Feel Good Diaries: 64 Oz. Water Bottles, Brain Dust, And Pilates

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. Have your own Feel Good Diary to submit? You can do so here!
Today: A woman who’s trying to find the balance between work life and personal life — with too much coffee and not enough wine.
Age: 26
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Occupation: Editor

Day One

7:03 a.m. — I’m lucky because my favorite pilates studio is right around the corner from my apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It only takes me about one speed-walking song to get there (which translates to about five minutes), which means I have enough time to boil water to make myself a cup of french press coffee (which I chug while speed walking). I can’t really function without coffee in the morning, but I’ve adopted a new pre-coffee ritual: drinking an entire glass of water with lemon, zapped in the microwave to make it room temperature. I’ve recently become obsessed with drinking more water (I blame my Hydro Flask and Jonah Hill), and now this morning glass has become a necessity for me — I feel like I’m flushing out all the gunk in my body from the night before and starting with a clean slate.
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The studio I go to is called East River Pilates, and they’ve recently expanded to three studios throughout Williamsburg. Their studios are all bright (even on a dreary winter morning) and welcoming, even if they aren’t the most spacious (hello, nothing in New York is). I’ve been going to classes here for the past year or so, ever since I moved to the area. Previously I loved (and splurged) on New York Pilates. NYP has a few more class options, but ERP is consistently more challenging, especially if you communicate with the instructors what you want to work on. I tell ours that I want butt and arms — I’ll be sore tomorrow.
I “pay” for ERP with ClassPass, which costs $79/month for 45 credits. ERP is 8-15 credits, depending on the time of day and type of class (reformer is my favorite and cost more than mat). My 64 oz. Hydro flask cost $59.95.
10:23 a.m. — At the office (a little late, I usually start working from home), and I’m elated to see not-yet ripe bananas out for us. I hate actually ripe bananas — they’re too sweet and too soft and taste like candy. Too early for that. I grab one, some organic blueberries I brought from home, and throw the fruit on top of a smaller serving of cereal with almond milk. I mostly want the cereal for the crunch, because I find a big bowl of fruit fills me up enough on its own before lunch. Today it’s homemade butternut squash chili, which I made on a whim a few nights ago. It’s far from perfect (I forgot to add… chili seasoning….) but it’s warm and tasty and didn’t cost me $20 on Seamless. I really love eating foods that are in season (squash, root veggies in winter and avocados, tomatoes in summer) and buying organic when I can, which is why I shop mostly at Whole Foods and my neighborhood fruit and vegetable market.
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A carton of organic blueberries costs $4.99.
7:12 p.m. — I go to an event for work which means dinner, red wine, and party snacks are free. All free food is good for you, right? Kidding, but I do find that the unhealthiest food that I eat is often food I didn’t purchase for myself. It’s simultaneously a pro and a con working in media: You save money by getting free wine (pro), but you also end up mindlessly eating free fried cheese thingies until your stomach hurts (con). Free.
11:35 p.m. — I’m home and end my day with a cup of Sleepy Time tea. I’ve been a steady advocate of night time tea for a while. I like sipping on it in bed and find it’s the absolute closest I’ll ever come to meditating. It’s a simple wind-down from a long day, and I do think the tea aides me in getting an (almost) substantial amount of sleep.
Also, another recent “wind down” life hack that I’m not doing at the moment but feel obliged to share — listening to Audible with a sleep timer. I’m constantly trying to read more, but I am 100% addicted to my phone so often find myself reading articles I’ve saved to Pocket (I have the free app and Chrome plug-in and love it) or scrolling Insta before I go to bed, which isn’t good for my eyes or sanity. But, and I’m not kidding, sometimes I get tired of holding books or am just so exhausted I just want a bedtime story. Voilà — the app reads to you and then shuts off on its own! I recommend Armie Hammer reading Call Me By Your Name. Your dreams will be sweet as peaches.
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A six-pack, 20-count Sleepy Tea costs $16.99 on Amazon, and a subscription to Audible costs $14.95/mos.
Daily Total: $175.88

Day Two

11:06 a.m. — Slept in for the first time in 2019. With the fluctuating weather, I’m mentally prepared to get a pretty nasty cold because at some point it’s just unavoidable with all the subway rides, after work events, and drastic temperature changes. To help combat this, I’ve also been taking Emergen-C. I like it a lot more than Airborne, and enjoy some of the flavors (I’m weird). It’s the weekend, so I’m moving slow. I try to stretch every morning because I sleep curled up in a ball because it’s cold, so this helps wake up my body and mind.
Emergen-C costs $10 for a 30-count box.
2:55 p.m. — Pilates! I book most of my classes through ClassPass and usually do a bunch of classes for two weeks, run out of credits, and then wait for my cycle to start again. This is one of those “on” weeks for me. I go to the slightly further location of ERP this afternoon to get a crisp walk in beforehand, since I’ve been relaxing at home all morning. I’m luckily not feeling hungover from the event the night before, but my skin is feeling parched and is breaking out a little. So before I go to my class I had given myself a mini facial, throwing on two different face masks: a pumpkin enzyme one from Peter Thomas Roth, and a sample from Biologique Recherche that I got after a facial last month. Skincare = wellness, ladies!
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The Peter Roth Thomas mask costs $42.
7:30 p.m. — It’s my friend’s engagement party which means drinks! Vodka with water and lots of lemon is my go-to drink. I swear you don’t get hangovers if that’s all you drink all night because there’s no sugar, no alcohol mixing, and no carbonation. It’s sometimes a risk to order this simple combo at a dive bar because the water isn’t always cold, and the vodka may be from a plastic handle *shudders* — but you’ll get used to it!
I’m with friends whom I haven’t seen in weeks — some months — because of our hectic holiday schedules. This long overdue catch-up and celebration feels so good. In a city where it’s very easy to feel lost and overwhelmed, evenings like these really make it feel like home. Friends and happiness are free.
Daily Total: $104

Day Three

12:40 p.m. — Despite my vodka waters, I’m feeling last night on the way to my 12:45 SoulCycle spinning class. Anyone else get a free one in their account thanks to that lawsuit? I survive the class, and have to LOL when the instructor says, “I’m so sorry if anyone here’s hungover.” I grab an oat milk latte after class as a little reward. I’ve been trying different types of milk alternatives recently to keep up with the ~trends~, but almond milk is still my favorite. Is that basic?
My SoulCycle class is free today, but classes usually cost $34. My oat milk latte was $6.
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I also regret to inform you that not only do I depend on a horoscope app, but I’m also into crystals.

5:45 p.m. — The world of journalism never rests! Even after a truly anxiety-inducing week in digital media, the world keeps spinning, and we have to keep working (even on Sunday evenings). Dinner is free when you work weekends, which means I snag a healthy-ish chicken and avocado (out of season I know!), with rice and a miso dressing. Free.
10:35 p.m. — I have problems falling asleep after I work on Sundays, so I double up and take some melatonin pills in addition to my Sleepy Time tea. I also check my Co-Star app to see what events from the previous week I can blame on the planets and stars. It’s probably not sufficient enough to be my only form of therapy at the moment.
I also regret to inform you that not only do I depend on a horoscope app, but I’m also into crystals. I have an amethyst I’ve been carrying around in my new purse and I feel like it has brought a really good energy into my life. It was a gift. I keep all the crystals I’ve picked out for myself in my room, or wear them as jewelry. My favorite is a large serpentine stone that I felt drawn to while I was on a trip in Sedona.
My melatonin costs $12.98 per bottle. The Co-Star app is free.
Daily Total: $18.98

Day Four

9:21 a.m. — Water. Coffee. Subway to work. I’m listening to Bad Blood right now, and even though it’s about Elizabeth Holmes’ fraudulent career, it strangely hypes me up for work. When I realize I’m zoning out, I switch to Maggie Rogers. I’m obsessed with her new album Heard It In A Past Life.
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The Rogers album costs $10.98, and music is totally a form of self and mental care!
2:17 p.m. — Been in a snacky mood so skip a typical lunch to graze all day. I’m also tired from working the night before so I add some Brain Dust to my afternoon coffee. I like the powder in my coffee with a little almond milk, but only if I have something in my stomach first. I can’t drink it alone first thing in the morning without my stomach hurting. But I really do think it gives me a little “boost.”
The Brain Dust from Moon Juice costs $38 for a jar.
7:40 p.m. — Time to sweat it out. My friend and I head to Equinox to sit in a burning hot glass box while moody lights shine on us — a.k.a Higher Dose. Higher Dose sounds spoofable, but it’s an incredible infrared sauna experience. You sit, you sweat, your body feels rejuvenated.
We chose the two-person, full hour session and with a promotional code I scored from work. It’s only $25 per person/hour. For new clients, it’s $30, but for existing clients, it’s $65, which is understandably not worth it to many people. But, if you’re comparing it to a class, you do burn calories they claim (approximately 600 in 60 minutes) — and you get cool Instagrams. My skin feels so soft afterwards, and I feel so exhausted but in a good way. I take a Lyft home that costs $12 because I feel too clean and zen to get on the subway.
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Daily Total: $85.98

Day Five

7:10 a.m. — It’s too cold for me to go to an early a.m. fitness class so I do some stretches and light toning in my (very small) room. I like waking up my body with some physical movement, especially when it’s below freezing out. Free.
12:50 p.m. — Simple salad with hard-boiled eggs and Prager’s veggie burger. I forgot dressing, but stopped by Juice Press in the morning to get their Nurse Ginger Green smoothie (I’m still bracing myself to get sick). I also picked up my favorite Tahini salad dressing. I should really get into making my own salad dressing. Sigh.
The veggie burgers cost $5.69 for four, the smoothie cost $10.10, and the Tahini dressing costs $1.99.
6:52 p.m. — I don’t have anything after work today, so I text my little sister and ask her to share some of her Sakara Life 10 Day Reset recipes.
I’ve done the Sakara meal plan before, and I much preferred it to juice cleanses (which I’ve done a handful of times after the holidays). It’s just very expensive, so I’m happy to try out one of their recipes without purchasing the entire subscription. I end up making a Moroccan-ish sweet potato kale cauliflower rice thing. I have a bad habit of looking at my phone while I eat, but I end up catching up on photos from my mom’s Instagram, which feels like two birds, one stone. She recently started her own journey towards becoming an Instagram food blogger during her retirement and has been posting every single dish she makes (she focuses on colorful, healthy dishes like this and this), Her latest thing is making mocktails with Kombucha, coconut water, and herbs. I make a mental note to try one this weekend.
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10:31 p.m. — After a few glasses of wind-down red wine (I like picks from Italy or Argentina), I try a Dirty Lemon “Sleep” water that a friend gave me. It says to drink the entire $10 bottle so I do as instructed. It tastes good, but I’m basically chugging it, and know I’ll have to get up in the middle of the night to pee now. I lay in bed in the dark, and while I don’t feel tired per se, I do feel really relaxed. Reviews that say it’s better than NyQuil are wrong — don’t expect that kind of knock-out. It inspires me to order Gossamer’s Dusk, a CBD/CBN sleep aid, which must have been gifted to a bajillion wellness/fashion bloggers because it feels like everyone has it. And now I will soon, too.
The bottle of red wine costs $15 from a local D.O.C. shop, the Dirty Lemon Sleep Tonic costs $65 for six bottles, but I got mine for free. The Gossamer’s Dusk costs $65/bottle.
Daily Total: $97.78

Day Six

8:15 a.m. — Wake up and decide take a shower with all the fixings — I throw on a hair mask while I floss (does anyone else lie to their dentist about their flossing habits), and I dry brush my entire body (thanks, Goop!). I love dry brushing — it’s great for your lymphatic system they say, and also sloughs off all my extra dry skin from the cold weather without being too rough. I bought my dry brush off Amazon a while ago, and use it every other shower. I live with two other people so I feel bad taking too long in the morning, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
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The dry brush costs $9.95.
11:17 a.m — Not sure I’ve fully expressed my devotion to this Hydro Flask water bottle. Drinking more water, as trite as it sound, is my number one priority when it comes to feeling “right.” Headache? Sluggish? Dried out? The moment I start guzzling my water, I’m healed. What I’m saying is: Drink more water! Constantly. Buy one, ladies. It’s also a great conversation starter. (The only downfall is that I pee all the time.)
5 p.m. — In the mood to sweat through this cold weather so I book a spot at The Class for the weekend. I bought a pack of five classes on Black Friday and have been hoarding them. I love Taryn Toomey’s extremely cult-ish class because it’s a full body and mind workout. I leave exhausted. It also gives me an excuse to show off my new Outdoor Voices leggings I bought in a moment of “this will make me work out in the winter” motivation.
The Class costs $32, the OV leggings cost $85.
Daily Total: $126.95

Day Seven

10:07 a.m. — I'm stressed and running late for work so I grab breakfast at Starbucks. I don't even have time to clean my water bottle and fill it up before I leave — that's how bad things are.
The Starbucks meal cost $10.

Walk to an event after work, to get my first “free” Cryo Facial thanks to the sub-zero temperatures.

3 p.m. — Have to run out for a meeting with an old-coworker and holy shit this snow! The downpour catches me totally off guard and I have a 10-minute walk between my subway stop and my co-worker’s new office. I feel my hands and lips started to chap up, but luckily I’m a chapstick hoarder and smear some all over my lips, nose, and knuckles once I enter the lobby. This is not OK. At least I’m not in Chicago though…
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7 p.m. — Walk to an event after work, to get my first “free” Cryo Facial thanks to the sub-zero temperatures.
10:45 p.m. — My roommate lets me try one of her COSRX pimple patches because I just finished my period, it snowed, I ate pizza for dinner, and my skin is already not happy. The best part of these patches is that they’re really undetectable. She tells me she’s even worn them at work before without anyone noticing. I decide to sleep in mine, and when I wake up, the irritated bumps have all calmed down. If only everything in life was that easy! Borrowing pimple patches from your roommates is free!
Daily Total: $19.50
Self-Reflection: Lots of water, lots of wine, and lots of shivering. Another week in New York. I realize reading this how important a good night’s sleep is to me — or at least my quest for one. I want to focus on actually unplugging, so I want to challenge myself to sleep with my phone outside of my room next week — at least once. I also think I’ll look into a membership at East River Pilates since I go there so much and hoard all my ClassPass points purely to sweat it out at their studios. I also am pretty sure I need to be sponsored by Hydro Flask, so...
Weekly Total: $629.07
Have your own Feel Good Diary to submit? You can do so here!

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