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    9 Rewarding Ways To Have A Happier, Healthier June

    From free apps to #plogging, we know how you should make this month even better.

    Hey, folks! It's basically summer, which means you're either celebrating the incoming sun and good vibes, or dreading the heat and the sweat — but no matter which side you're on, we've got some things you should try this month to feel happier and healthier.

    Maroon 5 Giphy / Via

    Here are a few ways my colleagues and I have been upgrading our lives and moods.

    1. If you take public transit, get off a stop or two before your destination and walk the rest of the way. If you drive, try parking a little further away.

    Nikki Francois / BuzzFeed

    Ever since it's been warmer out, I get off a stop or two before my actual stop on my subway ride to work to get in a bit of an extra walk. Not only do I get built-in exercise, but I've noticed how much happier I come into work after a short walk in the sun! Plus, there's always so many cute dogs I get to see on my way. —Nikki Francois

    2. Try writing down at least one thing you're grateful for every day.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    My therapist got me started on it last year — just hand-writing five things I'm grateful for every night right before bed, starting each sentence with "I'm grateful that/for..." I swear it helps me sleep better, or at least fall asleep faster, because it helps replace that anxious chatter that used to keep me awake with pleasant, positive feelings.

    Back when my anxiety was always bubbling near the surface (and on the days it surfaces again), it shows me that I didn't actually fail at my day, even if I feel in the moment like I did. It reminds me that my day was actually pretty good, and on days that I come to it happy anyway, it lets me re-live and truly appreciate all the awesomeness in my life. (And it doesn't even have to be about the events of your day! Feel free to list anything you're grateful for, like how soft your sheets are, or that your favorite sports team won its last game.) —Natalie Brown

    3. Finally keep your phone screen smudge-free and clear with this magic little roller.,

    Okay, you might be wondering what having a clean phone screen has to do with feeling happy or healthy, but honestly, it's my favorite little secret. It sounds dramatic, but something about having a dirty phone screen makes everything worse. Like, when I am stressed as hell and I look at my phone and it's GRIMY AND NASTY AND SMUDGED, I'm immediately like, "Wow, I can't even keep my phone clean, I am a gremlin of a human who can't do anything right." And it's just one more thing to feel overwhelmed about.

    So, I bought this little thing on Amazon out of desperation because the reviews were so good, and listen. LISTEN. It's basically a little lint roller but for your screen and with a few quick swipes, your screen looks new again. And I can't help it: being able to instantly have a sparkly new phone screen whenever I want calms me the fuck down. It's one tiny thing I can do that makes me feel immediately more put together and in control.

    This might be a lot of weight to put on a phone and its screen, but I know some of you out there will know what I'm talking about, so this is for you, my fellow anxious perfectionists. —Anna Borges

    Get it on Amazon for $19.98.

    4. If you need help changing your eating habits, pick a meal plan for guidance — but give yourself the freedom to make mistakes and make your own rules.

    Matt Ortile / BuzzFeed

    I’d been talking about doing Whole30 for ages. When I finally tried to do it, I was armed with recipes and ingredients and a muffin tin for breakfast frittatas. I was prepared. But that first week left me feeling ‘meh’ about the whole thing. Ingredients that I used just once were spoiling in my fridge. I had to reschedule my dates because I wasn’t drinking. And was I really going to eat only soggy egg muffins for breakfast a month? Yikes. I was displeased because it felt rigid and it didn’t feel like I got to make my own choices.

    After hearing about my frustration, my friends Alanna and Anna suggested that I try something paleo-inspired. It has the same basic tenets of Whole30’s unprocessed eating mindset, but it’s meant to be sustainable — you get to have dessert! This time, instead of trying to follow the plan 100%, I used paleo's principles as guideposts and tailored it to how I live my life.

    My weeks would go: Chicken tonight? Great, but I’ll add corn too because I need to finish what’s left in my fridge. At the grocery tomorrow, maybe we can replace corn with tomatoes and basil. And at restaurants, I’d study the menu for anything that was mostly paleo-compliant, while still allowing myself a croissant at brunch. I grew so much more engaged with and conscious of the food I was buying, cooking, and eating — and, as the pictures above prove, Instagraming. —Matt Ortile

    5. Or honestly, try a meal delivery service that's actually quick and easy to make.

    Mallory Mower / BuzzFeed

    In a genuine effort to follow through on my New Year’s Resolution (that I decided to take seriously in April) I started a Hungryroot subscription. I wanted to actually eat the produce I usually leave dying in my refrigerator and reduce food waste in my home. I was sold on Hungryroot specifically because of their website. It is so easy to use that I find it genuinely enjoyable, something I will never ever say about going to a physical grocery store. There are two subscription plans you can choose from (both with options to have a week of food skipped at any time, as many times as you want). I chose the full subscription plan, the Good Life Bundle, which gives me enough food for five meals and five snacks for $99 per week. The Starter Set Bundle is $69 per week and includes three meals and four snacks. After I pick my food on the website, it’s delivered in recyclable packaging on whichever day works best for my schedule.

    Each meal is two servings, and I almost always have enough for three — covering my lunches along with dinner for my spouse and me. Every meal is also gluten-free and vegan. I am neither gluten-free nor vegan, but Hungryroot has helped me minimize the amount of carbs and animal products I have throughout the week — which helps me to eat my vegetables without feeling like I’m missing out on something. And these are meals I’m actually willing to make, because each one takes under 10 minutes to finish, every single one. Most require only a hotplate, and they are all delicious. I mean that, they are crave-worthy tasty. Since staring Hungryroot I have saved so much on my previous grocery bills, eliminated the food waste in my home, and also shed a few calories of crap I ate before, while feeling healthier and having more energy than ever. I really love this stuff. Try it out and eat a vanilla bean snickerdoodle for me…because I’ve finished all of mine already. —Mallory Mower

    6. Go on a solo trip, whether it's a city over or across the world.

    Arielle Calderon / BuzzFeed

    I've always wanted to do a solo trip, but was scared about costs, safety, and being alone. But I found a flight to Hawaii from NYC for $370 roundtrip, and felt like I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I stayed in a hostel for $30 a night, and ended up having the best trip experience of my life. Going solo means you make your own rules on your own time, and the freedom you get from that is so liberating. I had meaningful conversations with strangers, I saw the most amazing views of the Na Pali Coast, and I went completely out of my comfort zone. I genuinely haven't felt this happy on a vacation, ever. —Arielle Calderon

    7. Take up "plogging" — aka, picking up litter while jogging — because it's good for you and for the environment.

    8. Check out the Nike Training Club app for a *free* workout plan you'll actually be able to stick to.

    Nike / Kayla Suazo

    I despise working out. It’s a sad truth that I haven’t been able to escape, even in my mid-twenties. But as I get older, I’ve realized that a quick “jog” around the park isn’t going to keep me healthy and in shape (I know, what a drag). In an attempt to somehow convince my brain that I can learn to like working out, I’ve tried LOTS of programs, but I hate them all. Truly.

    Well, a while ago my very fit best friend recommended the Nike Training Club app as it customizes a workout schedule to fit your lifestyle. I was immediately impressed when it asked me what equipment I had access to, where I like to workout, how often I want to exercise per week, and if I want to include runs in my program. Well, I *do* have a set of dumbbells (somehow??), I am currently too scared to go to the gym and much less pay for a membership, and I am okay with the idea of having a weekly run so I checked off those preferences and boom. I had a beginner workout plan, all of which I can do in my living room.

    I’ve been doing it for four weeks now, and I honestly can’t believe I’ve stuck with something that long. I’ve found that immensely helpful because it’s taught me proper form and stretches that I knew nothing about before — which in hindsight, I think is why I was so put off with exercising. I didn’t know how to do it. It’s definitely given me confidence to workout at my own pace, and get rid of this idea that I need to be in a race to get fit. Above all, it’s FREE, and I can’t help but think that’s the best part. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ —Kayla Suazo

    Download it for free for iOs or Android.

    9. And lastly, we've said it before and we'll say it again: STAY HYDRATED. Your body needs water to deal with the summer heat!

    Jemima Skelley / BuzzFeed

    I've recently bought a plastic cup with straw from Kmart for like $3. It has made me drink SO MUCH MORE water than before. I don't know why, but the act of drinking out of a straw is so much easier for me than lifting a regular glass to my mouth (gosh I sound so lazy), and I'm probably now drinking at least double the amount of water than I used to. Plus, the lid means I can drink it in bed without having to sit up. I've got one at my desk as well and it works wonders. Now instead of having to remind myself to drink two litres a day, I'm easily downing three litres without stressing about it. —Jemima Skelley

    Get a similar one on Amazon for $9.21.

    That's all we've got! Happy June, everyone. Go outside and soak up some vitamin D (with plenty of sunscreen!!!).

    RihannaVEVO / Via