The Review Gets Fit With Ella Moxley, News Editor


Curtesy of Ella Moxley

The Oberlin Review News Editor Ella Moxley.

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged the land over the past year, people all around the world have been more sedentary than ever before. For many, this tumultuous time has led to a dip in both mental and physical health. It has indeed been a dark moment in human history.

However, as vaccines become more readily available, COVID-19’s reign is coming to an end. So, in an effort to assist our lovely readers with the return to normalcy, welcome to “The Review Gets Fit,” a new recurring column where members of the Review staff give you all the health, wellness, and fitness advice you’ll need to get mentally and physically ready to interact with the world once again. This week, we speak with News Editor and College third-year Ella Moxley.

Disclaimer: We are not medical or fitness professionals. Most of us aren’t even Psychology majors. So, definitely take all advice with a grain of salt.


How important would you say health, wellness, and fitness are in your life?

I would say pretty important. I feel like I spend a considerable amount of time a week devoted to just health and wellness. I work out. Sleep is a huge priority to me. Definitely more than the average person. I like to eat healthy. 

Tell me a little more about sleep. What does having sleep as a huge priority look like?

I definitely try to shoot for eight hours every night. The biggest thing I think with me and sleep is consistency and developing a habit. You should always go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. And that’s something I have really been trying to do for the past like three years. So I always try to go to bed at 11 [p.m.] and wake up at 7 [a.m.], even on the weekend, which is hard until you get used to it.

What about physical activity? Do you run, lift weights, yoga, etc.?

I started running kind of later in my life. It’s weird to be like, “Hi, I’m a 20 year old later in life,” but I think I came to running later than most people do. I started running when I was a senior in high school. I’m still not a very great runner. I’m pretty slow, but I definitely enjoy it. And I think the pandemic has really made me appreciate it more. It used to be like, “this is something I have to check off my to-do list.” So I’d always just wake up and go to the gym every morning and check it off. But, with the pandemic and without the gym, I have to go outside and run, which is, I think, a whole different experience of a run. 

What other steps do you take to practice self-care and wellness?

That’s so hard because I think that, when you’re a student, the expectation that you would do things to take care of yourself isn’t super explicit. There are definitely a couple things that I try to incorporate into my life — and I’m not always great at doing them and should be better — but I like to read, so I’ve always tried to make sure that I block out 10 minutes before I go to bed to read every day. I really like to cook, which isn’t really an option when you’re living in the dorms, but sometimes I replace that by reading The New York Times cooking section. 

And then I try to take an hour every weekend to just sit down and relax and not even think about homework. Before the pandemic, what I would do is I’d get my book and I’d go to Blue Rooster and I’d leave my phone in my room. And, at first, it was really scary because it’s like, “Oh my god, what am I missing?” But the more you do it, the more you’re like, “This is my time to just relax and close myself off from the world for a minute.” 

Now, it’s so much harder because you’re like, “Oh, my phone is in the drawer across the room. I can just go and get it.” I feel like the hardest thing with the pandemic is that I don’t unplug anymore because I can never separate myself from the work. You can’t even make the boundary of “I do work in the library, and I sleep in my room” because now you do it all in one place. So I think what I’ve been working on most in terms of wellness over the past couple of months has been really trying to think of ways to carve a space out where I really can take care of myself. 


Ella’s Advice Corner

Three Things You Should Try:

#1: Do what you love.

I think the first step would just be finding a physical activity that you enjoy. I grew up in a household where physical activity was not pushed on us. Both my parents were kind of academics. It was kind of like, “Let’s just read for the weekend. That’s what we’re going to do for fun.” There was never an expectation that you would go out and work out. I remember when I was in elementary school, I would schedule dentist appointments on days when we’d have to do a run or something just because I didn’t want to have to do it. So, once I discovered how good physical activity could be for my mental health and [how it can] help you cope with whatever life is throwing at you, it really helped. And I don’t think this has to be like one thing for every person. I’ve tried a lot of different things, and not everything has worked. Just try new things. Find where you fit. 

#2: Take away vices.

My second piece of advice would be to take away the things that aren’t helping you. [For example], especially in the pandemic, I would spend hours and hours on Twitter, and that was not great for me. And it’s so easy to recognize that this is not healthy for me, but it’s hard to quit. So it took a lot of work to find ways to separate myself from most things that I knew were not good and positive in my life, but once you’ve kind of identified them, I think that’s a good first step.

#3: Community is key.

My third thing is just community and being with people. I keep coming back to the pandemic, but I think the pandemic has really shown us what is important and what’s not important and what we really need in our day-to-day life in order to be healthy and be well. I think being deprived of social contact helped me realize that that’s bad. I’m pretty introverted, so for a while it was just really hard to force myself to call a friend because it was always like “Ugh, that’s so much work and so much energy.” But I didn’t realize that reaching out and building those community aspects can actually be really helpful in moderation.

An inspirational quote from Ella:

“You know, we’re all just trying to do our best right now. I don’t think you should be too hard on yourself.”