The Comprehensive Guide to Customizing Daily Wellness Rituals
Explore the pillars of wellness and how you can add them to your routine.
If there’s anything these past couple of years have taught us, it’s that the time to start advocating for your own wellness is right now. Why wait until January to set an intention to put your wellbeing first? Knowing how to take that first step can be difficult. So, with a little help from experts, we wanted to take the guesswork out of implementing a wellness practice.
As our mentality around wellness evolves, so does its definition. There is far from a one-size-fits-all approach, which means wellness is completely different for everyone. But we can’t begin to dive into the topic without talking about its history. Fariha Róisín, author of Who Is Wellness For?, stresses the need to veer away from the commodification and monetization of wellness practices and acknowledge where they originated. “A lot of by-large self-care practices that we have in the world right now are from other people’s cultures,” Róisín says. To do the work we must make sure to continuously educate ourselves and contextualize these practices as well as remind ourselves that wellness is a communal act.
Below, we broke down each pillar of wellness into three different categories: take action, make a purchase, and educate yourself. Some people may prefer to take action, whether that be activities, events, or organizations where you can donate your time. Others might want to spend some extra cash donating to a fund, purchasing a course, or investing in a product. And the final category is a list of resources to help expand knowledge and understanding in a specific area.
No matter if one approach speaks louder than the others, the point of the matter is wellness comes in many shapes and sizes. That’s why we created a customizable menu of practices that includes a variety of ways you can elevate your emotional, sexual, financial, physical, environmental, and spiritual wellness. Feel like one of these areas speaks to you the most? Great, single in on it. Didn’t even know one category of wellness existed? Let us introduce you. There really are no rules other than whatever routine you curate, it should fit your personal needs. Below, we share our comprehensive guide to help you implement purposeful and powerful wellness rituals into your daily life.
“Emotional wellness is about being able to access the tools when the tough stuff in life comes up,” says author, speaker, and mental health advocate Yasmine Cheyenne. “Remind yourself there's no perfection in mental or emotional wellbeing. We're learning these tools so that when things happen, we can still access peace, joy, and ease along the way.” Here are some easy ways to start your own routine.
- Unfollow anyone who doesn't make you feel good on the internet. Remove people from your digital circle that are not serving any positive purpose.
- Journaling is a great first step in practicing emotional wellness, even if you prefer not to take pen to paper. “If you don't feel like you have time to physically journal, I love to use the voice note section of my phone and journal out loud,” suggests Cheyenne. “It’s really nice sometimes to get those words out, kind of clear your mind, and kind of start again.”
- Set boundaries with yourself. “These are promises that help support your wellbeing in saying no when you're about to do something that doesn't feel good or in alignment with what you need,” says Cheyenne.
Make A Purchase
- Don’t be afraid to seek professional help for some extra emotional support. There are great online resources that can help you find a professional such as Better Help, Tia, and Therapy for Black Girls.
- Cheyenne likes red light or infrared therapy because it can improve your mood, promotes relaxation, and can help you stay grounded. Try the HigherDose Infrared Mat or Joovv portable light.
- If you want to give back, there are a number of organizations that help fund mental health resources across America such as National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Loveland Foundations Therapy Fund, the Trevor Project, and more.
- Some podcasts that unpack some of the taboo or harder topics include We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle, The Nicole Walters Podcast, and Mental Illness Happy Hour.
- Cheyenne just wrote her first book The Sugar Jar, which talks about creating boundaries and a life that feels good and joyful to you.
- Hormones can often have an impact on our mental and emotional well being. Cheyenne recommends Hormone Intelligence by Dr. Aviva Romm as a great introduction into the topic.
Jo Portia Mayari, a sexual wealth coach, defines sexual wellness as a practice of getting to know oneself and how we relate to our bodies in a sexual way. “It is an area of our life where we are able to intimately get to know the parts of us that are not only physical but also our erotic intelligence, relational intelligence, and our erotic well being,” she explains. “It's all-encompassing of the body, mind, and spirit, but in the realm of sexual energy.” Below are some of the resources she personally uses and recommends to her clients.
- Create a pleasure practice. “These are intentional practices that are specifically for your pleasure and well being,” Mayari explains. She lists mindfullness, intention, energy, breath, sound, and movement as the tools you can utilize in a holistic sex practice.
- “The framework that I really love to invite my students and clients into is sex as a way of being. It’s how we are, not about what we do,” notes Mayari. Ask yourself what is right for your body, your sexual needs, and what you need for you to feel good and authentic in this space.
Make A Purchase
- Mayari’s product recommendations include the Chakrubs Crystal Pleasure Wand, Foria Wellness Intimacy CBD Oil, and Dame Pillo.
- “I think if people have the ability to hire somebody one on one it gives them the most authentic and direct toolkit that is specific for their body,” says Mayari who personally offers coaching, mentoring, and breakthrough day experiences for more immersive work in this space. Layla Martin is also one of Mayari’s favorite teachers and has a range of entry level classes that can help introduce the basics of sexual wellness.
- Mayari is a personal advocate for supporting the Planned Parenthood Action Fund for their work in providing resources around sexual health and protecting reproductive health. Other organizations that are helping people get access to sexual health resources include the National Center of Abortion Funds, Advocates for Youth, and SIECUS Sex Ed For Social Change.
- Mayari’s reading list includes Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski and Women's Anatomy of Arousal by Sheri Winston.
- Some friendly and fun podcasts include Sex With Emily by Dr. Emily Morse, Authentic Sex Podcast by Juliet Allen, and keep an eye out for Mayari’s own podcast launching next fall.
- Some of the most notable relationship and erotic teachers and therapists according to Mayari are Ester Perel, Adrienne Maree Brown, Michaela Boehm, and Audre Lorde.
“Financial wellness, for me, is when money is no longer the goal in and of itself. You are truly financially well when [money] falls to the background of your life; it supports your goals, but you're not having to think about money as the end-all be-all,” says Chelsea Fagan, co-founder of The Financial Diet. She wants everyone to remember that someone can be very wealthy and not at all financially well. No matter where you are in your financial wellness journey, here are tips, podcasts, and memberships that can help make it a little easier.
- Take time to reflect on your own financial habits. “For the first month commit to going through all of your bank statements, card statements, debt, all of that stuff,” suggests Fagan. “The act of doing that on a very regular basis will make you be a lot more conscientious about your money.”
- Find a buddy. Fagan suggests having at least one person that you can be open and honest with to help each be accountable and motivated to achieve our financial goals. She reminds us that money is extremely social.
Make A Purchase
- Financial activist Dasha Kennedy and online personality Haley Sacks have extensive lists of resources on their websites such as budget template, book list, and tips that are free to access.
- Popular podcasts or audio resources include Diversifying hosted by Delyanne Barros, The Financial Confessions, and The Financial Times Morning Briefings.
- Erin Lowry of Broke Millennial has three books which Fagan says are incredibly accessible for learning the 101 of money.
“I think environmental wellness, depending on how you look at it, is [about] creating an impact that doesn’t just sustain the planet, but also heals it,” says Lauren Singer, environmental and zero-waste activist. Singer knows most people think of wellness as regenerating and balancing ourselves, but with the current climate crisis—and the fact that individual actions can scale up to systemic solutions—we need to be doing more for the planet. She helped give us some tips on how to make your daily life a little greener.
- Start to reduce your overall food waste. “Be prepared when you go to the supermarket by creating a shopping list,” suggests Singer. “The most expensive food we buy and the most environmentally detrimental food that we buy is the food that we throw away and don't use.”
- Composting can be done at any level, whether you take part in a community compost center or set one up in your own backyard. This is a great way to move towards practicing zero waste.
- Do a trash audit to understand what areas you can improve on, especially single-use products. Singer stresses any changes you implement to lower waste should be little lifestyle steps over time, so you don’t feel like you are sacrificing anything major in your routine.
Make A Purchase
- Donate to Intersectional Environmentalism, a nonprofit that advocates for environmental justice. Róisín also encourages people to consider donating to Sogorea Te Land Trust and other Land Back movements that are prioritizing giving land back to indigenous custodians.
- Support local businesses, composting organizations, and anyone that's helping to provide green spaces or clean up green spaces in your local community. New York Specific organizations include Lower East Side Ecology Center, Grow NYC, Oyster Project.
- Invest in package-free personal products such as a bamboo toothbrush, shampoo bars, body wash bars, reusable cotton rounds, menstrual cups etc. Package Free Shop, founded by Singer, is a great hub for beginners.
- Singer has an extensive reading list including Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, and Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Róisín’s reading list also includes Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Earth Democracy by Vandana Shiva, and One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka.
- If you prefer to watch a documentary, Singer recommends Gasland by Josh Fox and Róisín also recommends watching Life & Debt which can help people, “understand the plight of farmers and agriculture around the world as well as the way the IMF and world bank create and profit off of the resources of the global south.”
- Róisín adds that Slow Factory has a variety of programs, classes, and resources that help educate the masses about climate justice and social inequity.
Briana Thompson, founder of Spiked Spin and Wellness Co, has an inside-out approach to wellness. “It’s very difficult for me to compartmentalize physical wellness because it's attached to everything that impacts your well being. From the things you're ingesting, like the podcasts you listen to or the conversations that you're having, to what we most traditionally associate [physical wellness] with which is movement and what you're eating,” she explains. In an industry that has often lacked diversity, Thompson wants Black women to know that they belong in these spaces and that there are spaces created for them. Through her professional and personal practice, she shares the small adjustments to your routine that can actually have the biggest impact.
- Start with small and impactful changes. “Making a one percent change over the course of the year will benefit you 37x greater than doing the exact same thing every day,” says Thompson.
- Instead of revamping your entire diet, Thompson suggests choosing one meal that you are willing to replace with a healthier option. “Find very easy swaps at least once a day to begin and train your body and mind to understand that you actually can enjoy this,” she says.
- Find a way to move your body that works for you. Thompson’s number one advice is finding a workout class in your community. However, if that is not desirable, take advantage of easy cardio like jumping jacks, walking, or going for a run.
Make A Purchase
- Support local studios and instructors with ClassPass. “Pay attention to who your local wellness studios are rather than always going to the larger brick and mortar brands,” says Thompson. “A lot of smaller companies are doing the work that’s truly invested in the person and community they are serving.” If you are in Brooklyn, check out Thompson’s studio.
- Donate to The Spiked Foundation, which Thompson helped create. It focuses on the wellness of teenagers ages 13 to 17 by introducing the idea of wellness from the inside out, addressing the impact that social media has had on their self-esteem, and creating a solution through the lens of health and wellness.
- Thompson’s shopping list includes Imansss Original Goddess Herbal Remedy, Golde Turmeric Latte Blend, HUM Red Carpet Skin & Hair Vitamins, and Happy Viking Protein Powder.
- “Hannah Bronfman is a great example of a woman who's consistently talking about wellness, not just through the lens of working out, but showing a well-balanced life while making sure that she also talks about concerns that are most prominent amongst women and women of color more specifically,” says Thompson.
- If you are willing to search for the things that you need, Thompson thinks TikTok can be a great resource. It could be searching topics such as hormonal balance, inflammation in the body, how to start a fitness routine, and more.
- Thompson loves Atomic Habits by James Clear which centers around bettering yourself from the inside out.
- Go for a walk. “I think it's a beautiful reminder to people that you can start really small with just tuning into a podcast and going for a walk and in five minutes, see a shift,” says Cheyenne.
- Begin a meditation practice. You don’t need an app or teacher. Cheyenne recommends setting a timer on your phone for two minutes, sitting with yourself, and just seeing what comes up.
- Start a gratitude practice. This can either take place at the beginning or end of the day and be as elaborate or simple as you please. Cheyenne suggests naming three things that you are grateful for and three things that you want to release.
Make A Purchase
- Find a class in your community to go to. This could be anything including but not limited to yoga, meditation, etc.
- To clear negative energy from her space, Cheyenne uses palo santo. The ancient practice originated from Indigenours Latin American cultures for its healing properties. She does stress to make sure only to buy it from sources that harvest it ethically.
- If you prefer guided mindfulness and meditation or just want to learn more about the practice, download Insight Timer or the Chani App.
- The easiest way to tap into resources is by following some influential people on social media. A few stand outs include Devi Brown, Jay Shetty, and Lalah Deliah.
- Listen to the This Morning Walk Podcast with Libby Delana and Alex Elle. “It is a great way to get into spirituality for someone who's a beginner,” says Cheyenne.
- Cheyenne recommends reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron because it allows people to get back to a place of their creativity.