This week I have been talking all about simple daily rituals. These are little pockets of self-care that we can slip seamlessly into our day to support our mental health.
When we get caught up in the storm of overwhelm the first thing we seem to lose is ourselves. Without this connection, it’s hard to anchor down and get anything done. So I wanted to share with you a few simple practices you can add to your day to come back to yourself to ground that chaotic feeling. Ariana Huffington recently spoke about these little acts too calling them “Microsteps”. Here are some of my go-to rituals I use to give back to myself when time is tight:
1. Go tech free for (at least) 30 minutes. Maybe this happens first thing in the morning or during your lunch break - whatever works for you. Take the time to be in the here and now. If you find it really challenging to avoid the temptation, I highly recommend the app 'Flipd'. It cuts off access to all of your unnecessary apps for a selected amount of time.
2.Walk outside and, if it’s possible, walk barefoot on the grass. The ultimate antidote for that screen time burnout. When we stand on the Earth we are able to tap into the vast supply of free electrons in the earth’s magnetic field. This reduces the effect of the radiation from our phones, WiFi, computers and so on. We don’t have to walk for ages or very far, it’s just about getting outside and breathing that fresh air.
3. Deep breathing for 5-10 minutes. This is great to slip in while you’re driving, when you’re in the waiting room or in the shower. Drawing the breath slowly and deeply into the lungs helps to regulate the heart rate, improve digestion and boost your mood. Focus on a longer exhale if you are feeling particularly stressed or anxious. Usually a ratio of 4:6 is recommended where the exhale extends for 20% longer than the inhale. This balance of the in and out breath has the greatest potential for drawing us back to a state of rest and digest.
4. Listen to a guided meditation. A recording helps you to maintain focus which is super helpful if you are new to meditation or find the practice challenging. I’ll have one coming for your soon so keep an eye out for that!
5. Set a non-negotiable cut-off time for work and technology. For me, this is 7:00pm. Once that time hits I turn off my phone and my laptop and I prepare myself to wind down before bed. Research suggests that we should stop all use of technology at least 30 minutes before bed and to reserve the bedroom for sleep and sex only. This means we should take all of our devices out of the room to maximise our chances of a good night’s rest.
The hardest part of all of these is to remind ourselves to do them. If there is one ritual that really stands out for you then start by committing to that one practice daily. Set up a daily alarm that notifies you to stop, drop and reconnect. Make this a non-negotiable! It doesn’t matter that they aren’t big, grand moments. What does matter is that you are doing something and creating a habit that will set the foundation to grow your self-care practices from.
It’s the little things that count :)
This week I created a little Daily Rituals Checklist. If you didn’t catch it, here it is:
Print it out, take a screenshot or whatever you need to do to put it somewhere as a reminder to do these short feel-good rituals.
Share your experience with me at anytime @Kandala_Yoga.
Have a beautiful week,