In some shape or form, many of us take part in countless routines every day. These routines can include waking up at a set time, getting ready for the day, skincare, an eating schedule, and how we wind down at the end of the day. Oftentimes we don’t realize we are stuck in a routine cycle as we are just trying to get through each day. But—what if we put some intent behind our daily actions? Then, what was once a routine becomes a ritual.
To start, what are rituals, and why are they important? Rituals are very similar to routines, a series of actions that you perform regularly. The key difference is the mindful intent that is applied in the process of conducting the ritual. You’re making a conscious decision to do an action that is for your benefit and may have a positive outcome. In a self-care context, the importance of rituals is to deliberately take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health and remove the idea of it being just another task to try and squeeze into your already busy schedule.
Now, I’m not saying every routine needs to be a ritual. I am simply suggesting picking the ones that will help you obtain more balance and increased positivity. When you put mindfulness into practice, you end up living in the moment, and this helps to improve your overall health. Just as we practice understanding which foods promote good gut health and which ones cause us discomfort, we should understand which activities support a healthy lifestyle. Removing the guilt and shame that society tells us to feel if we are not overly active and productive will allow us to make better choices regarding self-care. As a non-diet dietitian, I support listening to what your body needs versus what a trend or society is telling you!
What are some rituals you should start or continue doing? First, I suggest starting from within—practice affirmations, meditation, and journaling your thoughts. Clearing your mind helps to improve focus and regain balance when life throws us curve balls. Pamper yourself with some great skincare and a soothing face mask to help relieve tension and impurities from environmental stressors. A classic: hydrate and take your supplements! I cannot stress enough how important it is to care for your insides as you do your outside. Having a refillable water bottle with you so that you’re constantly replenishing your body is crucial. It is essential to care for your gut as it is the center of many health-related concerns.
How can we start making the change into some excellent rituals? In between juggling your work, home, and having a social life, it can be pretty tricky to make time for the things that are important to you. I was reminded of the importance of rituals recently when Zenwise sent me a Daily Rituals Box. It let me restart and refine my wellness care with an on-the-go pill capsule to promote gut health, a reusable water bottle, and an enzyme face mask. It also included an easy-to-do morning and evening guide to help practice and achieve zen, balance, (much needed!) Some of my absolute favorite go-to supplements, which were included in the box, are the Zenwise Vegan Omega 3 and Digestive Enzyme To-Go Tins. These allow me to practice taking charge of my digestive health as part of my daily routine without making huge lifestyle changes. So when setting your rituals, remember that they should embody what matters to you by putting your values into practice. It’s all about prioritizing your health and well-being as it is the key to achieving a more fulfilled and balanced life.
Written by: Claudia Thompson, PhD, RD