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The Rituals of Self Care

I fight schedules. I enjoy spontaneity. I feel that the flow of the day should be arbitrary and mostly navigated by my emotional desires. But, with a rigid schedule, amongst other factors, my immediate emotional wants aren’t always fulfilled.

For this reason, I enjoy having consistent habits and rituals that I perform daily to keep me grounded. It’s important as a college student to establish healthy habits because these habits will permeate to all other facets of our lives and will ultimately contribute to our well-being.

As students, we have ambitions that we want to achieve both in the now and in our distant future. I encourage all students to also attempt to establish micro-ambitions. While striving to save the bees or make a million dollars are incredible goals (that I hope you achieve), we have to start small. A micro-ambition can be a tiny step towards a cumulative goal, or simply something you want to try and do daily. Whatever it be, challenge yourself to do it and have it benefit you.
This scholastic year, I came up with a few micro-ambitions which turned into habits that help me feel more in touch with myself.

Lorenzo makes his morning coffee.

When I wake up, I boil water. Boiling water kills germs, facilitates breathing, and is also good to drink because it aids digestion. My idea here was to make coffee every morning in my French press as a way to kickstart my day. Now, I make coffee every other day and it’s easily the highlight of my morning. It makes me feel like I’m ready to tackle the day and make it great! While my coffee brews, I do 25 pushups and do some stretches.

Once my coffee is brewed, I head out. Usually, my day consists of classes, going to the gym, and then studying. When I have a gap between my classes, usually midday, I go to Dixon to do some sort of exercise. I made it a goal to hit the gym daily. I have yet to form a regimen for my lifting, but I chip away at research and different schools of thought concerning exercise so that I can build a regimen that works for me. Honestly, doing anything in the gym counts.

Classes and studying consume a huge part of my day, but allocating 60 to 80 minutes in the gym is something I always make time for; It’s my release. Plus, the gym and its amenities are included in our tuition… might as well build our bodies as we build our minds.

Then I grab food. This part is very important for my day. Food is…everything. And I’m so thankful for every meal! I bless my food, whatever it be, and then I consume it and let it fuel me. It’s awesome. Blessing my food helps me acknowledge and be thankful for all of the amazing things that come my way, no matter how familiar or trivial they may be. I know it sounds silly to see food as a spiritual thing, but the food makes my day a million percent better.

Beyond the gym, I do a minimum of 100 pushups a day. Initially, I figured that would complement my activity in the gym, but I also use pushups as a gage to check how productive I’ve been in a day. More pushups usually correlate with higher productivity.

By the end of my day, I’ve done a lot. So, I make time to stretch my muscles; We all rely a lot on our legs and core to keep us mobile and upright and it’s nice to feel loose and relaxed. To help decompress, I also read before I hit the sack. I don’t do an excellent job at reading too much beyond schoolwork, so reading before bed is where I get that time in. Plus, reading is proven to help you get more restful sleep, faster.

However, it’s not every day I get to do all these things. Sometimes I forget. Other times I get distracted, or other things take precedence. The main inhibitor to my achievement of these goals is easily my phone. I definitely acknowledge I have an addiction to it and that’s embarrassing to admit, but it’s humanizing in a way. Noting our faults and possible areas of improvement is important because its these realities that help us grow as individuals. As life continues, I strive to improve and work on kinks that I see present so that I can learn more about myself and about how I operate best.

And from what I’ve seen so far, I operate best when I practice these rituals, among others, on the daily. My day feels off if I don’t boil water, or stretch, or hit the gym, or when I’ve been on my phone too long.

Everyone has things they do on a daily basis to take care of themselves, and my personal habits contribute to my wellness on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. College is demanding, and it’s imperative that all students form their own daily habits; They teach responsibility, time management, self-sufficiency, and discipline.

I encourage you, the reader, to find what grounds you and contributes to your improvement, happiness, and well-being. I hope you can take care of yourself with the things you do; whether they be big or small.

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