3 Steps to Developing a Daily Ritual with Caz
We’re experiencing a global upheaval and the ground may continue be shaking beneath your feet, so to bring a sense of order and joy to your life, below are three simple ways to bring ritual into your everyday.
For the purposes of this post AND with the added benefit of being a mindful practice, I grabbed mum’s old Heinemann Australian Dictionary off the shelf:
Habit: a regular practice or usage.
Ritual: a formal or ceremonial action.
Humans love a ritual whether we realise it or not, though we often disguise them as habits – a far less romantic notion. I view ritual as a daily mindfulness practice and before you navigate away from this page because I said the dreaded ‘M’ word, hear me out. When I refer to mindfulness, I am referring to its broken down pieces – mind-full. Just being present.
ONE – Ritualise your current habits
Take a seat and go through your day from the moment your eyes open until they close at night, jotting each one down.
The way I see daily ritual, is a mindset shift. You’re adding solemnity and mindfulness to a current habit and removing any guilt. You may or may not slow down the action.
- Add solemnity
- Increase mindfulness
- Remove any guilt
I’m not exactly suggesting that scrolling instagram first thing in the morning is the best thing to do for your mental health, but I do believe in guilt free living for health maintenance. If a first-thing scroll is what wakes you up and brings you into the world, then enjoy it! Grab your phone, smile and get ready to enjoy 5-10 guilt-free minutes. Be present as you do and stop and read a meaningful post instead of mindlessly scrolling.
If cooking is your jam, then pop on some music, give yourself an extra 5 minutes to cook, slow it down and roll out that gnocchi like it’s a gift from the gods.
Whichever habit you choose to convert, apply the above three principles and be there for yourself.
TWO – Add a practice
There are plenty of studies to suggest that meditation will increase productivity, lessen stress and improve quality of life, but it’s not for everyone – especially as a starting point. A practice that I do recommend for the person who finds it hard to sit still is journaling. Now bear with me before you roll your eyes.
Journaling is a bloody excellent way to get your mind to slow down and get your thoughts out of your brain and onto a page. I think it’s best to go pen to paper, but in a pinch, your laptop will do nicely. Start with 5 minutes. If at the end of 5 minutes all you have is a blank page with the words, “this is stupid” written on it, that’s fine. At best you might have written down how you’re feeling or even what you did that day. I like to add a tea light candle or 3 to increase solemnity.
Honestly, add candles to any old moment and you’ve increased ritual ten-fold.
Other practices that you might like to consider:
- Meditation – on your own or with the assistance of an app.
- A gentle stroll
- A bath or bathing ritual
- Self massage
THREE – Maintain the ritual
Like the habits that have structured your day for as long as you can remember, continue the ritual. Make it your thing.
Suddenly you’ll find yourself able to ascribe ritual freely throughout your day when you feel that you need centering. You don’t need to live like a monk, you don’t need to take up yin yoga and you don’t need to ignore social responsibility to practice self care. You just need to be there for yourself too.
ABOUT CAZ BUTLER
Caz Butler is a Chinese medicine practitioner in Melbourne who adores women’s health and mental health. Her passion is to bring joy to body literacy. She believes that education and open communication around health and our bodies is a social and political responsibility.
You can find her on Instagram at @caz.butler_tcm.dr