Our waking hours are filled with ‘doing’.
Doing mundane tasks we unconsciously tick off life’s To Do list:
Get out of bed — done. Brush teeth — done. Shower — done.
Eat breakfast. Exercise. Go to work. Grocery shop. Eat dinner. Take out the garbage. Go back to bed.
We do these things mostly out of habit — often out of necessity — and usually without much attention, because they simply provide structure, meet expectations and establish order around what can be unpredictable chaos.
Whichever way you carry out your day, have you ever considered that there might just be a better, more mindful or healthier way of doing what you do?
It’s so easy to get caught up in the mindless hustle and bustle of duty and responsibility, but the reality is, those precious hours become our days and of course those days are what ultimately create our lives.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Which is why amidst the ‘gotta do’s’, we should turn off autopilot from time to time and consider weaving some meaningful, nurturing and uplifting rituals into our day or week.
Nourishing rituals create a positive pattern for our day, boost productivity, improve our mood, cultivate creativity and leave us feeling grounded, connected and full.
Even if you already practice daily self-care routines and other nurturing rituals, it’s still possible to get stuck even in good habits. Just like our goals and needs are ever changing, so too is the need for our routines and rituals to expand and change. Rituals that work now may not be as effective next month.
Often we don’t give any thought to the many small and seemingly insignificant habits and routines we repeat day in day out, so today we challenge you to revolutionise the way you live your days by reassessing and replacing your stagnant and unnecessary habits with meaningful rituals that support your wellbeing.
Ask yourself right now: “what is and isn’t working for me?”
A good place to start is with your morning and evening rituals, as they form bookends around your day.
Our mornings are an opportunity to check-in with how we feel and how we want to feel that day. They set the tone for the next 24 hours.
How do you start each morning? Do you open your eyes to the tune of a noisy alarm, only to roll over, quickly scroll through your Instagram feed and then jump out of bed with just enough time to get ready for work?
Perhaps you need to wake up 30 to 60 minutes earlier, get outside to watch the sunrise, go for a walk and then mindfully sip your tea or coffee.
What about your night time ritual? This time in the evening is equally important – an opportunity to finish your day on a reflective and high note.
Do you eat dinner on the lounge, while scrolling through more social media or watching TV? Do you go to the same post-work exercise class, day in day out?
Why not take this time to switch off from technology, read, take a long bath or connect with a loved one?
Here are some more sacred rituals you could try practicing on a daily basis:
Sit and clear your mind for a few minutes. There’s no correct way to meditate — just figure out what works for you. Choose a comfortable position away from noise and distraction, focus on your breathing and centre your thoughts. Aim for 20 minutes, although even a few minutes of stillness could be all you need.
It might just be one of the most commonly prescribed morning rituals, but starting your day with hot water and fresh lemon really is an effective way to kick-start your digestion and alkalise your insides.
Whether it’s a simple gratitude list, Dear Diary-style reflection or stream-of-consciousness word frenzy, put pen to paper, organise your thoughts, get out of your head and into your heart.
Just as we suggested back in our ‘Things to try this April’ article, try shaking up your exercise routine. Tune into what your body needs and find the right balance between yin and yang activities.
Word has it that every morning, Benjamin Franklin asked himself: “What good will I do today?”
At night, he would ask: “What good did I do today?”
Some rituals, you can’t squeeze into your schedule every single day, but they can be equally important for our wellbeing. If you can’t do some of the following rituals every day, aim for at least once a week:
Dig your toes in the sand, stroll or run through the trees, pound the pavement, do some gardening or simply lay on the grass. Connecting with Mother Nature is a great way to slow down, breathe in some fresh air, get grounded and connect with yourself.
Time on your own is important, but so is time with the people who uplift us. Schedule in time each week to pick up the phone and call a faraway friend, send some old-fashioned snail mail, invite your Mum to brunch or snuggle on the couch with your partner.
Spend time doing things that interest you and fill you with joy. Find a hobby— paint, draw, dance, cook.
Listen to an educational or inspiring podcast instead of mindlessly checking social media. Get lost in a good book without the distraction of technology.
Yep — Sunday chores can set the tone for a good week ahead. Tidying, decluttering and cleaning your living space can be therapeutic, so spend some time each week making your living or work space a cleansed, simplified and pretty sanctuary.
What useful or meaningful ritual do you have, or want to create in your life?
Share any practices, experiences or recommendations with us in the comments below!