The Power of Rituals: How to Create Daily Mindful MomentsLisa Kilgour, Nutritionist
March 3, 2020
Does your day fly by, without really noticing it? Do full months or years go by so fast you can barely remember them? Yeah, me too. But that all changed once I brought some mindfulness rituals into my daily practice. A few deep breaths, an hour of yoga, or a hot bath may seem like small luxuries, but in today’s world, they’re becoming an absolute necessity for our mental health.
Mindfulness isn’t a “woo woo” idea that’s only for Zen monks and yoga teachers, it’s an important tool for each of us every day. In a nutshell, mindfulness brings us back to today, where life is really happening. We could switch the word and call mindfulness “presence” because that’s what it really is.
By practicing mindfulness, it becomes easier to enjoy those little wonderful moments each day. It’s easier to sit and watch your child play for a few minutes, without distractedly checking your phone. Or, it’s a fully present moment with your partner, friend, or favourite pet. These little moments are what life is really about, they add up to a life well-lived. They can deepen relationships and be important memories for your kids as well.
The trouble is, life is busy and bringing mindfulness and presence into our day can be really hard. I found that adding a few little rituals let my brain practice staying present, so when the really wonderful moments happen in life, it’s much easier to stay calm and mindful, instead of distracted. A daily meditation practice is one of the most powerful ways to retrain your brain for mindfulness, but it can be a bit difficult at first. Here are a few other rituals that I’ve incorporated into my day that has made presence (and meditation) easier.
1. Relax and drink your morning warm drink mindfully
The morning can be so busy! From the moment our feet hit the floor, it can be go go go until we rush out the door. I love a warm mug of tea in the morning, and my favourite way to start the day is to sip on my tea while looking out the window. This may seem almost too simple, but it really works to add a few minutes of mindfulness to my day.
2. Work with focus
I work from home most days and it can be so distracting. Between my phone, my hilarious cats, and my partner who also works from home, it can be hard to get anything done! A few years ago, I decided I needed to make a big change and I started a new work ritual that really helped. It’s simple yet effective – when I’m working, I’m only working, and when I’m relaxing, I’m not working at all (that includes checking emails constantly). If needed, I set a timer for 30 – 60 mins for focused work, and then I take a break. I repeat this all day and it’s significantly increased how much I can get done in a day.
3. Prioritize sleep
As much as I’d love to watch one more show on Netflix, prioritizing my sleep has made a huge difference in how I feel all day long. I know that if I’m in bed by 10 pm I’ll have much more energy the next day.
Bringing it all together
Our mind is built to be focused and present, but the constant binging of our phones makes it easy to be distracted.A moment of presence in the morning, focused attention to work in the afternoon and a good night’s sleep are rituals that have helped me enormously. And, even by adding just one powerful mindfulness ritual each day it can make it easier to be present with your day, your family, and your life.