5 Powerful Ways To Make The Mundane More Meaningful
With a long time interest in wellness, I was always the kind of person who sanctified the potions, products, and practices surrounding self-care. I bought all the essential oils, I invested in skin care products, and I read all of the top blogs. But when it came to actually performing my daily routines, I found myself dreading them. I had no patience for the precious, quiet moments in my own life.
When I finally began meditating I achieved the perspective to see how disconnected I felt from my life at times. And that’s when I realized that the solution was not in the big “wow” moments, but rather in the small, seemingly non-noteworthy moments of my daily routine. So I began experimenting and setting time aside to truly transform all mundane efforts like brushing my hair and folding my laundry into loving acts of kindness. It’s true, our daily routines can feel like work, but in reality, they hold within them the key to making our lives more full of meaning and connection. Below I offer my best tips and tricks to transform your routine into a ritual.
Before we get there though, this transformation does require a simple shift in perspective. If you can transform the energy around your routines from “I have to” to “I get to” a whole new world opens up. Think of how lucky you are to be able to meal prep, take a warm shower or to put the dishes away. Think of how in each of these moments you are experiencing what it feels like to truly be alive. See your routines as your opportunity to fill your life with awareness and presence. See them as your daily offering of gratitude. The more you do this, the more easily you are able to find meaning in the seemingly mundane.
Read on to see how you can take any routine – morning, noon or night – and transform it into a magical time where we find ourselves deeply present and at peace, no matter our current circumstances.
1) Set the mood.
We begin to slow down when we feel safe, relaxed and comfortable. In order to transform our day-to-day routines into nourishing rituals and acts of self-care, we need to first feel at ease. Think of your time of self-care as mini-date with yourself. Light your favorite candles, change into something comfortable, call in calming energy with a few deep breaths, put your phone on silent mode and play some good music. We are sensory creatures, so by delighting our senses first, we are better able to drop in and be present in our daily acts.
2) Create a reward system.
As humans, we respond well to positive stimuli and that means transforming your thoughts around your daily acts from dread to desire. Instead of leaving your bathroom routine ’til the time of night where you can barely keep your eyes open, make it something to look forward to by treating yourself to a nightly temple massage with lavender oil. Instead of throwing together your weekday lunches on the fly, set aside an hour or so on Sundays to listen to your favorite podcast and do a little food prep.
Instead of looking at your phone while you walk your dog, bring along a mug of your favorite warm beverage and sip it slow as you pass the ball to your pup. Soon enough you will begin associating these daily acts with the positive rewards you give yourself.
3) Schedule the time.
Most of us are a lot more likely to do something if we plan for it ahead of time. At first, it may seem like the least ritualistic thing you could do, but scheduling time for self-care ensures you actually commit to it and it furthermore allows you to begin to slow down and look forward to it. Set up an alert on your phone an hour before you intend to start your practice, that way you can get your mind, body, and soul in the right space to relax and enjoy the process.
4) Level up your game by upgrading your practices.
No one is going to want to spend time cultivating an abhyanga practice (Ayurvedic self-massage) with a clinical-smelling moisturizer or washing their face with the drug store soap that they’ve used since high school. Do your research and level up your game by investing in products that make you feel inspired. And that doesn’t have to mean spending a ton of money on expensive products with fancy names. In fact, less is more when it comes to creating a ritual around your routines. Take your time, read the reviews, ask around, do your research. Simple, all-natural products are best.
Investing in a new mug or loose leaf infuser could influence a love affair with tea that you never had before. Digging out that essential oil from the back of the drawer and sprinkling a few drops in the tub could inspire a nightly ritual around your shower. Practicing breath work with an app like Calm while you sort socks could cause you to enjoy folding laundry. Investing in an all-natural charcoal teeth whitening scrub could help you to fall back in love with your smile.
5) Educate yourself.
Think of the first time you saw a jade roller or a tongue scraper. You were unsure of its purpose, confused by its use and probably just the littlest bit intrigued. Now, remember what you thought when you actually learned the claimed benefits of these tools. A jade roller (which has its roots in ancient Chinese medicine) combats puffiness, aids in lymph drainage, tightens pores and can even improve skin elasticity!
Armed with that knowledge you are much more likely to take your roller for a spin as part of your nightly ritual, aren’t you? You are bound to be more fully engaged in the process when you have formed a connection to the intention. You can simply ‘google’ the history of any self-care practice to help to inspire you on your journey. It’s that easy! With these five simple steps, you can begin to cultivate rituals from your routine so that you can be more present and engaged with life. Our daily repetitive acts can be monotony or magic; take the time to drop into awareness in order to find joy.
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