Welcome to Next Gen Natural, a column where we share a Gen Z perspective on natural health and wellness. I’m Michelle—alive’s Editorial Intern and creator of the Healthy Num Num food blog. I love healthy living and want to inspire you to integrate wellness into all parts of your life, regardless of your age.
Romanticizing your life means to celebrate the small joys of everyday life. In other words, find the beauty and excitement in moments of your day. I’ve noticed that to do this, I need to have a positive mindset. This means appreciating every part of my day, even the mundane moments, and making them feel special.
Create a morning routine
A morning routine can help improve your stress levels, sleep quality, and overall health. Creating the right morning routine will depend on what you like and what’s important to you. For example, if you like a peaceful morning, try journaling. I start my day by making my bed, getting sun exposure, and moving my body, whether that means going for a walk or doing a workout.
Savor your breakfast
I make my first meal of the day special by sitting down to eat with no distractions, such as TV or my phone. For breakfast, aim to eat whole foods that include protein and healthy fats, which will help keep you full and energized throughout the day. Lately, I’ve been loving sunny-side-up eggs on gluten-free toast, oatmeal, and fruit yogurt bowls.
Sip something special
Start or end your day by taking a bit of extra time to make yourself a nourishing drink. I love making matcha lattes, herbal teas, or infused waters. Matcha promotes jitter-free energy, while herbal teas like camomile or valerian support sound sleep. Bonus tip: choose your favorite mug to elevate your drink. My go-to mugs are from Fable and Hudson & Oak.
Make a memorable meal
Challenge yourself to choose and make a recipe you haven’t tried before. I love the process of cooking and baking something new—and, of course, trying the final result. Another tip that makes me excited for my meals is putting food in beautiful containers and eating with aesthetically pleasing dishes. Again, some of my favorite dinnerware is from Fable.
Freshen your bedding
Am I the only one who loves the feeling of clean sheets? I made the process of washing my sheets enjoyable by FaceTiming a friend. It soon became a habit that when I wash my sheets, I get to talk to my friends. Washing your bedding also assists in good hygiene and sleep quality. Use natural laundry detergent for a truly feel-good experience.
Wear an outfit you love
Clothing has the power to alter your mood and how you feel. Every day, I give myself time to put together an outfit that I love. This could mean wearing a matching activewear set while exercising, dressing up for work, or wearing pretty pyjamas. Even wearing beloved accessories (say, those pearl earrings you reserve for special occasions) can elevate your mood.
Pamper your skin
When I run out of time, I often skip my skin care routine. But spending those extra few minutes putting on moisturizers or serums makes a huge difference in how I feel. I also love using a gua sha tool to massage my face. A mainstay of traditional Chinese medicine, gua sha is said to reduce facial puffiness, eliminate congestion, and improve circulation.
Decorate your space
I always try to elevate my everyday surroundings, which makes me excited to spend time there. For example, I feel motivated to complete my work when I have a beautiful workspace and stationery, like planners, notebooks, and pens. Quick tip: invest in a few hardy plants for your home and workspace. Indoor plants are associated with lessened stress, and improved productivity, and even higher pain tolerance.
Fragrance your surroundings
Burn a beeswax candle or use an essential oil diffuser to help elevate your day. The fragrance you choose can have a direct impact on your mood, cognition, and stress level. For example, I love using lavender essential oil before bed, which helps relieve stress and promote a good sleep. Peppermint and citrus essential oils are best for energizing and increasing focus—say, when you’re starting work in the morning.
Watch the sunrise or sunset
Simply watching the sunset or sunrise can make you appreciate the beauty of nature. I love taking the time to look at the sunset at the beach or while I’m going for a walk. Watching the sunset can also promote a good sleep as your body’s circadian clock will respond to the dimming light as a signal to fall asleep.