Happy new school year! The Fall can be such a wonderful and busy time that in our excitement to be back in the swing of things, we forget what self care and personal wellness looks like. I am always looking for ways to practice self care, so I thought it might be best to put my own wellness tips in a “Top Five” list. If your spirit is in- spired, I encourage you to try out these 5 tips for a month, and see how you feel.
1.    Get a plant for your living space or office space. Funny story, for almost the entirety of my life, I have never kept a plant alive, un- til I came to OSU. Making time to water the plant, and talk to the plant is not only healthy for you; it is healthy for the plant, too. On the flip side, I can always tell when I am not doing so well, because my plant tells me, by dropping her leaves. When I care for the plant, I am automatically caring for me..

2. Give and/or receive a big, hearty hug. Nothing is as healing as a snuggly hug. Some studies show that hugs can be therapeu- tic, and at least they allow us to remind ourselves of the people with whom we share meaningful connections.

3. Laugh out loud. There is truth behind the cliché that laughter is the best medicine. You relieve stress, you increase oxygen flow to your body, and you get yourself into a positive thinking mindset. Go ahead, make it a belly-shaking jolly laugh, for best results.

4. Eat breakfast. Like beyond ce- real breakfast. Honor your spe- cific dietary needs, and reconsider what you think of as breakfast food. I recently started eating boiled mung beans and rice with spices to my taste, for breakfast, and I find myself fulfilled in a way I never knew was possible.

5. Breathe. Deeply. Fully. And then, fill your lungs some more. We have gotten complacent with the idea that our deep breaths are really deep… and often we have only breathed in about 2/3 of our lung capacity. If you feel inspired, try inhaling (and internally) count to a number that is comfortable to you, and then on the exhale, regulate your air flow to exhale for the same count as your inhale. Try this while closing your eyes. Don’t think about the laundry, or the next email. Just focus on your breath. Now do this for about 10 minutes.
So there you have it- 5 tips to fol- low daily, for the next month. Let me know how it turns out, and I wish you a glorious term!