What's in the Bag: Finding a New Routine

 9/5/2018 8:47 am
By Grace Pawlowski

Summer is coming to a close and we’re kicking it into gear to head into fall on a high note. Whether you want to fully revamp your day-to-day routines or focus on a few small things, we’ve got some ideas to get you going at full speed. 

Sleep Soundly
The foundation for any beneficial routine is a good night of sleep. Setting yourself up for some quality shut eye means establishing a nighttime ritual that doesn’t involve electronics and allows you to fall asleep around the same time every night. Laptops and personal devices emit blue light that messes with your circadian rhythm and prevents your body from producing melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleepy). Not only are you becoming more alert from using a device, you’re likely consuming media, working or being active in a way that prevents your brain from quieting down. It’s recommended that you stop using electronics at least 30 minutes before bed—a couple hours is even better! What can you do for that half hour to ensure wind-down time actually happens?
  • Start a nightly journal. Recap your day, focus on goals for tomorrow, or follow one of these prompts.
  • Get down with these stretches to help you sleep
  • Take a bath with essential oils that promote relaxation and ease you into your zzz’s. 
  • Meditate and practice breathing techniques to calm the mind in 10 easy steps.
  • Read a book, especially one that helps you understand how to create better habits.
TIP: Plan for a minimum of seven hours to fully reboot your body (kids need even more). 

Getting a Head Start
Starting your morning in a rush can set the tone for an unsettling day. Reserve some “me time” every morning to kick things off on your own terms. Remember, small changes can make a big difference and starting off right in the AM will trickle down throughout your day. Need some early hour inspiration?
  • Book an exercise class on Classpass. If you have trouble getting up, opt for classes that have a no-show policy to hold yourself accountable. Or download a free app that offers guided wake-up exercises such as YogaWakeUp.
  • Make a to-do list. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, get your to-do’s down on paper so your brain can relax. Be reasonable about what you can accomplish so you can celebrate the little wins. 
  • Always prep the essentials. Instead of running around collecting things as you head out the door, create a system to keep those things in one spot. Keys, wallet, phone, Urban Market Bags, laptop and purse should all be easily accessible (and best buds by now!). 
  • Catch up over coffee. Ask a friend to meet you before their daytime commitments to say hello. Busy schedules don’t always allow for socializing but a quality 20-minute catch up can do wonders for the soul. 

Nourishment is Key
Keep your body happy and healthy with fresh food throughout the day. The best way to do this is to get into a routine of cooking for yourself. Whether you have time to prepare something new every day or can only manage a Sunday night block, we have some shortcuts that both please your stomach and help you achieve your health goals.
  • Always keep chia seed puddingyogurt parfaits or overnight oats on hand for busy mornings. Make ahead on Sundays to get you through the week. 
  • Smoothie cubes keep well in the freezer and shake up quickly for a fresh AM or PM boost. 
  • If you’re looking for a supplement, try the do-it-all superfood, probiotic, adaptogen powder, Athletic greens, without having to buy multiple pills and powders.
  • Good Eggs has launched new dinner kits which are healthy, quick, delicious and delivered straight to your door. 
  • Salted almond butter freezer fudge is a filling and delectable treat you can have on hand and feel good about eating for dessert. 
  • Get a seasonal produce app like Seasonal Food Guide. Select your location and time of year and get instant feedback on what’s in peak season near you. 

Daily Helpers
Most people have a system to keep themselves organized, or at least we all try (the Urban Market Bags system makes remembering reusable bags so easy). It might be time to reevaluate your daily habits and try something new to jump-start your routine. 
  • Habitshare is an app that helps you track goals and turn them into good habits. Get reminders and share with friends who will hold you accountable. 
  • Read up on Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life and create a path that allows you to thrive. 
  • The app Grateful helps you practice gratitude through daily journal entries and prompts. Remember what really matters every day and stay grounded and positive. 
  • Evernote is a digital to-do list and inspiration tool that helps you prioritize your tasks and ideas on your computer, phone or tablet. It’s minimalist design helps reduce distraction and mental clutter.