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There is a certain joy in ritual

While at face value, following a specific set of actions may seem difficult or complicated, the reason it works is because, in actuality, the rituals make life more simple. Simplicity during the times I feel most sensitive to worry is like a little gift to myself, the gift of certainty. There are so many times in a day that I worry about what's next. When I know exactly what is going to happen next, I don't worry about it. Reducing worry in my life is one of my major goals in my search for personal serenity.

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Spreading the relaxing, tingly love of the autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR)

ASMR stands for "autonomous sensory meridian response," which is basically a fancy made-up acronym for a heightened feeling of relaxation, accompanied by tingles, especially in the scalp and spine. I got into ASMR a year or so ago, during a stressful period of my PhD. I was watching a HELL of a lot of make-up and massage tutorials, not so much for the actual tips, but because they gave me a lovely relax-y buzz. And then Youtube, in its wisdom, suggested an ASMR Massage video…