The Difference Between Routines vs Rituals (and Why It Matters for Self Care)
We so often think of self-care as something we do to pamper ourselves.
Like going to get a massage or getting a babysitter for the afternoon, so you can finally get through your to-do list. Or even something as simple as meeting up with a girlfriend to get your nails done.
They’re things that make us feel good and they’re definitely important to us. They’re moments when we make the conscious decision to make ourselves a priority.
But they’re often one-offs. And we usually only make time to do them when we’ve reached an absolute limit. They’re special occasions, not daily habits.
Making self-care something we do every day is so important – and being mindful about our routines and rituals helps us do that.
Routines are the things we do every day. Like getting up in the morning, washing your face and brushing your teeth. They’re a lot like habits and you usually do them in the same order.
Rituals are things you do which are meaningful to you, or symbolic of something positive in your life. Your birthday is a great example. You celebrate it on a regular basis, and maybe there’s one thing you do every year on that day because of the strong symbolism it holds for you.
While rituals feel really good, we may not be in the habit of doing them regularly. And at the same time, the routines which do make up a regular part of our day may not be all that meaningful.
Our hope is that you’re able to find meaningful ways to regularly incorporate joy into your everyday life. So that your rituals become routine and your routines become rituals.
You already know you can do it – oftentimes, we’re really good at combining rituals with routines for our babies and our kids.
Maybe every bedtime we read a specific book or we sing a song that we love. These are things that hold significance for us. They increase our bond with our baby and express our love. They aren’t just part of our daily routine, they’re also a deeply meaningful ritual for us.
And you know what? We can do the same thing for ourselves.
Let’s get started…
Take out a piece of paper and write down answers to the following questions:
1. What routines do you love most in your everyday life?
Is there something you do every day that you absolutely love? Write it down!
2. What is one routine that you could flip into a ritual to make it more special?
For example, if you end up washing baby bottles at night:
Could you use that time to listen to a podcast you’ve been wanting to listen to for a long time? Or download an audiobook to listen to each night, so you make that a really special time for yourself?
3. What is a ritual you could create that would help you fill your reserves of energy?
Is there something that really makes you happy that you’d like to do every single day? Something which holds some significance in your mind and in your heart?
Some of the rituals we use personally are ancient practices passed down through the traditions of ayurvedic medicine. They’re proven to genuinely support the body on a variety of levels: chemical, physical, energetic and emotional. And we’ll be teaching you more about these mind-body practices in the future.
We’re so excited to hear your thoughts and ideas on creating a ritual for yourself, so make sure you share them in the Postpartum Sisterhood group on Facebook. Your ideas could inspire someone else – and you might find ideas which inspire you, too. We’ll see you in there!