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My Personalized Wellness: 4 Atomic Habits I Swear By

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

Wellness, one might think, is crafted from matcha in the morning, journaling until sunrise, daily Pilates, and salads with every vegetable on the planet. While it is true that a handful of trendy wellness practices could truly benefit us in even the smallest of ways, I firmly believe that true wellness is rooted in habits that are sustainable to us, individually. Perhaps I can down a glass of greens, but realistically, if I cannot see myself repeating that action, almost every single day for the unforeseeable future.

Is it truly healthy for me? Can I justify the “benefits” such a component has on me by my grudging forcefulness to try and consume it every morning with misery?

Simply, no, and hence, after a week, the practice will be a forgotten memory, and the next fad will commence in delusion anticipation for the off chance that it is more enjoyable and satisfying in results. This cycle is prominent in our culture. Humans are programmed consumers of wellness, in the sense that we all want to find ways to better our own beings, however, the intuitive crawl to popularized wellness is not the only platform one must take to find peace with their devised routine. We have the power to personalize, and this is a skill we must use to our own advantage. 

These are my personal wellness atomic habits I swear by.

Kindness is Key

The first habit I strive to implement in my day is not a bowl of veggies, but rather a mindset. I am a true believer that physical and mental health work in harmony, and neglecting one or the other is a detour from better health. Hence, my first atomic habit in a mindset shift: kindness. And not in the personable character trait, but kindness and softness to others, and also to ourselves. I often think, the typical scenario many students and achievers face is the double standards imposed between themselves and those around them. It is inevitable that at some point, we become our worst critics when we strive for achievement: “I could have scored higher,” “I should have paid more attention,” “It’s all my own fault,” etc., and the internal monologue has been cemented. 

What I have found is that by extending the olive branch to ourselves, we harness a greater amount of patience and acceptance for not only ourselves, but it naturally drifts towards others as well. There exists a sort of fluidity between this relationship; it goes both ways, and either way. For example, by forcing yourself to grow into being more empathetic and compassionate towards your peers, you might notice that you are better able to soothe your own thoughts and worries with the same softness. Or, after being kind to yourself, you can better recognize the same worries and struggles in your peers and help them navigate their personal mental wellness as a shoulder to lean on.

That is not to say that this is an overnight switch. In my own experience, this self-empathy only developed years after I practiced external kindness. For me, the internal kindness I have harnessed looks like more self-directed compassion: I can sleep in and skip that workout, because my body is tired and I recognize its needs. I forgive myself for being a little late to that meeting because it slipped my mind. It allows me to return to the thought that at the end of the day, I am only human. Much like the other people around me, I find I can easily comfort and warm; I am allowed to receive the same compassion from myself. 

Intuitive Movement 

We all know that physical activity is vital to longevity and good health. However, I feel that personalizing that, again, is also just as necessary to ensure sustainability in my enjoyment of it, and hence, has become one of my continued practices. 

Women, more typically, are guilty of jumping on the CrossFit train, or being “cardio bunnies” because that is what the internet preaches as being representative of good health. I have noticed this trend is anchored by the popular notion that such difficult forms of exercise are so strenuous that they are naturally assumed to be the most beneficial. Women, myself once included, feel the need to be “extremists” in their sport, and for a variety of reasons. There is a cultural fallacy that looms over our heads, where we are constantly told that our bodies are rapidly aging, and there are only a handful of things we can do to combat the “wrinkles and slow metabolism” that are inevitable to us. 

But like all things in life, the key is moderation, and in movement, whatever mode we prefer should be paired with our enjoyment of it, because at the end of the day, how many times are we going to force ourselves to endure physical strain in lieu of “looking and feeling better.” Future focusing in a way that never allows us to explore other forms of movement, forms which we may actually enjoy and hence practice more intentionally and frequently, practically goes against the intuitive and curious nature of our essence. I personally never allow physical activity to overshadow my intuition in that sense. This is a lesson more women are perhaps learning only after long periods of restrictive exercise and practices, but regardless it is real, and has real consequences in the form of exercise addiction, eating disorders, and purging behaviors, which are all entirely border topics altogether. Finding a happy medium is vital to me. If lifting weights one day seems impossible, I swap it for yoga or Pilates, or nothing at all if that is what my body asks of me. Listening to that voice of guidance, that “gut feeling,” is my freedom in capturing the greatest benefit from physical activity and exercise, keeping me content. 


I used to never understand why my mother liked venturing outdoors as a child. I used to question people who climbed to “enjoy long walks on the beach” as some sort of stress reliever. In my head, sitting on a couch or taking a nap was a better alternative. What has truly allowed me to make that leap into switching sides in lieu of mother nature was intentionally forcing myself to spend limited time outdoors. I went from being the girl who would outwardly cringe at people spending time in sunsets to the girl who opens her window and watches the sun drown in darkness at nightfall. I welcome nature with open arms, and simply because it truly is a recharge for the thinking mind, for the busy, screen-locked, or mentally drained individuals who find themselves stapled to some sort of desk or table for hours on end. 

We are not meant to stay glued to the screen and confined within the walls of our rooms and homes on a daily basis. However, a small walk outside, an open window with sunlight, or even a two minutes walk to your car are enough to loosen our shoulders and revive our spirits. Sometimes that looks like more than five minutes, likean  walk with my roommate. Other times, it is literally the walk back from my physiology lecture to the sidewalk. Regardless, the energy that nature reinvisions for me is apparent, and it leaks into my building intuition. I strongly recommend this to anyone who might be willing to find a new method to recharge, it’s free, it’s enjoyable, and at the very least, you can get some Vitamin D3 on a good day. 

Nourishment over deprivation 

One habit I am proud to follow is my practice of intentionally fueling myself. Often, women are told to “eat salads and greens” to achieve optimal health, but that is simply not true for the majority of growing girls and women in our culture. This is something I had to re-teach myself after being misguided by the belief that “less is more.” It is not, and it will never be. 

Same as other girls, I am growing, learning, and changing every single day, and for that all to occur as it should, I needed to shift my focus towards nourishing my body with food instead of depriving it. Depriving myself of food might have meant ignoring the fact that I was so busy I skipped lunch, or it could be that I simply never allowed myself to eat as much as I knew my body wanted to eat for one meal or day. It could even have looked like skimping out on a food group that I was told is “bad for me.” 

Quite frankly, I am infuriated by the media that glamorizes the notion that eating less equates to being more feminine and graceful. In my own opinion, eating less, restricting yourself of food, knowingly or unknowingly, simply creates exhausted, depleted, and burnt out women who are less productive, less present, and are robbed of the joys a simple satisfying meal can do. Think about it this way; our bodies work hard every day to rebuild cells, ruminate academia, keep us functioning in homeostasis, etc. so why on earth should we think it is “graceful” to not give it enough energy to function? And truthfully, how sustainable is it, realistically, to deprive oneself of energy for prolonged periods of time? I notice every single day that this infuriating fact is so quickly overlooked by young women in my age group, simply because of the misguided “healthy habit” that generations of women before them preach with absolutely no regard for how the human body actually works. Hence, fueling my own body in a way that is satisfying and healthy for me looks like multiple meals a day, with all food groups, while no longer abiding by the false perception of health we see online, because I know that those trends and patterns simply do not encompass true health for me and my body; I chose to nourish in order to flourish. 

Setting habits is a practice in itself, however since implementing my atomic habits in daily routine, I find that I am more myself. That I feel better, rather than drained, or depleted on a daily basis. Sometimes we tend to be overcommitted to following lifestyle trends that just do not fit our niche, and there is no issue with experimenting with what captures our interests, but I feel that wellness is not defined by force or struggle. Wellness pertains to me differently than it does to my peers, my mother, or my identical twin sister. The difference that exists between our  definitions is the beauty of personalization, and the single accessory of individualism that allows me to genuinely better myself. 

Tanvi Joshi is a student writer at the Her Campus chapter at Michigan State University. Her primary work is focused on wellness and health, with the scope of directing her knowledge towards bringing awareness of mental well-being. Apart from Her Campus, Tanvi is currently a senior who is double majoring in Human Biology and Psychology, and minoring in Women's Studies with the aim of of entering medicine in her near future. In her free time, Tanvi enjoys writing poetry, reading, dancing, watching strange Hindi movies, hitting the gym, and spending time with her loved ones.