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.
Today: A digital entertainment host in Atlanta adjusts her morning and nighttime routines, goes shopping, and takes herself on a solo date.
Location: Atlanta, GA
Occupation: Digital entertainment host
Location: Atlanta, GA
Occupation: Digital entertainment host
10 a.m. — I’m trying to get into the habit of waking up earlier. I’ve been going to bed at 2 or 3 a.m. and getting up at around 10 or 11:30 a.m. Yuck. I just feel like I’m losing so much of my day this way. And if you ask me why I stay up that late, I really wouldn’t be able to tell you. I’m literally up doing nothing — just on my phone, scrolling. It’s a horrible habit that I’ll be working on this week. Even so, I end up staying in bed for another hour, getting lost in TikToks. I’ve somehow ended up on #BBLrecovery TikTok and… I can’t look away.
11 a.m. — I tell myself, Girl, get up, fling the covers off, run into the bathroom, and turn the shower on. If I don’t — if I start walking around the house with my phone in my hand, turn on TV, or do anything besides going straight into the shower — I sometimes won’t get around to it until 2 p.m. So, today, I said, “Let's go.” I turn the water on and rinse out the hair mask I kept in overnight. I used the Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Hair Mask. You’re instructed to keep it in for five minutes in the shower, but this mask also doubles as a leave-in, so I felt comfortable sleeping in it.
11:30 a.m. — I decide to blowdry my hair. I want a different hair look this week, and a blowout always does the trick. I use a basic paddle brush and my Conair blow dryer, then I twist my hair out for an elongated look. This takes about an hour. I eat some fruit and oatmeal for “breakfast.” (It’s lunchtime, but this is my first meal.) Like I said, I want to start waking up earlier so things can happen at times that make sense. I feel like my whole day drags because I wake up so late. I’ll blame it on the pandemic. I used to have a routine because I was getting up and going to an office, but now, all that has changed. Working from home is a gift and a curse because I’ve become significantly more lazy. The goal today is to take a cute photo to post to my Instagram feed. I haven’t posted anything in weeks, and this is the only job I have, so I feel like I’m slackin’. So, I’ll spend today getting cute and taking pictures. I also agreed to send a “Happy birthday” video to one of my followers. Her boyfriend emailed me asking me to make this video for her. How sweet is that?
3:45 p.m. — Heating up some lobster bisque that I bought yesterday and eating it with toast. I grab some gelato from a spot close to my place. ($4.63) Strawberry crumb-flavored — yum! It’s a little pick-me-up treat that always makes me smile. I’m trying to do this thing where I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. You know, like a normal person. ($4.63)
6:30 p.m. — I walk over to Whole Foods to grab some quick things for dinner tomorrow. ($22.23) I’m cooking for one of my friends and want to get everything beforehand. I’m making my world-famous spaghetti! I love cooking for my friends. I used to think that I didn’t like hosting my friends at my house, but I’ve learned that I actually do. I like laughing and spending time with them in my place. It makes my house feel like a home. ($22.23)
Daily Total: $26.86
8 a.m. — Alarm goes off. I snooze it, but get up after it goes off again. I shower and am up and at ‘em by 10 a.m. I never took that “cute pic” yesterday, so I’m considering doing that today. Maybe. There's no sun out today, but it's supposed to be over 80 degrees, so I’m definitely going outside.
11 a.m. — At Home Depot looking at paint swatches. I’m considering painting a few walls in my new place. It’s between that and wallpaper, but I feel like painting will be easier. I’m really into light pastels right now, so I choose swatches that fall into that vibe. As far as the wallpaper, I really don’t have a vision for it. But when I see the print, I’ll know it's the one.
11:30 a.m. — I buy some chicken pastries ($4) and eat them with an avocado and a glass of water.
3:30 p.m. — Enjoying some gelato outside in the sun. ($4.64)
3:45 p.m. — I pop into a few eyewear stores and try on some frames. I book my annual eye exam appointment for next week.
7 p.m. — I’m in a money-spending mood, so I buy some dresses and shoes online ($700). I’m considering this an investment because I really want to have clothing in my closet that’ll last me for a lifetime. It’s one thing if I get rid of things because they no longer speak to my style, but it’s another if it’s because they don’t stand the test of time, quality-wise. The goal is to be less wasteful when it comes to clothes. I don’t need much — just good, quality pieces.
8 p.m. — I eat leftovers from yesterday for dinner, and a few hours later, I fall asleep.
Daily Total: $704.64
8:30 a.m. — I’m up! I snoozed my alarm, like, four times, but I’m up.
10 a.m. — Eating breakfast. I make myself an egg and cheese croissant toast sandwich with basil and onions. It’s delish.
12 p.m. — My close girlfriend comes by to hang out with me for the day. We take a walk with her dog, and end up saving a baby turtle that she accidentally kicks. I pick the little guy up and put him in the water with the rest of the turtles. He was so cute.
3 p.m. — This particular girlfriend and I always have to stop in a beauty store when we’re together. I’ve been in the mood for a new perfume, and was this close to getting a Tom Ford scent, but I’m going to wait until my most recent fragrance purchase arrives to see if I need it. I bought it online and don’t know what it’s going to smell like on me. I don’t share the fragrances I wear because they’re very personal to me. Same with my eyewear. I wear glasses every day — they’re a part of me. I don’t want to walk down the street and see 10 other people with the same frames as me. And with perfume, when I walk into a room, I want to smell like me, not everybody else.
6 p.m. — We grab some yummy wraps from one of our favorite Indian restaurants for a late lunch-slash-early dinner. Her treat. For dessert, I treat us to some mini donuts. We only get two and they cost $10. A scam. And they weren’t even good. Double scam. ($10)
11 p.m. — I’m showered and in bed. It feels good to go to sleep before 2 a.m. I have to do this more often.
Daily Total: $10
8:30 a.m. — I hop right in the shower. I like to listen to podcasts while I’m showering. I flip between Every Outfit, WHOREible Decisions, The Friendzone, and Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations. All but one of these podcasts are led by Black people. I love to hear us discuss different topics: For instance, WHOREible Decisions is a sex podcast, the Friend Zone is all about culture and wellness, and Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations always leaves me feeling like I have room to grow and learn. Today, I choose to listen to a WHOREible Decisions episode.
10:15 a.m. — I use my second bedroom as an office. This is where I edit most of my content. My only issue about working in here is that there are no windows, so I feel like I’m in a cubicle. As the most rebellious 9-5er, this makes things really hard for me. I hate working. Specifically, I hate working in a space that doesn’t have beautiful distractions. Like trees…through a window.
1:15 p.m. — I have these manifestation cards that I was gifted in a PR package. I only pick up the deck when I feel called to it. I’m not super “woo-woo,” but I’m very tuned into my spirituality. I pull three cards that read, “Ask,” Gratitude,” and “Balance.” These words mean a great deal to me and really speak to where I am emotionally and mentally. I’ve been feeling an overwhelming sense of loneliness and am just overall feeling lost, specifically in my “what do I do next with my life?” genre. I decide to take a walk so I can get some air and hopefully gain more clarity on my feelings.
2:30 p.m. — Currently swingin’ on a swing. There are no kids on this playground, so I decide to take a moment. There should be grown-up playgrounds. We deserve this kind of stuff, too.
6 p.m. — Cooking myself some dinner, and it was delicious.
Daily Total: $0
9 a.m. — Peeling off my pimple patches and turning on some music to work out to. I love dancing, so I tend to use dance as my form of working out. I’ll turn on music videos and do the full choreography. I do this for about an hour.
11:15 a.m. — I shower — while listening to a podcast (of course). Then, cook some breakfast.
12 p.m. — I meet up with my girlfriends for a yoga class ($18). My friend is a certified yoga instructor, so I try to take her class when I can.
2 p.m. — We all grab lunch ($12) together and take a walk in the park. I grab a Popsicle ($4) on the walk because it just felt like that kind of day.
7 p.m. — Doing some more online shopping. I spend $522.88 — eek. These are summer staples I feel like I need, though. I want to add some color to my wardrobe and refresh some styles I already have. I’m also not ashamed to return things if I don’t like them.
Daily Total: $556.88
9 a.m. –- I’m up, but stay in bed until 10:30 a.m. It feels good to relax. I eat a light breakfast before going on a power walk. I aspire to be the type of woman who is active and only does what she wants to do, living a life of peace and ease. These are the kinds of thoughts I have on my walks, and they’re the reason I love going on them. Walking outdoors is my moment to feel gratitude. I’m very thankful to be this self-reflective because I believe that it's how I'm able to recognize all my many blessings.
1 p.m. — I stop by Target and pick up e.l.f. Cosmetics' Soap Brow ($6.36). I’m really trying to perfect my brows, so I’m buying all the things. I’ve fully transitioned into the less-is-more category of beauty. The no-makeup makeup looks. The no-tension hairstyles. I wear makeup significantly less because of the pandemic. I’ve been in the house for most of the last two years. And as far as hair, I’ve always kept it light on the hair. I love a wash-n’-go or twist out. I keep it simple with Maui Moisture Smooth & Repair + Vanilla Bean Hair Butter and Maui Moisture Frizz-Free + Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Mist. It's my favorite duo for a moisturized fro. My no-makeup makeup routine currently consists of Skinglass Beauty Highlighting Oil on my temples and high points (this gives me that natural glow I love); e.l.f. Cosmetics Hydrating Camo Concealer; and Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in "Blackest Black" on my lashes (the wand is undefeated). Sometimes I’ll throw a false lash on to give me some oomph. I've been using e.l.f Cosmetics' Wow Brow Gel on my brows, but that could soon be changing. Let’s see what this Soap Brow is giving.
2 p.m. — Hanging out with my mom and brother today. I treat them to my favorite Indian restaurant and take them on the walk I take every day. I haven’t seen my mom in a year, so it's really nice to be with them. ($51.54).
10:30 p.m. — Eating some dinner and relaxing. Drooling over the men in Top Boy, and then heading to bed. I had such a great day.
Daily Total: $57.90
9:30 a.m. — I’m feeling good and refreshed this morning. I think I’m going to take myself on a little date tonight.
1 p.m. — I spend the morning returning emails and completing work that I have to do. I have some goals this year that require help from other people, but I’ve learned that I don’t like asking for help — so much so that I will avoid it at all costs. I just end up feeling like I’m getting on people’s nerves. And even though I’ve been reassured that I’m not inconveniencing anyone, I still feel like I’m just…in the way. But I need help, and I have the resources, so I should use them.
5 p.m. — I buy some tickets for a late movie tonight ($18). I’m so excited! I love a good solo date. I also start thinking about the summer, and so naturally I go online and buy six bikinis ($820). I’m not proud of how much money I spent. But also, why is swimwear so expensive now?
12:30 a.m. — Just getting home from the movie. I Ubered there and back ($26). I saw the new film Everything Everywhere All at Once. It was chaotic, but I loved the message. Without giving anything away, my takeaway is: Be the best version you can be today. You’re capable of many things. Do them. Try them. And treat folks with kindness and love along the way.
Daily Total: $864
Week Total: $2,300.28
Reflection: I spent a lot of coins this week, but if I’m being honest, this does not reflect how I normally spend my money. I just so happened to be doing a lot of online shopping this week, so please don’t judge me. Overall, I’m proud of myself. I started the week waking up late and I made the effort to get up earlier and go to sleep earlier. Creating good habits is the phase I’m in right now. I want to make choices that reflect the kind of life I want. It’s nice to read everything back and see how I made those changes for myself. Self-reflection is a major part of my personal growth and really keeps me in check. My personal goal after all this is to just remain consistent and try to stay in the present.