Everyone knows that exercise releases endorphins, improves sleep, reduces the risk of preventative diseases, etc. opportunity to go beyond the limits I thought I had. Every human being requires challenges and overcoming those challenges to live a fulfilling life, and I saw exercise as a way to set small goals, work towards them every day, and take pleasure in achieving them.
There’s nothing more remarkable than taking a batch of raw ingredients and turning them into a tasty meal (or at least as tasty as a college student can achieve). I often improvise meals on the go, where if I find any extra spices or veggies I just throw them in a pot and see how it goes. Whether the food is really impressive or not doesn’t concern me as much as appreciating the creation process. Additionally, cooking has been an effective way to take my mind off daily stressors and focus my attention on the present moment.
3. Skin care
Makeup may be a common way for many people to relax and feel good in their own skin, but skincare has been my outlet for appreciating my beauty. While not as instantaneous as makeup, a daily/nightly skincare routine can have a slow but profound effect on our skin’s long-term health. The mere act of washing, cleansing, exfoliating and applying vitamin C has always felt therapeutic because not only am I supporting my dermal health, I am also performing this physical act and correlating my inner mindset to it; every time I scrub the day’s impurities from my face, I think of it as clearing my mind of worries and starting with a rejuvenated version.
Everyone has gone through their “Dear Diary” phases, but once pouring out our emotions seems like a chore, people abandon the practice. I started journaling by accident in high school, but it soon became a five-year practice. It can be difficult to process our emotions just by holding them in our minds, so I relied on journaling to open my heart and CONFRONT what and why I feel a certain way. Journaling has become a successful method for airing my thoughts, putting my life in perspective, and arriving at meaningful revelations about myself.
This is probably the most difficult, but also the most healing, practice for becoming grounded in ourselves. During a time when my mental health took some heavy hits, I started meditating before falling asleep. Meditation can certainly be a powerful spiritual tool, but the greatest blessing I’ve seen from meditation is dedicating myself 10 minutes out of a 24-hour day to not thinking: just being. Regarding singleness, I went through a period of profound relationship anxiety, and meditation became my saving grace for calming my mind, helping me to be in the moment, and even forgiving myself for any negative and irrational thoughts I had.
Singleness is closely tied to our self-esteem: you can’t enjoy being single if you feel bad about yourself. There are always times when my insecurities rise and I feel inadequate about being alone, but I always remind myself, “It’s OK to feel this way. You should be proud of every step you take every day to take care of yourself, even if it’s as small as opening your eyes in the morning.” Nobody should demand that a partner feel worthy of himself, because in the end, every breath you take is already something to be honored.