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The Closet Clean-Out: Professional Organizers on What to Keep

LIFESTYLE

cleaning purse with a feather duster

Cleaning out a closet can feel overwhelming and discouraging all at once. We want to see a tangible difference, but don’t feel right getting rid of too much stuff. We like our stuff! But, how much of it do we love? And more importantly, how much do we, or will we, actually use?

We checked in with professional organizers and stylists on how to determine what should always make the cut — and how to care for what you keep.

Shoes

Let’s start with a hard truth: keeping shoes because they are stylish is not recommended, as unworn footwear is just another word for clutter. Deciding which shoes to save should be based on 50% comfort, 50% quality. Nothing else!

“Remember the Friends episode with Monica when she bought the expensive boots that she hated and could barely walk in?” says Kim Jones, owner of L+K Home Organization. “Read all reviews and do as much research as possible so expensive shoes can be shoes for life. I only keep the shoes I wear on a daily or weekly basis in my closet. My fancy shoes are elsewhere to save closet space, but are still easy to access when needed.” Keep splurging on shoes that don’t fit? There are plenty of brands that offer tech solutions, giving you the ability to get a custom pair calibrated to fit you perfectly.

Stretching high heel with rubber bands

A note on heels: it’s not unusual to build up a collection of gorgeous, impractical heels throughout the years. Do keep comfortable heels in your preferred shades (plus metallics and black, which come in handy for formal events), but donate or sell any that gave you blisters (be honest!) and have remained unworn for years. If parting with a particular pair is causing you anxiety, it’s worth visiting a cobbler to see if they can be stretched or otherwise made a bit more wearable.

The Wardrobe Staples

Timeless, mix-and-matchable pieces, like a crisp white button-down top, cotton trousers and the black dress that always comes through for you each deserve a spot in your closet. As a rule, only purge if they’re in poor condition and need to be replaced. “These are items that may skip one season but come right back to the following because they are classic and always in style,” says Jones. You can even give these a dedicated place in your closet. “I keep them visible but to the right of everything else because I know they are my go-to when I need a classic outfit,” says Jones. Favor natural fibers and silhouettes that are flattering to you, and don’t forget that quality pieces can be tailored to update the fit.

LBDs, LBPs and Beyond

Black dresses, pants and skirts are versatile classics, but if your closet is an overwhelming sea of darkness, it might be time to pare down. What to keep? Pieces that aren’t overly trendy or uncomfortable (so say goodbye to the skin-tight pleather that makes you sweat). If you’re still not sure, try on each pair and go with your gut. If it’s cute but totally uncomfortable and has been unworn for a year or more, donate it.

Pro Tip: If you are hovering between sizes, keep a selection of your favorites, but place them back into the closet separated by size. And, going back to those black pants: “Keep them all together with smaller sizes to the left and larger size to the right,” advises Jones. “As a woman, I think this is important. While I don’t want to be in the larger size and some may say it is motivating to get rid of it, reality tells me when I am on my period or feeling bloated, I need that bigger size.”

Blazers

A good blazer can be a statement piece or a standby; it’s great to have a balance of both. Statement blazers deliver a strong impression and can take a basic outfit into memorable territory. Think: animal prints, florals and vibrant stripes. “Wearing a memorable blazer can work against you because everyone remembers you wore it,” says professional organizer Laura Ellis, adding that while it’s fun to be remembered, it’s the classic iterations that will get you through the years. “For the good ol’ standby blazer, think classic navy blue, or a longer black blazer that you can scrunch up the sleeves of,” says Ellis. These classics tend to get beaten up from wear, tear and a lot of love. If your favorite blazer has seen better days, it’s time to let it go and find a suitable replacement.

Tailoring a gray blazer

Pro Tip: If you look like a character out of Working Girl, it’s probably time to let that blazer go. We all have our favorite time periods for style, but even when shoulder pads come back, as they have, they’re not the same — the look is always reinvented and updated. That said, if you have a well-made, high quality blazer in an out-of-date shape, take it to a tailor for the pads to be removed and the shoulders reworked.

Jeans

Fancy jeans, running-errands jeans, date jeans, dark wash, white, black … according to Jones, when deciding what to keep, it’s all about quality.

“Any time my favorite designer jeans go on sale, I buy them,” says Jones. “This goes against pretty much everything I believe about less is more, so why? Jeans are an item I wear daily. I have a variety of jeans and I treat my nice jeans like precious jewels. My nicer jeans I hang because I know these are for special occasions. My everyday jeans I fold and place on an open shelf that is easy for me to grab and get out of the door. I make it as easy as possible to keep my jeans organized. These are [the items] I hardly purge unless they are completely worn out or completely don’t fit. I also keep two sizes in a few pair of jeans … I need that bigger size to pull out for Thanksgiving dinner, you know?” adds Jones.

Jewelry and Handbags

Ideally, you’ll keep quality jewelry and handbags for life, and even experts agree that heirlooms are the exception to clean-out mentality. “If I worked hard to pay for something and I love it to the core, there is no purging for me,” Jones adds. “There are times where I do lose my love for a certain item and it is then that I sell it back to a consignment store for someone else to love it as much as I once did.”

Timeless accessory styles to keep include the doctor bag, structured tote and long chain evening bag, as well as simple stud and hoop earrings and tennis bracelets. Another thing to consider is the item’s designer. If you have a real designer handbag or piece of jewelry, “Check online to see what they’re selling for. If there’s a hot market … chances are you have a timeless piece on your hands,” says Ellis. “Shape and condition also weigh in. If the bag is torn, worn or misshapen, you can take it to get repaired and see if a little leather CPR will bring it back to life.”

Newspaper inside bucket bag

Pro Tip: Properly store handbags that are out of season and those you hardly wear by cleaning them before long term storage, and stuffing them to help retain their shape. “We love filling a Ziploc storage bag with paper and packing it inside the handbags,” says Ellis. “For evening or bags you wear once or twice a year, make sure to use a dust cover to keep the outside protected too. It will dramatically extend the life of your timeless handbags.”

6 Ways to Reduce Your Eco Footprint in the Bathroom

LIFESTYLE

beauty products in the shape of a universal recycling symbol

Sometimes it’s a little too easy to take advantage of Earth’s many splendors, but it’s our little place to call home in this huge universe, and we also have to take care of it. Though our planet is mighty, it is also very sensitive, and anything we can do to nurture it is helpful for the long term.

We can reduce our personal impact in many ways, including the brands we support, the products we use, and the way we treat items that are ready for disposal. First place to do so: the bathroom. It’s a particularly active hub that requires special attention. You can start with these 6 actions below.

Swap Out Single Use Items for Reusable Products

According to Collin’s Dictionary, 2018’s word of the year was “single-use.” Perhaps the item that was most controversial was the disposable straw, which has now been banned in cities, states, and even countries across the globe. While the removal of such straws might not make an enormous impact on its own, it’s the mindset that matters here.

Our bathrooms are also loaded with single-use items, including cotton balls, cotton pads, cotton swabs, disposable towels, paper cups, and disposable razors. Fortunately, there are plenty of sustainable options for all of the above. You can replace single-use cotton products with multi-use items, such as Take My Face Off Mittys, Face Halo’s Makeup Remover Pads, and Weezie Makeup Towels. Though paper cups may come in handy for easy rinsing or a bit of mouthwash before you run out the door, you’re better off just using a ceramic or glass cup (just remember to clean it). As for razors, consider investing in a biodegradable or reusable option with replacable blades, such as Oui’s The Rose Gold Single-Blade Razor.

Opt for Low-Flow Toilets and Shower Heads

Toilets aren’t the most glamorous topic, but in the spirit of creating a more eco-friendly bathroom, it’s worth discussing. The unfortunate truth is that your toilet accounts for roughly 25% of the water usage in your home. But swapping out your current porcelain throne for a high-quality, low-flow model (and/or a dual-flusher option) can significantly lower that percentage. Traditional models can use up to six gallons of water per flush, but efficient options can reduce that to one to three gallons.

Additionally, swapping out your current showerhead for a water-saving option can save tons of water (and tons of money for home-owners). Standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute, while water-saving options reduce that usage to no more than two gallons — without sacrificing water pressure.

Consider Motion Sensor Faucets

You, too, can have a fancy “motion sensor” faucet in your bathroom sink! These replacements are surprisingly easy to find and install and will reduce your water usage substantially. They also cut down on germ contamination, are generally easier to keep clean and can make for a less fussy skincare regimen.

Shop Your Own Product Stash and Use Every Last Drop

It can be so tempting to rush out and buy a brand-new product every other week, but we bet you already have a pretty major stash accumulating in your bathroom. The problem with habitually buying new products is that you end up with too much to use before they expire. Look at what items already live on your shelves — perhaps with the same eyes you had when you first purchased the product — and make it a goal to use every single drop. Have something that irritated your skin or was so not your shade? Bring it to your next brunch and see if a friend is interested.

Of course, the exception here would be if your items are already expired. Each product should indicate how long they last once opened or a “use by” date. Abide by these rules first to protect your skin. Really, though, you should be using your products consistently enough that they run dry by the expiration. And is there anything more satisfying than reaching the bottom of your product? Speaking of which…

Recycle Old Product Containers

We are really good at recycling items in the kitchen, but for some reason, the habit escapes us when it comes to the bathroom. While not all skincare and cosmetic product containers are recyclable, it’s worth checking to see if your product qualifies for the bin. (FYI: the external “for show” packaging that products are housed in can almost always be recycled.)

Any product that has the familiar triangle (called the Mobius loop) with a 1 or 2 in the center should be rinsed and plopped into your recycling container. If you see numbers 3 and up, it’s important to check your local government’s website to see if the item is accepted in your area.

If this sounds like a lot, consider programs like TerraCycle or RecycleBank, which allow you to ship your empties for free and then they’ll take care of the recycling work for you. At bareMinerals, we’re very proud of our Give Back Get Back Recycling Program, which incentivizes our customers to recycle empties from all brands in our boutiques (in exchange for sweet rewards).

For unopened items that you’d like to discard, there are also options. Local shelters will almost always gladly take your unopened or very gently used products and disperse them among residents.

Vote for Earth with Your Wallet

By now you’re probably familiar with the saying, “you vote with your dollars.” This statement holds true, but it’s easily forgotten. This could mean you purchase products that are recycled or easily recyclable, such as a water flosser instead of dental floss or bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic options. Or perhaps that means that you support brands that give back in very meaningful ways.

Who Gives a Crap (yes, that’s the name!) offers toilet paper made from bamboo and recycled paper and donates 50% of profits to build toilets for those in need. According to the brand, roughly 40% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to a toilet, and every dollar invested in sanitation yields a $5.50 increase in economic prosperity. So when you upgrade to that low-flow model, consider greening your TP stash as well.

At bareMinerals, we are strong advocates and purveyors of clean beauty. We keep harmful ingredients out of our products — such as chemical sunscreens and common irritants — and we constantly innovate with nature-based formulas that benefit both you and the environment.

By shopping for products that are eco-friendly, and by supporting companies that care about the Earth, you’re wielding your power to effect positive change.

Good Risks, Good Habits (and Being Naughty) with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

As the face of our new clean longwear lipstick, Rosie knows a good thing when she sees it. Recently we chatted with the model-turned-entrepreneur about all the goodness in her life, and with the sounds of a busy home and her baby son in the background, she touched on a good book for any entrepreneur, the NSFW food mistake that became a favorite, and how her son is already showing his beauty talents.

With the launch of BAREPRO Longwear Lipstick we’re asking people to share stories of good that lasts. Who has been a force of good in your life and why?

That’s hard, to pick one person — that’s really, really hard … but that would be my man. He is a force of good in my life every day, even the bad days…. I feel really, truly lucky. I have an incredible partner and a fun partner to go through this journey with and now we have a beautiful baby boy and life is full.

What’s one good way to start any day no matter where you are in the world?

I think taking a little bit of time for yourself, whether that’s getting up a little bit earlier before the rest of your family — which, by the way, is not the case with me because I like to sleep in as long as I can.

For me, a good way to start my day is not rushing: I drink a bottle of water, get my son up if he’s not up already, we go downstairs, we make breakfast together, we put the radio on, we have a little sing-song. Then I sort of will escape to my bathroom and that is my little 15, 20 minutes to myself. My beauty routine is really important for me in the morning because that is a foundation for my whole day and feeling good. And working out [is also important]! I try and exercise about four times a week and I’ll do that in the morning and that’s always a great way to your day going.

What’s one good thing you do when someone around you is having a bad day?

Honestly, it’s as simple as putting on a good album, some good music. It’s about getting outside a little bit, going for a walk around the block, talking it out. It’s the art of communication and getting people to talk about things, what’s going on with them and being there for someone, really…. I love a good laugh. I love a good joke, and so sometimes people just need a little bit of laughter to get them going. But I think getting outside, getting into nature is usually a good way to turn around a bad mood.

Tell us a good story about lipstick.

I get sent a ton of beauty products, which I’m very grateful for. I was opening them up the other day in my utility room and my son comes waddling in and he’s at that age now where he likes to play with everything and take the lids off and put the lids back on and take the lids off and put the lid back on and this could go on for quite some time. He opened up a big bright red lip gloss and I crouched down next to him and next thing I know he is applying lipstick to my lips — attempting to apply it to my lips. It was just the cutest thing ever. I don’t think I would’ve let anyone else do this, but I did end up with bright red lip gloss all over my face, and he thought it was the funniest thing! He’s my budding makeup artist.

What’s one good recipe your family always loves?

My mum’s actually a pretty good cook. She doesn’t like cooking — she never liked the expectation on her — but she had to because we definitely were not in a position to do anything else. She’s actually a pretty good cook but she’s quite experimental. One of my favorite dishes when I go home is what we call “chicken f*ck up” in my house, which is a kind of chicken curry mess sort of thing that I think came about as an accident one day in the kitchen and it was christened “chicken f*ck up.” So, whenever I go home she makes “chicken f*ck up” for me — that’s the first thing I’ll ask for.

Speaking of your mom, what’s one good tip you have for multi-tasking moms? And how did you learn it?

I have no onegood tip for multi-tasking moms … I mean, I’m in the throes of it all right now. So, I should be asking moms that question. Honestly, I think all moms are multi-tasking, whether they’re working or whether they’re stay at home. Being a mom is a full-on, full-time job. You never get to switch it off and it’s been an incredibly grounding and humbling experience. I think being organized is a really important tip. And then I think, in regards to beauty tips for a multi-tasking mom, you just don’t have the time that you did before. So, you want your products to be long-wearing. And that’s one of the things that I love about the BAREPRO Longwear Lipstick, that I apply at the beginning of my day and it’s smudge-proof, it’s kiss-proof, it’s weightless … I don’t feel like I have to touch it up throughout the day and I can just be like, good to go.

What’s one good habit that you’d love for your son to have someday?

Good manners. Is that a habit?

Absolutely.

I guess good manners. And a healthy approach to food. I grew up in a household where — I mean it was the 90s, so frozen food was a big deal. [Laughs] I’m just really happy that, over my adult life and since leaving home, I’ve been able to educate myself on eating the right foods and [giving] him that foundation now as a youngster, I feel really good about that…. They’re like little sponges, babies. They’re like blank canvases. So what you put down in front of them, they’re going to absorb.

And then manners — that was something that was instilled in me really, really early on. It’s something that’s free, you know, everybody can be well-mannered, and working in an industry where I meet so many people from all different backgrounds and you have to interact with people all day long. I think simple “pleases” and “thank yous” and people that show gratitude, people that are thinking of other people, not just themselves — those kinds of small things are really what can impact somebody else. We talked about this a lot at bareMinerals, those small changes that you can make in your day that have that big effect. And I think just having self-awareness and self-respect and having respect for others … that really can turn your day around and turn somebody else’s day around.

What’s one good reason to take the risk and start a new business?

I would feel I was doing myself a disservice, not to give something a go out of fear and then to regret it later on in life, or to look back and think: ‘I should’ve done that, I should have given it a go.’ I’d rather fail at doing something than not fail at doing nothing, if that makes sense.

What’s some good advice for entrepreneurs that you learned while creating Rose Inc.?

I’m learning a lot right now. I think one of the coolest things actually is talking and listening to other entrepreneurs. So, I listen to a lot of podcasts. I read a lot of books. Luckily for me I’m now getting to meet a lot of entrepreneurs in person and just being able to ask them questions. When we were at the bareMinerals event in London at the [Soho] Farm House, I got to sit next to [Marc Rey], the CEO of Shiseido Americas. Just being able to sit next to him, [I thought] ‘Oh my gosh I’ve got an hour!’ A year or two ago if sat next to somebody like that, [I’d think]: ‘What the hell am I going to speak to him about? He doesn’t want to talk to me about anything.’ Now I see it as an opportunity to pick his brain about business and entrepreneurialism, and what are they looking for in small businesses and what advice they would give. So, I think just learning from other people’s mistakes, watching what’s happening out there in startup life and businesses and being observant, and then making sure you pull together the best team around you. [It’s important to remember]: ‘I can’t do everything. I’m not the best at everything.’ So, I need to hire great women around me to lift me and my business up. Those are things I’m learning right now.

Speaking of people you work with, what’s one good tip you’ve learned from Nikki DeRoest?

Okay. So, Nikki, I’m obsessed with. She’s become not only one of my regular makeup artists, but she’s also become a close friend of mine in this last year. She’s just such a cool chick and she’s unique and she’s also got a really good sense of humor, which I’m always drawn to. We have similar skin where we have to be very diligent about it. So, we’re constantly talking about beauty products and makeup tips. We’ll be talking about products that we just tried and we’re constantly talking about music … that’s our favorite topic.

What’s one good read from your winter holidays?

I was reading The Tipping Point, which I know is not a new book, but a really cool book to read for anyone that’s starting in business … [and looking for] what turns a business from being a small business into a phenomenon. So that’s been really, really interesting, to read about that. I like [Malcom Gladwell’s] books.

What’s one good movie where you know all of the lines?

None. Absolutely none. My sister, we were away together and we put the The Lion King on for my son for the first time and I’m like, ‘What is wrong with you? How do you know every single line from The Lion King? We haven’t watched this for like 10, 15 years? What the heck?’ I’m so baffled. But she was always one of those girls — every line in a song, every line in the movie. Whereas me, I will ‘know’ a song and it’ll have its own words. I’m terrible with people’s names. I butcher every single one — that’s not my forte.

But I would definitely say my favorites … I do love a girly movie. I love Notting Hill. I love Pretty Woman.[Laughs] I love Grey Gardens. But I love action movies and all of that kind of thing, too. I haven’t seen a great movie recently — I’ve been a bit bad at watching them, so I’ve got a stack of screeners to catch up on. I might be doing that this weekend.

Name a woman from history whose good work inspires you.

There are so many women that inspire me … I was reading something the other day about Audrey Hepburn and how everybody just remembers Audrey Hepburn for being this great beauty and yet actually, when you look at the scope of like charity work that she did in her lifetime, it was so enormous what she did … so that was impactful to me today.

Also, any woman that’s achieved her dreams, changed the world, paved the way for women in moving forward in the future. There are so many women doing that right now and — not just famous women that we know about — so many women out there who are really changing their communities and changing the lives of others in small ways, in big ways, but their stories don’t get told. And so, for me, there’s just tons of untold stories and I love it when I read something or hear something about somebody who’s really changing things in the world.

What’s one good story you think of when you need a laugh?

Oh my goodness … I would have to be honest and say that any good stories that I still chuckle about, I probably would not repeat on this phone call because that’s just naughty.

Clean Living 101: How to Feng Shui Your Desk

LIFESTYLE

Ah, clutter. Beyond being unattractive, it make it nearly impossible to be productive — especially when it’s all over your desk. So while cleaning your desk may seem like a menial task, it’s essential for productivity, success, and ultimately, your happiness.

“Clutter is junk food and has exact same effect on you,” says Bryce Kennedy, a NYC-based coach who is certified in feng shui, meditation and Inner Space Technique. “It blocks the flow of energy. It tells the subconscious: can’t relax, more to do.”

Creating new space makes room for inspiration but it can be daunting if you wait too long. New resolution: clean your desk off every night before you leave work. “You want to enter the desk when the slate is clean. A brand new start. Also, once a week, do a deep clean of cleaning the corners, the keyboard, any shoes under the desk, old papers, your computer desktop, everything that does not help you succeed in life,” says Kennedy. A clutter free desk is the first rule, and once you get into the habit, it’s not difficult to maintain. “If the desk is the launchpad for success, make it as successful as possible.”

Set Your Intention

Every time you sit down at your desk in the morning, set an intention. It could be for clarity, power, success, joy, ease, a raise, a beautiful day… whatever it is, set the intention. “What will happen over time is that the moment you sit down at the desk, your mind will automatically gear into what you DO want. Not what you don’t,” says Kennedy.

Most of us plop down at our desks and are playing catch up from the time we hit the chair until the minute we leave it. “That is not powerful. That is not flow. Feng shui is about owning your space. So own the physical and mental space,” advises Kennedy. In other words, set the intention. Every single day.

How to Lay Out Your Office

The placement of things on your desk is very important, as is the placement of your desk and the environment of the room. “Whether you work in an open unassigned environment where your workspace changes daily, in a set cubical or single office, or from a home office space, the feng shui practices will help you find peace and prosperity,” says Michelle Cromer, feng shui expert and practitioner.

Let’s start with your desk. “Place your computer in the middle of your desk, closest to you. This represents your life journey and career,” says Cromer.In the left corner, farthest away, place a live green growing plant. According to Cromer, this represents wealth and abundance.The right corner of your desk represents love and relationships, says Cromer, so this is where you’d place any photos of family, children or pets. The middle-back of your desk represents fame and reputation. So if you work from home, Cromer suggests, you can keep a candle burning because it puts you in the light. This is obviously unrealistic in a traditional office setting, so, in lieu of that, she recommends putting crystals for the same energy and activation of positive light. “Citrine crystals can be placed or put in a bowl are for attracting wealth and prosperity, ” says Cromer.

“Some people put nine oranges in a bowl on their desk or a conference table. The number eight represents continued abundance and business success because it looks like the infinity symbol. Eight is a popular number in Chinese feng shui because the word for it sounds like the word for prosperous growth in Chinese. The number nine represents wealth, accomplishment, and attaining personal goals,” says Cromer.

Be Inspired

Think about what inspires you and bring that into your workspace. Photos, plants and crystals can all make you feel good — just choose what works for you personally.

Bamboo is a great plant for any desk as “it brings good fortune and doesn’t need a lot of light,” according to Kennedy, who also says that fresh flowers, if available, can be a great boost.

The smells, freshness and colors of crystals can instantly change the mindset and energy of a space. “Some crystals that are incredible for your desk are Rose Quartz for ease and love,” says Kennedy, and “Fluorite to help reduce the impact of staring at the computer screen too long. Malachite to help ground you into your power. And Pyrite because it’s gold and brings in the energy of the sun.” And we all need a little more sun in our lives.

Light is also super important. “Have a lamp with soft light to negate the effects of overhead office lighting. Himalayan salt lamps are amazing. The wrong kind of lighting is brutal and wreaks havoc on our nervous systems,” says Kennedy.

Be in Power

When you place your chair, avoid having your back to the window or the door. “I realize this may be difficult for some people, but having your back to a door or a window is bad feng shui,” says Kennedy. “People enter through a door, which always puts you on guard. “You don’t get to relax and really dig into the work,” says Kennedy. Your energy braces against the possibility of an interruption, which can be detrimental over time. If you must have your back to a door, have a mirror on your desk so you can see who is always coming and going.

Similarly, avoid having your back to a window if possible. “Feng shui is all about having energy flow. The window is the perfect place. And blocking that with your back is essentially blocking flow,” says Kennedy. You want to be to the side of the window or facing it. Allow all the goodness to flow towards you. Receive it. Enjoy it. Window energy can improve your mindset in amazing ways.

Open the Flow

As you take control of your space and your daily intentions, you’ll open the flow of thought and movement in your space. And with that, you’ll open yourself to new productivity and success.

6 Daily Tips for Finding Your Inner Glow

LIFESTYLE

Our new Clean Glow collection lets you customize levels of color and illumination in three simple steps: bronzing and highlighting with glitter-free liquid and powder formulas, and awakening the skin with a Kombucha-infused setting spray. But when it comes to achieving an inner glow, feeling strong, at peace and in the moment are what will get you there. Here are our favorite tips for achieving a daily inner glow from wellness experts who radiate from the moment they wake up.

Embrace Positive Affirmations

“One of the hardest parts about being on the journey to living your best life is figuring out what it is that you want to achieve throughout your lifetime,” says Koya Webb, an internationally recognized yoga teacher, holistic health coach and author of the upcoming title Let Your Fears Make You Fierce: How to Turn Common Obstacles into Seeds for Growth.

We hear a lot about how a positive attitude can go a long way, but how does one begin to practice this? Write yourself a sticky note at the end of each day that says something like “You’ve got this!” and tape it to your computer. Prefer to talk things out? Schedule time on your calendar — whether it be early morning or midday — to go somewhere quiet and remind yourself that yes, you can work through even the most difficult of tasks. Record your words for those days when you need an extra push.

“It can be difficult to visualize your goals, but once you do, positive affirmations can bring you closer to achieving them. We’re all too familiar with the feelings of fear and doubt. Through positive affirmations, fear is driven away because you are replacing that fear with the power of self-love and acknowledging your worth,” says Koya. “This is why it is important to practice daily.”

Give Your Body a Reset Day

Just as you need to take a day off of exercise, you need to give your body the fuel and recovery time that it needs to push forward emotionally. “You can do this by cutting out the processed foods you eat … logging off of social media for a day to focus on self-reflection and what your soul really wants, spending time in nature to just observe the beauty and magic all around you, increasing your intake of water and submerging yourself in water via a warm bubble bath,” says Koya. “Even a cool shower will help you recover from a stressful day. These are all ways that you can reset your body … [and] take on life in a more balanced way.”

Practice Gratitude

A gratitude practice is the act of acknowledging the things in life that you are grateful for, either just by noting them silently, saying them out loud, or journaling about them. “My practice consists of thinking about three things I’m grateful for today such as the blue sky, my morning coffee [and] the friend that I spent time with last night,” says Chuck Rockey, a life coach and yoga instructor. “I try to choose things that have not been included in my practice before. This trains my brain to be on the lookout for new things to be thankful for. Then I think of three things I hope to be grateful for in the future. The wrinkle here is that I say them to myself in the present tense — as if they had already come true. This allows me to set those intentions without my mind automatically thinking about how I’m going to get there.”

“Experiencing more gratitude is easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of time,” says Chuck. If you do it on a regular basis; it will improve your outlook and make your days more enjoyable as you start to think positive thoughts. It’s natural to focus on what’s going wrong in life. But where attention goes, energy flows. The more you express gratitude for what’s positive in your life, the more positivity you’ll feel and radiate, lifting others around you as well.

Be Aware of Your Breathing

The quickest way to muffle your inner glow and sense of peace is to succumb to stress. One natural, easy way to reduce anxiety and remind yourself to be present is to simply become aware of your breathing. One quick exercise to help get you there is called the Four-Part Breath, also known as Square Breath. “[This] is a great tool to re-center yourself, and helps combat physical and emotional stress,” says Lauren Zoeller, a life-balance expert and Motivational Speaker. This technique can be practiced both at work and at home:

1. Close your eyes and visualize the four sides of a box.

2. Breathe in for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, exhale for a count of four and then hold your breath at the bottom for a count of four.

3. While you practice this breathing exercise, visualize tracing a box with your mind’s eye as you breathe. This will help keep you focused.

Zoeller recommends setting a timer for two minutes, or completing three rounds total to minimize your stress and calm your nervous system.

Try Yoga-on-the-Go

If you have a moment at home, in a hotel or even a vacant meeting room, make like a butterfly. “Supta Baddha Konasana, also known as ‘reclined butterfly,’ is a great yoga posture to revive your mind and body, ease stress, and decrease anxiety,” Lauren says. She recommends starting or ending your day with this posture to help ease into your day or to get yourself ready for bed.

1. Lay on your back and place the soles of your feet together.

2. Let your knees fall out wide in a butterfly position. If this pose puts strain on the outside of your hips, you can place blocks or pillows underneath your knees to ease the pressure.

3. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest and practice a breathing exercise. Four-Part Breath, as mentioned above, is a great place to start.

Fill the Energy Cup

Self-love is the most important thing you can do to maintain your inner glow. “Think of your available energy as a cup full of water,” says Lauren. “You are always in an act of giving or receiving energy. Each day, we are involved in activities that require us to give our energy away [and] drain the cup of water. The act of self-love … gives us the time to refill our energy bank: pour water back into the cup,” Lauren says. “Involve yourself in actions that will bring about these emotions on a daily basis.”

Although there are many ways to show yourself self-love like meditating, taking the scenic—albeit longer—route home or calling up grandma for a one-hour positivity sesh, it’s important to remember that loving yourself simply means refreshing your energy, which is needed to accomplish all that you do in a given day. Lauren recommends taking the time to treat yourself to a solo date, whether it’s at a local restaurant or ordering in your favorite meal. If you’re feeling particularly self-loving, put on your favorite music, grab your latest favorite read and/or tune in to that podcast you haven’t had time to finish and lay on the couch in a pool of your softest blankets or soak in a fragrant bath. The important thing is that you relax your mind and indulge in thoughts that make you genuinely happy. Need help finding your positivity center? Close your eyes and think of the last time you gut-laughed or felt completely at ease. Summon that feeling and go from there.