Updated: Mar 4
Positive rituals give us space we need to recharge, and for me, music is usually at the center of the calm moment.
If you know me via social media or in real life, you have probably learned that I thrive when I slow down and take time to recharge. Its nothing crazy, in fact the simpler it is the better it is, I think. I first learned the power of rituals and recharging while attending therapy during my bachelors degree. The purpose of my ritual and recharge time was (and is) to set aside my long list of "to do's" and get present. And ideally include things that make me smile and include elements of my "dream life" in the present.
Sensory input really matters for me and is essential for me to be present. So for this initial ritual I chose things that made me feel good mentally and physically. This still serves as my inspiration to get out of my head and enjoy the moment.
My First Intentional Ritual
In the afternoon after classes, or in the morning if classes were cancelled, I would make myself some cold, fresh lemon water in a pretty glass I had (sometimes- especially during cold Idaho winters I would sub the water with tea). I would get my headphones out and sit at my counter and BLAST my favorite classical music while I slowly sipped my drink and read through the Free People Blog, Bldg 25.
It doesn't seem like much when you first look at it but let me break it down into all of the ways using my senses intentionally filled me up and kept me present.
The senses I used were:
Hearing- Music that made me happy but also didn't require my full attention. It also blocked out the other sounds in my apartment to reduce sound overload.
Sight- Reading a blog that fueled me creatively and incorporated elements of the lifestyle I liked and connected with- and I READ it not just scrolled. (This is important to note- I didn't feel sad or checked out, I was actively learning about embroidering my old converse or reading about how to do a DIY coconut oil hair mask... etc.). I also held a cup that made me happy each time I saw it.
Smell- Citrus or the tea of choice met my nose when I smelled it as I sipped.
Taste- The drink that I liked to drink.
Touch- The feeling of the hot or cold cup in my hands, the feeling of the steam on my face as I drank, the touch of headphones on my head. I also felt rejuvenated because I was taking something into my body that made it feel refreshed and good. Not like eating a big cake- delicious but you don't feel good. Does that make sense? Intuitively listening to what made me feel good.
Obviously every single element made a difference for me, and I took a lot of time figuring out what gave me energy and made me feel replenished but I enjoyed this time even before I sorted through all of that. My rituals are very different now and not as consistent, but music still plays a vital roll in my recharging time, and just in my life- it helps me feel human (especially as a stay at home mama). I've compiled a playlist of songs that help me to chill out and fill up so that after reading this post you have something new to discover when you recharge next. And hopefully you can gain some ideas to show love to yourself too!
I can't say I have a single thing I do to recharge anymore. It comes in short moments, and sometimes I forget about it completely. But that doesn't mean I need it any less. I think I need recharging time more than ever honestly. Even though its scattered, I do incorporate the same sensory focus by counting through my senses. Here are some questions I ask myself, and I hope you'll ask yourself them too- write the answers down in a journal or your phone so you can start meeting your needs in a more intentional way. It may change each day, it may not. To take it further, ask yourself why you need those things. You deserve the investment.
Hearing: What do I hear? Am I needing something soothing or fun to listen to or do I need a break from all noise? (ex. listening to a dance anthem and making some good food vs. silently reading a book.)
Sight: What do I see? Do I need a break from technology or focusing on an high attention activity or do I need to participate in something that grabs my attention? (ex. meditate vs. learning a new skill or practicing a favorite hobby.)
Smell: What do I smell? Do I like it? What would I prefer to smell and how can I make it happen? (ex.the smell of dinner and enjoying it because it smells yummy and makes you feel good or wanting to smell a candle or lotion that you love... I'm all about diffusing DoTerra oils while I recharge.)
Taste: Is there something I can eat or drink that makes me feel good and that is yummy? (ex. smoothie that's a bright color or tea or water or a sandwich or.... the options are endless.)
Touch: Am I comfortable where I am and in what I'm wearing? Could I use a nice texture or do I need less texture? (ex. getting a blanket, taking your pants off or putting some on, and getting a pillow or moving to sit outside of the sun, exercising or taking a moment to rest etc.)
Recharging can be alone, it can be with a few or a ton of people. It can be at home or out and about. It can be running an errand or enjoying a special trip out or a happy moment before the day starts. There is literally no single mold to use when recharging which makes it a hard thing but also a wonderful thing because you can do whatever you need and what helps YOU.
I get that life happens and taking a second to breathe is the last thing on your mind... TRUST ME. But I've learned its best to take time to take care of myself and be present by using my senses any moment I can. Even if its during a tantrum in the grocery store. Take out things that don't matter so you have time to devote to YOU. And ask for help and DO NOT feel guilty. I can recharge because my partner and I know that we both need time to fill back up or we literally go nuts. So we ask each other or friends for help. and its okay.
Let me know what you do to recharge and what you learn about yourself here or on our social media!
I love you guys. Give yourself space to get present and enjoy yourself and the time you spend.