We all have routines and habits that structure our days. We check our phones before getting out of bed, drink coffee to start the day, feed our pets before feeding ourselves. Habits develop unconsciously, we start doing something one day and over time it turns into a part of us without even realizing it. A routine is something we do with the idea of “it needs to be done”. These routines help structure our day in a way that we feel has to happen in order to be successful. Unlike habits and routines, rituals are done with intent and purpose. This gives more meaning to the things we do and in turn connects our inner world to our outer world.
Now what do you think could happen if we turned our habits into rituals? For example, let's say you have the habit of checking your phone before getting out of bed. You could set the intention to reach for a book instead and read for 10 min each morning. You turned a habit into a ritual that will have more meaning and benefits than reaching for your phone.
The same thing goes for routines. Not every routine needs to become a ritual, but every routine has the potential to become a ritual if you desire more meaning behind it. Let's say you have a daily exercise routine- you stretch, go on a jog, then have a smoothie. This is something you have been doing everyday for months or maybe years. It’s healthy! But have you lost the intent behind it? Maybe you have done this for so long, you don’t even know why you are still stretching or jogging. Do you even like your smoothie anymore? If you turned your exercise routine into a ritual by focusing on what makes you feel strong, sustainable, and healthy, you may be surprised to see your health improve faster in a shorter amount of time then from jogging mindlessly for years.
What routines or habits will you be turning into rituals? Share in the comments below!
By Isabella Carvajal
Here are some activities for your child (and your yourself!)
1. Legs up the wall: Lay down on the floor with your bum up against the wall. Your legs will be straight up the wall. Getting your legs over your heart is very beneficial. Start with 1 to 2 min. Notice how your body feels. Start to increase the time when you are ready. This can be done for up to 10 min if you would like. This simple and restorative inversion is something you can you daily with your kids. There are many benefits to inversion therapy such as:
2. Hand and Foot Massage: your hands and feet work hard all day for you, and there are lots of small muscles in your hands and feet that get tired. Giving your body a gentle massage is a great way to relax and to thank your body for it’s hard work. This practice also creates presence and body awareness.
3. Walking Meditation: Start by rooting the soles of your feet into the ground- feel all four corners of your feet pressing into the Earth. Begin taking a slow walk. If you are using a yoga mat, a good path is just to walk from one end to the other. Another great option is to do this outside in a safe place (grass is wonderful). You can also do this in different rooms of your home each day. Start to notice who your feet feel as you walk. What is the sensation like in your heels? In your toes? After a few moments, notice the rest of your body. What happens in your legs and hips when you walk? What about your arms? Can you feel walking in your neck and face?
If your mind wanders, don’t resist any thoughts. Just bring your awareness back to how your body feels on your walk. When you are ready to finish your mindful walk, take a deep breath. Send a thank-you thought to your feet. Start with 2-5 minutes and increase to however long you’d like!
4. Sensory Bean Pool: Using a large bin or kids pool, fill it with dried beans. Allow your child to climb in and you can use any household scooping tool to scoop the beans with your child. This is a great sensory entertainment tool for your child! Especially during this time that we are not able to leave our homes much.
"If your mind starts to wander, don't resist any thoughts. Just Bring your awareness back..."
By Isabella Carvajal
We have been blessed with the gift of time right now. When we are so busy, we spend a lot of time in our heads and not in our bodies. Here are some ways I have been able to get out of my head and feel more in union with the world around me.
By Isabella Carvajal
At Orchid Behavioral care, we care about children and their families!