Everyone has their own little rituals in life, but did you know that these can be massively beneficial for your mental wellbeing if done right?
Without realising it, you take part in certain rituals daily, which can be anything from your first cup of tea or coffee in the morning, to your evening bath.
At the moment, life feels very uncertain, yet still somehow manages to be painfully monotonous. Your daily routine and rituals can help you to feel in control and grounded, and carrying out your rituals mindfully can help you to find joy in life’s small pleasures.
How can rituals help?
Carrying out rituals can help you to stick to a routine. Having a routine is important for improving your mental health. This is because it allows you to ensure that you are consistently making time for things which will boost your wellbeing. This includes sitting down for meals, getting enough high-quality sleep, and engaging in regular exercise. By having a routine, your days will feel more structured and you can derive a sense of achievement from the smallest of tasks. This has a knock-on effect of lowering your stress levels and boosting your mood.
You can use your rituals to help you stick to your schedule. A good example here would be reading in bed before you go to sleep at night. This helps to let your body know its time to sleep, and can help you to unwind and relax so that you fall asleep quickly. If you struggle to get out of bed, planning a ritual you enjoy in the morning can help you feel motivated to wake up early. Taking 10 minutes to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee at breakfast time is a great way to begin your day.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation which aims to bring awareness to how you are feeling, both physically and mentally, in the present moment. This self-awareness has many benefits, including improved mood, reduced stress, and better decision making and focus.
One way to practice mindfulness in your everyday life is to take the time to enjoy and notice small moments of pleasure. To give you an example of how you can use mindfulness as you carry out your daily rituals, try doing the following the next time you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Take a moment to notice how the drink smells before you drink it, and notice the colour of it. Then as you take your first sip, take the time to note how it tastes and any sensations you feel, such as warmth. Then, slowly enjoy your drink as pay attention to how you are feeling, and take a moment to check in with yourself.
Introducing this sort of practice into your life can lower stress levels and boost your mood, particularly when you do multiple things throughout your day mindfully and combine this with more formal mindful meditations. You can find out more about mindfulness here.
What other rituals could you do?
Anything that you do on a regular basis that brings you some joy or satisfaction, however small these may be, can count as a ritual. Some good examples include:
- Taking a mindful bath or shower.
- Walking the dog.
To begin with, pick one or two that you either already do or would enjoy doing, and take the time to enjoy and cherish these small pleasures. Ultimately, carrying out daily rituals are one of the simplest ways to introduce mindful practices into your life and boost your mental wellbeing.
What rituals or routines do you have? Let us know!