What is a ritual? Any practice or behaviour regularly performed in a set manner. It may express or reaffirm a belief system.
A ritual has more intention, mindfulness and meaning than a routine - so this is another way to bring mindfulness into your days and can be a part of your daily routine.
Routines help us to find consistency and productivity in our days, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. Rituals add more meaning to our days and can help us to transition between sections of our day, like shutting down after the work day, transitioning to get exercise, slowing down before bed, something that helps us to shift into the present moment.
A ritual needs to have meaning for you, so play around with what works for you and what it signifies in your day.
Some examples of rituals are as follows:
Rituals in Your Morning Routine
Rituals and routines in the morning set the tone for your day by prioritizing yourself. It can help you feel in control and lower stress before you take on your day.
Some things you can include in your mornings are:
- Hot lemon water for hydration
- Tongue scraping for gut health
- Repeat a mantra to set the tone for your day
- A few yoga poses to wake your body up
- Meditate to check in with yourself
Rituals in Your Evening Routine
Rituals or routine in the evening improves quality of sleep, allows you to transition out of work mode, ends your day with connection to yourself, reduces stress levels, and prepares you mentally and physically for a productive next day.
Some things to incorporate into your evenings are:
- Create a “closing ritual” to mark the end of your work day
- Herbal tea for comfort
- Gratitude journal to lower stress and invite calm
- Avoid screens before bed for better sleep
- Try meditation or a quiet yoga practice like restorative or yin to calm your nervous system
Setting up your Meditation Spot or Altar
The act of setting up your meditation space can prepare your mind to know its transitioning from its “doing” mode to its “being” mode for your meditation. Maybe you are pulling out your meditation cushions and setting up aromatherapy, or maybe you have a more involved meditation altar with crystals, candles, and affirmation cards - whatever adds meaning for you.
Ritual of Making and Drinking Tea
We love to do this with tea as it is so comforting - but you can do it with anything you consume daily! As you are making the tea, observe the smell and look of the tea leaves, notice the smell while brewing, and listen to the sound of the tea pouring from the kettle into your mug. Ground yourself in the process, enjoy each sip without external distractions such as being on your phone. Tea time = me time!
We know the saying “We are what we repeatedly do” so let’s approach our days with routines and rituals that move us through our day with more intention, and help fill up our cups.