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 woman chronicles her weekly wellness routine of working out, eating vegan Mexican food, and watching The Kardashians.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Fitness marketing / screenwriter
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Fitness marketing / screenwriter
Editor's note: This diary was written in April 2022.
6:40 a.m. — I wake up and know this morning is going to kick my ass. I’m a morning person so I don’t mind getting up early, but I despise the fact that I never feel like I wake up with enough energy to get through my day. I drag myself out of bed and jog to Barry’s. It’s not that far from my apartment, so jogging there is not as impressive as it sounds. The moment I get there I realize I forgot my water — tragic. I quickly buy a bottle of water. The class I’m taking is a full-body workout, and it’s a full-blown pain in the ass. We do a mix of interval training and different lifting exercises. During class, I learn that you’re not supposed to run with your fists closed and that I’m still rocking my 12-minute mile time from high school. The class is $35 and the water is $3.83. ($38.83)
8:20 a.m. — After my workout, I drive over to Bluestone Lane and pick up a protein shake. The normal price of the smoothie is $10.11, but I’m a rewards member so I get a discount. This is my favorite place to pick up Australian coffee, and I have recently fallen in love with their protein smoothie collaboration with Kate Hudson, called InBloom. So far, I’ve only tried the Peanut Butter Berry Protein Smoothie because the only other smoothie with protein powder mixed in is a plain vanilla protein smoothie. I really need to start making my own shakes, but that’s a problem for another time. ($5.23)
10 a.m. — I go home and take my second shower of the day. I told myself before class that I probably wouldn’t sweat enough to need to rewash my hair, and I was very wrong. After showering, I settle into my desk to work on some writing. I drink water with Moon Juice SuperYou Supplements. These were gifted to me by the brand, so they didn’t cost me anything. I absolutely love this product and I have felt a shift in terms of how I carry stress in my body. I am someone who is constantly on edge due to my anxiety. Incorporating a wellness routine that includes self-care, working out, and just taking care of myself helps me stay in my best place mentally.
12 p.m. — I work in fitness marketing at a pilates studio, so helping people with their overall wellness is a huge part of my life. I go into work and get a salad on my break. I try my best to be vegetarian but am super-conscious of adding tofu or some other alternative into my meals. I am trying to cut back on spending money at work but since my workplace is in a new place and hasn’t installed a fridge yet, I end up having to spend money daily on lunch and coffee. ($5.99)
6 p.m. — I take a stretch and balance pilates class at the end of my workday. My shoulders tend to get super tense and I’ve recently discovered through this class that I am also carrying a large amount of tension in the bottom of my feet. I am a huge advocate for a good heel, whether it be a pump or a boot, and will not allow pain to stop me from wearing them, which probably leads to the tension buildup. Just a theory though. The class is taught by a new teacher that I’m not as familiar with as some of the others. Usually this class would be $39, but since I work for the company I am able to take pilates classes for free. I usually don’t count the stretch and balance class as a workout but as more of a wellness treatment that I do for myself to keep my body in the best condition throughout the work week.
8 p.m. — My Scent Lab candle has arrived in the mail. The candle retails for about $50, but it was luckily gifted to me by the brand. They let you build a custom scent based on your personality and lifestyle preferences. My custom fragrance is a combo of almond honey, cocoa butter, and cedarwood blanc.
Daily Total: $50.05
6:45 a.m. — I drive to Barry’s for a morning workout class with my boyfriend. We haven’t seen each other in a week due to traveling, so I am very eager. I love that we both share a similar interest and enjoy taking classes together. It’s so fun to share the little things like a daily workout with a partner. ($35)
I get a water from Barry’s, and they forgot to charge me for it. Afterwards, I wait in my sweaty Alo Yoga set while my boyfriend changes and gets ready for work in the men’s dressing room. I was able to thrift my Alo Yoga and with the tags on. Although my leggings and top would usually be around $200, I ended up paying around $40.
8:20 a.m. — I get the same protein shake from Bluestone Lane. Again, the shake is discounted for me since I am part of their rewards program. ($5.23)
2 p.m. — I get vegan Mexican food with my friend at a place on Melrose. I order the vegan loaded fries which isn’t the most-healthy option, but they are my guilty pleasure. I can’t resist getting them whenever I go with her. I love finding a middle ground between fast food and what I would consider a more formal meal. It's so nice to catch up with her and do some window shopping. I pay using Apple Pay and we split the bill. ($18.43)
I couldn’t make it an all-day excursion because I had a script outline to work on. I graduated with an undergraduate degree in playwriting, then pursued a two-year certificate in television writing. I work on pilot scripts and am working on a new one for a UCLA Extension class I am involved in. I’m also in pre-production for a short film with a Pixar director attached.
Daily Total: $58.66
7 a.m. — I’m not able to workout because I have a writing meeting. I make myself some toast. I used to be particular about what type of bread I would buy and what type of spread, but I love white bread and Nutella because I have the taste buds of a child. I try to make coffee with my Keurig but I can’t seem to make the perfect cup, so I end up walking around the corner to get coffee. ($5.83)
11:45 a.m. — I go to the pilates studio in my Lululemon workout gear: leggings and a navy crop top. We are allowed to wear athleisure at all times, which makes it even easier for me to hop into classes. I buy a salad and an iced almond milk latte. I don’t take a workout class because I’m meeting my boyfriend for a date night and don’t want to get all sweaty. ($15.83)
9 p.m. — My boyfriend and I go to get drinks and food. We were originally trying to get into a more exclusive place, but we didn’t have a reservation so we ended up just releasing ourselves back into the wild. We end up at one of the first bars we went to when we first started dating, so it’s a cute little throwback. My amazing gentleman boyfriend pays, but when we get back to my car I have a ghastly looking parking ticket on my windshield.
Daily Total: $21.66
9:30 a.m. — I slept over at my boyfriend's, so when I wake up I drive myself home to take a shower. I apply a clay face mask from Target to try to regain the ground I lost by not doing my skin-care routine at his apartment. I don’t see a huge difference in my skin, but I feel cleaner and that’s what matters to me.
4:30 p.m. — Back at the pilates studio, I take a Pilates x TRX Suspend class. The class requires a large amount of upper-body strength, which is something I do not have. This class is always a positive experience because even though it’s filled with the most-devoted clients at the studio, it’s still super challenging for everyone and we all struggle through it together. I almost want to walk out of the class because it’s so difficult, but I know I’m just tired from the rest of the week.
9 p.m. — Home is my sanctuary and my haven away from the pressure of having to have my public personality “on.” I go straight to my room and unwind by starting the new season of Russian Doll. I put some lavender essential oils in my diffuser and just relax. I bought my diffuser on Etsy when I first moved into my apartment in August — the diffuser itself was around $38 and I ordered the oils on Amazon and they were about $15. I’ve been trying to incorporate some meditation that I learned in my college arts classes to clear my mind at the end of the night, but so far I feel too self-conscious to actually commit to it. After watching some Russian Doll, I start the new episode of The Kardashians.
Daily Total: $0
9:50 a.m. — On the way to work, I stop at one of my favorite coffee shops. They sell a variety of vegan goodies. I grab a Mango Coconut plant-based meal bar. I love how it lists the exact amount of fiber and protein it has. Knowing I am giving myself that nutrition gives me a weird sense of comfort. ($3.95)
11:30 a.m. — After doing a few hours of work, I take a cardio sculpt Reformer Pilates class and feel so burned out after, I immediately go to the grocery store and pick up a mediterranean salad and a cheese bagel for lunch. I almost always pick up a cheese bagel when I get the chance, I love bread so much. ($8.12)
7 p.m. — After work, I pick up some watermelon and a bottled Starbucks latte to push me through some late-night writing. I make it home and light some candles. Candles create an atmosphere that make me feel way fancier and more calm than I actually am. They’re truly my favorite addition to any bedroom or living room. ($9.31)
Daily Total: $21.38
7 a.m. — I wake up and eat a Light and Fit Greek yogurt and get another plant-based meal bar on my way to work. It’s pretty quiet and I’m able to answer some emails for my writing and social-media endeavors while at work. For lunch, I go back to the same grocery store and get a different version of the same salad to stay in my little routine. ($9.82)
4:45 p.m. — I go home, have a fruit bowl, and dive right into planning a creative photoshoot for my writing website and reworking an outline. It’s a pretty quiet Saturday night and I’m able to get a good amount of work done.
Daily Total: $9.82
11 a.m. — Sunday is the only day I allow myself to sleep in, and it’s always glorious. Sleep is so important to me — I’m not one of those people that can survive on a small amount of sleep. After getting a full ten hours, I’m able to start my day and be productive. It’s mostly a writing day so I treat myself to some healthy snacks from Ralph’s: almonds, chips, and some pineapple. I also grabbed an Olipop, the probiotic soda, in Strawberry Vanilla. ($22.23)
Daily Toal: $22.23
Weekly Total: $183.80
Reflection: My life is pretty centered around wellness because of my day job. To me, the key to health and wellness is to make sure it’s framed in a way where it makes your daily life better and less stressful, rather than feeling like you are striving to reach unattainable goals.