How to Create a Daily Ritual
There’s no “right” answer to the question of how to live a balanced life, but you can build a daily ritual that's right for you. Discover how in this article.
by Dan Ketchum
No matter the lifestyle you choose, the importance of listening to and honoring yourself deserves a place at the forefront of your mind. When reflecting on how to make our days, and ourselves, the best they can be, it’s easy to get caught up in a tangle of confusing trends and contradictions. And the influx of information about how to live your best life can easily leave you feeling lost — and even more stuck than you were before.
This is why we take a different approach to wellness at The Root of it All.
We believe that each day is a new chance to make choices that honor both your mind and body — and that small lifestyle changes such as creating a daily ritual can have huge impacts on your overall health.
Here, we explore the concept of daily rituals, and walk you through how to build one that will support a healthy, balanced life. The truth is, there is no one-size-fits all daily ritual, but embracing time-tested self-care basics and starting with some common, nearly universal principles can help you build a stable foundation for balance.
Your New Daily Ritual: A Framework
Before we dive in, know that everyone — and everyone’s ritual — is different. That’s one of the things that makes life beautiful, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Ultimately, your unique ritual should be one of your own making, customized around what works for you after some healthy experimentation. Here’s just one example of a daily framework that might help you on your journey to positive habits.
- Waking up: A traditional Aryuvedic wake-up; take time to be aware of your body and express a silent moment of gratitude (the closer to sunrise the better).
- Morning: Just out of bed, engage in your daily meditation or breathing practice.
- Afternoon: Daily exercise, a rotating routine of cardio and strength training to suit your individual needs. This can also be done before heading into work or after as you have time, but consistency is key.
- Evening: A long bath followed by an essential oil massage.
- Night: Bedtime at an early enough hour to ensure 8 hours of sleep.
Think of this as a foundation to build upon, or modify as you grow and learn. And don’t forget the moments in-between, which can be filled with self-care such as drinking plenty of water and mindfulness practices.
Now that we’ve got the basics in mind, let’s expand.
Start with Meditation
While there may be no “right” answer to the question of how to live a balanced life, virtually every routine benefits from daily meditation. It is an accessible, time-efficient practice with roots in ancient healing and backing by modern science.
No matter your dosha (vata, pitta or kapha) or what kind of meditation you practice (guided, mantra, mindfulness or controlled breathing with your yoga), Mayo Clinic reports that meditation not only enhances your sense of calm, but it can help you manage stress, increase your focus on the present, boost your patience, ease negative emotions and help your creativity flourish. Even better, all of these principles will lend you a strong foundation to build upon as you seek a daily ritual that works for you.
Much like meditation, regular exercise benefits nearly every person on the planet, making it absolutely essential to building the best routine for a healthy life. Whether you engage in low-impact exercises like daily walks or swimming or get to know your inner strength by lifting weights, regular exercise helps control your weight, strengthen your bones and muscles, prolong your life and improve your sexual health, sleep patterns and even brain function. And because effective exercise is structured and regular, it can help you grasp the “ritual” part of your daily routine, ensuring that your healthy habits are consistent and enduring.
With every type of person, one element of the best routine for a healthy life boils down to two simple words: self-care. According to Psychology Today’s Maria Baratta Ph. D., L.C.S.W., “the mindful taking of time to pay attention to you, not in a narcissistic way, but in a way that ensures that you are being cared for by you.”
Self-care can take on many shapes, including getting enough sleep, recognizing and responding to your limits (meaning it’s okay to say “no” to obligations sometimes) and finding time to decompress.
Some of the simplest self-care practices fall right in line with principles for how to live a balanced life per Ayurvedic tradition, such as nurturing your body with lots of water, taking the time to enjoy a relaxing bath, or even having an essential oil massage.
Ayurveda, All Day
Now that you’ve got some strong foundations in place, try adding principles from a time-tested Ayurvedic daily routine. For instance, waking up early after a good night’s sleep is often at the heart of a balanced daily ritual. You can incorporate Ayurvedic philosophies into this by starting your morning just before the sun rises, looking at your hands and then gently moving them over your face, chest and waist, followed by a thankful prayer. You can also add essential oils to your routine to soften the skin, energize your body and bolster your mood through aromatherapy and then follow up your exercise with quiet, deep-breathing Pranayama practice.
Essential oils and ayurvedic herbs can also be used as tinctures to help your body achieve internal balance -- which will only serve to support and amplify all of the mindful daily rituals outlined above. At The Root of It All, we’ve designed natural products with that in mind, blending pure Ayurvedic essential oils with powerful CBD to amplify the healing properties of the traditional herbs and oils, creating tinctures and topicals specifically designed to give you the support you need to unlock a healthy, balanced life. Placing a few drops under your tongue each morning and night of our GO or STOP tincture will help you feel your best from the inside out.
No matter what sort of personal daily ritual you settle on, strive to keep your routine consistent, completing each part at the same time each day with as little variance as possible. Speaking to Piedmont Healthcare in 2020, Indumathi Bendi, M.D., says, "When you reduce the number of decisions you have to make each day, you'll have a deeper sense of peace as well as relaxation of the mind and body. Then you'll be geared up to face your other tasks."
Dan has been a freelance writer and small business owner since 2009. In the healthcare realm, he’s fortunate enough to have collaborated with the likes of Civilized Life, Cetaphil, LIVESTRONG, VitaGenne, DermStore, FOCL, B-Great, JillianMichaels.com and more as a writer, with work appearing in publications such as USA Today, The Seattle Times and the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate, among others.
The Ayurvedic Institute: The Daily Routine
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health: How to Choose a Meditation Practice for Your Dosha
Traumatology, Vol. 14 No. 2: Helping Till It Hurts? A Multimethod Study of Compassion Fatigue, Burnout and Self-Care in Clinicians Working with Trauma Survivors
Mayo Clinic: Meditation: A Simple, Fast Way to Reduce Stress
U.S. National Library of Medicine: Medline Plus: Benefits of Exercise
Psychology Today: Self Care 101