SELF CARE


Inside Look: My Daily Grind

Elle

When I first started this job, I threw myself into it 100% and let it be the central theme of my day. I didn’t have a “usual” time to leave the office and when I finally did get home, I would just plop down on the couch to recover for the next day. After a late-night anxiety attack, I knew it was time for a change.

Last week, I tuned in to a great interview with Aliza Licht, where she said something we all need to hear – “You can’t possibly give 100% to everything, but you also don’t need to.” In another moment, she said “…I think we can have it all, at different times of the day.” I love her positive yet realistic attitude, and those quotes summarize the approach I developed for my week – I break up the day and try to keep dedicated time slots for everything.

6:20 AM

This was the first piece I focused on fixing when I realized how badly I was treating myself. Now, I wake up before my alarm and take a few minutes in bed to remember my goals for the day. The longest part of my morning routine is still my hair (please leave some advice in the comments, curly girls!), but that’s a post for a different day. If I could cut down that hair time, I might finally be able to have breakfast at home instead of at my desk…

7:00 AM

Once I’m on the train, I catch up on news & social media, tag articles I want to share, and edit any post drafts I have going. I’ll admit to the occasional nap if I don’t feel rested.

7:45 AM

I get into the city with time to spare before work, so I try to fit in small errands that would otherwise take up time during lunch. Once I’m in the office, it’s go time!

8:00 AM

Because I get in before the rest of my team, I keep a log of open tasks to tackle in my quiet hour and try not to read email before I check something off that list. Once the office starts buzzing with arrivals (around 9) it’s time for coffee.

12:30 PM

Whether I packed lunch or not, I try to commit to leaving the office for at least half hour. If you’re in the area, you can find me at the nearby Rizzoli bookstore (bookworm heaven), or exploring the latest beauty products at TonyMoly in KTown. There’s also a super cute independent boutique tucked into the back corner called “Luv Luv” which is worth the visit just for the wardrobe inspiration.

3:00 PM

After lunch, when my energy starts to dip (3PM wall, anyone?) it’s time for a “decaf” espresso, which is a low caffeine pick-me-up. This is also the time I check in with my project manager to see if we have anything pressing due for the day that I haven’t completed yet.

5:15 PM

Unless I have an event to get to or a deadline to deliver on, this is my hard stop for work. I’ve got one train I can catch to get to my 6:30 gym class and I’m committed! I love working out but I’m not good at making myself do it, so a group training environment and some accountability is all the motivation I need.

7:45 PM

Since the beginning of our relationship we built a habit of cooking dinner together. It gets food in our bellies faster and is a lot more fun than cooking alone. We’ve shared a notebook of recipes for nearly four years, so if you’re looking for quick & healthy dinner options, feel free to ask. I’m also working on a post about the one thing that’s completely changed how we cook and eat, stay tuned!

9:00 PM

After dinner, I catch up on personal e-mails and other guilty pleasures (:cough: Scandal :cough:), then I block off an hour of study time for my upcoming exam. To become a licensed architect, I have to pass 7(!) exams, so to get back in the testing habit I’m pursuing WELL certification. It’s an offshoot of the green building movement dedicated to creating healthier spaces for building occupants.

11:00 PM

Though I’d love to say I put away all of my devices by this time, I’m usually on Pinterest looking for outfit inspiration while I set mine up for the next day. I have a quick nighttime beauty routine that I’m experimenting with (I’d love to hear yours!) and then I settle into bed with a good book. Lately it’s been the fabulous WELL Building Standard.

Of course, this is my baseline day, but I’ve built in flexibility to accommodate surprise deadlines at work or visits with friends and family. The real foundation of a productive day is choosing what matters most and being uncompromising. For me, that’s my one hour at the gym and dinner time with the boyfriend.

So tell me, what’s the foundation of your day / what don’t you compromise on?