When you think about your daily routine, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it enjoying a warm cup of coffee before the kids wake up? Is it making yourself breakfast or going for a walk with your dog every morning?
What seems like second nature to us is, in reality, a ritual we have created that helps our days go by more smoothly. These rituals have been set in place for our wellness and mental health as a way of helping us cope with all the stressors of everyday life.
According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness is “the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.” Therefore, creating a wellness ritual will add meaning to your life, help you slow down, and make you reflect on your life and what needs to change.
When a new year approaches, we all tend to reflect on our lives and what we wish to change. It reignites our desire for self-improvement and to chase after our dreams.
But rather than creating a long list of resolutions that get forgotten by the end of January, consider curating a ritual that will positively impact your life now and for years to come.
Frequently, we are trapped in a chaotic cycle of crossing things off our to-do lists. We have to go to work, tend to the house, take care of the children, go to school and do homework – the list is endless. While you may think you did your part by scarfing down a breakfast sandwich to curb your appetite, you are not taking the time to adequately nourish your body.
Wake up a few extra minutes every morning. It may be difficult at first, but slowly your body will begin to adjust. By incorporating breakfast into your wellness ritual, you are allocating this time as your own “me time.” Eat in silence. Stay off your phone. Take your time to eat. Sit outside while drinking your coffee, listen to the birds chirping sound, and feel the warmth on your skin.
Using the first few minutes of your morning to relax and ease into your day will set you up for a more peaceful day rather than running around the minute you wake up.
Gratitude allows us to live in the moment and celebrate the present rather than dwelling on the past or the future. By being intentional and acknowledging all that you are grateful for, you will be magnifying feelings of positivity. In fact, according to a research study, “higher gratitude is associated with a better life, indexed as higher positive affect, self-esteem, positive emotions, optimism, autonomy, environmental mastery, relationships, personal growth, meaning in life, and self-acceptance.”
Some ways of practicing gratitude are by keeping a gratitude journal and writing down all the things you are thankful for, taking the time to appreciate all the good things around you, and by expressing gratitude to yourself and those around you.
Treat Yourself to Self-Care
I know you are probably tired of hearing about the importance of taking care of yourself, but it does matter. Take some time out of your evening to practice self-care before going to bed. It can be easy to say you don’t have time for this, but have you stopped to think about how much time you spend mindlessly scrolling through social media?
Set the alarm on your phone when you are typically not doing anything pressing. Use this time to nurture yourself and your soul. Take a shower. Do your skincare. Have your favorite snack. Curl up on the couch with a warm blanket and a good book. The options are limitless.
The truth is that self-care looks different for everyone. What brings peace and relaxation to one person may be irrelevant to another. This is why it is fundamental for you to ponder on what your mind, body, and spirit crave for.