In a world that's grown increasingly chaotic, uncertain and demanding, I've found that it's helpful to re-center your day to day with small self-affirming rituals. Actions speak louder than words, and with repetition, can allow you to create a space for you to improve daily habits, start new hobbies, and achieve better wellness as a whole.
But first, coffee. (Or tea, for non-coffee folks.) When I wake up for work during the week. I like to start with making sure my kitchen and workspace area is tidy – I call this the "café corner". Then I put on fresh ground coffee – made with a stovetop Italian Bialetti espresso maker. I love that it was given to me for my birthday a few years ago – and it's never failed me! I try to only use good coffee, because the flavor is unmatched (Illy works well for me, and comes vacuum sealed in a collectible tin.) Use fresh, filtered water that's cold – it's important for the water to boil. While coffee is heating on the stove, I usually take my shower. By the time I'm changed and ready for my outfit of the day, the coffee has brewed! There really is nothing like delicious espresso (plus almond milk and honey) to get you motivated and feeling good in the morning.
Yoga is one of my favorite forms of exercise because it truly accommodates people of all ages and fitness ranges. It's a great way to stretch, breathe, and practice mindfulness! Some of my favorite local yoga studios (Kinship in Los Angeles) offer hot yoga, a slightly more rigorous practice involving doing the yoga poses in a heated room (often 100 degrees or hotter). But that's not for everyone – and during quarantine I've been able to do zoom yoga instead. Show up for your local studio and meet them on your level. Close your eyes. Breathe, stretch, pose, repeat. You are exactly where you need to be.
Yes: lots of time indoors means that we spend most of our time on our screens – the TV, your laptop, your cellphones, video games. It's good to take a break from the harsh blue light and to give your eyes some TLC. In addition, our bodies need to move around. Walking around your neighborhood, (mask on, of course) with your roommate or partner allows you to talk about your day, look at the sky, the trees, grass, and all-around nature and just be grateful for what we have.
Every week, I've taken the task of researching homemade recipes that I've never made before, using fresh ingredients from whatever groceries we've done for the week. Most recently I made the New York Times recipe for "shakshouka" a Moroccan breakfast-to-dinner recipe that combines tomatoes, harissa spice, and creamy eggs baked into it. Deceptively good as leftovers too. I liked serving it with warmed baguette, pita, and olive oil that I had on hand. Signing up for NYT Cooking app was the best thing I could have done for myself (or my roomie, really) during quar.
Taking a bath at the end of a long day, incorporating some good skincare into your cleansing routine, lighting candles (!) is an indulgence I think everyone needs to experience. Using these products, shower gels, scented lighting can actually make you feel good – and are all essential to carving time out for your own self care. I love doing a hair mask at the end of the shower, and leaving it in while I do the rest of my routine.  Always, always take off your makeup and sunscreen! Invest in some good sheet masks. Apply them in between your toner and night cream step – and let it stay on for at least 20 minutes for the product to absorb and treat your skin. (A nice hack is to watch TV while this is happening.) Here's to a brighter, well-rested tomorrow! Stay safe, babes!