Ever find yourself winding down in bed after a long day wondering where the hours slipped away to? Maybe you conquered an ambitious day tackling a lengthy to-do list just to find that there was no time left to nurture and care for yourself. If we’re not careful, days like this can add up to consecutive days, weeks and even months. Regardless of how much we achieve in our often full and busy lives, it’s important to carve time out in our days and weeks to tend to our self-care, passions and interests and the activities that bring us joy.
A great way to establish routine and consistency in the activities that rejuvenate us is by creating ritual days. Ritual days are often established days in the week where we commit to showing up and honoring the rituals and practices that make us feel whole and revitalized.
Consider the suggestions below to get inspired and proactive in making space for your needs, or create ones of your own! There’s no bounds or limits in the ways we choose to honor time for what feels important to us individually.
I find that Sundays often carry a bad rap as the day we begin to dread the beginning of a new work week, accompanied by binge watching TV and poor eating habits. No shame if you genuinely desire a day of Netflix watching and munchies, but perhaps Monday wouldn’t be so scary if we came into it completely recharged and ready to go! Give yourself permission to sleep-in. Wake slowly and naturally without an alarm. Prepare yourself a nutrient-packed, nourishing breakfast. Take a walk in the park or somewhere in nature. Melt into a hot bath with tantalizing essential oils and candles. Care for your skin with a clay mask or lay out where you can get hugged by the sun’s rays. Take time to take care of you in whatever way uplifts you most!
For many of us, Monday can be a tad of a whirlwind. No matter how much we love our job, transitioning from down time over the weekend into demands of our jobs can be taxing. Allow yourself to regenerate your charge by returning home to a Mellow Monday. Put on your favorite play list or record. Pick a genre that promotes relaxation for you, such as some soft jazz or ambient sounds to bring your busy mind to calm. Make some fresh herb tea such as rose or chamomile and crawl up with that book you’ve been longing to read. Unplug from your devices, allowing technology to fall to the side and welcoming spaciousness of mind in. Make it a habit to promote relaxation and stillness in your life. You deserve it.
If you’ve been following me for a while, chances are you’ve heard me speak of the transformative practice of cultivating and expressing gratitude. Ideally we all would be practicing and reflecting on all we are blessed with on a daily basis, but if you feel called to take time each week to process your thanks through a ritual day, consider a Thankful Tuesday practice. A Thankful Tuesday practice can involve sharing your daily gratitude journal entries of the week with your partner, friend or family member, or if you don’t record a gratitude journal, your ritual can be the act of writing what you feel gratitude for, whether that be inspired by the present moment or experiences that made you feel thankful during that past week. There are endless ways to celebrate what we are grateful for, whether through writing, collages, dance, prayer… whatever helps you get in touch with your thankful heart space. Rejoice in all your blessings.
Too often our creative expressions and pursuits are neglected and shelved when measured to the demands of our daily lives. Regardless of your skill level or proficiency, practicing drawing, coloring, painting, crocheting, playing an instrument or any other creative medium is a wonderful way to decompress and relax while channeling your creative potential and energy. This ritual can easily be shared as you can invite friends and family members to share time and space with you as you engage in and explore any and all creative mediums you desire. Get paint on your fingers! Shape clay with your hands. Empower yourself to learn an instrument. Gift your inner child by getting crafty.
Many of us understand the challenge of managing our time properly to support making healthy meals to enjoy throughout the week. Meal prepping in the beginning of the week is a great way to ensure that we maintain healthy eating habits throughout the work or school week, but also sometimes means that we eat repetitively and similar meals each day. Tasty Thursdays is a commitment to make one extravagant meal at least once a week. Have you been drooling over photos of dishes made by your favorite food blogger for months, but haven’t taken action to make their recipes yourself? Now is your chance! Cherish and care for the joy and wonder of food by trying new recipes, ethnic cuisines or ingredients that are foreign or new to you. Show yourself love and care through the power and love of food.
Not only is getting together with friends an absolute joy, it’s also an essential ingredient to our emotional regulation. Creating time to connect with the kindred spirits that get you best helps us feel supported, relatable and also guides us into emotional stability and grounding. Maybe you and your best friends have a favorite juice bar you like to meet at for green smoothies or a venue that hosts live music every week. Or you could opt for a more homie, intimate gathering by alternating homes for a weekly potluck. Regardless of the venue or activity that brings you together, prioritizing time with your pals is an absolute must have ritual.
Sadly, what we consider the most sacred in life can get forgotten in the hussle and bussle of our lives. Ask yourself… what makes you feel connected? And when was the last time you put energy into it? Maybe time spent in nature soothes your mind and incites awe for all of existence in your heart. Do you have a movement practice that brings your awareness deeply into your body and present experience? Go take that yoga class that leaves you feeling expansive and complete! Or perhaps there’s a weekly group meditation or dharma class to enlighten your perspective. Whichever method or path you choose, make time to peel away all that is excessive to get in touch with your spirit.
Even if you don’t commit your whole day to your ritual, taking some time out of your day to care for yourself is something to celebrate! Give thanks for whatever effort you put towards your whole body, mind and spirit wellness. Have faith and confidence in the merit of your actions. Each effort is watering whichever seeks you choose to plant.