It’s hard to believe that we’re two decades past Y2K, when the world was supposed to end once we hit the year 2000. While flip phones and Dunk-a-Roos might be obsolete, health and wellness has absolutely exploded. “Mindfulness” and “ashwagandha” are said as often as “literally,” and people are opting for daily inspiration to maximize their health.
But amidst this wellness boom, many basic essentials of health have become over-complicated. People think they need to be a tonic herbalist moon circle specialist in order to be “healthy.” But sticking to what’s foundational – yes, like brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day – is critical to your overall health.
As you resolve to “do better” or “change things up a bit” for the coming New Year, we’re here to help you get back to basics. Here are some certifiably “good” habits from four of our favorite lifestyle gurus (who know a thing or two about wellness, art, and business) to remind you that health should never feel like an added chore:
See your day before starting your day.
Lily Kunin is a chef and entrepreneur who advocates for good, clean, and consistent eating habits. But before taking to the kitchen, she spends 20 minutes every morning meditating. Trained in Vedic meditation, Kunin focuses on mantras, reminding herself to think about three things she’s grateful for and setting a singular intention for the day. It might seem like a big undertaking, but it actually makes her mornings more enjoyable.
People are always saying they don’t “have time” to meditate, or that taking 20 minutes out of their day to pause is impossible. But Lily makes it a priority while also managing to open a new restaurant, run her own business, and write books. Kunin says that her routine opens up space in her day, rather than taking from it. From meditating to brushing her teeth twice daily, routines help her to “reestablish normalcy” and become more efficient with her sacred hours.
When her meditation routine falls away, Kunin dives into a 21-day intensive, tracking each day, ensuring she doesn’t miss one. According to her, 21 days is the magic number for re-establishing a way of thinking about the world and locking that habit back into place.
Recharge and unwind in transit.
Having three full-time (and successful) creative jobs is a stressful, which is why Lucy Litman values healthy habits that will give her the space to process her creativity and ground herself before starting a full day’s work.
From working as the Digital Content & Experiences Manager at Allbirds to running a fully-fledged lifestyle social account to being avant garde artist, Lucy attributes walking to and from work as a huge part of her success. “It helps me prepare for the day on the way there, and also unwind. About a year ago, I quit all of my gym memberships and just started walking everywhere and I'm the healthiest I've ever been!”
Not only does walking give Lucy time to decompress, “wandering around with no purpose” helps her find her best thoughts, becoming inspired by the randomness of her surroundings. This, in turn, gives her more confidence in her ideas and less focus on distracting things that take away from her priorities.
3. Drinking Water
It’s mostly… everything.
Vanessa Fitzgerald, Health Coach and Nutritionist extraordinaire, knows that self-care does not have to be self-indulgent, and that means optimizing the bare essentials for better wellbeing. For her, drinking water is not only a way to clear her mind, but it’s her ultimate defense against dehydration-induced skin rashes, migraines, dizzy spells, and mood swings.
“I make sure to start my day off with 20oz of filtered spring water. I always have my 40oz Hydroflask by my bed, fully loaded the night before so that I have no excuse. After I hydrate, I write down all my thoughts that are racing through my mind in the notes section of my phone, so that I can attack them later.”
Vanessa is pretty insistent on the importance of routines, even going so far as to say that floss and chapstick are her two best friends.
As important as her morning routine is, Vanessa puts just as much emphasis on winding down in the evening. Aside from putting her phone on airplane mode (at least an hour before bed) and working through an evening face and dental hygiene routine, Vanessa tries to stop drinking water an hour before bed as well to avoid having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
The good news? Drinking water is an actionable habit no matter where she goes or where she is.
Develop intentional habits and keep your joints safe..
Sierra Prescott is a full-time photographer and author who loves to capture her passion: skateboarding. As a boarder, she’s used to falling on her wrists. To stay safe, she must stay limber. But she emphasizes strict regimens to maintain her flexibility.
Every morning, Sierra likes to “let the light in,” brush her teeth, and get to stretching. She likes to imagine her mornings in their full detail — a yoga mat, a video, an open space.
Sierra not only advocates for stretching because it grounds you, but also because it keeps her joints loose. “I try to keep my ankles and wrists (the ones with the most vulnerability) stretched and strong. Stretching is a huge part of skateboarding. Good muscle response aids in injury prevention.”
She advocates for intentionality behind each of her daily physical activities. Good habits, she says, are “the backbone of her life.” Full disclosure, she’s also been a quip subscriber for 4+ years — another habit that we can get on board for.