These days it feels like society expects far too much. Apparently, you’re only successful if you have a career, raise kids, and pick up a side-hustle. Quickly you fall behind and feel exhausted. The stress of everyday life means self-care rituals are at the bottom of the laundry pile and barely given a thought.
Rituals can be easy everyday things carried out with intention. You might think, ‘I don’t have time to do a ritual!’ however, many people don’t realise they can be short and sweet. Even a one-minute mindful action will add to your self-care cup. Let’s get into what rituals are, their importance, and ways to include them in your daily life.
What Is A Ritual?
Rituals are moments in time to enjoy and savour life’s small, simple pleasures. They are habitual behaviours or a collection of actions, usually connecting to your spirituality. However, you don’t need to be spiritual to have rituals. They are things that bring joy and are meaningful to you.
Setting up an altar and praying is a ritual, but so is reading a book to your child and kissing them goodnight before bed. ‘Isn’t that a routine?’ I hear you say. Yes, but you can turn any routine into a ritual when you carry them out with intention, mindfulness, and purpose.
Why Are Rituals Self-Care?
You are incredibly susceptible to burnout when you don’t care for yourself. Burnout is intense and prolonged stress that seriously impacts your physical and mental wellbeing. However, taking time out each day (even if it’s just one minute) helps refill your metaphorical cup.
Rituals decrease stress, enhance creativity, and spark feelings of content and happiness in your life. We often mislabel self-care as selfish, but it’s a way to promote harmony between yourself and others. You cannot enrich other people’s lives if you do not enrich your own.
Signs You Need Self Care
If you’re feeling exhausted all the time, having difficulty focusing, are short-tempered or easily irritated, it’s a sign that you need some TLC. Physical symptoms can be withdrawing from socialisation, house chores piling up, and a constant feeling of overwhelm.
Although it’s human nature to push through tough times, you will achieve a lot more if you add a daily or weekly self-care ritual. Let’s get into some simple rituals that are easy to implement which will guarantee to bring you some more harmony throughout your day and connect you with your inner state of calm.
10 Easy Everyday Ritual Ideas:
Take A Walk In Nature
It’s widely known that nature is fantastic for your mental health. The expansive space, the sound of birds, and gorgeous green scenery are soothing to the eye. There are no angular, jutting buildings or sounds that puncture the air and put your body into fight or flight mode.
Nature relaxes your central nervous system (the thing that makes you feel jittery if it’s not balanced). It gives you space from everyone else and gets your body moving and out of the house. If you walk your dog in the park daily, you already have a nature walk routine. Turn it into a ritual by noting your surroundings, breathing fresh air, looking at the shade of the leaves, and feeling the ground beneath your feet.
If you don’t live near green areas, find small ways to connect with nature. Watering your plants or watching the sunset are beautiful ways to appreciate the gifts of life.
Seeking a deeper state of connection with nature? Set an intention to practice mindfulness and dedicate 15 minutes discovering Forest Bathing
Get A Botanical Facial Steam
Botanical facial steams use a gorgeous blend of dried flowers and herbs with varying properties to nurture and rejuvenate the skin. Lavender is soothing and anti-bacterial, while rosemary is refreshing and unblocks pores.
It’s very therapeutic, and you can do it once a week as a way to relax for the coming week. You can buy a pre-mixed blend or make your own.
How to do botanical facial steam:
- Add a few tablespoons of the botanical mix of your choice to a large bowl, then pour boiling water over the top. You may like to add a few drops of essential oils.
- Cover the bowl (tin foil is a good option) and let it steep for about five minutes. You can use the time to cleanse your face, so your skin is clean and prepped to absorb the benefits.
- Place a large towel over your head and the bowl to create a ‘towel tent,’ then gently breathe in the steam for about 10-15 minutes. Be mindful not to burn your face!
- Splash your face with cool water when the time is up and finish your skincare routine. You are left with healthy, glowing skin, calming the body, mind, and soul.
Relax In A Hot Bath
A bath isn’t simply washing but a space to unwind without being disturbed. Light a few non-toxic candles (such as soy and oil) and set an intention for your bath. For instance, is it to soothe anxiety, decompress from the day, or direct loving thoughts toward your body?
Personalise the bath to match your intentions. If you want to invite love, add a few drops of rose essential oil and dried rosebuds, then place rose quartz stones around the tub. The act reinforces that it is a ritual of love. Of course, you don’t need to add fancy elements to make it a ritual. Stepping into the water with mindfulness and breathing deeply while you feel the heat against your skin is just as effective.
Try our Australian Journey Intention Candle during your bath ritual
Sip A Herbal Tea
Herbal teas are not only soothing, but they also have medicinal benefits. Hot chamomile tea is magical to the nervous system because it calms your fight or flight mode, regulating breathing and putting the body at ease for a good night’s sleep.
A spicy lemon, ginger, and honey tea can be great if you experience cramping during your period and using fresh peppermint leaves help digest a heavy meal. Sip a hot herbal tea first thing in the morning or an hour before bed as part of your self-care ritual.
Keep A Gratitude Journal
It costs $0 to be grateful, and it’s a beautiful, positive habit that helps you focus on what you have rather than what you lack. Practising gratitude releases endorphins (a feel-good hormone) and eases stress, depression, and anxiety.
I express gratitude to my partner every night. We each say something we’re grateful for and one thing we love about each other. It’s an incredible way to end the day, no matter how difficult it’s been, and it keeps you connected.
Examples of gratitude include the scent of rain, a ray of sun breaking through a cloud, the rare sight of a rainbow, music, hugs, electricity, the list is endless. You can write three reasons you’re grateful daily, buy gratitude journals, use prompts, or even use an app to start. To truly feel the benefits, gratitude takes practice, so keep it up for 30 days to appreciate the effects.
Uplevel this decadent ritual with a beautiful and luxe linen Gratitude Journal
Use A Bedtime Scent
Every night before I turn off the lights, I sprinkle lavender essential oil across my pillow and breathe in the scent. I instantly feel a lazy smile play across my face because I associate lavender with safety and sleep. It’s a small joy that relaxes my body as I inhale and release a sigh to let go of the day.
You can get bedtime scents in balms, mists, and sprays. You don’t have to use lavender, but ensure to choose a scent that calms the mind (such as chamomile) rather than invigorating it (like peppermint).
Read Your Favourite Book Or Magazine
When I was a child, every day at 3 pm, my mum would sit down with a few squares of Dairy Milk, a cup of tea, and her favourite magazine. It was her reward for doing the house chores, but she was really doing a daily ritual. If we interrupted, she would say, ‘Not now. This is my time.’ Sometimes we would sit next to her, but we wouldn’t disturb her peace. It was clear how important that time to herself was each day.
A book or magazine is the perfect way to relax and bring something meaningful into your life. Reading teaches you new things, absorbs you into fantasy land, comforts the soul and gives pleasure. If you are already an avid reader, then acknowledge that it is your time. Mindfully open the cover, take a gentle breath, and turn the pages with appreciation.
Play Music You Enjoy
Music has been around for centuries and has always involved rituals. Whether you’re singing hymns, beating drums, or playing music at parties, it’s a magical gift that reconnects you to your body and brings joy.
There’s something therapeutic about letting the music fill your body and sweeping you along the storylines. It helps me cry if I need a release, calms my anxiety, and lifts my depression.
You can sit under the stars, go for a walk, or do the chores while listening to your favourite songs. Take the time to notice the music you choose, how it feels in your body and its effects on you.
Listen To A Podcast
I hate washing up the dishes. If I had my way, I would avoid the task altogether, but lately, I look forward to doing it because it’s a chance to listen to my favourite podcast.
It’s a space between finishing work and my partner getting home where I do something I enjoy uninterrupted. I gasp, laugh, listen intensely and take pleasure in that hour while cleaning up the kitchen.
Whenever I select a podcast, I note how grateful I am to have this time to myself. I notice myself laughing or becoming enthralled in the narrative, and you can do the same. You may not have the luxury of listening to one daily, but it’s an excellent option while running errands to spend time with yourself, do something that brings pleasure, and enhance your wellbeing.
Practice Meditation Or Yoga
Meditation and yoga are some of the oldest self-care rituals because they connect the mind, body, and soul. However, many people are put off because they sound tedious or difficult to do.
You don’t have to make meditation or yoga hard. Instead, commit to one minute a day to take time out to breathe and stretch. The important thing is to be mindful of what you’re doing.
Feel your lungs expand, note the thoughts that arise, and acknowledge the gentle pressure in your muscles as your reach and stretch. You can easily practice the ritual before bed, first thing in the morning, or even right before lunch if you need to invite in energy.
Rituals Are Essential To Health And Happiness
Rituals are a vital and often overlooked element of self-care. They are a joyful way to practice intention and mindfulness and stimulate joy in everyday life.
The above examples are only a few self-care rituals you can do, but essentially they are things that bring you joy. Rituals can and should be personalised to suit you. Remember, it isn’t selfish to care for yourself but critical to living a full, content, and happy life.