2021.11.12.EMG.VT.BonesNoBonesIllustration

Valery Tsai / Daily Emerald

On Sept. 9, 2020, Jonathan Graziano of Rochester, New York, made his TikTok debut with a short video of his now 13-year-old pug named Noodle laying on the floor without an ounce of energy to get up. Pretending to have no bones in his body, Noodle became known and loved for his adorable mannerisms and his often lazy habits.

Almost a year after his first appearance on the app, Graziano transformed his morning ritual with Noodle — seeing if he has “bones” or “no bones” — into a Groundhog Day-like game in which Noodle’s willingness to sit up will determine what kind of day you will have.

Every morning, Graziano will record himself sitting up Noodle in his dog bed, and if he stands upright on his own, it’s a “bones day.” This means it’s a day to seize every opportunity you can, take some risks and go after your goals and ambitions. If Noodle decides to flop over on his bed again, it’s a “no bones day,” meaning it’s a day dedicated to self-care and taking time for yourself to rest and relax.

Graziano and Noodle quickly became a viral sensation, racking up millions of views and a whopping 4.5 million followers on the account. Day by day, this social media power duo has been helping millions of people form their daily routines — giving people a new, inspiring outlook on their lives.

The college experience is no easy lifestyle. Finding motivation and balance in the midst of rigorous schoolwork, social commitments and other extracurricular activities can be a difficult and demanding task, one that can really take a toll on your mental health. With Noodle as inspiration, students can consciously go about their day with a positive mindset and adopt daily habits to prioritize their well-being.

“Seizing the day for me would consist of doing things I wouldn’t normally do,” UO student Kassandra Neri said. “I would try to talk to more people in class or try making a new friend. I would also try to get ahead of my schoolwork and do things a few days before they are due.”

Neri also values the importance of taking a day for yourself and allowing yourself to do things to unwind and ease your mind.

“For me, an easy day would consist of sleeping in, making coffee, going on a run and reading a book,” Neri said. “Some things I do to practice self-care are running, at-home facials and doing my nails. Running has been a great way for me to relieve stress and anxiety.”

Student Barrett Lockwood has his own idea of what it looks like to tackle the day; a bones day would likely consist of making time for simple pleasures he doesn’t always have the luxury of doing on a daily basis.

“I would most likely eat something fancy I usually can’t afford, and then go hang out with my friends who I usually can’t see due to how busy I am,” Lockwood said.

As for a no bones day, Lockwood enjoys taking these kinds of days at least twice a week when he has no homework commitments and nothing hanging over his head.

“I usually just play a video game that I’ve been wanting to, hang out with my cat and take a bath [while] watching a movie on my phone,” Lockwood said.

A bones day is a day to step out of your comfort zone and take risks. This philosophy hits home for UO student Maya Merrill.

“If I were to wake up one morning and decide to seize the day, I think I would make time to get more into music and actually try to form a band on campus,” Merrill said. “I think that would be so fun, but it takes a lot of guts to do.”

Conversely, self-care is something Merrill strives to make more time for.

“When I do [self-care], I buy things online that I’ve been wanting like makeup or more school supplies,” Merrill said. “I allow myself to relax with friends, and I actually get eight hours of sleep for once or take a nap. I also enjoy journaling or reading.”

It is very easy to get lost in the hectic schedules that often dominate our lives, sometimes forgetting the importance of rewarding yourself or simply taking a break. Graziano and Noodle have given countless people a new daily approach and have encouraged millions to appreciate the simple things that make them happy.

Especially as a bustling college student with a lot to juggle, finding that balance and looking for simple ways to treat yourself can be extremely fulfilling, and that alone can make all the difference. So go get that Chipotle bowl! Ask the girl out! Stay in for a Friday movie night! Hit that snooze button! Whatever it may be, remember to treat yourself every once in a while.

To keep up with Noodle and adjust your daily routine to a bones/no bones day schedule, follow @jongraz on TikTok.

Evan Huntington is an Arts & Culture Reporter for the Daily Emerald with a focus in fashion. His interests include music, fashion & streetwear, sports, and general pop culture.