When we greet our day with a sense of ritual, whether that be making our bed, drinking a big glass of water, sitting in stillness for a few minutes or making ourselves a healthy breakfast, we create a scaffold for our life from which to build a positive day, week, and even year.
The beauty of rituals is that they are, as the name suggests, ritualised!
We only have to decide to do them a few times and then they become something we just do. The more we ritualise our healthy habits, the better we feel, and the more mental real estate we free up for work, creative endeavours, connecting with our loved ones, and anything else that requires our presence and feeling good.
“Rituals mean we get to live a happier, healthier lives without spending too much of our energy on will power. Without them, life can feel a little chaotic. With them, it is grounded and well-supported.”
At Living Flow, we love rituals! We’ve put together a list of our favourites, hoping these give you some inspiration to make your winter days a little warmer and more nourishing.
Sip warm tea with lemon and ginger to beat bloat, warm up, and stay hydrated. This is a good one for so many reasons! In winter it’s easy to forget our eight glasses and even easier to substitute them for a second or third coffee. This time of year, also means delicious, heavy comfort food that our digestive system needs a little help and encouragement digesting. Lemon, ginger, and warmth are some of the best remedies for a sluggish winter tummy.
Put together a yoga bag with all your winter essentials to take the stress and scramble out of your 6am – or 6pm – trip to the mat. This trick gives us one less reason to skip the studio when it’s cold outside. Our bed, or the couch, can become very tempting when we make the effort to get to class a difficult one, even though we know which option will make us feel better (hint: it’s yoga).
Prepare overnight oats to have on the way to work so that “accidentally” hitting that snooze button doesn’t mean skipping breakfast. When we’re lacking time in the morning it’s usually our belly that misses out! By the time we get to work we’ve been taken over by the hunger monster who demands sugary muffins or banana bread. Having a nourishing jar of oats handy not only keeps us energised, but fibre-full, too.
Do some stretches at your desk to lengthen your ligaments, keep your blood flowing, and instantly lift your mood. We know that this one works, right? Movement is medicine, and the more of it we can do in winter, the better. Even very gentle exercise will give us a welcome endorphin boost, not to mention keeps our joints well-oiled and feeling smooth.
Get some fresh air because a dose of mother nature is always the best and quickest way to shift our mood and mindset. Frolicking in the great outdoors is less exciting in winter, we know, but a few minutes a day truly does go a long way and makes all the difference to our energy levels and sleep rhythms. Not to mention – it’s beautiful!
Plan time to read a book as it is, after all, the season for slowing down! We needn’t survive but can actually enjoy the cooler months when we embrace the extra downtime they afford us. Use it wisely by cultivating a daily reading practice, or perhaps a writing or drawing one. Anything that keeps our creative brain stimulated will also keep our heart happy.
Schedule in a studio yoga practice to move your body and stay connected to your community. The introspective nature of winter can leave us feeling a little disconnected and isolated. A visit to your yoga studio is a warm and cosy way to socialise and of course, quiet your mind a while. Not to mention the long list of benefits that come from movement and even breaking a little sweat.
If we choose our rituals wisely, we get to enjoy a life where we do things that nourish us with ease and joy.
Just as actions speak louder than words when it comes to our interactions with others, so too do our actions towards self-care. How we treat ourselves on a daily basis speaks volumes to our body, mind, and soul, and connects us to the home inside.