With the obesity epidemic on the rise, many people are concerned about their health and are eager to eat right and exercise more. Unfortunately, for many of us this is easier said than done. People today lead busy lives. Many people are running from work to a child’s sporting event, or this meeting or that meeting and don’t feel they have time to breathe, let alone follow a normal routine or hit the gym. Yet, a routine can be just what you need. Many people break their regular routines when they are busy, thinking they will get more done and feel better about themselves. This thinking however, often backfires and may leave you feeling and out of sorts. In reality, you can feel more alive when you balance your life with routines and rituals.
Routines and rituals keep us grounded and help us perform better. Routines are habits that give structure to our daily lives—brushing your teeth, a morning cup of coffee, organizing your calendar, a daily walk, visiting the gym, or eating dinner at the same time. Routines help keep us organized and on track, although they do require discipline and will power. Rituals, on the other hand, are a little different. They are more celebratory in nature and include, going to church, praying, meditating, attending a wedding, or celebrating a birthday. “Rituals connects us to community and to society in general. Routine reinforces our sense of control over our every-day lives.”¹ The bottom line is we need them both to feel balanced. When one or another is missing, we can feel off and feel like something is wrong.
For years, I’ve had a morning routine that included a walk outside. Well for some reason the other winter, I became little lax with my walking. Walking is part of who I am, so when I miss going a few days in a row, I really feel off. Walking is uplifting to me and gives me energy for the day. I find the sounds of nature soothing too, so it is no wonder I wasn’t like myself. Funny how simple routines can keep us in balance.
In my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about self-care and how important it is in our lives. Routines and rituals are a from of self-care, and are something we all need. They can help re-energize your body, provide activities for enjoyment and feed your spirit.
Hal Elrod, in his great book, The Miracle Morning, gives us a set of daily practices that he calls S.A.V.E.R.S. When done daily, he claims they will change your life. Give these routines and rituals a try to help balance your life and feel more alive.
Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning Life S.A.V.E.R.S:
S= Silence: Take at least 10 minutes to be silent. You can just sit still, pray, or meditate. This time is important and gives you some time to just be.
A= Affirmations: Use positive phrases to affirm your goals and aspirations. (e.g. I am positive, I am a hard worker, I am a caring person, I am loving, etc.)
V= Visualization: See yourself as having already achieved a goal. Picture yourself already having accomplished a task. You can use a vision board with drawings, or pictures of certain items, or can just envision them in your mind.
E= Exercise: Set aside a minimum of 10 minutes each morning to do some sort of exercise, whether it is walking, yoga, biking, stretching, etc.
R= Reading: Set aside at least 10 minutes each morning to do some sort of reading, preferably read some thing that is inspirational. This helps set the tone for the day and establishes a positive mind-set.
S= Scribing: (Journaling) Set aside at least 10 minutes to record some positive thoughts that came to you from reading, meditating, praying, etc. This allows you to record your thoughts and generate ideas, etc.4
Thanks for reading!
² Elrod, Hal. The Miracle Morning. ©Hal Elrod International.2014. pg. 53-81