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Style Inspiration

Kyle’s 5 Stress Reducing Tools for the New Year

Like many people, some of my new year’s resolutions remain the same year after year. I want to eat healthy, move more, watch less TV, etc. However, 2021 feels different.

Last week Lani wrote about her five tools to keep her New Year’s resolutions. My five stress reducing tools for the new year are meant to meet my biggest goal for 2021: to reduce stress and anxiety. As we all know, 2020 was a terrible year for mental health. I managed to find coping mechanisms (big and small) for my own restlessness, from finding inspiration through art to spending less time fussing over dinner.

Part of reducing my stress has equated to a huge organizational kick. I’m in the process of optimizing every nook and cranny in my 800-square-foot apartment. I feel as though I am constantly purging and purchasing and moving and organizing, as I work to manage my craft and art materials and a clothing collection that has evolved over quarantine. Hopefully my last two tips will help you with your 2021 closet and home makeovers! (Did you know Poshmark recently added a home category to their site?)

We can’t control current events, but we can try to control our stress levels. How are you planning to make 2021 more relaxing than 2020?

Kyle’s Stress Reducing Tools For the New Year

1. Simplify cooking with Budget Bytes Meal Plans.

budget bytes meal plan for omnivores real life style

I love my cookbooks and my recipe blogs, but sometimes cooking is just daunting. I’m not one of those people who loves to cook or finds cooking relaxing. In fact, often the opposite is true. I also have a very difficult time deviating from the recipe, meaning I’m always buying expensive and random ingredients that make the cost per meal very high.

I’ve been following the blog Budget Bytes for many many years, and recently I decided to try one of their meal plans. The plan consists of 24 recipes that fuel 6 meals for 4 weeks. Budget Bytes lists out all the ingredients you need for each week along with a clear and concise shopping list, half of which I have in my pantry already (canned beans, canned coconut milk, spices, etc.). The recipes are simple and delicious, which is great because if you saw how small my kitchen was, you’d probably be stressed for me!

2. Save automatically with Stash app.

stash app screenshot from app store real life style

I’ve been using Stash for a few years and it has helped me automatically save money without thinking about it. The app makes investing easy, allowing you to schedule transfers from your bank account into your Stash wallet or into a company. I appreciate that they’ve taken something very intimidating and made it more approachable, encouraging users to invest tiny increments at a time to build wealth. It’s very millennial-friendly!

3. Be more creative (and spend a few hours off screens) with Sculpd Pottery Kit.

sculpd pottery kit real life style

Finding time and space to be creative is an annual goal of mine. My sister gifted me a Sculpd kit for Christmas this year, and I’ve already put hours into it. Their air-dry clay means that you can craft pottery in your home without a fancy kiln. You can also purchase their acrylic paints to paint the pottery once it’s dried. I find the whole process to be incredibly therapeutic and fulfilling!

4. Avoid unnecessary trash in landfills with For Days Closed-Loop Recycling.

for days take back bag real life style

The unfortunate reality is that clothing wears out. It wears out especially fast when you’ve worn the same sweatpants or t-shirt all quarantine! If your clothes have pills, holes, or stains, don’t give them to Goodwill to dispose of for you.

I recently ordered a Take Back Bag from For Days so I could stop worrying about my worn clothing ending up in a landfill. It cost $10, which covers shipping both ways. They work with post-consumer recycling partners to make sure all returned materials go into new fabrics down the road and then into new products.

5. Buy used clothing with Poshmark.

staud mushroom print dress bought off poshmark real life style

Are you done with an article of clothing, but it’s still in decent shape? Looking to save on some new items? A great way to be an eco-conscious consumer is to buy and sell used clothing.

When I buy off Poshmark, I feel good avoiding the cycle of fast fashion and constant clothing production, while shopping thoughtfully and supporting a Poshmark reseller. I can also shop higher-end brands than I usually would, resulting in better quality and longer lasting pieces. Some of my scores last year were Birkenstock shearling clogs, a Kenzo sweatshirt, Rag and Bone pink pants, and a Staud mushroom print dress, all for a tiny fraction of the original price. When I sell my own clothes through the platform, I typically save my earnings as credits for future purchases. This discounts these items even more.

My one tip for shopping on Poshmark is to measure yourself before you shop. Sizing can be super tough to guess for dresses and pants, especially when you’ve gained some quarantine weight like me! Most of the time, sellers will list the length, width, and inseams of the garments, or you can ask for them. For the Staud dress, I purchased two sizes bigger than my usual size because of the measurements listed, and it fit like a glove!

Let us know in the comments if you think any of my stress reducing tools for the New Year might work for you!

Real Life Style is a style consulting firm that teaches busy women to wear their power so they can live their lives fully and confidently. Lani Inlander and Kyle Dunphy are based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and serve clients across the country. We offer personal styling services, an on-demand e-course, corporate services, and training to become a personal stylist.

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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