When we last rounded up our staff’s Weekly Upgrades, our editors were email batching, meal prepping, cleaning, and scheduling in extra downtime.
This week, we’re experimenting with new way to mainline caffeine, letting a bot pick out our clothes, and finally getting into the whole meditation thing.
What upgrades did you make this week? Let us know in the comments.
(Finally) take up a meditation habit
That meditation is good for me is something I’ve known for a while, but that didn’t lead me to actually meditate. Not even interviewing meditation experts Sharon Salzberg, Mark Epstein and Daniel Goleman on The Upgrade could get me to do it. How would I begin? Did I have to sit in lotus position? What if I’m too attention-challenged to do it right? What if I, I don’t know, went insane?
Finally, though, I read this article by our own Nick Douglas, which featured some useful advice from a redditor on how to start. It sounded practical and, well, easy, so I started. And what do you know? I’m a daily meditator, now. I can’t believe it took me this long.
Alice Bradley, Deputy Editor
Outsource your wardrobe choices to a bot
This week I’ve been letting a Facebook messenger bot called Epytom pick out my clothes. You answer some questions about what kinds of things you have in your closet, and every morning it sends you some ideas about how to combine them, illustrated by pics of gorgeous Instagrammers wearing the same kinds of things. It inspires me to think creatively about what I already have, like oh yeah, I have a scarf I could wear that way! Bonus: It tailors the suggestions to your weather forecast.
Beth Skwarecki, Health Editor
Catch up on your podcast queue
I finally listened to the Five Women episode of This American Life, and it’s such a nuanced look at how the #MeToo moment is affecting different women. I appreciated that it focused on their perspectives and journeys, and not the man’s. Also, I came across this Twitter thread recently (about the trope of the “gaze” in romance movies) and it was such a delight.
Alicia Adamczyk, Staff Writer
I don’t like to wear jewellery at all, so I was often forgetting to wear my wedding ring when leaving the house. I felt really guilty about it, but having never worn any ring, I found it distracting and uncomfortable. So, I went and bought a cheap watch and a couple of bracelets to rotate through. Now I’m less distracted by my ring and I don’t forget to pop it on before leaving.
Adam Powers, Video Producer
Colour-code your inbox within an inch of its life
This week, I decided to finally get my unruly Gmail inbox in check. I created a ton of different filters for various emails I receive on a daily (or semi-frequent) basis, which now automatically categorise, label and colour them. It’s delightful, and my inbox looks a little less scary, save for that “Promotions” tab. You’re next.
David Murphy, Senior Tech Editor
Add more stuff to your morning coffee
The attentive reader may recall that recently, I decided to stop pretending that I was ever going to stop drinking coffee. Well, that is still true, but now with a TWIST.
In an effort to make it less harsh on my stomach, and also cram in some nutrients in the process, I’ve started blending my morning coffee with coconut oil, collagen powder, and the occasional splash of vanilla extract. It’s creamy, delicious, and gives me a ton of energy – I’ve felt better every day since I’ve started doing it.
Virginia K. Smith, Managing Editor