12 Daily Rituals for Nurturing Your Mind, Body & Spirit
1. Start your day with Gratitude
Seriously, it makes a difference! Wayne Dyer reported that he verbally said the words "thank you" repeatedly upon waking every day. How you start your day matters, and there is no better way to start it than with gratitude. Not sure exactly how to just be... grateful? Check out these 3 Mindfulness Exercises for Cultivating Gratitude.
Meditation is always a good idea! If you think you're not a meditator, then you have the most to gain from meditation! There is so much research supporting the benefits of meditation on anxiety, focus, and mood. Even just a few minutes every morning will make a difference for you!
3. Sip a Warm Beverage
Warm beverages, when drunk mindfully can become a calming ritual. Just make sure you dedicate your attention to the experience of your cup to reap the benefits. Try our 5 Minute Meditation that simply involves focusing on the warmth in your hands.
4. Write (or Draw) in a Journal
Maybe you love to write poetry or maybe you want to begin a Gratitude Journal! Journaling can be a wonderful daily ritual to cultivate creativity, release emotions and connect with yourself. Journals don't have to be written either. If you prefer art, you could paint, sketch or doodle for a few minutes every day.
5. Set an Intention
Goals and intentions help to guide our energy. This simple practice can bring us back to focusing on what we want, and what truly matters. Not sure where to start? Check out these 6 Tips for Intention Setting!
6. Recite a Mantra
Use a mantra, affirmation or inspirational quote when you are feeling ungrounded, stressed, insecure or overwhelmed. For maximum effectiveness, try pairing your mantra with a deep breath. Try saying half of the mantra with the in-breath and the last half with the out-breath.
Some of my favorite mantras include:
I love you, I am listening - (Usually said to myself as I place both hands over my heart.)
Peace begins with me - (To own the control I have over my own actions.)
What would you have me do today - (To represent my acknowledgment that I don't have to figure it all out alone, that the universe is guiding me.)
7. Reflect on Control
Reminding yourself of what you do and don't have control over can be incredibly helpful. First, let go of all the things you don't have control over. Then make a game plan for putting energy into that which you do have control over! So much of this life is out of our control, and when we lament over the things we can't control, our energy is wasted.
8. Enjoy Essential Oils
I like to rub a small amount of lavender oil on my pulse points at night. Scent connects and calms the part of our brain that does the stressing out, so using it to keep you calm can be a great strategy. Not sure which scent is best for you? Check out our review of essential oil scents here.
9. Breathe Deeply
The breath is your best means of calming your nervous system. When you're feeling overwhelmed, tune into your breath to regain control. Simply breathing deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth should do the trick.
10. Watch the Sun Rise (Or Set)
Okay, so maybe you can't make it down to the beach or to the top of a mountain for the sunset, but even getting out into that lovely dispersed light during magic hour can help calm the senses and bring you back to a place of grounding. Take a walk outside, even if it's only for a few moments during a work break. And taking a few deep breaths while you marvel at magic hour lighting will make the moment all the more magical.
11. Move your Body
Movement is important when it comes to calming the nervous system, healing trauma and relieving stress. Find what works for you and do it - it doesn't have to be yoga. It could be rock climbing, boxing, crossfit, running, cycling... as long as it involves movement, it's exactly what you need!
12. Enjoy Heat
Not only does warmth soothe sore or tight muscles, but it just feels good! Anything that signals the body to relax also signals the brain to relax. Use a heating pad or heated blanket at night as you're winding down for bed to promote sleep, or in the mornings to help your body warm up.
For maximum effectiveness, start with developing a morning or nighttime routine and add at least one of these rituals into that routine. The magic comes when you use rituals such as these on an ongoing basis to proactively decrease stress levels overall, rather than when you're already in crisis mode.
What's your favorite nurturing ritual? Let us know in the comments below!