In this day and age of Instagram and social influencers, you can’t open your app without seeing buzzwords like “self-care” and “wellness” jump off your screen. And it all just seems so accessible - flower-filled bathtubs and futuristic sensory deprivation float chambers appear to be the new norm now in everyone’s schedules. Yet for those of us who spend the majority of our weeks behind a desk in the corporate world, finding the time to meditate, go to cyro session, hit Whole Foods, meal prep, get a workout in and do a face mask all before 9 am can almost feel more stressful than relaxing. The time outside of our 40+ hour work weeks feels scarce, and a lot of that time goes towards less glamorous things like doing the dishes, folding the laundry and taking the dog to the park which have to take priority - leaving time for those ever elusive self-care practices extremely limited.
And yet, in this world of social-media normalcy where we typically only share our highlight reels, those of us corporate-lifers often times feel a certain shame associated with not being up-to-date on all the latest wellness trends and practices. While some with less rigid schedules my find themselves able to take a mid-day hike or squeeze in a massage before dinner, I’m generally submitting creative requests and summarizing sales data. Insta-worthy it is not, but it’s also the reality for many. Yet, as a (very) part-time yoga teacher and someone who genuinely is interested in the world of wellness, I’ve tried and tested many different ways to incorporate healthy habits into my workweek, and I’ve established a few key things I think can help anyone stay grounded and feeling great while hustling through the 9-5 life:
Wake up Early
I am anything but a morning person. Ask my parents or my boyfriend or any prior roommates, mornings and myself have never really mixed. Yet, when assessing my resolutions earlier on in 2019, I finally realized what everyone else has been preaching about for years now is accurate, morning routines really are the most powerful way to start your day. Living in Boulder, cold and dark mornings can make it even rougher than usual to kick off the warm covers, but I’ve found that giving myself enough time to meditate, make a good breakfast and sit and drink my coffee while snuggling my pup for 10 minutes can have a tremendous effect on my mood and productivity for the day.
Between 2-4 pm is when my brain fog hits. I’ve worked all morning, eaten lunch, had a few meetings and now I just want a nap (the usual dialogue running in my head at about 3:15 pm). Thank god for essential oils and their healing abilities. I love how there’s a scent for any ailment or issue. Like, got a headache? Rub some peppermint oil on your temples. Feeling sleepy? Orange citrus can bring you back to life. It really is amazing the power our sense of smell has over our body and our moods, and with handy little devices like USB diffusers that plug right into your laptop, my desk area can smell like a spa, even while I’m blog optimizing and promo planning.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Holy smokes, I only just recently discovered the magic of these babies and let me tell you, what a relief to my poor pupils. Eye strain is real, and as someone who’s suffered from chronic headaches her whole life, the effect looking at a monitor for 8+ hours a day was having on my eyes was no bueno. I purchased some blue light blockers from Zenni Optical for less than $40 (seriously), and from the moment I started wearing them I immediately felt a difference. Now it’s a non-negotiable that I wear them every time I’m on my computer at work or laptop at home. Try a pair, serious game changers here.
No Screens for 30 Minutes Post-Work
If I can offer any piece of advice, this would be the biggest. I have about a 25 minute commute, and one of the first things I learned upon entering the corporate world is you have to decompress upon getting home. While binging our favorite Netflix show is somewhat of a nightly routine with my boyfriend, I make sure that I’m saving screen time for later in the evening in order to give my eyes, my body and my mind a break. I take this time to do a gentle home yoga practice, meditate, walk my dog or cook dinner. It’s essential for people working a majority of the week to take that sacred time to pause, breathe and simply BE. Without it, we’re constantly running on empty, meaning that it’s not only impossible to show up as our best selves at the office daily, but also for the people and things that really matter at the end of the day.