I’ve been thinking a lot about how to have consistently good days.
“Today would be a very good day to have a good day.”
-Michael Franti in the song “Good Day for a Good Day”
I realized that, for me, I have consistently good days when I stick to practicing those things that make me feel good, physically and mentally. For me, that’s yoga and meditation.
When I make sure to carve out time in my day for my yoga and meditation practice, I am more joyful, more balanced, more patient, more productive, and in a better mood in general.
I like to wake up and start my day with yoga and meditation – it’s my daily ritual.
- the established form for a ceremony
specifically: the order of words prescribed for a religious ceremony
- a: ritual observancespecifically: a system of ritesb: a ceremonial act or actionc: an act or series of acts regularly repeated in a set precise manner
My morning ritual is sacred to me. It’s what I do, not only for my physical health, but also my own mental health.
YOUR OUTLOOK MATTERS
Sometimes folks have a mindset of, “I HAVE to exercise, or I HAVE to _____ (fill in the blank as it pertains to you). But, instead of thinking about doing the things that make you feel good, as something you HAVE to do, try thinking about them as something you GET to do, something you WANT to do. When it feels like a CHOICE rather than an OBLIGATION, you’ll be more inclined to stick with it.
CHOOSE YOUR WHAT MAKES YOU JOYFUL
So, what are the things that you would like to add to your own personal ritual? What brings you joy, makes you feel balanced, and helps bring you peace?
Yoga, Meditation, Hiking, Pilates, Taking a Walk, Jogging, Swimming, Looking at Nature, Reading, Journaling, A Gratitude Practice, Gardening, ???…..
MAKE TIME FOR YOUR RITUAL
Once you’ve found those things you want to add in to create your own personal ritual, make time for them. The biggest obstacle that many of us find in taking care of our own needs is thinking we don’t have time. That is a real concern and it can make taking care of ourselves feel overwhelming, like it is just one more thing we HAVE to do (see earlier note on changing HAVE to WANT) and we just don’t have time.
How to create more time for yourself:
Think about how you spend your time. What can you reduce or eliminate? Here are some ideas:
- How often do you check your phone for texts, emails, social media?
- Turn off your alerts and set designated times to check your phone…. two times a day, three times a day, whatever is manageable to you.
- You can leave alerts on for apps that are essential to you – like maybe your phone ringer.
- This might be hard to do at first, but eventually it will feel normal, and you might even feel relief at not always feeling that stress release when your phone goes off.
- Set a time limit for social media scrolling or google searching.
- Ever get lost watching TikTok videos or looking at Instagram, and the next thing you know, an hour has gone by?
- How about you start searching for something on Google that should be real quick, and the next thing you know, you’ve gone down a rabbit hole looking at information that may or may not be important to you for the last two hours…?
- Give yourself a time limit and then stick to it.
- Look at how much time you are spending watching TV, YouTube, or playing games.
- Is there a chance to reduce those activities so you can get in something that will help you tune-in instead of tune-out?
These are just a few ideas to get you started.
You may also want to think about when you want to do the things you’ve added to your personal ritual. Morning? Evening? Noon?
I like to do yoga and meditation right after I wake up in the morning BEFORE I check my phone for emails and messages:
- I do this because if I say to myself, “I’ll just check my phone real quick.” what usually happens is that my analytical brain kicks in and I start thinking about replying to messages and all of the things on my to-do list for the day, and my own self-care can get brushed aside…. Has this ever happened to you?
- Then, “I’ll do yoga later” becomes “I’ll do yoga tomorrow”…. and before I know it, I’ve literally pushed my own self-care aside and subconsciously told myself that taking care of everything else is more important than taking care of myself.
- When I’ve previously allowed this attitude to take over my life, I stopped feeling good about myself and got really burned out.
So, when works for you? Think about it, and then add it to your schedule so that you do it. Remember, you can always change the timing if what you start out with doesn’t work for you.
After creating your own ritual, try it for a week. See how it works, and then make any changes and try it for another week. Pretty soon, your ritual has become habit.
Notice how you feel about yourself and those around you? Are you feeling more joy?
May you have peace within,