Article: Why Rituals
We all experience feeling anxious or disconnected at some point in our life. I experienced those feelings when the COVID-19 pandemic hit—working as a nurse was stressful. I've experienced it at other times, too, such as when I've lost a loved one. Suddenly the tumultuous uncertainty of life feels overwhelming.
I've found, during those times, that the supportive rituals we create for ourselves can act as remarkable anchors. By supportive rituals, I mean rituals that help us look after our physical and mental well-being. Such as taking five minutes to meditate every morning, or massage your feet every night. However, I'm particularly fond of mindfulness rituals created around the things we already do—such as using the time we wash our hands to do mindful breathing, or setting our intentions for the day. Instead of, say, thinking about what to eat for dinner, or looking yourself in the mirror wondering why you look so tired.
Wondering why you look so tired is a waste of time (because chances are you already know why and are simply berating yourself for looking tired). Taking three deep breaths and contemplating three good qualities you have, on the other hand, is an excellent way to spend your time. It will help uplift you and approach the day in a better way.
Incorporating mindfulness rituals into our daily routine is an opportunity for more peace, happiness, and clarity of mind. And when we are calmer, happier, and more clear-headed, we don't just improve our own lives, but we help improve the lives of those around us, too.
I've also found that by teaching mindfulness rituals to my friends and family, they've been able to create more happiness in their lives.
I'm particularly fond of rituals that help us re-center, as well as rituals that help us appreciate and look after both ourselves and the world around us. This is because we tend to forget to re-center and care for ourselves and those around us when stressed. But if we have routines that make us do it daily, we can't really forget to do it! Plus, we may not become all that stressed in the first place, as the routines will help ground us!
Nurturing our body, mind, and spirit doesn't have to be an elaborate or complicated thing; it can be a simple ritual. Take time to pamper your body while taking a deep breath. Is it that simple? Yes, it is. And you can do it—you deserve it.
So, without further ado, let me present the mindfulness rituals we developed here at The Blue Quail using our soaps. That's to say—mindfulness rituals for when you're washing your hands or showering.
While I have suggested various soaps for the different rituals, you can use whatever soap works for you. By using different soaps and, therefore, different scents for different rituals, you help nudge your brain into a specific state of mind. Ever noticed how a certain smell can take you right back in time to some event or other? It's powerful!
That said, you can use whatever soap happens to be available at work, or the local coffee shop, too. It's genuinely just about taking a moment to breathe and find your footing in a fast-paced world. It's about becoming present, even if you don't have an hour or even ten minutes to sit down and breathe. It's about creating a mindfulness routine you can master—because everyone washes their hands and showers regularly!