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5 Dorm-Friendly Spiritual Self-Care Practices: UMass Amherst Edition

In my return to campus life, especially as a transfer student, I have had to substitute a large part of spiritual practice which intertwined with my self-care practices. Prior to transferring, I was living at home and attending classes virtually. The shift to living on campus has taught me to be fairly creative. I have tried many tricks seen on TikTok or Instagram, and I’ve asked friends for advice. My trials and errors ultimately led me to my current self-care practices, which I wanted to share with other people on campus — spiritual or not.

Honoring my space

Gone are the days of incense and candle burning. While I had already been using smudging sprays, I have especially been utilizing them to honor and cleanse my space. Smudge sprays can be made with a base of Florida water (which is a cologne) or water, along with oils or herbs infused with certain intentions. While I create my own, you can also purchase pre-made sprays with specific intentions. I also honor my space by cleaning with intention, opening my windows, and letting stagnant energy leave.

HZ Meditation and journaling

Hertz and solfeggio frequencies have been incredibly useful for my meditations, especially while living in the dorms or on the weekends when people may be a little loud and I want to relax. HZ frequencies can be found in various Spotify playlists, sending healing for emotions and even the body. I find that listening to these noises while meditating or journaling works great, both of which I highly recommend.

Oracle Card a day

I have purchased about six oracle decks since the beginning of the pandemic, which all are used for different types of readings. Before transferring to UMass Amherst, I was a tarot reader and read about five times a week. I quickly realized I missed reading, and I couldn’t figure out how to center myself with the stress of school and my new environment. I began to pull oracle cards for myself more consistently and used the phrases I read as my affirmation for the day. For a bonus, subconscious kick, I will pull a card in the morning and sleep next to it at night.

Flower essences

I was introduced to flower essences by my manager and friend, Heather Wright of Tea and Tarot, in Connecticut. While I utilize other herbal remedies for de-stressing, I can be really overwhelmed trying to prepare tea on the more-needed self-care days. Flower essences are a part of energy medicine; it is infused energy of the plant within vegetable glycerin or brandy, with intentions for anything from confidence to focus. Heather particularly has created beautiful, helpful essences for me and my self-care journey.

Connecting with nature

Lastly, one large change in my life has been moving from coastal Long Island to land-locked, western Massachusetts. While it has been an adjustment, and most of my connection to nature for self-care and spiritual purposes was done in the Great South Bay, I have learned to appreciate the vast amount of trees and mountains around the area. I have meditated and done the above self-care activities at Puffers Pond, Durfee Conservatory, and even just by the trees next to my dorm! I always try to sit outside, watch the trees, and just breathe.

While everyone has different methods of practicing self-care, the stress of school and new environments sometimes means shaking it up. I follow the energy of the seasons to guide me on what self-care looks like. Most importantly, forgive yourself if you cannot do a whole routine. Taking it day by day, and following your intuition on what practices to take up, is the best self-care and connection to yourself you can do.

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Eden Gross

U Mass Amherst '24

Eden Gross is a junior-year transfer student at Umass Amherst studying Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies. Eden has experience in writing poetry, as well as Instagram posts about astrology and tarot in her free time. She is always on the hunt for new foods, hobbies, and shows to learn about.