Rituals: The Little Things That Enrich Your Life

Rituals: The Little Things That Enrich Your Life

"Rituals are things you do in your life regularly that enrich it, and are often thought to bring a sense of well-being or joy to one's life in small ways."


In all honesty, I have been lacking the motivation and inspiration to write recently. My life has been busy with school work, social events, and a cappella rehearsals. So obviously, as in any time of crisis or uncertainty, I asked my mom for advice. She suggested writing about the rituals in my life. "Rituals are things you do in your life regularly that enrich it, and are often thought to bring a sense of well-being or joy to one's life in small ways."

It's funny. I wasn't aware that I had let some of my rituals slide in my life until my mom reminded me. Everything really does happen for a reason. I let all those other things clutter up my life and didn't prioritize myself.

In high school, I used to play guitar almost every night before bed. But in college, living with a roommate, and having late night club meetings or rehearsals, I have neglected that passion of mine. I haven't written a song in far too long. I didn't even bring my guitar to school with me last semester because I thought it would take up too much space in my room when in reality other things were taking up too much space in my life. Playing guitar and writing songs has been my emotional outlet ever since I was first exposed to music. Last semester I craved the feeling of relief I felt when I was able to get all my emotions out through song. After a few tough days, all I wanted to do was write but I gave in to the clutter of my schedule.

Another ritual I have been neglecting recently is device-free time. In the past, I used to turn off my phone or computer up to an hour before bedtime. Now, I am either up working or watching tv until the moment I lie down to sleep. Not only have I noticed the impact on the quality of my sleep but also my mood. The more time I spend with technology, the grumpier and more irritable I am. The most difficult thing about this ritual is that while I might do this for myself, other college students usually don't. I sometimes wake up to multiple texts wondering why I wasn't responding last night at 10 o'clock. It is hard to find the balance between being polite and responsive and getting a good night's sleep.

On a more positive note, I have been prioritizing some rituals in my everyday life. I always make coffee in the morning and shower first before anything else. If I don't start my day fresh with a warm shower and yummy trader joe's coffee with almond milk, I can't even begin to think about the other things I must get done. I have also been calling my mom often, sometimes two or three times in one day. Whether it is to tell her something exciting, complain about a class or club, or simply ask about her day, it is always nice to hear her voice on the other end of the phone. And of course, exercise. I don't even think about it anymore. It is built into my day just like any class, dinner plan, or meeting. I can always count on an hour or so of running or strength training to set the tone for the day and lift my mood.

Some of these things may seem extremely simple and some may not seem like rituals at all. However, that is exactly what makes them rituals. They are things that appear to be so routine but without them, our life would be thrown off balance. I am looking forward to working on slowly bringing these rituals back into my life and continuing the ones I already practice. Thank you, Mom, for this simple reminder. You somehow always know what I need to hear.

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.


Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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Being Sick In College Is A Real Struggle

Being sick in college is definitely not as fun as having a sick day in middle school or high school.


Something that I have had to deal with multiple times these past two semesters is being sick while in school. It can be a real pain especially depending on what type of sickness it is. I have had tonsillitis, mono, and I'm pretty sure I also had the flu.

Being at school and away from home can make being sick worse because there is nobody to take of you such as your parents. Another thing is having to make the decision to get the rest that your body needs in order to feel better or staying on top of your assignments to avoid falling behind. My parents will always tell me to get a good night's sleep so my body can feel better the next day. However, sometimes I will feel more stress if my work isn't getting done and I feel like I'm falling behind and leaving things to get done in the last minute.

Currently, I am sick now and the past few days haven't been easy, but I still attended all my classes so I wouldn't miss any material or assignments that were given. I usually end up feeling the worst at night when trying to fall asleep, and by that time the doctors are not present at the student health center. Even though my health is important I usually don't like taking too much time out of my day to go to the health center to see a doctor. Some days I don't really have much free time before the evening.

I don't believe I have been over-exerting myself, but I don't want to just stay in my bed all day and sleep, even though that may be what is best for me. Most professors will be understanding if I email them and provide them a doctor's note as well, but I also just got back from a conference where I had to miss two days of classes next week.

I have been trying to keep hydrated so that way my body can fight the sickness. Also, I have been told if you stay hydrated you can flush the virus out of your body quicker.

Eating can also be a pain when you have a sore throat, for the past couple of days I have tried to have some soup in order to help. Most meals I would have to force myself to eat something of substance in order to give my body some type of energy in order to get through the day. It's also never fun not being able to breathe out of your nostrils. If it wasn't my nose being stuffed, then it would be constantly runny so there was no winning that battle.

Looking back, I probably should have done a bit more work over spring break in order to get ahead in the case that something like this would happen. I wanted my break to be exactly that, a break. After not being home for a few months I just wanted some time off to relax.

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