20 Healthy Habits I Started in My 20s

Something I’ve been reflecting on more lately has been self-improvement. Namely, I’ve been thinking that it’s something I’d like to write about more on my blog, since it’s always been such an important part of my life. Ever since middle and high school, I have always been interested in ways that I could better myself. I’ve tried adopting habits like meditating, creating the perfect morning routine, and learning study skills, all from my various quests for self-improvement over the years. Many of these habits have even stuck!

That being said, I firmly believe that establishing healthy habits in your 20s is key to staying healthy throughout your lifetime. When you’re a young adult, you’re building the foundation that sets you up for a lifetime of success. You might not think the way you eat or the way you talk to yourself now matters very much, since you have years ahead of you — but it matters in that, once they are established, bad habits are difficult to correct. You’ll be much healthier and happier in your 30s, 40s, and beyond if you set yourself up for success now.

Granted, I’m still working on building healthier habits. I’m trying to exercise more, which I haven’t done much of since the pandemic started. I’m also trying to be cleaner and more organized. As usual, the quest for self-improvement is never over, since we, as humans, are never done growing. But, I do think I’ve done a good job establishing a number of healthy habits throughout my 20s that will set me up for success.

These are 20 of those healthy habits — ones I think every woman should adopt in her 20s to set her up for a lifetime of success. While I say every woman should adopt them, I also recognize that building healthy habits takes time. It’s best to start with one small change at a time, and work to make them part of your routine before moving onto the next thing. Don’t feel pressured to be “perfect” or adopt an entirely new lifestyle at once!

1. Drinking Less Sugar

I’m not one to focus on calories, but I do think there is way too much sugar in everything. Instead of reading labels and stressing about the numbers, one easy way to reduce your sugar intake is to stop drinking sweetened beverages. Not long ago, I stopped putting sugar in my coffee, because I realized all that sugar adds up. Soda and juice (even the so-called “healthy” kinds like Naked) add up even faster. Like a lot of people, however, I don’t like drinking plain water all that much. Two things that helped me cut back on sweetened beverages are drinking green tea with lemon and drinking Spindrift sparkling water. Spindrift uses just enough real fruit juice to add flavor, but not enough to give yourself a cavity!

2. Going to Therapy

Maybe it’s that I’m a future therapist, but I genuinely believe that everybody should go to therapy at least once in their lifetime. Everybody has their sh*t, but few people realize how their past continues to affect them today. If you are interested in self-improvement, then going to therapy is one of the best things you can do. Interrupting toxic behavior prevents it from becoming a pattern that you pass down to your kids, and they pass down to their kids, and so on. Most people have learned at least one toxic behavior from their families. Let the cycle of toxicity end with you.

3. Joining a Gym

The moral of the story isn’t that you need to join a gym — it’s that you need to find the type of exercise you actually like and stick with it. Me joining a gym is the perfect example: I love to run, but I hate the cold. So, I joined a gym so I could use the treadmill instead of lying to myself that I would go for a jog outside in the snow. When your workout is miserable, you’re never actually going to do it. Whether it’s doing yoga, jumping on a trampoline, or riding a bike, find a way to get active that you genuinely love.

4. Watching Less TV

This wasn’t a change I made on purpose, but I do believe it has had a positive effect on my life. Over time, I found that if I wanted to keep up with my other hobbies, like bullet journaling and blogging, then I didn’t have time to binge watch entire seasons of TV shows in one day. Over the past year, I’ve watched exactly one TV show (Schitt’s Creek, for anyone who’s wondering). Watching less TV frees up my time for other, healthier habits — like reading!

5. Washing Off My Makeup

I admit that I am still working on this one, because sometimes I just want to collapse in bed at the end of a long day. However, I do think it’s essential to wash off your makeup every night before bed. Eye infections, pimples, and tons of other yucky problems can result from leaving the remnants of last night on your face while you sleep. If you’re super lazy like I am, I highly recommend getting a Makeup Eraser. Since you don’t need anything except water, it requires little effort to wipe off the day’s makeup — and it’s more eco-friendly than using disposable face wipes.

6. Making My Bed

Recently, I’ve started making my bed — and it has seriously transformed my morning routine. Something about having a freshly made bed helps me start off my day on the right foot. I like the ritual of it all, and it helps me clear my head and feel more organized. It’s also so much more satisfying to crawl into bed at the end of the night when it hasn’t just been slept in.

7. Embracing What Makes Me “Weird”

Throughout college, I was very self-conscious about some of my interests that were considered “weird.” I didn’t think it was cool to like video games or kawaii things, and thought I had to dress and act a certain way to fit in. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I’m a lot happier accepting the things that make me “weird” and worrying less about other people’s perceptions of me. Sure, I know that people are judging me sometimes. But I’ve decided to actively try not to care about other people’s opinions. The only one that matters is my own!

8. Eating Real Meals

I don’t know which college girl needs to hear this, but coffee is not a meal! I used to pick up a Starbucks Frappuccino before night class and think that it was dinner. Not only is this a super unhealthy attitude to have toward food — I thought that eating less made me superior somehow — but it’s the worst way to fuel your body. Your brain needs carbs, fats, and protein to function optimally. Eating complete meals that combine all three keeps you full longer and helps boost your brainpower. You can’t focus on work or school when you’re starving. In other words, eating real meals can literally make you more productive!

9. Following a Budget

I am, admittedly, the type of person who spends more than she saves. While I still don’t save much, I have gotten much stricter with my spending over the past few weeks — a habit that I hope to keep up throughout 2021. Something about having adult expenses for the first time, like a car payment and rent, helps me stay accountable to my budget. Because I’m worried about the consequences if I can’t make my payments, I’m less likely to spend my money on frivolous or unimportant expenses before getting to the important stuff.

10. Starting a Bullet Journal

You don’t necessarily need a bullet journal to be healthy, but I do think a bullet journal has provided me with two much-needed things in my life. Firstly, it helps me stay organized. Everyone needs to find a system of organization that works for them and helps them keep up with important tasks. For me, that has been a bullet journal, but for you, it could be a digital calendar, to-do list, or something else entirely! Secondly, it has been a wonderful creative hobby that helps me express myself and gets me away from screens. In my opinion, everyone needs a hobby that helps them bring out their artistic side. Bullet journaling has accomplished that for me.

11. Ending Toxic Relationships

It took me a long time to value myself enough to want to leave my toxic relationships behind. In the past, I have had toxic relationships with friends, family members, and romantic partners. Previously, I felt trapped in these relationships, but no longer talking to my dad was the impetus that empowered me to stop letting people walk all over me. Now, I’m much more selective with the people I spend my time with, and I won’t enter a relationship — platonic, romantic, or otherwise — unless I’m certain it will serve me.

12. Quitting Drinking

I’m not morally against drinking alcohol, but I think it’s important to acknowledge that alcohol is a drug. The fact that it’s socially acceptable to drink alcohol (as opposed to snorting cocaine, for example) doesn’t make it any better for you. Besides the studies linking red wine to heart health, there’s no evidence that drinking alcohol has any benefits. Personally, I had a negative relationship with alcohol in college. Like most of us, I partied a little too hard at some points, and I think I was using it to compensate for my social anxiety. If you are still binge drinking in your 20s, it’s time to ask yourself why and get to the root of your relationship with alcohol. You don’t necessarily need to quit like I did, but you definitely can’t keep up these behaviors with zero consequences.

13. Gossiping Less

Seriously, if you don’t have anything more interesting to talk about than what other people are up to, then you should focus on making your own life one worth talking about! I’ve found that the friendships I’ve gossiped most in are often the least genuine. If someone doesn’t accept and embrace your unique interests, and you can only bond over your shared hatred of someone else, that friendship probably isn’t going to last.

14. Putting My Hair Up

Growing up, my parents used to tell me I should pull my hair off my face so that I wouldn’t break out, but I never listened. Now, I make an effort to put my hair up in a messy bun or pull back my bangs with a hair clip to avoid trapping oil and dirt beneath. I honestly believe making this change has reduced the number of pimples I get on my forehead, and it’s definitely helped my hair look less greasy between washes.

15. Not Using Credit Cards

In college, I accumulated a lot of credit card debt. Some of this debt, I don’t regret — it allowed me to travel abroad, for example. But a lot of the money I spent, I spent trying to compensate for insecurities and keep up with the Joneses of my college. I was in a sorority where a lot of the girls had more money than me, and I felt like I needed to present myself a certain way. Today, I am still repairing my credit score from the damage I inflicted. The only reason I’m not still in crippling debt is because I’ve been privileged enough to have money from my family. While I think it’s important to utilize credit in a healthy way to establish a credit history, I do think being unable to rely on credit cards has helped me feel the value of my money more when I spend it. A debit card feels less like a magical plastic card that will get me whatever I want because it’s directly tied to my bank account. I can’t spend money I don’t have with a debit card. Someday, I realize I will need to use a credit card again, but for now, I am more comfortable living without.

16. Getting a Pap Smear

A lot of women think they can put off their Pap smear because they’re young and healthy, but a cervical cancer diagnosis can change all of that in an instant. Whether or not you’re sexually active, you should get your first Pap smear when you turn 21. I don’t know about you, but a lot of women I knew talked about a Pap smear like it was a painful, invasive test. All that talk really intimidated me — but when it was time for my first Pap smear, I was actually surprised by how quick and painless it was. I remember asking my doctor, “is it over already?” because I expected something much, much worse. Long story short, don’t be afraid of getting a Pap smear, and don’t put it off until it’s too late.

17. Buying a Good Razor

I’m the kind of person who used to buy the cheapest razor, or the one that came in the prettiest color, rather than the one that would work the best. I’m also the kind of person who used to put off changing my razor blades, but this is another thing that I’ve recently started to rectify. As strange as it may sound, finding a good razor is as healthy as it is satisfying. Keeping your razor sharp and rust-free is important for good hygiene, especially if you shave “down there.” A gross razor can introduce bacteria that promotes infections. Personally, I’ve become a huge fan of my genderless Flamingo razor from Target, but many women are big fans of using men’s razors, since they tend to be sharper and come with more blades than women’s razors.

18. Finding the Right Birth Control

Having endometriosis and depression, I know the value of finding the right birth control method. It may take a few tries to find the right one, but once you do, it’s so worth it. For me, that has been the hormonal IUD, which does a good job of controlling my endo symptoms without worsening my depression. But birth control is highly personal, and I would never force my preferred method onto another woman. The takeaway? Don’t feel the need to put up with uncomfortable side effects when there are literally dozens of birth control brands out there. You should never be afraid to talk to your doctor about changing methods if your current one isn’t working for you.

19. Saying No

Throughout high school and parts of college, I was the type of person who couldn’t say no. I overcommitted myself because I thought that’s what I had to do to a) be successful and b) make people like me. But you should never feel like your success or your friendship is conditional on how much you can do for someone. I’ve had to learn to take a step back and not to say yes to commitments just because I want to please people.

20. Unfollowing Negative People

To be clear, when I say “negative people,” I don’t mean that in a toxic positivity, “no bad vibes” kind of way. I mean unfollowing anyone who makes you feel negatively about yourself. In my 20s, I unfollowed all of the influencers from my eating disorder days whose bodies subconsciously made me feel like mine wasn’t good enough. I got rid of anyone whose life appeared so “perfect” that it made me question the worth of my own. As a result, I think I have been a lot happier and experienced a lot less FOMO!

How to Start the Endo Diet on a Budget

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. As always, please consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes!

*Author’s Note: I usually use the term “people with periods” to talk about patients with endometriosis, in order to be as inclusive as possible. I don’t plan to stop doing this. I recognize that transgender and nonbinary folks also struggle with endo, and that speaking of endo in terms of “women” and “females” can be an incredibly dysphoric experience for them. That being said, I chose to use the term “womxn” in this context to emphasize the societal constraints and discrimination unique to those of us who present as female, while still maintaining an inclusive definition of the endometriosis community.

Having endo is expensive. We don’t often talk about it — probably because, as womxn,* we’re discouraged from talking about money (it’s not something that “good girls” do) — but between medical debt, copays, and prescription meds, the cost of having endometriosis is steep. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the lifestyle changes needed to manage endometriosis on a daily basis.

For me, freelancing has been one of the biggest gifts for my health. It allows me to take time off as needed for medical appointments, adjust my working hours when I’m fatigued or in pain, and gives me the flexibility to work more or less depending on how I feel. But freelancing is also incredibly unstable, especially compared to the salaried job I had before. Thanks to COVID-19, I’ve been struggling more than ever, between trying to pay my bills and stay healthy with an inflammatory disease.

Living on a limited budget, with me freelancing and David working as a medical resident, we try to cut costs wherever we can — but one of the places I’m not willing to compromise is my health. Eating a gluten-free, dairy-free diet for endometriosis sometimes means buying pricey supplements or substitutes. The way I see it, though, it also prevents me from making expensive emergency room visits, only to be told there’s nothing the doctors there can do for me.

Still, I recognize that not everyone has the privilege of paying steep price tags for better health. In college, when I cut ties with my dad, I experienced living on an incredibly limited budget firsthand. Thankfully, I received financial support from my mom, but admittedly, there were more than a few weeks when I couldn’t afford to grab a coffee or Chipotle with my friends because I needed to buy groceries or pay my credit card bills. At the same time, I was also incredibly stressed and always getting sick — I had recurrent vaginal infections; one time, I had strep throat for almost a month.

These two experiences have taught me a lot about managing my endometriosis through diet. Getting sick all the time taught me the importance of taking care of my health, by eating well, exercising, going to therapy, and taking my meds, while living on an extreme budget taught me how to save a quick buck on my grocery bills. As I incorporated the endo diet into my lifestyle, I valued the tangible changes this diet made in my everyday health and quality of life, while still looking for ways to save money where I could.

Anyone with endometriosis knows that endo doesn’t strike when it’s most convenient for us. Endo doesn’t care about our budgets or whatever else is going on in our lives at the time. It’s entirely up to us to look out for our physical health by making investments in proper nutrition to help us manage endo, while looking out for our financial health by cutting costs whenever possible. As I said before, our physical health is a necessary investment to make in our present and our future — and we need to value it, even as we work toward our financial goals.

That’s where this blog post comes into play. Whether you’re a college student struggling to keep up the endo diet on a budget or a freelancer like me reeling from lost income due to COVID-19, I’m here to help. Today, I’m sharing a few of the ways that I save money on the endo diet to help this lifestyle change feel less impossible and more realistic for your wallet.

Change how you look at your diet.

The gluten-free, dairy-free diet for endo can already feel overwhelming. So many of us grew up on a standard American diet of boxed mac ‘n’ cheese and delivery pizza. For a lot of us, eating gluten-free and dairy-free is outside our comfort zones.

When adopting a diet that’s different from what you’re used to, it’s important to keep motivation in mind. Especially when there’s a steep price tag associated with it, any lifestyle change requires you to know your “why.” Remembering your motivation in times when the going gets tough reminds you why you started this journey in the first place, and helps you combat the urge to quit.

For me, it helps to look at food as medicine. If your loved one just had a heart attack, you probably wouldn’t buy them a fast food burger and fries for dinner. In fact, one of the first lines of treatment for hypertension — a precursor to cardiovascular disease — is the DASH diet, which focuses on eating plant-based whole foods and minimizing added salt and sugar. So, why should endo be any different?

Treating your endo as if it’s not as serious as a heart attack, or as if the endo diet isn’t as important to maintaining your health as the DASH diet is to preventing heart disease, minimizes the challenges you go through on an everyday basis as a result of endo. As womxn in the healthcare system, we already face so much discrimination and disbelief. Don’t add yourself to the list of people trying to erase your symptoms or write off your pain as “normal” when it’s not.

My doctors recommended I try a gluten-free, dairy-free diet for my endo. The way I see it, this recommendation is the same as any of the prescriptions they’ve written me. I strive to take it just as seriously, and as a result, I’ve had excellent results in terms of the endo diet’s effect on my overall health, the severity of my pain, and my quality of life.

Treat meat as a side dish.

When I think of the traditional American diet, a quarter-pound cheeseburger is one of the first things that comes to mind. Meat is often the star of the show on the American dinner plate. While there’s no medical reason for you to cut out meat altogether — especially lean, white meats like chicken and turkey — on the endo diet, I’ve found that minimizing the amount of meat I consume helps me cut down my grocery bill and encourages me to eat more plant-based foods like fruits and veggies.

Beyond managing endometriosis, there are still compelling health benefits for eating a flexitarian diet. The term “blue zone” describes a geographical region of the world where people live longer, healthier lives than average. Some blue zones include Italy, Greece, and Japan. Researchers have found that one of the commonalities in these blue zones is that people in those regions eat a primarily plant-based diet, eating meat, on average, only five times per month. Eating less meat, therefore, appears to promote longevity and reduce chronic disease risk.

Processed and red meats in particular — staples of the typical American diet — are linked with chronic disease development and earlier mortality. That’s why when I do choose to splurge on meat, I opt for lean meats like chicken, turkey, or pork. While organic meat is more expensive, I think it’s worth buying organic meat less often, as opposed to conventionally farmed meat more frequently. When it comes to managing endo, buying organic meat minimizes your exposure to artificial hormones (which are often fed to factory farmed animals to “fatten them up” before slaughter) that can further disrupt your endocrine system.

Stock up on pantry staples.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes…. all of these foods are “safe” to consume on the endo diet, and safe for a limited budget. So, why do we think of a gluten-free, dairy-free diet as so expensive? I think it’s because we see lots of influencers in this space splurging on pricey alternatives to our favorite foods — think Daiya ‘pepperoni’ pizzas and Amy’s rice macaroni and cheeze. However, I’m of the opinion that it’s healthier to eat gluten and dairy that’s cooked from scratch than it is to rely on packaged foods.

If you’re going to adopt a gluten-free, dairy-free diet for endometriosis (such as the endo diet), replacing bread and cheese with processed alternatives won’t benefit your health or your wallet. Foods like French fries, corn pasta, soda, and margarine are all technically gluten- and dairy-free, but still have an inflammatory effect on your body that could lead to an endo flare. And, these expensive packaged foods use greenwashing to charge you extra for products marked with marketing language such as “organic,” “natural,” and “gluten-free.”

Some of the least processed and most affordable foods you can eat on the endo diet don’t require you to shop in a special section of the grocery store or buy a box with some bougie certification on it. I like to stock up on pantry staples like salt-free canned beans (garbanzo, black, and great northern are my favorites), canned tomatoes, canned artichoke hearts, raw cashews (which can be soaked to make creamy dairy-free sauces), and almond milk, in addition to fresh produce. Making your own endo-friendly substitutes for things like salad dressing, crackers, and cookies can also save you from paying the “natural” and “organic” tax at the grocery store.

Batch cook whenever possible.

On lazy days, I understand the urge to rely on frozen meals from the grocery store — but giving into that urge may be doing you more harm than good. Even when a frozen meal is marked “gluten-free,” “dairy-free,” and “organic,” you’re still potentially sacrificing nutrient content and exposing yourself to inflammatory ingredients by opting for a frozen option.

Marketing terms like “gluten-free,” “dairy-free,” and “organic,” aren’t heavily regulated and don’t prevent companies from loading their products with salt, sugar, and preservatives. Seeing these words on a label doesn’t even necessarily guarantee that a product is actually what it says it is, since companies basically only need to meet enough regulations when using these terms so as not to get sued for using them. You’re best off looking for product certifications from the USDA and independent organizations like the Gluten-Free Certification Organization and Vegan Action. However, for your wallet, these certifications can mean a huge markup on price tags, since the cost of certification is often high for manufacturers.

Still, I understand the need for convenience in this crazy world we live in — which is why I highly recommend saving a few go-to recipes that you can scale up to cook in batches. You can then freeze the leftovers to create your own frozen meals that are free of preservatives, yet still just as convenient as the “real thing.” While often associated with dieting and the “clean eating” movement (blergh), meal prepping is also a great way to ensure you have lazy meals available for busy weeknights. The blog Simply Taralynn has an awesome guide to gluten-free, dairy-free meal prep on a budget — I highly recommend you check it out!

Additionally, frozen fruits and veggies don’t compromise nutrient content, but will save you a quick buck compared with buying fresh. I always like to stock up on frozen veggies like zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, broccoli, and kale, which can be turned into a quick and easy meal by simply adding a whole grain and a protein, as well as pineapple, mango, and spinach, to blend into my favorite green smoothie with a bit of almond milk for a speedy breakfast or snack.

The Perfect Routine for Depression and Anxiety + FREE Printable!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small portion of any sales made through my blog. Thank you for supporting Endo Strong!

Routine is KEY when it comes to recovering from depression and anxiety! Without structure in your day, you allow your depression to let you lay in bed far longer than you should, and you give your anxiety time to run rampant.

That’s why I’m currently working on building morning and night routines that work for me. Working from home, it’s difficult for me to stick to a set schedule — but I’m challenging myself to take this time to myself morning and night, regardless of when I wake up and go to bed, to focus on self-care and healthy habits that will kick my depression and anxiety to the curb.

In this post, I’ll be sharing the habits I built into my morning and night routines to help alleviate depression and anxiety, as well as a FREE printable version so you can hold onto each of these routines if you want to try them for yourself!

My Morning Routine

Meditation

You’re probably sick of hearing the benefits of meditation by now, so I’ll just list one: according to the magazine Mindful, mindful meditation relieves anxiety by helping you sit with difficult emotions without over-analyzing them. Apps like Simple Habit and Insight Timer have dozens of free meditations to help you switch off the anxious part of your brain.

You can meditate morning or night, but I like morning meditation because 1) I’m not in danger of falling asleep! and 2) it turns off that feeling of “morning anxiety” I sometimes get when I wake up. (You know, when you feel a sense of dread in the morning for no reason?) Just 5-10 minutes is enough to start feeling the benefits — so really, you have no excuse not to try it!

Yoga

Why should you exercise in the morning? Because in the words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” Once you get used to moving first thing in the morning, you’ll find that it helps you wake up and face the day with a higher mood and more positivity. (In case you’re still not convinced, check out Cosmopolitan‘s 15 reasons to exercise in the morning!)

At least 10-15 minutes of yoga each morning is a must to boost happy chemicals in my brain and combat my depression. I follow along to videos from several YouTube yogis, but Yoga With Adriene has been a longtime favorite!

Breakfast

If you ever experience brain fog due to depression, then you’ll understand why I swear by eating a full breakfast each and every morning. Well, okay — not every morning. I am human, after all! Point is, I’m trying to get better at eating a “real” breakfast, but when you’re in a pinch, a yogurt or a fried egg still does the trick.

Eating breakfast is almost always better than eating nothing at all, since breakfast jumpstarts our cognitive function in the morning to improve memory and concentration. When depression already impacts your concentration, the last thing you need is hunger pangs distracting you further. So, eat a balanced breakfast, darn it! I like to also enjoy my morning coffee during breakfast, as it gives me something to look forward to.

My Night Routine

Planning

Every night, I draw out my daily bullet journal spread, which includes gratitudes, to-dos and habits for the next day. I also fill in the day’s habit tracker and gratitude list before moving onto the next day. I find that sitting down and planning out my day helps me feel more organized and less anxious when I’m falling asleep. Instead of worrying about all the things I have to do the next day, I can rest easy knowing that I’ve made a list of my priorities for the next day — and that I haven’t forgotten anything.

Don’t forget to schedule positive activities into your day, too: I talk a lot about behavioral activation for depression, which is the idea that you should schedule pleasant activities that you enjoy doing to force yourself to engage in self-care. The idea is that you may not always feel motivated to start, but once you get past the initial dread, you’ll actually find yourself enjoying the activity!

Skincare

I can’t prove that having a skincare routine helps with depression or anxiety, but we do know that self-care — and specifically self-soothing — does help with difficult emotions. To me, having a skincare routine is part of that self-soothing ritual. As I’m rubbing all my various lotions and potions on my face, I find myself actually slowing down and taking time to notice how I feel. It’s a quiet moment that allows me to get in touch with my emotions and focus on doing something positive to take care of myself.

If you struggle with body image issues, a skincare routine can also be beneficial — after all, it’s a way of showing your body some love. You may not love every feature on your face or body, but taking care of your skin sends a subliminal message to your brain that you’re willing to take good care of your body anyways. These small moments of self-care may not seem like much, but they have a positive ripple effect that carries through into every aspect of our lives. The more you engage in self-care, the easier it becomes, so I recommend building at least one type of self-care (whether that’s skincare or otherwise) into your nighttime routine to give yourself some much-needed TLC.

Journaling

I talk a lot about journaling on this blog — because I’m obsessed with it! I’ve long believed in the power of journaling to help you get in touch with your emotions and learn more about yourself. I believe this act allows you to get to the root of why you feel anxious or why you feel depressed, which empowers you with the information you need to start making small, but positive changes in your life.

I believe in the power of journaling, but I also know how difficult it can be to start when you aren’t sure what to write. Lately, I’ve been loving guided journaling for that very reason! The exact journal I use is called Getting to Good by Elena Welsh, PhD and uses principles of CBT and psychology to guide you through journal exercises that improve your mental health on bad days. I highly recommend working through this journal if you are someone who’s new to journaling, found yourself in a journaling rut or wants to try something new in their journal routine!

Tips for Starting a New Routine

Before I share your FREE printable version of my morning and night routines, I want to take a moment to remind you that it’s always okay (and even encouraged!) to start slowly when it comes to implementing healthy habits. It’s better to focus on building one habit at a time than to try to upheave your entire morning and night routines at once.

It takes anywhere from 18 days to two months to build a habit, so it’s okay if you don’t feel settled into your new routine for awhile. If you can add just one healthy habit into your routine to help combat your anxiety and depression, you’ll be better off than not setting any goals at all. Plus, working toward a goal is a proven part of treatment for depression, so always having something to look forward to may actually help improve your mood!

+ Your FREE Printable!

Click here to get your FREE printable!

(No hoops. No email. Just free love xx)

Five Endometriosis Hacks You Haven’t Thought Of

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may receive payment for items purchased through my blog. Thanks for supporting Lovely & Lazy!

One of the reasons why chronic illness is so frustrating? Sometimes, it feels like we’ve exhausted every possible option. And trust me, after the 10th fruitless specialist visit, I get how it can feel that way.

Thankfully, something I’ve learned from my own struggles with chronic illness is that you’re never out of options — you simply need to know where to look. And now, I’ve done the deep digging on endometriosis so you don’t have to!

We all know the obvious tips for managing endometriosis at home: heating pads, NSAIDs and hormonal birth control all come to mind. But what about those less obvious tips you may not have thought of? That’s what this post is all about!

Electromagnetic Pulses

Although it might sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, electromagnetic pulses can help cure pelvic pain and period cramps! Livia is a scientifically-proven wearable device for controlling period pain. The Livia device attaches to the pelvis with gel pads and can be comfortably worn on the go. It works by stimulating the nerves with unique pulses that prevent the nerves from transmitting pain signals to the brain.

Kegel Exercises

In some cases, pelvic floor muscle dysfunction can result from endometriosis, worsening symptoms (particularly pain during sex). Thankfully, you can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles like any other muscle: with exercise! You can purchase relatively inexpensive kegel weights to aid in building pelvic floor muscle tone. Insert the weights into the vagina and tighten the muscles used to stop peeing mid-stream. Release and repeat for 15 minutes until it no longer feels challenging.

The Ohnut

Does sex hurt thanks to your endometriosis — especially with deep penetration? Meet the Ohnut, which was designed especially for women like you! This soft, flexible ring helps women comfortably explore different depths of penetration. Simply adjust the size of the Ohnut before inserting it to choose the depth that’s most comfortable for you and your partner.

Use my promo code LOVELYLAZY7 for $7 off your Ohnut! Click here to check it out.

Pelvic Massage

A 2010 study found that massaging the pelvis is helpful in reducing menstrual pain associated with endometriosis. Other studies have also found that women who receive regular massages have less pelvic pain associated with their menstrual periods. Manual therapy or pelvic floor physical therapy often includes therapeutic massages to reduce pain associated with endometriosis and adhesions.

Psychotherapy

Since so much of the pain experience is mental, it makes sense that psychotherapy can help with the management of endometriosis. Seeing a therapist can also help you cope with your diagnosis and any challenging emotions you may be experiencing as a result. It’s worth nothing that therapy that includes something called somatosensory stimulation (a.k.a. pressing different acupuncture points during the appointments) was more effective than ordinary psychotherapy when treating endometriosis patients.