In case you’re curious, and because I just watched a video on “life hacks,” and because this will be a nice break from the monotony of melancholy this blog habitually perpetuates.
- SPF/Sunscreen. I literally don’t care what brand it is (for the most part)–as long as it’s effective sun protection. I try to remember to slather myself (well, my exposed skin) in sunscreen every day in the summer, and every day, no matter what season, I wear a face base that has SPF. Even if my actual foundation doesn’t have SPF in it, my moisturizer does. This is crucial because 1) I’d like to prevent skin cancer and 2) I’d like to age well.
- A decently sized water bottle. Literally every day I carry around a 28 ounce Blender Bottle. This alternates between being used as purely a water bottle to a pre-workout bottle to a post-workout protein shake bottle, and it’s fine. I like the size of it because it’s not intimidating. On a good day, I’ll drink around 4 of these. We all know how important it is to drink enough water, but many of us forget to. If you carry a nice water bottle on you all the time, it’s a constant reminder (also, I’m just always thirsty. Thanks, Lithium!).
- Car Book. This is literally just a book that I keep in the car (currently it’s a book about Radiohead). This is for times when I’ve either run out of data for my phone or I’m just in my car for a prolonged period of time and my phone has gotten boring. It’s just nice to have options.
- Echinacea tea. I’m trying to make a point to drink more tea this fall and winter–I always buy an abundance of tea and then go through it at a snail’s pace. However, echinacea tea is one tea I drink fairly often because I’m so paranoid about getting sick. If I feel even the slight possibility of a cold coming on, or I’ve been around a sick person, or I just saw a little kid sneeze on something at work, I’ll drink a double-bagged cup of this tea to calm my mind. Actually, better yet, if I genuinely feel sick, this is my trick: drink 2-3 cups of echinacea tea per day, combined with 1 fresh-pressed juice (something with citrus and/or cayenne pepper is my preference for times like these), and Vitamin C tablets. Also, take your goddamn vitamins.
- Speaking of that: VITAMINS. I have my own array of supplements and vitamins I take, and you can find what might work for you with just a little bit of research. My daily cocktail is a probiotic (or a modest glass of kefir, which I usually have in the fridge), vitamin D (especially crucial for fall and winter), B12, magnesium (it can help with anxiety), folic acid, and omega-3.
- Milk, preferably whole milk. Those who know me well know that I am, admittedly, a milk fanatic. This is not without reason, however. Despite what some LA hipsters might tell you–milk is GOOD FOR YOU. You can research it yourself. If you can consume dairy, I recommend you consume cow’s milk on a fairly regular basis. Calcium is so important and, like water, I think a lot of us forget about it, but trust me, your bones will thank you.
- Earbuds/headphones/whatever. I listen to music constantly. I’m listening to music now. I listen to it when I’m driving or just sitting in my car. When I’m on the toilet. When I’m out smoking. When I’m cooking. When I’m sleeping. And it’s usually with headphones because I live with other people. Someone could literally walk into my backyard while I’m smoking, shoot me, and I would have never seen (or rather, heard) them coming.
- Protein powder. This is the gym bro in me talking, but protein powder is pretty crucial to me at this point, now that I’m a lot more serious about my workouts. I even make sure I drink the shake at the appropriate time. I like the Body Fortress vanilla protein powder–you can get a 5 pound container of it for like 30-something dollars which is actually a steal. I’ve noticed that since my protein intake has increased, my nails have gotten stronger–a bonus! Also, this protein powder works really well for pancakes if you don’t want to feel like a total piece of shit for eating something so bad for you.
- Ibuprofen, or some other kind of pain reliever. I almost always have a headache and I absolutely always have some sort of bodily pain (lower back, abdominal cramps, sciatica, sore neck, you name it!), so having something on hand is pretty important to me. I’ve become less keen on taking these things as often as I used to because I’d like to keep my liver and kidneys healthy, but sometimes it’s just inevitable.
- A GOOD pair of sneakers. I’ve worked in retail for most of my young adult life, so I’ve spent a lot of time on my feet, and it wasn’t until this past summer that I found a pair of sneakers (or shoes in general) that didn’t kill my feet/legs/back. The Nike Flex 2016 Run sneakers–I’m sure you can still find them online. I have extremely low arches and it’s, uh, awful. These were a godsend. I actually did a fair amount of research before buying them, and it was worth it. Now I own 3 pair of Nikes and a pair of New Balances. #bro.
And there you have it–10 things crucial for my day-to-day life. What are some of yours?