Why You Need a Relaxation Ritual (& How to Do It!)

Do you feel like you have a challenging time managing your stress? You’re not alone. Stress management is a real issue in the US. And it’s dangerous.

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. That’s why everyone should have a relaxation ritual–a habitual activity the signifies to the body that it is time to unwind and relax.

Practice makes perfect, and that applies to relaxation, too. By training yourself to make time and space for relaxation and stress-reduction in the same way every day, you can learn to use that ritual to easily manage unexpected stress.

It’s like Pavlov’s dog conditioning experiment. If you train yourself to relax in a certain space while doing a certain activity, anytime you do that ritual you will feel a sense of relaxation, no matter how stressful of a day you’ve had.

Intrigued? Here are a couple of indulgent ideas for creating a daily relaxation ritual of your own.

Set up a tea or coffee break.

The Swedish take a fika, which is an afternoon coffee ritual accompanied by a small pastry. Why is fika so amazing? Because it’s all about mindfulness and intention.

When you sit down for a cup of coffee or tea each day, try to infuse it with some mindfulness. Don’t do work. Don’t check emails. Don’t scroll through Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram. Sit down with your thoughts, a journal, or a good book, breathe, and relish in your glorious, warm beverage. Everything else can wait.

Go to your reading corner.

Designate a comfy corner in your house as your reading corner. That means it’s not your nap or Netflix nook; it is only for digging in and reading.

Let yourself relax and unwind in this safe space on the daily. Plus, you’ll finally be making the time to read all of those books you’ve shelved.

Mature man lying down, reading

Create a shower/bath ritual.

Every time you take a shower or bath, try lighting a candle, dispersing some essential oils, dry brushing, or rubbing your body down with warm sesame or coconut oil.

Make your bathroom time a spa-like experience. For many of us, it’s the only alone time we can get all day. Prioritize it.

Unplug ALL electronics.

If you aren’t into fancy, pampering rituals, how about this one? Simply power down all of the electronics in your house. Even consider unplugging the wifi router if you can.

Let yourself be truly free from technology, even if it’s just for half an hour. It’s infinitely relaxing.

Create a meditation or stretching space.

Keep your yoga mat unfurled in a corner of your bedroom. Every day, sit on it to stretch for 20 minutes or to sit quietly and meditate.

One isn’t necessarily better than the other. Do what feels easy and right for you. This is a relaxation ritual, not a perfection ritual.

Young woman sitting home by the window

Make journaling a ritual.

Every morning or evening, sit down and write out all of the positive aspects of your life. Whether you’re grateful for a new work opportunity, listing the things you love most about your healthy and beautiful body, or simply jotting down what an awesome hot chocolate you had today, training your brain to become positive is a daily ritual that will pay off bigtime.

Focus on your goals, accomplishments, dreams, and the good things that surround you. Not only will you feel more comforted and relaxed by this ritual, but this positivity practice will help you gain a brighter outlook on life.

Plan out for tomorrow.

If you’re a born-and-bred planner, maybe your relaxation ritual will involve setting up your tomorrow. Sit down in the evening, calmly make a list of what you’d like to accomplish tomorrow, set up your clothes and pack your bag, maybe pre-make your lunch.

Throughout this time, make sure you’re listening to a soothing playlist of your favorite tunes. Make a fun, 20 minute ceremony out of it. But if it is at all stress-inducing for you, this isn’t your ritual.

Take a long daily walk.

Whether you have a dog or not, taking yourself for a daily walk is so undervalued. Spending time outdoors and moving your body has been scientifically proven, time and again, to reduce stress levels and promote overall relaxation. No matter the weather (with some extreme exceptions), get yourself out there.

It really doesn’t matter what your ritual is. The most important thing is that you consciously dedicate time to relaxation in your daily life. If you don’t put aside the time to practice relaxation, it will be much tougher to achieve when you really need it.

How do you relax every day? Do you have a stress-reducing ritual? Share it with us below!   

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Images via Thinkstock.

73 comments

Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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W. C
W. C8 months ago

Thanks.

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William C
William C8 months ago

Thank you.

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Amanda M
Amanda M9 months ago

As a stay-at-home mom, I don't even have any space I can claim as my own, let alone personal items! Just this morning I found that my gift-wrapping tape, which I hide from everybody, had been found and stolen! The culprit was my older daughter, who said she had to because there was no tape in the desk! (PUT IT ON THE SHOPPING LIST, GENIUS!) If it's not stuff like that, it's my younger one swiping my hairbrush because she can't find hers because she still needs to clean up her room! (For the record, she's ELEVEN and old enough to clean up her own damn room!) And for some stupid reason, when my husband or kids see me actually sitting down, they bug me about other chores that they see as needing to be done NOW. And my husband wonders why I am demanding something resembling union hours! In short, a relaxation ritual of any sort would be nice-if my husband and kids would LET me have downtime for one!

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Margie FOURIE
Margie F9 months ago

Wonderful ideas.

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One Heart i
One Heart inc9 months ago

Thanks!

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Stephanie s
Stephanie Y9 months ago

Thank you

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Clare O
Clare O9 months ago

Be efficient and you can do more in less time.

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Clare O
Clare O9 months ago

I have time to sit and read after dinner. I have to be productive during the day. Eat and work is no problem. Just don't be stressed about it. Make a mental or written schedule (by which time things need to be done) and set aside blocks of time for them.

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Clare O
Clare O9 months ago

Who has time?

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