Benefits of Rituals + Three of Mine

Let’s get to the mot important part for many of you today first: Happy Thanksgiving! We don’t celebrate it over here but I hope all of you doing it have an amazing time filled with family, food and all other kinds of wonderful Thanksgiving rituals.

Rituals.  That word makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Not only because it’s the name of the store where I got one of my favourite scarves. Though that probably adds to it. Consider thinking out loud on Thurdays a ritual, too. Thanks to Amanda for creating that one with all its benefits.

Thinking-Out-Loud

The real reason I’m a huge fan of rituals is their ability to give me instant comfort. The moment I start one of my daily rituals the World – no matter the outside conditions – becomes a blurr and I’m at ease. Or at least in 92% of the cases. There is a lot of evidence on the importance of rituals for mental and physical health.  Just naming a few:

– They reduce stress in speaking to the creature of habit in all of us.
– once a ritual is established it allows you to run on auto-pilot and perform tasks faster

– rituals help create breaks and room to breathe because you don’t need to think

– Help turn bad habits into healthy ones.
Happiness-incuding powers: Like some of my examples below show rituals can be something you know will happen at a certain point in your day/week so you’ll be able to look forward to them when time seems to pass extra slowly [who doesn’t feel that way at work at times?!]
– The timing factor: If you’re like me and prone to running late rituals will help you get more structure into your day. After performing a rituals a few times you’ll know pretty much exactly how long it takes. Proof is that I leave the house at closely the very same time every day.

[Sources: Lifehacker, feel happiness. Marc and Angel, Lifehack, Huffington Post]

Depending on the individual ritual there are obviously even more rituals. Journaling, writing gratitude lists, praying, going for a walk during lunch break, calling a friend at a specific time every week … the list is endless as are the benefits.

Here are three of my daily rituals:

1. Morning routine: Right when I wake up I walk to the kitchen – dark at this time of the year, light a scented candle and start  my breakfast prep. Then I head back to my bedroom for a little morning stretching to wake me up. I finish this one by holding the  child pose for at least a minute.  Then dry brush,  get dressed, pretty up,  eat breakfast.

Candle

2. Car drive back home after work: This one’s funny because it’s relatively new. The moment I hop into my car for the 30-minute commute home I pop a gum. Funny because up until now I never chewed gum – and still only do while driving.  But now I do as I’ve found it keeps me awake and focussed. I usually take a second piece – why are they that small?? – after I leave the highway. That’s because the highway is pretty easy to navigate but after-work traffic in the city can be a pain in the butt and requires all of my attention. Chew gum, breathe, relax.

3. Dinner routine: With my breakfast being semi-savoury and lunches decidedly hearty I crave a sweet dinner in 99 % of the cases. Okay, and I’m lazy and   Brinner?! Cocoa banana oat bran with almond butter – and as of late coconut oil, too – is my heaven in a  bowl  pot [unless I’m eating out or with others]. If you asked my family they’d tell you the way I prepare this is a ritual in itself already. More important to calm down,  though,  is the way I eat it: a newspaper or one of my favourite magazines  on the side I’ll start by reading a few articles. The finish is a sudoku or crossword puzzle. Again, this is something I look forward to all day.

Oats

There you have it: more glimpes into my weekday life and routines. Now it’s your turn…

Happiness-inducing today: Mails from blends and joking around with colleagues.

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 Tell me some of your [daily] rituals!

How do rituals help you?

What does your night time ritual look like? Mine is a work in progress so I wouldn’t mind some inspiration.