Embodied Practice, Part 7: Ritualize Your Routine
By Eliza Demarest
Having a daily routine can become a ritual. Routine requires discipline, such as making your bed, and ritual requires us to slow down and enjoy the present moment. Take Christmas for example. For many of us, Christmas is a special day dedicated to family, thanks and prayer, that happens every year. This is a ritual. My question is - why can we not blend the discipline of routine with the presence of ritual?
For me, the time before I go to bed is sacred. Here is my personal routine based on what makes me feel the most relaxed. This is meant to be a source of inspiration for you to decide if a similar routine works for you.
Tea time. Personally, having to navigate many different energies at work, it’s really important to come home to myself. Choose a soothing, herbal tea to unwind. Some herbs that help promote sleep and relaxation include: Chamomile, Lavender, Peppermint, Valerian Root, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Rosehip, Stevia Leaf, Licorice Root, and Lemon Verbena.
Oil Pulling. It increases the overall health of your gums and teeth. Ayurvedic traditions suggest using sesame oil and that this be used in the morning. However, for my personal schedule, I oil pull at night while I am in the shower. It is the perfect amount of time I have for myself that is not dedicated to something else.
Cleanse. Taking a warm bath or shower before bed helps me sleep better. Warm water relaxes the muscles, alleviates any pressure occurring in the mind, opens the pores, removes toxins from the skin, and decongests the nasal passages. After a shower, I always moisturize my entire body with coconut oil. The length of time I am asleep allows my body to fully absorb the many therapeutic benefits of coconut oil.
No technology. You have most likely been using some sort device throughout your day. Put these distractions away. Dim the lights, light a candle. This light is more soothing on your eyes and on your mind. Sit and really feel gratitude for a moment of quiet and stillness.
Write for 30 minutes before bed. Unplug from your phone, tv and computer and dedicate this time to your pen and paper; this could be in a journal or planner. Every Sunday evening, I write out my tasks and goals for the upcoming week. I love my Passion Planner because the layout is designed to encourage me to plan for the future, remember how I spent my time, and how I’m going to show up for myself in the present.
Originally from Mount Shasta, California - Eliza is a wellness focused contributor at Aspen City of Wellbeing. She's a lover of all things wellbeing: smoothies, yoga, meditation, glitter, flowers, and time in nature. She's an aspiring road hog. Be sure to honk or wave if you see her cruising on her Harley through the Roaring Fork Valley.