The concept of wellness has ancient origins rooted in Greek, Roman, Indian, Native, and Chinese cultures. It was, and is, a belief that an integrated approach to one’s health and well-being results in inner harmony. Wellness rituals have been used to prevent or heal disease and to promote relaxation around the world. The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as “the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.” You can create wellness rituals for alleviating illness and elevating well-being with the basis of the practice being about how you want to feel afterward.
Remember wellness includes physical, mental, emotional, financial, spiritual, environmental, occupational, relational, and recreational health. If you add rituals to your wellness routine, it can have a powerful impact and transform your daily actions into a more meaningful experience. A wellness ritual is a set of sequenced activities or actions with a symbolic purpose. Rituals can be relevant in diverse areas of our lives, ranging from how we wake to how we work to how we rest.
A wellness ritual can be anything that you add meaning to by slowing down, being aware of your senses and surroundings, and being truly present. One of the most effective ways to live each moment fully is to practice awareness and mindfulness around the daily actions that we make. Instead of operating on autopilot and seeing just how many things you can multitask, slowing down allows you the gift of turning average mundane moments into something magical.
One of my favorite wellness rituals is making a meal. I slow down and become more present. I take a few moments to be grateful for the ingredients and all the hands who have brought this food to my kitchen. I pour love and positivity into the food. When eating, I will intentionally sit down, remove all distractions, and really savor my food. This helps with digestion, too. If I am lucky, I also add an enjoyable conversation with friends and family.
How do you add ritual to your wellness routine? Here are a few possible activities you can transform into a wellness ritual.
• Tucking your little one into bed at night and reading a book.
• Brewing that morning coffee or whipping up a delicious smoothie.
• Writing or reflecting on prominent issues in your life.
• Having an at-home spa day.
• Showering or bathing.
• Working out, whether walking around the lake, yoga class, or at home.
• Taking a few minutes to breathe deep.
• Stacking a wellness ritual on daily activities such as brushing your teeth, folding clean laundry, or doing the dishes.
• Watching the birds or being in nature.
• Sitting in silence.
• Relaxing routine before bedtime.
• Listening to music.
• Creating by drawing, painting, knitting, or sculpting.
• Talking to a supportive friend or professional.
• Getting a massage, healing touch, chiropractic, or acupuncture treatment.
• Wandering through the farmer’s market.
• Reading something inspiring.
• Stretching once an hour.
• Taking a midday 5-minute break.
• Trying a new restaurant.
• Eating a new vegetable or fruit.
Incorporating rituals into your life can bring a sense of order and intention to your days, helping you live with more ease and purpose. Remember that creating a wellness routine and taking ownership of your well-being is a personal journey, and the rituals you choose to implement should align with your unique needs and lifestyle. It can take a certain type of determination and assertiveness to bring wellness rituals into your life. It is an intentional and continuous process of achieving an optimal state of health, as well as your full potential. Wellness is an individual, dynamic, and ever-changing process.
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