6 Daily Rituals That Can Boost Your Self-Care
A ritual, in its truest form, is any action that invokes sacred and healing energy into our lives. Rituals are deeply personal. The action itself doesn’t matter as much as what it symbolizes to you and the impact that it has on your life. Whether it’s completed in a group setting or is something that we partake in as individuals, rituals have been used for centuries as a way to transform and heal the mind, body and spirit.
Traditional ancient groups used rituals as a means to turn inward and look within to heal. For some, that meant gathering together under the full moon for energetic healing ceremonies. For others, like in the case of Cleopatra, it meant bathing in a mixture of milk, honey and rose quartz. I can’t think of anything more luxurious! No matter the ritual, these acts were held in high regard and considered a necessary part of life.
Today, our modern society often writes off these acts as mundane tasks, simply to be completed and then forgotten. As taking care of our bodies and immersing ourselves into community used to be a sacred tradition, it’s now seen as a chore that we must do in order to stay healthy, desirable and well.
We have a choice to go through our days with or without purpose. We get to choose between a life of tasks and to-do lists, or a life of rituals designed to nourish our whole being. The journey to transform routines to rituals can be an enlightening process, if you know where to start. Luckily, day-to-day life is full of opportunities to integrate rituals. Here are a few of my favorites.
6 Daily Rituals to Incorporate Into Your Self-Care Routine
Taking a shower or a bath is a necessity for daily life, but it can be so much more. Instead of treating it as a task that you have to do before you race through the day, treat it as something sacred. While a milk and honey bath like Cleopatra’s might not be achievable, we can make it a sacred practice through mindful thoughts. When in the shower, allow the water to wash over you and carry away your worry, anger, and anxiety. In a bath, add revitalizing salts to incorporate a sense of grounding and release any tension. By viewing this daily practice as something that is more fulfilling, you’ll instantly shift your energy and open up an internal space to feel centered and empowered.
In many traditional cultures throughout the world, mealtimes are held in high regard, treated as sacred time to connect to our food, our bodies and even our families. Acknowledging that mealtimes are a sacred time totally changes the way we view food and the way that we eat. Sitting down, removing distractions, and tuning into our senses transforms quick on-the-go meals into slow and meaningful experiences. It infuses a sense of mindfulness that is proven to improve our relationship with food and our overall health. According to UW Health’s extensive research on mindful eating, this practice also allows you to tune back in to your body’s natural appetite and digestive properties, leaving you feeling more nourished and less likely to overeat.
Fortunately, we do not have to think about our breath to live, but it’s a natural process that’s often overlooked. Taking time every day—whether that means five minutes or 20—to bring awareness and intention to our breath centers our mind, nourishes our soul, and relaxes the body. Having a breathing or meditation practice as a daily ritual instantly elevates wellbeing and allows mindfulness to reach new levels.
There is something truly divine and healing in the act of taking care of your skin. While it nourishes and supports skin on a cellular and an aesthetic level, it also provides the time and space in which we get to love and take care of ourselves. This is a time to look yourself in the mirror, talk to yourself, and ignite feelings of pure love and appreciation towards your body. Generally, beauty and skincare routines are seen as superficial tasks to be completed to primarily look good. Infusing an aspect of soulful and radical self-care into this practice makes it in and of itself, healing.
The next time you go to wash your face before bed, take your time. Look at yourself in the mirror and send love to every area that you see. Use this time, throughout each product or step, to send pure love and acceptance towards your skin and self. Breathe deep, savoring the quiet moments that you get to be alone, taking care of yourself. Allow each ingredient to nourish your skin, and soak in the sacred energy that you have cultivated for yourself through this practice. This small act can be revolutionary and completely shift the way you see not only your beauty practice, but your own beauty as well.
5. Your Morning Cup of Coffee
Mornings are the perfect opportunity to start your day with a sacred ritual and yes, it can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee or tea. Take the time to make your favorite morning beverage and sip it slowly, enjoy the flavor, smell, and feeling of your energy as it transforms from a frantic, rushed pace, to a slower and more relaxed state. Doing so provides you with the opportunity to tune in with yourself before any big decisions or tasks are completed and eases you into your day with a sense of grace and gratitude.
Exercise is important for your physical health, but the intention behind the way that you are moving your body is just as important as the movement itself. Instead of picking exercise that you “should” do, find something that you enjoy. Whether it’s yoga, hiking or weight lifting, whatever gets your body moving and makes your heart full will instantly shift your energy. Rather than punishing your body, see working out as a sacred act that contributes to your overall wellbeing.
A renewed sense of vitality and transformation can be revealed by turning any of the “mundane” acts listed above into rituals. Doing so can shift the power in our lives and re-engage our purpose. Remember that you are worthy of the time and energy that it takes to care for yourself. You are deserving of love, including the love for yourself. Heal, awaken and feel at peace through daily rituals.
As Maria Popova so beautifully states: “While routine aims to make the chaos of everyday life more containable and controllable, ritual aims to imbue the mundane with an element of the magical. The structure of routine comforts us, and the specialness of ritual vitalizes us.”
Interested in more rituals for self-care? Learn how to create a daily ritual for happiness and health.