Welcome to Refinery29’s Feel Good Diaries, where we chronicle the physical and mental wellness routines of women today, their costs, and whether or not these self-care rituals actually make you feel good. Have your own Feel Good Diary to submit? You can do so here!
Today: A woman who believes happiness has more to do with your body than your mind. She thinks fitness is not just about looking better; it’s about feeling better too. She feels self-care isn’t as simple as a trip to the spa.
Location: New York, New York
Occupation: Marketing & Communications Coordinator
5:30 a.m. — I go to Duane Reade to pick up a fruit bowl for breakfast and a mango Vitamin Water for my spin class. This costs $10.
6 a.m. — An early morning cycle really helps me start my day. I feel spent and energized at the same time. I just started spinning at Swerve, after hearing about it from a friend. It’s a competitive atmosphere — you have to compete against yourself, and other riders. My goal is always to ride harder than last class, and earn a higher Swerve score. It’s a healthy kind of competition that motivates you to ride your best, even in the dark, when no one is watching. Because I travel for work unexpectedly, I like to purchase the package of eight rides for $248.
7 a.m. — A nice, cold smoothie helps me recover from my workout and get going before work. I get a large power shake from Joe & The Juice, which has strawberry, banana, and vanilla milk in it. These usually cost about $8, but, because I just downloaded the company’s app, this one is $5.
Daily Total: $263
6 a.m. — I grab another power shake from Joe & The Juice for $8. I sip on it while catching up on emails. It really hits the spot. Taking the time to enjoy the shake before my morning workout gives me some time to wake up before I hit my bike for SoulCycle. Next, I head to Starbucks where I order a tall, blonde roast coffee for $2.95. I sip on it as I walk to spin.
7 a.m. — Time to snap my feet into my bike at SoulCycle. I love going to their classes when I want a high-energy cardio workout. These classes can be pretty pricey, so I only go once in a while. I got a deal, so this one is $25. I love that my instructor brings an upbeat vibe to the room. His playlists are usually inspired by his everyday life. During my last ride with him, we rode to some music he heard while traveling in the Caribbean. He makes the class interesting and fun.
10 p.m. — I believe nighttime is the best time to moisturize, so I go all out. Kiehl’s avocado eye cream is the balm (pun intended), and it’s $48 a pot. I’m in the mood to relax with an under eye treatment, so I slap on two of Peter Thomas Roth Hydra-Gel Eye Patches, which are $75. I’m still on the search for the perfect moisturizer, but I’m currently loving Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar overnight moisturizer, which is $69.
Daily Total: $227.95
6:30 a.m. — I like to make coffee at home with my Keurig ( $125) most days for the sake of saving some money. A pack of 100 K-cups usually costs $30 on Amazon, and ships free with my Amazon Prime membership. This morning I sip on some plain black coffee, and I turn on the news to see what’s going on in the world. I’ve always taken my coffee black; this is a habit that I picked up from my dad. I might experiment with seasonal flavors, like pumpkin spice in the fall, but I always come back to black.
7 a.m. — I have a fitness center in my apartment building. I hit it up, and try to get some cardio in. Cardio is a stress-reliever for me. I always go for at least 45 minutes on either the treadmill, elliptical, or stair climber. Then I do 15 to 20 minutes of weight lifting or abs exercises like crunches. Luckily, I’m into music that’s good on the go: G-Eazy, Drake and, Jay-Z are all favorites.
8:30 a.m. — I like to start work nice and early, despite the fact that most of my coworkers start at 9 or 10. This gives me the down time I need to start my day, catch up on emails, and prioritize my work. I like feeling caught up and ahead of the game, because I know I won’t be stressed out later if I get derailed by more pressing tasks. When you plan ahead, there’s less room for setbacks. Being prepared makes me feel calmer about life and work.
Daily Total: $155
7 a.m. — Time for some self-guided yoga. I invested in my own mat, and I do yoga at home most of the time. I love my Manduka yoga mat because it’s thick, which is great for people like me who are sensitive to putting pressure on their joints. It works miracles for my wrists and knees. My mat is a few years old, and was about $150. Not only is yoga super relaxing, it’s great for loosening up those tight muscles in your back.
9 a.m. — Vitamin time! I’ve been using Care/of, which sends me monthly packs of personalized supplements. These pills address all of my health concerns, and come in convenient packs that I can take with me to work without carrying a pill case around. The first time you order, it’s $ 40.
5 p.m. — Time to gear up again for cardio and circuit training. I do about 45 minutes on the elliptical and 20 minutes of circuit training. It’s my go-to workout. I love spending this time getting my heart rate up and clearing my head. For me, it’s about toning up, and I especially like to do ab and arm workouts. I did two workouts today because Thursdays can be high-stress and deadline-filled for me. I feel more calm when I start my day yoga and then clear my head with cardio after a long work day.
Daily Total: $190
6 p.m. — I take some time to knit a hat. I love my hobby, because there’s a certain accomplished feeling to make things from scratch with your hands. It’s also a great stress-reliever. I tell anyone who will listen to adopt a hobby and invest in it. It can take such a weight off your shoulders, and help you unwind, in my experience. The supplies to knit the hat cost $50.
7 p.m. — Time to finish off a relaxing evening with some reading. Right now, I’m devouring Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming. I don’t get enough down time to read, so when I do, I really appreciate the peace and quiet. I think the perfect compliment to a book is a cup of chamomile tea. I bought the book for $20.
Daily Total: $70
10 a.m. — What will I do this morning? Nothing. That’s right. Nothing! There’s no better feeling than sleeping in on a Saturday morning and waking up to have nothing to do. I strongly believe that everyone needs a day off, not just from work, but even from “work” that happens at home, For example, chores and obligations. At least once a week, I refrain from cooking, cleaning, or doing laundry. I just do nothing. It’s so soothing.
12 p.m. — I love Bravo T V shows, but can never watch them when they air. So, I like to binge watch my shows on the weekends. The Real Housewives, Below Deck, Vanderpump Rules, and Dirty John are some of my favorites. There’s nothing better than vegging out on the couch and catching up with your favorite characters.
Daily Total: $0
10 a.m. — Sunday Brunch isn’t just about bottomless mimosas and french toast for me. In order to maintain a healthy social life, I make time to meet up with friends and try a new restaurant a few times a month. Today, we go to The Crooked Knife and order an omelet. Keeping up with friends makes me feel relaxed. As we chow down, we chat about our blogs and the best skincare products we’ve tried lately. In total, my bill comes to $45
5 p.m. — I love a clean apartment, and feel more productive and relaxed when everything is in its place. Call me crazy, but I believe a clean apartment leads to a cleansed and happy mind. I know, it’s very “Danny Tanner.” But this Sunday ritual helps me prep for the week. My cleaning products of choice, Scrubbing Bubbles and lemon-scented Clorox Wipes, cost $ 25.
Daily Total: $70
Weekly Total: $975.95
Reflection: My wellness routine is everything to me. I’m a strong believer in self-care. If I don’t take care of myself first, I can’t do my job or help others — it’s the old airplane mask tactic.
Most of my wellness routine focuses on fitness because I care a lot about maintaining my appearance. This is something that I’m trying to let go of because I know it’s important to be happy with my body and feel comfortable in my own skin. About a year ago, I decided that my fitness routine was about more than just “looking good” — I also want to feel good.
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