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 in focusing on wellness 80 percent of the time, and letting go of some control the other 20 percent of the time.
Location: San Diego, California
Occupation: Media Specialist
7 a.m. — This morning, I woke up with an urge to go to the gym, but didn’t have enough time. I opt for an at-home workout, using my exercise bands, which were $17.95, and a few light dumbbells, which you can buy at Target for $18.49. I get in a quick 20-minute sweat session. I wind down with another 20 minutes of yoga flow, which I make up as I go. Afterwards, I feel slightly sweaty, calm, and ready for the day.
9 a.m. — Time for a hair appointment. Getting my hair done feels like a wellness activity to me. It's a time to disconnect from my phone, read junk magazines, chat with my hairdresser, and zone out. Plus, that scalp massage felt great. My hairdresser’s rate is $160.
1 p.m. — I put together a filling lunch of smoked salmon, spinach, walnuts, carrots, cucumbers, green onions, and bell peppers. I top it with sesame oil. It tastes restaurant-quality, and mostly involves ingredients I already have at home. I picked up the spinach, bell peppers, and salmon from Trader Joe’s, for a total of $10.
Daily total: $206.44
5 a.m. — Boot camp time! I head out bright and early to my local gym, Renegade Fit Camp, for a killer legs and back workout. Membership there is $129 per month. I was pretty sleepy at the start, but by the end, I felt like I could conquer the day.
10 a.m. — Instead of eating lunch at my desk, I opt to go for a walk around the block. Although it's only a quick 15 minute break, it feels nice to stretch my legs before heading back to my desk. Fresh air is always rejuvenating.
6 p.m. — I prep a vegan black bean, sweet potato, and yellow squash enchilada dish from the Thug Kitchen cookbook, for my boyfriend and me. The cookbook was a gift, so it’s free. It was an elaborate process to cook it (especially after a full day of work), but the end result was delicious. I could bathe in that enchilada sauce — and it was pretty healthy for you! In total, the ingredients cost $15.
Daily total: $144
5 a.m. — I head back to Renegade Fit Camp in the morning for another killer workout. I was sore today, but it felt good to lift weights with some blaring music in the background. Although it's tough to work out while sore, I find that it can help loosen up my muscles. Plus, I mentally feel stronger knowing I pushed past a hard workout a few days in a row. As cheesy as it sounds, I enjoy pushing, even when things get hard. I listen to EDM (and sometimes rap) when I work out. Two of my favorite songs right now are: “Higher Love” from Seven Lions and "Alone" from Halsey (the Calvin Harris remix).
7 a.m. — Before hopping in the shower, I dry brush my entire body, for skin exfoliation, and jade roll my face, for lymphatic drainage. The jade rolling didn't seem to de-puff my face in an obvious way, but it felt great. The EcoTools Dry Bath Brush is $5 from target, and Rose Quartz Facial Roller was $40.
7 p.m. — I head to a local yoga studio for a yin yoga class, which cost $23, in an attempt to stretch my muscles and clear my head after a long day at work. I left feeling like I could go to sleep immediately. Shavasana will get you.
Daily total: $68
6 a.m. — This morning, I feel a little drained, so I opt to beef up my coffee. I pour freshly-brewed coffee ($15), adding a scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides ( $25), a generous splash of coconut milk ($2), a drop of coconut oil ( $5.99), and a bit of Moon Juice's Beauty Dust ( $38) I blend it all together into a frothy concoction. It goes down smooth, and I’m pretty happy to sip on it as I read the news on The Skimm newsletter, which is free.
5:30 p.m. — I go for a post-work sweat today. I try a vinyasa class at the same local studio for $23. Although I struggle for the first half of class because of some soreness, I feel great at the end. I’m loose and calm.
9 p.m. — Time for a relaxing bath. I wind down this evening with a hot bath filled with Primally Pure's bath blend, which came free with their deodorant, which I bought for $15. I don't think I've ever been more relaxed. Baths help relax my sore muscles, as well as giving me time to just sit and be alone with a good book or TV show. Nothing feels better than a hot soak.
Daily total: $123.99
6:30 a.m. — This morning, I take a thirty minute walk before work. My body is craving something a bit slower-paced, so it feels nice to get fresh air and move my body — even if it’s not a full fledged boot camp workout.
11 a.m. — It’s tea time! I walk across the street from my office to grab a cup of tea as a mid-day break. I buy an "Apricot Escape" drink for $5. I pick it because I'm trying to cut down my caffeine consumption. It’s a yummy treat, but I feel a bit sleepy after.
Daily total: $5
5 a.m. — I’m back up and at 'em early this morning for a bootcamp-style workout at Renegade. After a few days of lighter workouts, it felt really good to engage in something more intense. I left feeling like I could conquer anything.
5 p.m. — Time for weekly groceries! I head to Trader Joe 's with a full list in hand, and nab some of my favorites. These will have to hold me over for the next six or seven days. I pick up spinach, Greek yogurt, eggs, avocados, frozen shrimp, quinoa, and chicken sausage. I love grocery shopping; it makes me feel accomplished. The price tag at the end always frightens me, but I know I'm paying for quality food, and it would be more expensive to eat out. Today, the bill comes to $150.
9 p.m. — My face has been breaking out like crazy lately, so I bought a new mask for $48 to give it some love. The Osea Skincare mask is all-natural and is supposed to be great for detoxifying. It's too soon to see immediate results, but it feels soothing while it’s on. I feel extra pampered tonight.
Daily total: $198
8:30 a.m. — I head out to my favorite vinyasa yoga class this morning for $23. I’m excited and ready to move and breathe. It doesn’t disappoint. I feel more open, vulnerable, and clear after class.
7 p.m. — Reading always helps me sleep better, so I try to put my phone away in exchange for a book tonight. I pick up books from the library since I'm a pretty fast reader. It’s nice to get sleepy while reading instead of scrolling.
Daily total: $23
Weekly total: $768.43
Reflection: The feeling after every really hard and sweaty bootcamp was the best part of the week by far. Every morning, I left feeling stronger and more empowered. Small acts in my routine have the biggest impact, by far. All the little walks and healthy tweaks to my meals are what keep me consistent. Honestly, the cost of maintaining a healthy lifestyle does stress me out, but my wellness routine is very important to me. How can you give to others when your cup is half full?
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