How to Create a Relaxation Ritual
Most people often feel like they have a challenging time managing stress. If this is your experience, you’re not alone. Chronic stress can lead to maladies such as heart disease, premature aging, diabetes, obesity, and much more. Simply put, chronic stress puts your health at risk. This is why it’s skillful to have a relaxation ritual. A ritual is a set way that lets the body.mind know that it’s time to just be. By setting a time and place each day for relaxation and stress reduction it becomes easier to settle. When you have a daily practice it will inform the rest of your day. When we are stressed we tend to focus on the negative - what's wrong in our lives. By taking time for yourself you invite in the sensation of pleasure.
So here are a couple of my suggestions:
Experience a tea or coffee time
Infuse your tea or coffee with mindfulness. Put down the cell phone, put away the computer. Just sit down with your coffee and notice the smell, the warmth, and the taste. Allow yourself to just be present with drinking coffee. If you wish add a good book and enjoy your short break in the busy day. Everything else can wait for 10 minutes.
Nature has been proven to be healing and relaxing. By committing to being outside daily you will lower your levels of stress. In nasty weather just standing on a covered porch noticing the weather or even through a window. When it is nice take a walk in the park or forest. Hug a tree, it will make you smile! All these simple things will begin to reduce your levels of stress. It doesn't really matter what your ritual is. The most important thing is that you consciously dedicate time to relaxation on a regular basis. When you make this commitment to yourself you create a foundation of ease when you truly need it.
Create a shower/bath ritual.
Make your shower time pleasurable. Notice the warmth of the water, how it feels on your body. Invite yourself to be fully present for this experience of bathing, what scent is the soap?, how does it feel to wash each body part? Bring a sense of gratitude to each part that you wash. Enjoy yourself!
Freedom from all electronics.
Just shut it all down, perhaps for an hour a day. This may be the most challenging as so many are truly addicted. Experiment and be curious and see if you are addicted. The best time is 2 hours before bed as it will enhance your sleep. Now is the time to discover what else you may enjoy more.
Create a meditation or yoga space.
Create a place in an extra room or a corner of your bedroom. Perhaps keeping your yoga mat out or meditation cushion. Once a day, each day take time to stretch and then sit quietly to return home to your true nature.
I invite you to be creative in finding the best ritual for you. With regular practice you will find it nourishing. .