I think it is very fitting to conclude that the world right now feels pretty insane and unsettling. We are living in a climate full of uncertainty, and because of that, it’s safe to say that everyone is losing their minds a little – I sure know I am! In midst of all this craziness, I have found that my desire to remain calm and zen is fleeting. It became my mission during quarantine that no matter how insane the world around me was or how anxious I was feeling, I needed to find ways to practice zen. I never perfected meditation because my mind was always thinking about other things: school work, friends, COVID, and even what was on the menu for dinner that day. Despite this, I found new ways to help remain zen.
It seems like an easy task, but sometimes it’s something people don’t even think about. Every morning and night I collect my thoughts, think of at least two things I am grateful for in that moment, and write them down in a journal. It can be something as simple as being with my family, having my health, or even getting a good grade. No matter how big or small, every one of us has something that we can appreciate. I incorporated this into my daily routine, and I have found myself viewing this crazy world as a little less crazy.
Reading at night
Trust me, I am a lover of social media, and I have found myself up until 2 a.m. with my eyes plastered to my phone screen scrolling through Tik Tok. Don’t get me wrong, Tik Tok is AMAZING, but I found being on my phone before bed to be draining and I would wake up feeling even more tired. I figured it was time to try something new: reading. I have never loved reading, it always felt more like an annoying task for school. However, I wasn’t giving myself the chance to find a book I enjoyed. My current book choice is “Hocus Pocus,” the Halloween movie we all love, but never thought to read. I substituted hours on my phone before bed with a few chapters every night and I wake up every morning feeling more relaxed and calm.
Candles, candles, and more candles
I have always been a fan of candles. All of the different scents and fragrances filling a room and making the space around you feel calm. It is such a small concept, but somehow always makes me feel an instant rush of serotonin. Whether it be a trip to Bath and Body Works, or the nearest Marshalls, I go pick up a few candles that I love, and I instantly feel more zen. My current favorite is called Ocean and Salt by Sand and Fog. Trust me, lighting a candle, locking yourself in your room, and either picking up a book or jamming out to some chill music is the best fix to create this bubble of peace even when the world outside may be falling apart.
Start doing these three things everyday and I promise you will feel way more zen! It is such a rewarding and calming feeling knowing that despite the anxiety surrounding the world today, you have the power to control your own outlook.