“Balance” is different for everyone. We all walk this earth with different lives, responsibilities, and priorities. For me, maintaining balance is a continuous process—one that’ll never feel linear or “over”. But, collectively, we can all agree there are activities that help us maintain happiness. We discussed this topic at length at Byrdie HQ and we all had varying answers for what made us feel whole. So we decided to give you a rundown on all our cherished rituals in hopes that at least one of them will feel helpful for your specific needs.
Below, find the practices that give our lives that ever-elusive “balanced” feeling, all the many reasons we’ve found for why they work, and any products we’ve found to be especially helpful. Keep reading for our best-kept secrets.
Hallie Gould, editorial director
The Ritual: Maintaining a morning routine
The Reason: I have never been a morning person. I’ve always been more of a wake-up-at-the-very-last-second-and-rush-while-sweating-out-the-door person. All that changed, however, when I felt the immediate differences of easing into my day. Now, I make sure I have time to get through my beloved morning ritual. It’s not only made me feel more calm and balanced, but it’s also helped me consistently show up on time—whether that’s to work or a social engagement. I wake up a full two hours before I have to be anywhere or do anything and put on a comfortable lounge outfit. I take that time to enjoy the sun that beams through my living room window. To sit in silence, sip my coffee, and down a huge glass of water. It allows me to move through the morning (and the rest of the day) with a far more soothing, relaxed energy. Sometimes I’ll read, catch up on emails, do the dishes, or even watch TV. It’s never about what I’m doing. It’s more about having the time to do it (and never feeling that rushed morning mania again).
Madeline Hirsch, news director
The Ritual: Running
The Reason: One of the few positives I’m bringing out of the change, transition, and chaos of the past few years is a newfound appreciation for running. In 2020, I went back to the basics with my exercise routine, and honestly, I think I’m more balanced for it. Running can be done anywhere, anytime, and at any pace—and that versatility and lack of pressure helped me build a (not quite) daily practice. There’s no better serotonin hit than after a quick run, and it’s become my go-to ritual when I feel a bit “off”. Just add anything by Girlfriend Collective (my athleisure obsession of the moment) and a trusty SPF and you’ll be ready to hit the pavement.
Olivia Hancock, editor
The Ritual: Making lists
The Reason: I constantly feel like I have 1000 tabs open in my brain at all times, which can often make me feel anxious and overwhelmed. While there are many things I do for self-care, writing lists is the one thing that has always brought balance back into my life. I write lists about any and everything—ranging from my daily tasks to what I’m grateful for. Being able to “brain dump” makes me feel calm and rids my mind of clutter.
Star Donaldson, senior social media editor
The Ritual: Applying makeup
The Reason: I’ve always been a morning person, so what I do first when I wake up really sets the tone for my day. I wake up; feed my cat; make a smoothie with Golde’s Shroom Shield; and apply an energizing, experimental face of makeup. Thankfully, I get so many products I want to try, but I don’t always use them all for an everyday look. Doing my makeup before I start my workday has left me space to experiment with new products, bright colors (shout-out to Glisten Cosmetics Split Liners), and abstract patterns. This process makes me feel capable and allows me to flex a skill that I haven’t used since 2019.
Holly Rhue, senior editor
The Ritual: Waking up early to make it to my favorite dance cardio class
The Reason: Monday mornings are a very sacred time for me. It’s when I set the tone for the rest of the week to make sure I’m starting off with a positive mindset and prioritizing my mental health. For me, a big part of that is making sure I kick off my week with an endorphin rush from my favorite dance cardio class. I wake up extra early on Mondays to get some quiet coffee time, and then I strap on my favorite ankle weights and a matching workout set that I feel really beautiful in and head to class. It’s really energizing to start the week with a dance party and reminds me not to take myself so seriously.
Erika Reals, associate commerce fashion editor
The Ritual: A morning walk
The Reason: After the past couple of years, my morning ritual has become more crucial to my mental health than ever; it keeps me grounded and sane. This ritual, in question, is my morning walk through Central Park (or as TikTok might refer to it, a Hot-Girl Walk). As soon as I wake up, I down a glass of water, slip on something comfy (usually my Patagonia fleece, a pair of leggings, and Hoka sneakers), strap on my Bala Bangles, and grab my sunglasses and a cup of Nespresso to-go. I’ve found that carving out some time for myself in the morning allows me to organize my thoughts and de-stress. Breathing in some fresh air helps too. Getting some steps in while doing so is just the icing on the cake.
Aimee Simeon, senior beauty editor
The Ritual: Movement, cupping, and acupuncture to alleviate pain
The Reason: The past two years have taken a massive toll on my physical and mental health. After months of describing myself as a human folding chair, I’ve decided to prioritize self-care and mobility. It has worked wonders for how I feel. Every morning complete one hour of movement using the Grow With Jo app and allow for a moments of silence before jumping into the demands of my day. I’ve found it helpful to make a wellness corner in my home that extends beyond a yoga mat and weights. I’ve made the sunniest nook in my space home to my plants and a few scenic touches like candles (my two recent favorites are Torn from Henry Rose and Bath & Body Works White Tea & Sage. I’ve also invested in weekly visits to my chiropractor, Dr. Justin Lewis. There, I’ve been introduced to the incredible healing benefits of cupping and acupuncture, which I also do weekly to help alleviate physical pain or discomfort. Still, taking a few hours to focus solely on myself has significantly improved my mood, happiness, and outlook on life. It’s become more than a ritual but a non-negotiable part of my life, and I’m so much better for it.
Jesa Calaor, editor
The Ritual: Making matcha
The Reason: Admittedly, maintaining balance is hard for me. I always feel like I’m running 100 mph, so it’s taking time to do the little things that really keeps me feeling like my mind and body are in harmony. One such ritual is making a matcha latte. I take the process very slowly, boiling water and using a bamboo matcha whisk to ensure that the ceremonial-grade powder is fully dissolved before I pour it over my mug of iced oat milk. Perfecting my latte—and enjoying it while sitting next to my puppy—really sets me up to feel good for the rest of the day.