Yarn Cardigan Sweater

    When I wasn’t busy falling for Gabriel, I was falling for all the cardigans Emily is running around in (the girl changes outfits on this show at the drop of a bucket hat). The color-blocking of this one is perfect. Throw on a scarf and you’re good to go.


  • in

    The Stay-At-Home Habits That Have Actually Made Me Healthier

    Yes, there are those stay-at-home habits many of us have picked up throughout 2020 that might not be the healthiest, like eating frozen pizzas every other night or staying on the couch until we’ve binged all three seasons of Selling Sunset (no, just me?). You might have given up on a workout routine the second your gym closed and stopped prioritizing healthy eating because you’ve been dealing with a dangerous combination of high-stress, lack of normalcy, and the Doritos bag on top of the fridge staring at you 24/7. You probably picked up the mentality way back in March that normal life is on pause, so who cares if you forego healthy habits?But the reality is that life is not “on pause.” It’s happening right now, every day and every minute, pandemic or not. We can either adopt healthy habits to help us work through the stress of this time, or use it as an excuse to be unhealthy. The good news is that becoming healthier might be easier than you realize. Personally, I’ve recently learned how many stay-at-home habits are actually good for me. I realized a lot about my body, habits, and overall health that I wouldn’t have learned had I not been stuck in my studio apartment for months on end. Here are eight habits I’ve picked up in 2020 that I’ll keep up even long after the pandemic is over. 

    1. Prioritizing sleep over everything else
    What I thought was “healthiest” for me always came first. Back during the office days (anyone remember what was that like?) I would wake up extra early to go to a workout class beforehand. Even after I switched to working remote full-time over a year ago (before the rest of the world went work-from-home), I would stay up late getting work done instead of calling it quits by 10pm to get in a full eight hours of sleep before my early start time. When the pandemic did hit, workout classes were no longer an option, and I had enough time to check every item off my to-do list and still go through a leisurely nighttime routine.
    After months of sleeping more than I have since I was an infant (if only we could have multiple naps a day as adults), I realized how much better I felt. My work was higher quality, exercise felt more enjoyable, and, most importantly, I just felt so much better. I’m not going to lie to you: getting enough sleep is still tough when I have such an early start time to my day. But these days, if I have to choose between a workout or checking items off my to-do list and getting 7-8 hours of sleep, you know what I choose? Sleep. Every time. 

    2. Getting outside more
    Although I live in Southern California, I am not a beach person. In fact, I notoriously avoid going outside at all costs (I burn instead of tan, and there’s nothing I despise more than feeling hot and sweaty); an air-conditioned indoor space has always been more enticing. Looking back, I didn’t see the outdoors as the crucial part of wellness that it is, and was lazy about getting fresh air and sunshine. Like, check-my-phone-to-find-out-the-weather-instead-of-walking-the-five-steps-to-my-balcony kind of lazy. 
    I humbly acknowledge what an idiot I was not to take advantage of the outside world while I had full access to it. After being stuck indoors 24/7, I crave the outdoors and nature. I started going on more hikes, fitting in walks around the block when I have a 10-minute work break, and having more meals out on the balcony instead of at the kitchen table. Getting outside more often (SPF-protected, of course) has been life-changing for me. Even just small changes like drinking your morning coffee on the patio or taking a walk instead of running on the treadmill can have a wide variety of health benefits. 

    Source: @mylittlebooktique

    3. Spending free time wisely
    If you work a 9-5 job and sleep for the recommended eight hours, that means you still have eight hours of free time a day. You’ll have 40 hours of free time by the end of this work week, and don’t even get me started on the free time you have on weekends. Before the stay-at-home order, I didn’t think about that free time very much. I relaxed on the couch, went to workout classes, hung out with friends, and took naps more often than I’d like to admit. After staying at home all day every day, I had so much free time that I was forced to think about it.
    Not to get all deep on you, but having extra hours that I didn’t know what to do with made me reconsider what truly makes me feel fulfilled. Now, I don’t look at free time as something to spend; I think of it as something to invest. And yes, somedays that does mean that aforementioned nap or bingeing Gossip Girl with my boyfriend (I’m very proud to say I got him into it recently), because my wellbeing is worth an investment too (see #1). 

    4. Leaving my laptop out of the bedroom
    To preface, I live in a studio apartment. My “bedroom” is basically my workspace, eating space, and sleep space. So I never thought the “no-tech-in-the-bedroom” rule could apply to me. Without thinking about it, I charged my laptop in an outlet next to my bedside table and would do work sitting in bed at night. My laptop even lived next to my bed when I slept (don’t ask me why I mindlessly started that habit).
    Without any escape from my home at all, my studio apartment was no longer just my workspace, eating space, and sleep space. It also became my 24/7 reality, and I knew I had to make some changes with how technology was a part of every minute of my day. Since I didn’t have a separate room for work, I planned to keep technology away from my sleeping space. Now, my laptop charges overnight across the apartment instead of next to my bed, and I can’t climb under the covers in the evening until work is finished. Call it the placebo effect, but I swear I sleep better, wake up easier, and am less burned out overall. 

    Source: @gimmesomeoven

    5. Examining my relationship with food
    Yes, I’m obsessed with wellness and eat mostly plant-based. But I can also lick a plate of Fettuccine Alfredo clean and never say no to sushi takeout or cheeseboards. I love food and will always let myself enjoy it (food should never be “off-limits”), but staying at home helped me see where I was mindlessly eating and not even enjoying it. When I’m craving, sometimes it’s my body telling me that it needs nourishment in the form of laughter, a break, or stress-relief, not food. I also identified where I had unconscious food rules that kept me from having a positive relationship with food and with my body. 
    To rewrite your food narrative, you must first identify what it is. If you find yourself saying, “I can’t have this pasta dish because I’m on a diet,” or “I can’t eat this cookie because there are too many calories,” your food narrative is one of deprivation. No matter what weight you reach or what diet you perfect, you will never feel satisfied. Instead, change your thoughts to feeling excited about trying a new plant-based recipe or how leafy greens will nourish, energize, and revitalize your body. Healthy eating will become a reward. 

    6. Exercising at home (and outside of a routine)
    Pre-global crisis, my workout routine went like this: sign up in advance for trendy studio classes with expensive cancellation fees, so I had to debate whether the $20 cancellation fee was worth it to lay in bed a while longer (it never was). On the days I didn’t have time to make it to a 60-minute class, I didn’t exercise at all since anything less didn’t feel worth it. But as soon as my studio closed down, I had to rely on pure motivation to get my butt to move after a long workday, and if I didn’t fit in smaller movements (like a walk around the block and 15-minute Pilates video), I knew I wouldn’t exercise at all.
    Even just a few weeks into my new workout norm, I realized something. For the first time, I was listening to my body–not only about when to workout, but how (does my body need to burn some energy and dance around the living room, or does it need a relaxing yoga session?). While I’m still counting down the days until my trendy LA studios can open (what can I say, I’m a sucker for dim lighting and lavender towels), I will never forget to listen to my body instead of mindlessly signing up for a class to check another thing off my to-do list. Plus, I changed what exercise means to me. Instead of fitting in a 60-minute class, I focus on living less sedentary in whatever way that looks like each day.

    Source: @ceceolisa

    7. Regularly breaking out of my wellness routines
    I’m a creature of habit: I like to have the same thing for breakfast every morning (berries, tahini, and cacao nibs, please!), do the same workout every day, and do not like trying new things (just ask my mom how I refused to go to sleepaway camp every summer). But it wasn’t until I broke out of some of my wellness routines that I truly felt healthy. Don’t get me wrong: routine is crucial because it helps build beneficial habits. Because of routine, I crave fruit in the morning instead of sugary cereal, and I don’t even have to think about regularly exercising because it’s already a part of my daily schedule. 
    But here’s another important factor of wellness that I learned when my beloved workout studios and juice bars closed: while routine is important for building habits, breaking out of routine is also important for enjoying your healthy habits. Trying new things can not only introduce you to new practices to add to your routine, but breaking out of the norm can build confidence and feel exciting (instead of feeling bored or complacent). Take a different route on your walk, cook with a vegetable you’ve never tried before, and take an online Zumba class if you’ve always sworn you have no rhythm. 

    8. Socializing more (and smarter)
    Pre-pandemic Josie thought she had her shit together. I wouldn’t stay out too late on Friday nights so I could wake up well-rested for a Saturday morning workout, and I could not be tempted by even the most persuasive friend to come to Wine Wednesday if I had a lot to get done that day. Sounds like a very adult thing to do, right? I’ll give myself an A+ for responsibility, but you know what I’m thinking now that my favorite bars are closed and I’m quarantining away from many of my friends? I would give anything for more Wine Wednesdays and late Friday nights.
    Perhaps the biggest lesson we can all take from 2020 is that humans don’t just want to be social; we need it. Since March, a weekly Zoom date with my college best friends is non-negotiable. I call my mom more often, say yes to plans on weeknights, and prioritize seeing people I love over checking items off my to-do list. We can work out every day and eat only the healthiest foods on the planet, but we can’t truly be healthy if we’re not surrounded by a strong support system of people who make us happy. After all, what’s the point of wellness? Being healthy is not the end goal; it’s simply the tool that gives us more time (and better time) with the people we love.

    What stay-at-home habits have made you healthier? More

  • in

    6 Simple Ways to Have Better Posture at Your Desk

    You’re probably currently sitting at your desk reading this, blissfully unaware of your posture right now—and that’s perfectly normal. It can be difficult to always be mindful of your posture, especially during a hectic workday through hours of Zoom meetings and conference calls.Your posture is a very important indicator of your overall health, as it supports blood flow, improves your mood, increases your confidence, and strengthens your other muscles and joints. Practicing better posture while at your desk at work or at home, even in the smallest ways, is a great way to be mindful of your health on a daily basis, and there are a few quick ways you can improve your posture as you go along your workday. Give your posture some attention and work smarter, not harder, at your desk.  

    1. Switch up your seating 
    Your seating can make or break your posture—literally. Seating with little to no back support, worn-out chairs, and working from your couch or bed could wear on your body over time, straining your shoulders, spine, and lower back. 
    If your desk chair doesn’t have the support you need to sit comfortably and in an upright position for an hour or two at a time, you may need to switch up your seating. A good, ergonomic chair for your workspace will have lumbar support to help the middle of your back, where most of the tension goes when you’re hunched over your desk. You also want to pick a chair that keeps your body at a neutral, upright position with an adequate seat height that keeps your arms and legs leveled and a backrest that isn’t too firm or too soft. 
    If you’re now working from home, make sure to be mindful of where and how you’re sitting. Set up your own workspace with a desk and chair that supports your back and shoulders and promotes better posture over time.

    2. Take frequent stretch breaks 
    Spending hours upon hours every day in a seated position where your back is either slouched or hunched over is detrimental to your posture. Many health professionals have declared that sitting has now become the new smoking, a popular myth that compares the negative chronic health effects of both, such as weight gain and diabetes.
    Prolonged sitting can have long-lasting effects on not only your back, but on your overall health. Make it a priority to get up and move around on a regular basis throughout your workday to give your body some relief from sitting and staring at a screen all day. Put yourself on a daily schedule to get some time away from the desk to give your back a break from sitting in an upright position, putting more pressure on your spine. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your workday and forget to move, so set an alert on your work calendar or on your phone as a regular reminder to take a break and switch up your posture by taking a walk, standing briefly in between meetings, stretching, or getting a quick exercise in. 

    Source: Danielle Moss

    3. Exercise for better posture
    When we exercise, we often forget to exercise for better posture, especially as working from home becomes more prevalent. Your posture is key to better overall health, and taking out the time to focus on it during your workday can help prevent lifelong body issues. 
    Exercising throughout the workday for better posture can be as simple as standing upright for an hour or two at a time at your desk, stretching and rotating your neck to relieve some of the tension from hours of working, or getting a good back bend at the waist to loosen up that lower back. Give yourself a few small breaks during the workday to work out those kinks in your shoulders, neck, and back from sitting too long, and focus on exercises specifically for those areas. 

    4. Keep your workspace eye level
    Hunching over your desk to look at your laptop or to type is one of the key indicators of poor posture. If your laptop or desktop computer isn’t eye level, it makes it easy to slouch and get stuck working that way for hours. 
    Do an overall assessment of your workspace, including your laptop, your monitor, your desk, and your computer accessories like your keyboard and mouse to make sure they are level to your eyesight and body to ensure that you’re not straining your neck, shoulders, and back to use your devices. Your workspace should be at a comfortable level, but upright enough where your posture isn’t compromised. Switch up the positioning of your workspace so that it makes it easier to sit upright while still being effective throughout the day. If you work remotely or from home, find a better place to set up your workspace like on a high bar-style countertop where you can easily sit in an upright position, or even stand and work for a change of pace. 

    Source: Jenny Komenda | Juniper Studio

    5. Practice mindfulness of your posture 
    It can be difficult to take a lunch break or grab a second cup of coffee during the workday when you’re juggling emails and meetings, let alone be actively aware of how your body feels. Taking the time out to connect with your body every so often throughout the day to see how it feels can seem like another item for your to-do list, but your back most importantly will thank you for it! 
    Practice being mindful of your posture throughout the workday by setting frequent reminders on your phone to check in with your body. There are plenty of mindfulness apps that can help you break away from your work mentally for a few minutes to give your body and mind a quick check-up. Block off time in your work calendar to check in with yourself, your posture, your mood, and your overall body. Scheduling time on your work calendar helps you stay accountable to yourself and your health. 
    Use this mindfulness to be more aware of your posture on a daily basis and when you place the most tension on your back. Do you find that your posture suffers during long Zoom meetings? Are you sitting for more than 2-3 hours at a time in the mornings or afternoons? Take note daily of all of your workspace habits and how it impacts your posture and your overall body. This will help you anticipate and be more mindful of your posture during the most stressful times of your day and prepare to change it up.

    6. Keep your feet flat on the floor 
    Your feet and their position while at your desk play a crucial role in your overall posture while sitting. If your feet are crossed or elevated, that could compromise your posture, as your weight is primarily on one leg or your back is taking the brunt of it. When your feet are flat on the floor and properly leveled, the weight of your body is evenly distributed across your hips. Keeping your feet flat on the floor also makes you more mindful of the overall stance of your body, as it unconsciously makes you straighten up.
    Practice keeping your feet fully on the floor for longer periods of time instead of elevating them using a footrest or crossing your legs at the knees underneath your desk. Planting your feet on the ground will help you be more aware of your posture and if you’re slouched or hunched over your desk. 

    Your posture is a key indicator of your body’s health during your workday. Don’t ignore any signs of back or shoulder pain; make it a point to take care of yourself while working, starting with your posture.  More

  • in

    The Fall Piece You Should Invest In Based on Your Zodiac Sign

    Of all the fall activities, breaking out the credit card and buying a few new pieces for the season might trump them all. There’s nothing like getting out of the house in the best trends of the year—and with the temperatures dropping, there’s no time like the present.But obviously, this year poses a different issue: how do you allocate your fall funds when you don’t know how much leaving the house the season will entail? Spending a ton of money on trends is probably taking a backseat to spending money on comfortable loungewear—but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a trendy piece or two. 
    We’re taking out the guesswork for you and are giving you which trendy fall piece you should invest in based on your zodiac sign—even if you’re only wearing it to grocery shop, it’s worth celebrating the fashion that comes with the best season of the year.

    Aries: Fringe

    Source: style mba

    Aries are fearless and comfortable with who they are, which makes a statement piece the perfect item to invest in for fall. This season’s fringe trend is perfect for them, be it in the form of a chic jacket or versatile bag.

    Taurus: Something Preppy

    Source: @lillyandgrant

    Tauruses love to be dressed to the nines, and overdressing is a part of their nature. With rich colors and textures, fall 2020’s preppy trend is perfect for the self-care sign.

    Gemini: Faux Leather Pieces

    Source: @thekittyluxe

    Geminis are a little wild and even more indecisive—which makes a faux-leather piece the perfect, versatile addition to their wardrobe.

    Cancer: Jewel Tones

    Source: @fromheadtocurve

    These summer babies love to bring the bright, happy tones of their birth month to their wardrobes year-round. Opt for a jewel-toned piece instead of the dark, moody colors of the season.

    Leo: Animal Print

    Source: @trulyjamie

    Leos have a knack for taking an intimidating trend and making it wearable, and the out-of-the-box animal prints of the season will do just that. With zebra prints and even cow prints popping up this season, leave it to a Leo to pull them off.

    Virgo: Shades of Nude

    Source: @crystalinmarie

    Shades of nude that encompass all skin tones are everywhere this fall, and they’re a perfect way for the classically-dressed Virgo to hop in on a trend without needing to get too out of their comfort zone.

    Libra: A Bold Print

    Source: @thekittyluxe

    Libras are known for staying away from the drama, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like to incorporate eye-catching elements to their outfits. Their breezy, life-of-the-party personalities make a piece in a bold print the perfect fall investment.

    Scorpio: Plaid

    Source: @simplytandya

    Scorpios are mysterious and intense, and true to their dark, emotional nature, fall 2020’s grungy plaid trend is a Scorpio’s dream.

    Sagittarius: Shearling

    Source: @jennytran

    Sagittarians are outgoing and happy and down to try pretty much anything, and although they draw attention with their personalities, they also like to draw it with what they wear. A trendy, shearling jacket that they can wear everywhere will keep them from feeling bored by their outerwear this season. 

    Capricorn: Tweed

    Source: Kathleen Barnes | Carrie Bradshaw Lied

    Capricorns are work and goal-oriented, which means anything that they can take from their job to their (virtual) happy hour is what they gravitate toward. Adding something tweed to their wardrobe is the perfect way for the sophisticated sign to reflect their personalities through their style.

    Aquarius: Dark Floral Prints

    Source: @styleidealist

    Aquarians are a little bit zany, and we love them for it. A funky, dark floral print will bring the water sign’s personality shine through all fall long.

    Pisces: Colorblocking

    Source: @carnationsandlace

    Of all the signs, Pisces would never shy away from color, and “neutral” isn’t a part of their vocabulary. They play with trends and make fashion an art, and no trend encompasses that more than colorblocking. Mix it in with your basics for an easy, go-to outfit. More

  • in

    10 Ways to Revive a Workout Routine (If You’ve Totally Given Up)

    I don’t know who needs to hear this, but we’re human beings. We don’t get energy from an iPhone charger or AAA batteries like the Energizer Bunny, and therefore, we naturally ebb and flow. That goes for moods, motivations, and workout routines. We’ll have periods where we’re more active and periods where we’re less active (yes, that includes when walking to the fridge and back to the couch is the only activity we’ll do in a day). Maybe you got injured and had to cool down the workouts for a while, maybe you got so busy you had difficulty finding time, or maybe there was a freaking global pandemic that removed every sense of normalcy and stripped you of the workout routine you were used to.If you’re in one of the ebbs (or the flows? IDK), don’t panic. First of all, know that you’re not lazy. You’re just in one of the less active periods where other things have become more important than exercise (and yes, that includes finishing season one of Tiger King). But movement is crucial for physical and mental health, and can help you feel like your happiest and best self; the times when you feel busy, stressed, or anxious are when you need it the most. Even if you’ve totally given up on a workout routine, there are many ways to find the motivation to start again (and keep it up!). Here are 10 of them: 

    Source: @ceceolisa

    1. Change your motivation
    When you work out solely because of the way it will make you look, you’re more likely to feel discouraged. You might feel shame and guilt for being “out of shape,” or you don’t see results quickly enough and give up out of disappointment. Nothing is less motivating than thinking you’re not good enough as already you are. Exercise establishes a connection between your mind and body, helps you feel stronger, makes you love your body for what it can do (instead of the way it looks), and can have powerful effects on mental health. 
    Too often, we focus on common motivators like weight loss or because we know we’re “supposed to” as reasons to work out. But you won’t truly be motivated to keep up a routine unless you have what I call a “why reason.” Sure, you want to lose weight or be healthier, but why? Do you want to feel more confident and connected to your body? Do you want to feel like you’re doing everything you can to be your healthiest? Do you want to live a long and healthy life for your children or your spouse? Do you feel happier and less stressed after a workout? Now those are reasons that will motivate you to exercise even on days where you’re tired, unexcited, and just don’t feel like it. 

    2. Take your time getting back into it
    Not only could going from laying on the couch all day to three-mile sprints twice a day be harmful, but it won’t be sustainable. When you do get back into the gym (or the yoga mat on your living room floor), remember that the goal is to make the body healthier, not strain it or overwork it. You’ll most likely feel discouraged forcing your body to do workouts that it’s just not ready for, so remember that you don’t need to be painfully sore or out of breath to make a workout count. Start by going on more walks, lifting light weights, and doing short workouts that feel less overwhelming and difficult. You’ll be more likely to fit in exercise and keep up with a workout routine when it feels manageable and doable. Don’t start where you were or where you want to be; start from where you are right now. 

    Source: @crystalinmarie

    3. Make small changes in your routine
    One of the most common reasons we give up on workout routines is because we don’t see ourselves as the kind of person who keeps up with a workout routine. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you don’t see yourself as someone who prioritizes health and exercise, you never will prioritize health and exercise. Boost your overall confidence and change the way you see yourself by making small changes like keeping a full water bottle with you at all times to increase hydration, ordering a side salad with your takeout, or always taking the stairs. Making a bunch of small habits can help you stay motivated to keep up with your fitness goals or workout schedule because it boosts the confidence you have in yourself.

    4. …But don’t change everything at once
    When getting back into a fitness routine, you may be tempted to overhaul your diet too. Even if a total health makeover comes from the best intentions, focusing on too many changes at once can be overwhelming. Instead, try focusing on one thing. If your #1 goal is to get back into a fitness routine, then fit in some movement every single day. Don’t try to totally change your diet or wake up two hours earlier for an extensive morning routine. Once your fitness routine becomes more habitual, you can use it as motivation to make other changes in your routine. Start with one focus and let it snowball into others, rather than trying to change everything at once.

    5. Set a schedule
    Yes, it’s important to create a schedule, but it’s even more important to be realistic about it. Don’t set your alarm for 5:30am to fit in that workout if you typically wake up five minutes before your workday starts, and don’t add in a 60-minute block every day if you know you’re busy from the minute you wake up until the minute you go to bed. Instead of feeling disappointed by an unrealistic schedule that you won’t keep, start small. Add in time slots here and there as quick work breaks or as a part of your morning and evening routine. Once you find the schedule that works best for your lifestyle, add it to your calendar and honor that schedule like you would any work meeting or appointment. 

    Source: @laurenkaysims

    6. Try something new
    There’s a reason you didn’t keep up with a workout routine before. Sure, it might be because times are weird, and Selling Sunset was so good you had to binge it all at once, or it might be because whatever you were trying before just wasn’t working. Therefore, don’t go back to the same type of workout or the same schedule you’ve tried before. If you dread running or weight-lifting, then don’t do it: try a Zumba class on Youtube, sign up for a boxing app, or go on a walk while listening to a podcast. Also, try experimenting with working out at different times. Maybe you’ve realized you like to have peaceful, slow mornings, so you should schedule workouts after work, or that multiple 15-minute workouts throughout the day are better for you than a 60-minute session. 

    7. Redefine what exercise means
    If you’re like me and depended on trendy studios, ill-lit rooms, and fancy lavender cloths to get you to work out, the stay-at-home order likely caused a big shift in your fitness routine. But here’s the reality: you don’t need a gym, a motivating instructor, or an hour every day to get a good workout. Instead, fit more movement into your average day to make a huge impact. If you stopped exercising at all because going on a two-mile run or 45-minutes of HIIT was never happening for you, you might be defining exercise the wrong way. Instead, think about how you can do a quick yoga flow in the morning, go on a walk at lunch, and jump rope after work. Think of exercise as living less sedentary, rather than a specific time or way to get your body moving. 

    8. Create competition with yourself
    Being competitive might not always be a positive trait when it comes to sibling rivalry or a romantic relationship (anyone else guilty of keeping score when it comes to chores?), but you can use it to your advantage when it comes to a motivating fitness routine. Studios like Orange Theory and Cyclebar have dedicated their classes to exactly this concept: seeing your numbers on a screen will push you harder, whether it’s in competition with the other class-goers’ stats or just trying to beat your personal best.
    Luckily for 2020, you don’t need to go into a trendy fitness studio to reap the benefits of your competitive edge. Every day, challenge yourself to add in an extra rep, run or walk an extra half mile, or exercise for five minutes longer. You can also challenge yourself to hit a milestone by a specified time; people who train for marathons are more likely to stay motivated when the marathon is already on the calendar. 

    Source: @missenocha

    9. Invest in your workout routine
    Sure, sometimes motivation comes from loving ourselves enough to do what’s best for our bodies, and sometimes motivation comes in the form of a super cute matching leggings and sports bra set. People are more likely to keep up with whatever they put money into, so try investing in an online subscription, a new pair of leggings, or a pretty yoga mat or pair of dumbbells (it’s like the at-home equivalent to that $20 cancellation fee at your local spin studio). Personal trainers are effective for more reasons that just one-on-one expertise: putting money into someone that will hold you accountable means you’re less likely to slack off. There’s nothing more worthy of your time and money than your most energetic, happiest, healthiest self, so start prioritizing it. 

    10. Focus on holistic exercise rather than calorie burn
    By now, you know you need a reason to work out that’s more motivating than burning calories (and if you don’t, see #1). But beyond motivation, you need to focus on more than intensity to keep up a sustainable routine. Keep in mind cool down, recovery, stretching, and enjoyment. Yes, you can revive a workout routine you’ve had zero motivation to keep up with by prioritizing everything else besides the physical “workout.” Incorporate stretching, foam rolling, and walking more often into your daily routine. Not only will it keep your body healthier and avoid injuries when you are working out, but you’ll be reminded that keeping your body in peak health is so much more than cardio or weight-training.

    What has helped you revive your workout routine? More