What have you been building into your daily routine lately to make the fall season, with it’s heightened mood and at-home oddities, a bit more comfortable for yourself? Comfort may not be the ultimate goal of self-care, but we’re valuing it more and more lately. Simple comforts can have a big impact on our emotional health, especially during unusual or transitional times like the ones we’re living through now.
We asked a few women in our community, mothers, designers, bakers and health coaches, to share a few of the simple tips, joys and life hacks they’re using lately to live well at home as we enter a new season…
Laurel Gallucci | Sweet Laurel Bakery WFH life can be tough, and I’ve found setting up boundaries is essential. In terms of your schedule, stick to start and end times, and try your best to not let work infringe on dedicated family or personal time. For example, if you stop working at 5:30, close that laptop, put the phone away. Once you’ve had your family or personal time, and those needs are met, you can plug in again if you need to. I also like to end each day with a good dry brush and hot shower, followed by a cold rinse at the end, to help with inflammation and stress. I’ve also been foam rolling daily. It is just a little thing that can make such a difference!
Ariel Kaye | Parachute Home I make my bed first thing after waking up. It’s always been a part of my routine and I find it even more impactful now. It’s proven to make you happier and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Most importantly though, making your bed in the morning and getting between the sheets at night becomes a special ritual to bookend your day.
Jasmine Marie | Black Girls Breathing Something about this fall has me cultivating a sense of living even more simply. Reveling in gratitude for all that is available to me in each moment — a nearby park to take a walk, a coffee shop I can patron to help support small businesses, a safe and comfortable space to lay my head, a KitchenAid mixer my Virgo mom (I’m a Virgo too) passed down to me one Christmas that I recently pulled out of storage that will aid me in experimenting with yummy baked goods…I’m aware these things are a privilege.
I recently moved at the beginning of the month (after sacrificing and moving back home in order to focus funds on the community I was building — black girls breathing) and I purged a lot of items that were in good condition that I just didn’t find myself using anymore. Clothes, books, etc. I did the Marie Kondo check to see to help me donate items someone else could have better use for. I’m feeling like this fall will usher in a feeling of self-led stripping so to speak. What are you holding on to that you just don’t need? What items or energies are you hoarding that you like having around but honestly they no longer aid to any aspect of your current daily life?
I also recently stayed in a Getaway House (was nominated as part of their 100 nights of rest campaign) and plan to do that again soon. It was so restorative. No wifi or distractions. Just nature.
Geri Hirsch | Saie Beauty As much as I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, drinking is on hold at the moment. I’m exploring sober curiosity by completely giving up alcohol and am on week 3. I’ve felt a big shift in my mood, anxiety, patience (working mom of two over here) and energy levels which I’m really grateful for. I plan to drink again whenever I feel compelled, but for now this is serving me.
Jenni Kayne | Jenni Kayne Having three kids makes each day wildly different from the next, and I try to find ways to connect with them through everyday tasks. I’ve been conscious of taking the time to set the table for dinner or making small, homemade flower arrangements to keep the everyday feeling special. It’s been fun passing these jobs to my kids, laying out everything we have on our shelves for them to choose from or setting them loose outside and letting them do their thing and find creativity in a chore.
Danielle Finck | Elle Communications My favorite recent work/life balance life hack has been taking time in the middle of each day to read a book with my son before his nap.
At the start of the pandemic, I was still nursing and I took the opportunity of being at home to skip out on pumping and nurse him at naptime instead. When I weaned him a few months ago, I kept the time blocked out on my calendar and now I take 30 minutes each day to read him stories and put him down for his nap. I cherish the time with him so much, but also feel that the decrease of cortisol and increase of oxytocin that comes with afternoon cuddles and storytime makes me more creative, excited, and effective through the afternoon once I’m back at my desk. I swear it’s better than caffeine for energizing me through the afternoon!
This is a routine I want to keep post-pandemic as much as possible, and that I have been encouraging my colleagues to do as well. Even if you aren’t a mom, I really believe taking 30 minutes away from screens to do something that brings you true joy helps you to do your best work because you’re operating from your best self.
Dr. Deepika Chopra | The Optimism Doctor My quickest personal happiness hack is something I call “wake up and dance” as a full time from
Home working mom wearing all the hats and doing all the things in the times of Covid … and as an Optimism Doctor I know how important joy and making the time (even if for a collection of seconds) for simple pleasures and mood boosting moments are— I wake up and the first thing I do, before I talk to anyone, before I brush my teeth or shower/ change out of pajamas… I turn on some music that makes me move and I DANCE! Even if I get 20 seconds in or sometimes if I’m fortunate to get a full song or two in it seriously helps to start my day out in an optimistic way. Research shows that moving your body in any way helps to increase positive mood and decrease stress… research also shows that your morning mood impacts your mood for the remainder of the day … so that’s my double whammy morning ritual happiness hack!
Lauren Roxburgh | Taller Slimmer Younger First, I body brush for three minutes. After dry brushing, I use one of my signature body rolling tools to invigorate the body and awaken muscles. Following this I do a short rebounding session for 10 – 15 minutes, using my signature rebounder, this further wakes up the body, gets my blood flowing, and helps release tension. A jump rope can work wonders too or just bouncing on the spot several times a day helps drain the lymphatic system.
Lastly I head to our Clearlite infrared sauna which I love to meditate in. Or if you don’t have a sauna you can do heat therapy in a hot steamy shower. This further flushes any toxins out, reduces inflammation, unwind and helps me sweat it out!
Suzanne Hall | The Chalkboard Over the summer, I brewed a ton of herbal iced tea infusions. It helped me reduce my wine intake while at home and sneak a ton of extra minerals into my diet easily. Read the full story here: Why You Should Be Making Pitchers of Herbal Iced Tea Right Now. Now that fall has begun, I’ve found that daily breathwork has become more a necessity than ever. Simple awareness of breath during the day or a break for a box-breathing routine does it for me.
KristIn Dahl | Women’s Wellness Collective Really simple, doable and accessible things that don’t cost a thing have literally been saving me through this quarantine — walking, deep breathing, and playing around with herbs, spices & ingredients in the kitchen and developing new recipes.
Walking: as a meditation, for exercise, for fresh air, to clear energy, emotions, and simply get out of the house and break from work and routine or enjoy the neighborhood after dark. Its also a lovely way to connect with friends outdoors while social distancing. Though it may seem overly simple, walking has been my saving grace!