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 spends her week decompressing during Starbucks runs, heading to workout classes, and finally purchasing the SKIMS she's had her eye on.
Location: Bay Area, CA
Occupation: Real Estate Analyst
Location: Bay Area, CA
Occupation: Real Estate Analyst
Editor's note: This diary was written in April 2022.
9 a.m. — I order an açaí bowl on Uber Eats to start my morning off right! While I wait, I gua sha my face, play Quordle, and listen to a house playlist I found on TikTok. I’m not usually a house music person, but these songs are pretty mellow and vibey. I win my Quordle game. $10
12:30 p.m. — I graduated in March 2021 and spent the following months living in my college town working as a nanny, traveling, and enjoying my last few months before joining the corporate world. I moved out of my college town and back home in June and started my job virtually just a week after. My company had an initial return to office date of August 2021 so my plan was to live at home until then, but they continued to push the return date back. Now, I’m getting ready to move to Chicago this summer. I really love living at home because I’m saving a ton of money.
1 p.m. — I spend my lunch break tanning, cleaning, and enjoying an ice-cold beverage by the pool — three of my favorite things. How else are you supposed to celebrate a Friday in sunny California? I'm a Virgo, so staying clean and organized is something that is usually at the top of my priority list.
4:30 p.m. — Our washer-dryer decided to break, so all of my wet clothes have been stuck in the wash since lunch. I decide happy hour is in order to forget my troubles. I stop at the post office and the bank, then grab a drink with a friend. The drinks are strong, but the server only came to check on us once so by the time she came back happy hour was over and we couldn't get another. Such an L. Overall it was a nice time and I got to decompress on a sunny Friday afternoon. $10
Daily Total: $20
10:50 a.m. — I go to my favorite workout class. I pay a flat membership fee of $139 per month for eight classes, which comes to around $17.38 per class. I was supposed to go to the 8:30 a.m. class, but my alarm never went off so I end up going to the 10:50 a.m. one last minute which is chill, but I like to get my weekend workout done early so I can get on with my day. Nonetheless, it still feels good to work out. I stop at Starbucks next door and try out a new drink (mango dragonfruit refresher blended with strawberry purée) and it is surprisingly really good! My dad also fixed the washer while I was gone. $17.38
4 p.m. — I make a trip to the mall to get work clothes and shoes. I’m officially going into the office starting in August! They’re much needed since I have almost no professional attire, but it still sucks that I have to buy clothes just to go to work. I pick up a few staple tops and pants from H&M and Aritzia. $120
12 a.m. — I make an impromptu online SKIMS purchase. Well… not really impromptu. I had store credit and have been wanting to try out the brand, so I finally pull the trigger and get the Fits Everybody T-shirt Bodysuit. RIP to my bank account and my unruly spending habits. $62
Daily Total: $199.38
9 a.m. — My mom got pastries and coffee delivered to the house. They are crème and strawberry-filled croissants and seriously the best pastry ever. It’s the perfect way to start the morning.
12 p.m. — I take our dog for a walk. It’s so sunny and the perfect opportunity to get a little tan. My brother and I walk to the local park and play lots of fetch with our golden retriever puppy. I have a ladybug land on me, which hopefully brings some good luck.
3 p.m. — I try to get rid of my imminent Sunday scaries by baking banana bread and canceling some monthly subscriptions I don’t need and can’t afford (Canva Pro, HBO Max, Audiobooks.com). I also plan some apartment tours for my upcoming move across the country.
Daily Total: $0
12 p.m. — I sit outside during a 45-minute work meeting to try to get some sun before my upcoming trip to North Carolina to see my boyfriend. We started dating my senior year of college, and he moved there after school to start his career. He bought this awesome beach house right on the coast and I get to visit him often because I’m still working virtually. I drink a Celsius and start to get restless once the caffeine hits. Tanning is just so boring.
4 p.m. — I go to another workout class. It feels good to get a sweat in, but I made the mistake of wearing shorts without spandex and I end up worrying about being exposed the whole time. I’m going back tomorrow for redemption. $17.38
9 p.m. — My boyfriend and I watch the first ever episode of Gossip Girl over FaceTime because I wanted to show him the iconic show. It is fun to watch it through his eyes and I think I got him hooked.
Daily Total: $17.38
9 a.m. — I make myself a green smoothie from Daily Harvest that was in the freezer. I've been a vegetarian my whole life — along with the rest of my family — and I really appreciate salads, even when they are all blended up.
4 p.m. — I head to a workout class again. I wore leggings this time and things went much better. It’s 82 degrees and I am absolutely vibing. $17.38
10 p.m. — I purchased a high frequency machine on Amazon two weeks ago and decide to try it for the first time tonight. It is a really intimidating device but I’ve heard of people having great results (tightened and rejuvenated skin, cleared acne, oil reduction, etc.) so I’m really excited to see the results.
Daily Total: $17.38
9 a.m. — Starbucks is such a guilty pleasure of mine, but I swear I don't even enjoy the coffee as much as I enjoy the thought of it. I think it's really the excitement of going somewhere and having fifteen minutes to yourself. Coffee makes any day better. $5
4 p.m. — I head to another workout and it’s a great one — power days are my favorite. I love how it makes me feel. These classes have bettered my relationship with working out and also my relationship with food and healthy eating. I find this to be an enjoyable and sustainable way to move my body a few times a week! $17.38
7:30 p.m. — I go out to dinner with friends at a sushi restaurant. Meals out are a nice and easy way to break up my week. I'm new to the workforce so I am still learning how to balance work and real life, and fun outings like this seem to help. We split the bill. $20
Daily Total: $42.38
10 a.m. — I’m feeling off this morning so I take some time to reset. I read a few chapters of the current book we’re reading in my book club. My friends and I started a book club in college and it's been a great way to stay in touch and keep reading! After, I take a few minutes to journal, get some things off my mind, and write down some goals for the future. It was a really productive 30 minutes to help me get back on track.
4:30 p.m. — I get a pedicure to celebrate another work week in the books. I’m always celebrating the little wins! I get a light blue color for my upcoming trip to North Carolina — it seems fitting and perfect for the spring. $30
7 p.m. — We celebrate my dad’s birthday by going to a nice dinner out on the town, giving him presents, and eating some birthday cake! I’m always forgetting that my parents are getting older just like I am and I’m trying to enjoy these moments and be present. We have a very fun evening.
Daily Total: $30
Weekly Total: $326.52
Reflection: Having a wellness routine is so important. It's great to have healthy ways to decompress, be creative, express yourself, and connect with others. Obviously everyone has different methods to their madness and while all my techniques may not be the healthiest, I've found a balance of what works for me.