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 working out for both the mental and physical benefits. She finds it helps manage her anxiety. She tries to eat a varied diet and reasonable portion sizes, without limiting herself.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Director of Marketing
6 a.m. — I'm up and out the door for November Project, a free group workout that meets three times each week in D.C. I run about one mile to get there, and do the prescribed hills and push ups. I run and walk the mile back home with a friend. I have a bit of a cold, so I wasn't at my peak performance, but it felt good to sweat and catch up with my friend.
9 a.m. — Time for my morning routine. I’m off to work via the city bus, which is $2 per ride. My commute usually takes around 35 minutes, and I listen to China Rich Girlfriend, the second book in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy on Audible. The member price is $24.50. I eat my breakfast at work, which is overnight oats that I brought from home. Ingredients include rolled oats, almond milk, and chia seeds. I also snack on a few pieces of dried mango from Trader Joe's, $2.99, on the side for some sweetness.
6 p.m. — Usually my boyfriend and I eat dinner together, but he’s going to the gym after work, and ain't nobody got time for a 9 p.m. dinner. I reheat some roasted Brussels sprouts from last night's dinner along with an Amy's bean and cheese burrito. This dinner could be better, but could also be worse.
Daily Total: $34.48
6:15 a.m. — I use six of my ClassPass credits (I get 36 credits per month for $55) for a HIIT class at a local gym. The class today is a circuit that includes kettlebells, BOSU balls, TRX straps, and treadmills. I walk there and back.
12 p.m. — During my lunch break, I hit up CVS for some cold remedies. I buy throat lozenges, zinc, and vitamin C. This all totals up to $8.48. Fingers crossed this helps kick the cold, or at least shorten it. Wellness means taking care of yourself when you’re down.
7 p.m. — I've never made cauliflower crust pizza before (so behind on the trends, I know), but I ordered a $7 premade crust from Prime Now recently. No time like the present. I top it with pizza sauce and shredded mozzarella, then bake it for seven minutes. It's decent, but in comparison to the Papa John's I ordered this past weekend, it ain't shit. My boyfriend and I usually order our groceries. This is mostly for convenience, but partially because it's possible the stress of grocery shopping in downtown D.C. has led to a fight or two.
Daily Total: $70.48
6 a.m. — I usually try to fit in three to four weekday workouts and one weekend workout. Today I attend a 50-minute Zengo cycling class with one of my favorite instructors. Zengo is available through ClassPass. I always feel great after these classes — sweaty and accomplished.
1 p.m. — Once upon a time, I packed my lunch consistently. But recently, I’ve only been doing it about once a week when I have leftovers. Sweetgreen to the rescue. I order a kale caesar salad for $10.40
with no romaine or chicken, and added arugula and tofu. I'm by no means vegetarian, but if it's easy to swap out meat when eating out, I usually try to do so. This is because I believe it’s healthy and good for the environment.
7 p.m. — I'm feeling pretty burnt out due to some work stress this week, so I force myself to do a five-minute meditation using the freeInsight Timer app. Meditation definitely improves my mood and anxiety, so, in theory, I should be doing it daily. However, I'm a work in progress.
Daily Total: $10.40
8 a.m. — I skip the workout this morning because my sinuses are on the brink of explosion. I take a decongestant and stop at Starbucks on my way to work to get a "Medicine Ball ” drink, which includes mint green tea, steamed lemonade, and honey. I have a reward so it's free!
12 p.m. — I'm meeting a former colleague for lunch today. We eat sushi, which is my all-time favorite food. I get a salmon roll and an avocado roll for $10.05. Normally this wouldn't fill me up quite enough, but since I'm sick, it does the job. It's fun to catch up with my friend, hear about his new job, and regale him with stories from the office. I walk back from lunch feeling refreshed. I'm an introvert, but seeing good friends gives me a big happiness boost.
6 p.m. — On my way home from work, I stop to get a gel manicure, which I totally count as self care. It's nice to be "forced" to stop scrolling through Instagram and checking work email. I can’t use my hands, and it’s something that's just for me. The gel mani is $35, and I tip $8. I take a $2 electric scooter home from the nail salon, which is about a mile from home. Zip zip.
Daily Total: $55.05
6:10 a.m. — I wake up and head out the door for a three mile run around my neighborhood. It’s about 40 degrees outside — perfect running weather. When I get home, I do a seven-minute yoga for runners video to cool down.
12:30 — The weather is insanely gorgeous today, so I take advantage of it by going for a walk through Dupont Circle during my lunch break. I stop in a local book store to browse, and end up buying two books for a friend's upcoming birthday. I also get a book for myself — The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang. I heard an interview with the author on a podcast, and I’m a big reader. I find reading helps with my anxiety, and can be a nice break from screen time. My goal this year is to read 52 books. I spend $60 on the books.
6 p.m. — I meet two of my running friends for dinner at Taco Bamba. We usually end up talking about running and various workouts we've tried recently. It's fun to have friends like this with similar interests, who will really nerd out with you over fitness. One friend recently joined Orange Theory, and the other mentioned a new hip hop yoga studio that's opening soon. We make plans to try a class there. I get a shrimp taco and a fish taco for $13.
Daily Total: $73
3:45 a.m. — My boyfriend and I are flying to Florida today to visit his parents. We booked a stupidly early flight at 6:30 a.m. in Baltimore. Waking up before 4 a.m. on a weekend is painful, and I’m not exactly pleasant when I don't get enough sleep. I also know that I don't make the healthiest food choices when I’m sleep deprived. I end up getting a breakfast burrito and coffee at the airport. I pay for both my boyfriend and me, since he got the Uber here. Breakfast costs $32 for the two of us.
2 p.m. — After arriving to Florida and getting settled in, we head down to the beach. It's cloudy but comfortable, and we end up taking a two-mile walk along the sand. I track the walk with my Apple Watch, which was a gift from my dad. Gotta close those rings!
Daily Total: $32
8 a.m. — My cold has finally cleared up, and I'm ready to go for a run. I'm training for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, and I have seven miles on my calendar for today. For races under the half marathon distance, I typically just increase my weekend runs by a mile each week leading up to the race. I also do whatever workouts I want during the week. I run along a road parallel to the beach. I see so many other runners and walkers, which always motivates me.
11:10 a.m. — I am starving post-run, and we head to a local brunch spot to eat. Unbeknownst to us, they stop serving breakfast at 11 a.m., so we miss it by 10 minutes. I end up ordering a grouper sandwich with sweet potato fries off the lunch menu, and a big water to rehydrate after running in the heat. My boyfriend pays this time, so it’s free for me.
11:30 p.m. — Despite being on daily medication, I've noticed that my anxiety has increased recently, which sucks. I'm trying to fall asleep and feel the early signs of a panic attack coming. Shortness of breath, racing heart, crying. I take my emergency medicine before it blows up into a full-on meltdown. Once I'm able to calm down, I make a mental note to talk to my doctor about potentially changing my medication or the dosage.
Daily Total: $0
Weekly Total: $275.41
Reflection: The best part of my week was seeing friends and balancing my time between socializing, working out, and relaxing on my own. My wellness routine is incredibly important to me. I feel so much better physically and mentally when I'm able to work out and get enough sleep.
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