Does anyone else feel like the phrase ‘boundaries’ is trending? There’s always a new self-care / self-help focus that everyone’s talking about and all I’m hearing about lately is boundaries. Which got me thinking about my own.
To me, having boundaries means that you know when to let people/events/commitments into your life, and more importantly, when to NOT let them into your life. For the most part, I feel like I’ve conquered boundaries as an adult but there’s always room for improvement. Here are my thoughts on boundaries + what I do to respect my own:
+ Wait to respond
Anyone who has my cell number will tell you that I’m bad at texting, but I disagree. If I think about it from a boundaries perspective, I’m good at text boundaries.
Yes, it might mean I’m not always quick to respond but that’s because I’m choosey about when and how I respond. Everyone thinks they deserve a response (or need to give one) within a matter of minutes these days and IMO, that’s not realistic or healthy. Sometimes I get texts but I’m focused on school, work, emails, writing a blog post, or am with the family, so I won’t respond. Sometimes I get texts but I’m scrolling TikTok or Amazon and having my time, and I won’t respond right away. Sometimes texts I get are unnecessary or don’t necessarily need a response, so I don’t respond…ever. Which is OKAY!
This doesn’t mean I don’t care about the person texting me or what they’re saying, it means I have boundaries. I like to reply to text messages when I want to when I have the time, and when I’m not trying to be present with my family. 99.9% of the time, a text can wait until you’re at peace to respond. If it’s an emergency, they’ll call.
Try waiting to respond, whether it’s a text or email or whatever until you’re in the right mindset to respond. Or if you can’t help yourself, turn on Airplane mode so that you’re not tempted. This not only helps your peace of mind but sets up boundaries around when / how you respond. It also trains people to know that they can’t expect an immediate response from you (which I think is healthy!).
+ Get comfortable with saying ‘no’
Saying ‘yes’ out of habit or guilt is probably the number one reason why boundaries are broken. I fall for this, especially with the guilt part, but I’m usually able to say ‘no’ without feeling bad about it. Especially if I break down the honest reason behind why I need to say no. For example, ‘I’d love to attend but I need to be there for my mom, my aunt is having another episode or my mom just needs it, so I can’t make it. Hope the event is a success!’ Or, ‘This sounds like a great opportunity. I’m unfortunately feeling overwhelmed with my commitments right now so I’ll have to pass, but I’d love to stay in touch.’
+ Learn your boundaires
If you have no clue whether you have boundaries or not, learn about them. Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential podcast had a sought-after boundaries relationship expert on her show a while back so I’m linking that episodehere. The expert happened to be Licensed Therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab, MSW, LCSW, author of bestsellers Drama Free and Set Boundaries Find Peace. She has practiced relationship therapy for 15 years and is the founder and owner of the group therapy practice, Kaleidoscope Counseling.
Nedra has appeared as an expert on Red Table Talk, The Breakfast Club, Good Morning America, and CBS Morning Show to name a few. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Vice, and has appeared on numerous podcasts, including The School of Greatness, We Can Do Hard Things, and Ten Percent Happier. Tawwab runs a popular Instagram account where she shares practices, tools, and reflections for mental health and relationships.
Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential and the boundary licensed expert walks you through difficult boundary conversations, how to deal with setting your boundaries, etc.
Hereare more boundary tips with valuable talking points:
+ Voice them
I’m not great at voicing my feelings but I will speak up if I feel like my boundaries are being violated. This year, I felt like I was getting requests from family, friends, my partner, and from work. It was all too much. It felt overwhelming and like everywhere I turned, work was waiting and people constantly calling my name for everything. I spoke up and set some specific boundaries around work (like ‘no, I can not come on a Saturday my time off to help set up another classroom graduation) ( oh, it is mandatory for all teachers well that was never said when hiring me and I am just now finding out about it, so NO). And it was as easy as that. If someone had the same request, you better believe I’d respect their boundaries.
I’m sure we all have blurred boundaries with work, especially since most jobs don’t end when you ‘leave the office’. I suggest setting up boundaries so that your team/boss / whoever knows when and how to reach you (within reason, of course). Certain people I work with even put their availability in their email signature so it’s a clear reminder of their boundaries. You can also set offline notifications on most communication platforms like Slack or whatever, so utilize those.
Some boundaries are more sensitive than others. For example, in-laws or your parents stopping by unannounced 5x a week or a bitchy boss who thinks she owns your life. These cases will probably require you to write out the WHY behind your request for a boundary…and things might be awkward. But in the end, most of these convos are never as bad as we assume them to be. Be assertive and kind, and if they don’t understand, that’s on them.
+ Get alone time
As someone in their mid 20’s who works full time, goes to school full time, and is a caretaker to family members, I have zero physical boundaries in my life, which I LOVE at times, and it’s also overwhelming AF. There are days when I don’t shower, go to the bathroom, or sit alone for even 5 minutes. Add in having a partner who has all these needs and trauma. So I will feel touched out physically. When I feel like this, I know I need alone time ASAP, so I try to work it into the following day. There’s something about being alone and no one needing you physically or emotionally for even 30 minutes that can seriously help.
+ Trust your gut
I’m huge on following my intuition or gut in all situations, and it can help with boundaries. Whether you’re questioning if you’re the one overstepping on someone’s boundaries OR if someone is overstepping yours, your gut usually knows what’s up.
What’s good enough for Jennifer Aniston is good enough for us. So when word broke outthat she’s obsessed with the health-tracking device Oura Ring, let’s just say we were pretty much sold right then and there. But being the wellness diehards that we are, we had to put the gadget to the test ourselves (it’s practically our wellness editor’s job to weed out the fads from the legit trends, after all). Sure, it makes a solid fashion statement, but does it deliver on all its health metric promises? Could such a small piece of jewelry disguised as wearable technology accurately measure our sleep patterns, predict our menstrual cycles, and monitor our physical activity? Read on for our honest review of the Oura Ring and whether it lives up to the hype.
From Apple Watches to Fitbits and Whoops to Oura Rings, it seems there’s a tracker for every need and type of health-curious individual out there. So what makes the Oura Ring stand out? For starters, it’s not worn around your wrists like most health-monitoring devices. Rather, it’s a ring that weighs in at just 0.1 pounds and comes in sizes 6-13 and five colors: silver, black, matte black, gold, and rose gold.
In a nutshell: it’s a fitness tracker haha but what we love about it is it tracks SO MUCH more than ‘fitness’. It tracks your overall health and wellness, sleep, workouts, stress, HR, body temperature, cycles, and more.
When you order an Oura ring, Oura will ship you a ring sizing kit so you can pick the exact size you want and decide which finger to wear it on.
Advertised as inspiring “awareness of the intimate connection between mind and body,” it tracks sleep, activity, recovery, and your cycle in real-time by measuring from the palm side of your finger (where the pulse signal is strong) and provides three daily scores: sleep, readiness, and activity. According to Oura Ring’s website, “Your scores tell you how your body feels and what your body needs, every second of every day.” In other words, the Oura Ring takes the guesswork out of when it’s time to push yourself when you need rest and recovery, and when you might be getting sick by taking into consideration 20 different body signals—think temperature, heart rate, heart rate variability, and sleep—using infrared light, body temperature, and 3D accelerometer sensors.
Oura’s Infrared Photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor sends light through LEDs into the skin and captures how much light is reflected from your arteries to determine your heart’s activity, including resting heart rate, heart rate variability (AKA the constant variation in time between your heartbeats), and respiration. Heart rate variability can indicate whether you’re in a relaxed or stressed state, and when combined with body temperature, can be used to gather information about sleep. By monitoring your nighttime skin temperature, the Oura Ring takes note of your body temperature, which provides insights into the inner workings of the body, such as how well your body is recovering, if you’re coming down with an illness, or if hormones are hard at work. So that’s the science, but does it work in practice?
Our Editors’ Honest Reviews:
As mentioned above, the Oura ring tracks so much more than your steps or your fitness. Probably our favorite feature about it is tracking your sleep, analyzing your sleep data, giving you sleep insights, and more. Oura ring uses elements like the amount of sleep you got, your resting heart rate, your body temperature, deep sleep, etc to calculate your sleep score. One AMAZING example we got from this: one night we had a margarita or two before going to bed that night. the next day we had a low sleep score and the Oura app told us “Something caused your heart rate and body temperature to stay elevated last night, so you didn’t get great sleep. Try taking it easy today since you didn’t fully recover overnight.” WILD to see actual data on how alcohol affects our sleep!
It also analyzes your sleep data and gives you sleep insights. So after analyzing our sleep, my oura ring app advised us that our bedtime is between 8:45-9:45 pm. The nights we go to bed in that window are the nights we’ve gotten amazing sleep!
The Oura ring uses data from your sleep the night before to also calculate a “readiness” score for you. Your readiness score is based on how you slept, the level of activity you did the day before, your resting heart rate, and a few other things. So sometimes our Oura app will tell us our readiness score is at an all-time high because we slept great and had a rest day the day before. Other times it will say ‘You were active yesterday and it looks like your body could use some recovery time today’. We don’t need an app to tell us those things but it is cool to see how our daily activity and sleep can affect our “readiness” for the day!
You can’t necessarily ‘start a workout’ on the Oura ring like you can on the Apple watch, but you can manually add in a workout and it will factor that into your daily activity goal! Or if we are going for a walk or a run, it automatically picks that up and at the end of the workout it will say “workout detected” and we can confirm it or cancel it. But, it won’t automatically pick up like yoga or a peloton ride. You would just manually put in “cycling”, the length of time, and the intensity (light, moderate, hard) and then it calculates the caloric burn based on that (and we have found it to be very accurate).
The Oura ring can also help track your cycles and predict ovulation! If you are going through IVF then your doctor probably regulating all of that. But, for the ones who aren’t in that boat, the Oura ring will automatically do that for you since you wear the ring overnight, and help track your cycles + predict ovulation for you!
The Oura ring also has guided meditations in the app which we LOVE. What’s cool about it is if you do one of the guided meditations in the app…your ring will track how meditating affects your body. It tracks if your heart rate and body temperature are lowered which in turn helps to lower your stress and boost your readiness score.
The ring also detects naps! So if we lay down for an hour nap after church, when I wake up and check our app it will say ‘nap detected’ and you can confirm or cancel. When you confirm, the nap will boost your readiness score for the day!
Unlike the Apple watch which just has 3 rings you need to close every day lol the Oura ring has a ‘rest mode’. It can detect when you are tired or stressed by reading the changes in your key body signals associated with stress. It then automatically adjusts your daily goals to put your rest and recovery first instead of keeping the same ‘move goal’ you have every single day.
We are sure there are tons of other features the Oura ring has that we haven’t ventured into yet haha but the ones we shared above are some of our favorites and why we love the ring.
Why We wanted the Oura Ring:
Last summer while on a hot girl walk with our best gal pal, we noticed a new, chunky gold ring sitting prettily on her middle finger. Naturally, because we are nosy and easily influenced, we waited a mere 45 seconds before asking where she got it. When we discovered it was a wellness tracker our jaw was on the floor. Before impulsively hitting Add to Cart, we did research, weighed the pros and cons, and finally got one for ourselves almost a whole year later.
Our initial attraction to the Oura Ring was the aesthetic. We loved the idea of being able to have consistent tracking, no matter the outfit, and that it didn’t look like an unsightly tracker at all. After learning more about Oura’s insights (particularly, how it tracked your sleep), we knew that was an untapped area of data that I wanted to improve, and that sold us in the end.
How it compares to other tracking we’ve tried:
We’ve had the Oura Ring for almost two weeks and we’ve been using both the Oura Ring and the Apple Watch simultaneously so that we could get a grasp on how they directly compared. While we prefer the Oura Ring by a decent amount, we will note that the biggest adjustment that we had when switching over was having to open the Oura Ring app instead of relying on a screen from the device itself. As far as actual analytics go, Oura Ring gives you so much more health data than the Apple Watch. We are talking about sleep insights, activity data, and temperature tracking (which is huge if you track your cycle). It pulls so much more data than just calories, steps, and heart rate, plus, it’s easy on the eyes which makes us much more likely to use it.
Before we picked out our Oura Ring size, we used their free ring sizing kit which we highly recommend since you’ll be wearing it nearly all day and it’s not adjustable. They note that it works best on your pointer finger, though we have seen some users wear them on their middle or ring fingers as well. The app was super easy to navigate and after a few minutes of exploring the intro resources on the app and a quick 90-minute charge for the week, we had a great handle on how it worked to take it for a spin.
What we liked:
To us, the biggest selling point of the Oura Ring is the fact that your numbered goals adjust every day depending on how much your body is recovered. So many times with the Apple Watch we would be discouraged that to feel the validation of closing our rings, we would have to hit the same goals every day despite a horrible night of sleep, feeling like trash while on our period, or being incredibly sore after a hard workout the day before. The Oura Ring adjusts your activity goal each day based on your other analytics and we’ve found that this has allowed us to work with our body, rather than against it.
The sleep data that the Oura Ring pulls has also been a game-changer for us. Every morning, we click on the app to see our sleep score. If it’s low, we skip the gym for the morning and use the extra time to snooze or we’ll schedule a nap for later. If it’s optimal, we will make the most of the morning and the activity plans for the day. The Oura Ring sleep score is based on your total sleep, time in bed, sleep efficiency (percentage of time spent awake vs. asleep in bed), your resting heart rate, and how long you were in different sleep stages—truly things we never thought about before using this wellness tracker.
We could talk about the pros of the Oura Ring all day: the user-friendly app, the ability to sync with the Natural Cycles app, how long the battery lasts in comparison to how long you have to charge it, the overall look and feel of it, and more. If we could go back and do it all over again, we 100 percent would. After two weeks of using it, we know we’ve just barely scratched the surface of all it can do like using tags to track how we felt, note what we ate/drank, monitor symptoms we experienced on certain dates, keep a record of our emotions, track when we have sex, etc.
What we didn’t like:
The reality is that no tracking device is perfect and while we love the Oura Ring, there are some things we wish we could change about it. The first is that, atop the lofty price, you do have to pay monthly for the app (after the free trial, it’s $5.99 per month). While you can take advantage of some functions without the app, to get the most out of your ring, you’ll want the subscription.
We’ve heard mixed reviews about Oura’s activity tracking and here’s our two cents on it: it’s a little clunky compared to the Apple Watch. Overall, it captures the correct amount of calories burned (compared to the numbers we see on our Apple Watch), but figuring out how to track our workouts isn’t as easy to figure out and seems to be done retroactively as opposed to in the moment. Once again, could be user error but as a pretty average person, we would assume others may have trouble here as well.
Another note: Having our Oura Ring and Apple Watch both connected to our iPhone’s Bluetooth annihilates my phone battery. On an average day, we sit at 59 percent by 10 a.m. so we pray to the tech gods hoping this will get better without us having to part ways with our Apple Watch.
Knowing we had 30 days to return what we consider to be a large investment, we were still reviewing the Oura Ring super critically and it still passed all of the tests. This tracker is more intuitive than trackers we have used in the past and has motivated our wellness journey without making us obsess over it. We love how inconspicuous it is and how much it helped us to take accountability for our health beyond our activity tracking. And for those reasons and more, we are an Oura Ring stan.
We’d recommend this ring to all wellness and fitness enthusiasts and pros looking to get more shut-eye, track their stress levels, predict their periods, and be more informed about their bodies plus it is waterproof so no need to take it off.
Editor’s note: While the Oura Ring is a great tool to use, always call your doctor or healthcare provider if you’re experiencing health concerns. The Oura Ring is a great supplemental device to use for everyday monitoring, but it shouldn’t replace visits to the doctor, nor can it diagnose illnesses.
We think we covered about everything we know so far but comment below if there’s anything else you want to know! Thanks for reading!
This Viral Pepper and Cucumber Salad is popular for a reason! It’s sweet, tangy, spicy, and full of flavor. It works great as a quick afternoon snack or side dish.
This salad recipe came from the amazing Rachael Kirkconnellwho recently took TikTok by STORM with this creation. As soon as I saw her recipe, I knew that I had to try it out. And truth be told, it may just be my favorite cucumber salad recipe yet.
I am in love with crunchy salads like this. Not only are they easy to make, but they’re so fresh, flavorful and it’s a great way to get your veggies in.
So whether you’re looking to have glowing skin this summer, or are just looking for a delicious recipe that comes together in just 5 minutes, then I’ve got you covered with this recipe! It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s sure to make you glow from the inside out.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Viral Pepper and Cucumber Salad only take 5 minutes to make!
It’s the perfect side dish for any meal!
A great quick simple and healthy snack recipe that makes it easy to get your veggie servings in for the day.
It’s sweet, savory, and a little tangy!
crispy, crunchy medley of flavors
Lot’s of yummy textures going on with the sweet crunchy peppers and juicy cucumbers.
Cucumbers are incredibly good for you and are super hydrating.
Health Benefits Of This Viral Veggie Salad
For starters, cucumbers are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals. Cucumbers contain vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin K, B vitamins, manganese, and copper.
The potassium and vitamin found in cukes are beneficial for regulating fluid balance, which can help with blood pressure and bone health. Finally, cucumbers are one of the most hydrating foods out there: Each one is comprised of about 96 percent water. This is important, seeing as most folks are chronically dehydrated, especially as the weather warms.
Meanwhile, peppers—another hydrating food—are packed with immune-boosting benefits. Peppers have more vitamin C than oranges, and also contain potassium, folate, vitamins A and E, and are rich in various antioxidants.
To put the immune benefits of peppers into perspective, one cup of sliced raw red sweet pepper has 118 milligrams of vitamin C; meanwhile, one cup of oranges has about97.5 milligrams of vitamin C. (The recommended daily intake is 65 to 90 milligrams.)
Ingredients And Substitutions
These are the main ingredients and substitutions for Viral Pepper and Cucumber Salad. Scroll down to the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and instructions.
The base of this salad is made with sweet tri-colored bell peppers. These are the small mini ones, not the large bell peppers. Although, I’m sure both would work!
I used Persian cucumbers for mine, but you can also use regular cucumbers.I love using Persian cucumbers in this recipe because they are smaller and crunchier than traditional cucumbers! Plus, they’re a tad sweeter, which adds the perfect flavor to this recipe.
For a bit of crunch, add on the chili oil onion crunch from Trader Joes. If you don’t have a trader joe’s near you, don’t worry. Most stores sell it!
If you haven’t tried a chili crunch topping yet, then what are you doing!? This delicious seasoning adds the perfect amount of heat to this recipe, and is buildable, so you can truly add as much as you’d like, depending on how spicy you like it!
What makes this dish special is the ginger dressing. You can use store-bought or homemade, whichever you prefer.
Sprinkle on some Everything But The Bagel Seasoning to finish it off. This adds a savory flavor and a bit of crunch. Again, I get mine at Trader Joe’s, but most stores sell it! Also, it is onAmazon too. This simple seasoning is packed with flavor to take your salad to the next level!
How To Make
ONE: Start by slicing the sweet bell peppers and dicing the cucumbers into bite-sized pieces.
TWO: Add the veggies to a bowl and top with the ginger dressing, chili oil crunch, and EBTB seasoning. Mix well until each veggie is well coated.
THREE: Serve as it is, or enjoy with your favorite meal.
Tips And Tricks
Use sweet tri-colored bell peppers. These are different than your standard bell pepper.
Any store-bought dressing that has ginger in it will work! If you can’t find ginger dressing, you can use an Italian dressing.
How To Serve And Store
Serve this Viral Pepper and Cucumber Salad as a snack, or enjoy it with your favorite meal like salmon and rice.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy within 5 days.
Taste And Texture
This Viral Pepper and Cucumber Salad is incredibly refreshing. It has a sweet, savory, and tangy flavor.
The texture is super crunchy!
If you make this Viral Pepper and Cucumber Salad, I would appreciate a comment and rating down below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram, Tiktok, or Amazon!
**this post may contain affiliate links, which means I will make a small commission for products purchased through my link.