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You Deserve To Brighten Your Day With These Little Luxuries

It’s officially November, which means that spooky season is technically over. Winter is fast-approaching, and exams are looming, which is simply a cruel surplus of scary that we did not ask for. We could get all existential about how 2021 is almost over and life is seemingly just hurtling past us at the speed of light, but I would rather ignore all of that and remind you of the ways that you can put an extra little spring in your step before SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) gets the chance to settle in. 

My fellow boss babe: you can have nice things. It is so easy to get caught up in this fast-paced world that we often forget to be present and make ourselves comfortable. In fact, society tells us that we should be okay with feeling uncomfortable, stressed, and run-down. Being present has become this enviable luxury that no one seems to have time for but I am here to tell you that while your daily routine can be hectic, there is room for moments of joy too! If you make the space for it, light will find its way through the cracks and meet you right where you are. The whirlwind of this season may have you feeling burnt out (I know I am!), but what the gales of a busy routine cannot burn out is your balsam scented soy wax candle with a wood wick, okay? So when you need a little warming up, light a candle. Zone out for a few minutes in between Zoom meetings or study sessions by opting out of scrolling your social media and just staring at the candle flame. Allow your eyes moments of peace, to behold something natural and beautiful.

Since the colder weather has settled upon us, I have developed a case of “the Mondays.” The weekend is over, and with a long week ahead, I decided to do the hokey pokey and turn myself around by preparing myself a matcha latte every Monday morning. Many people are adamant about their morning coffee rituals, and now I can see why. It takes a maximum of five minutes to whip up a hot beverage, and I enjoy every sip. This is my recipe: boil the water, heat and whisk the milk, add a tad of boiled water and maple syrup into my mug, whisk in a small spoonful of matcha powder, and finally add the steaming frothed milk. I have not yet perfected the skill of latte art by any means, but it is enjoyable to play around with it. Have fun! It is perfectly legal to smile on a Monday 😉.  

One thing I miss the most about pre-covid life is the ambience of studying at a coffee shop – smooth jazz music playing soothingly in the background, the white noise of people talking, and laughing, maybe even the pitter-patter of raindrops on the storefront windows. The vibes are unmatched. If you are hesitant to flock back to the coffee shops (or just lazy, like me), fear not. There is an easy way to bring those cozy coffee shop vibes into your very own room. The candle and latte that I have mentioned add to the mood, but they do not necessarily create it. I discovered a lovely little corner of the internet referred to as YouTube Ambience Rooms. Sure, it is not the real thing – but while I’m working from home, and need a ‘change of scenery’, I put on “Fall Coffee Shop Bookstore Ambience with Relaxing Jazz Music & Rain Sounds” by CalmedbyNature, and instantly feel my body relax. Our environment affects us so make it as pleasant as you can!  

Be deliberate in your self-care rituals. Be kind to your mind, your body, and your soul. Life isn’t linear, so what you need day-to-day will change, but listening intently and allowing yourself the space you need to rejuvenate your spirits will be so worth it, because YOU ARE WORTH IT! So take a deep breath. Slip outside for a crisp autumn jaunt, let your eyes grow heavy in front of the swaying light of a candle flame, and sip something piping hot as you feel the warmth course through you. Wherever you are, I hope you are 100% there – not 27% at your midterm 3 weeks from now, and not 48% at the Thanksgiving meal you had during reading week. I wish you all of the peace and joy that comes with living in the present. 

Julianna Marr

McMaster '23

Julianna is a 3rd year Mechanical Engineering Student at McMaster. She loves her two cats, the Harry Potter books, & Glossier. During this pandemic, catch her splurging on skin-care, writing snail mail to family & friends, and singing Carole King or Joni Mitchell at the top of her lungs in her spare time.
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