Life-Saving Renewal Rituals

love rituals, self care activities, finding inner peace, take care of yourself,
What is a Renewal Ritual®?

We race around in our busy lives and don’t take the time to check in or come home to yourself. We must create time to unplug from the world and plug into inner ourselves.

Most of us are overbooked, overworked and overwhelmed these days. A three- to five- minute renewal ritual changes your chemistry, energy, brain, and your entire body, mind, and soul.

Why Do We Need Renewal Rituals®?

Our body and mind live in a constant state of stress these days. This damages our immune system, our brains and creates disease and illness. Your body gets exhausted in this constant state of stress and needs a break or renewal. Research shows just taking a few minutes to renew yourself has mental and physical health benefits.

Renewal Rituals® Give You S.E.L.F. Care

S.E.L.F. Care is an acronym that is the core of renewal rituals. Just remember these four letters and you can practice any of these at any time and anywhere.

= Serenity rituals

= Exercise rituals

= Love rituals

= Food or nourishment rituals

S= Serenity Rituals

Serenity is the opposite of stress. Learn a few simple practices that scientific research has proved lowers blood pressure, lowers your heart rate, gives you an immune boost and reduces the stress hormones in your body. These practices also help your body produce calming healing hormones that de-stress the mind and body.

Do any of these serenity practices for just two to four minutes to reduce stress right away. I love all the apps found in the app store for all of the practices listed below, (short meditations, affirmation apps, music you love, and apps with beautiful relaxing nature and sounds, and guided imagery apps). I like the Insight Timer and the Calm apps for your serenity renewal ritual.

    1. Do a short meditation. Over a thousand scientific studies prove practicing a relaxation response creates health benefits and reduces stress.
      • Be silent in a comfortable place for a few moments
      • Choose a simple short phrase or word that creates calm for you, (such as peace, surrender, let go let God, any favorite saying you love).
      • Close your eyes, take deep, slow, cleansing breathes, to the count of four. Inhale slowly through your nose, 1-2-3-4. Exhale slowly through your mouth, 1-2-3-4.
      • As you inhale, continue to repeat your favorite word or phrase.
      • As worries, anxiety or thoughts appear in your mind, continue taking deep breaths and repeat your word/words over and over again.
    2. Repeat a positive affirmation. Research shows that repeating a positive affirmation when you are stressed reduces the production of stress hormones. Create an affirmation you love, such as, I am strong, I am in control, everything has a purpose.
    3. Music. Research reveals listening to music creates calming hormones in the body. Download to your iPhone your favorite relaxing or energizing music and listen to it for a few minutes when you are stressed and it will create calm.
    4. Ecotherapy. Research reveals that listening to nature sounds can reduce stress and depression. Download an app with bird, water, or nature sounds to your smartphone, iPad or computer and when you are stressed listen to sounds in nature and relax.
    5. Guided imagery. Download your favorite guided imagery or just memorize your own. Imagine you are at your favorite place on earth. Visualize yourself there, smell this place, feel your presence, hear the sounds and touch the flora. Your brain will immediately create relaxing hormones.
    6. Unplug from tech. Your eyes and your entire body get exhausted being consumed by technology. Turn your phone over or close your screen for a few minutes. Rest your body from the intensity and habit of looking at your screens. For a few minutes do any of these S.E.L.F. Care rituals listed here.
    7. Solitude. Find a quiet corner, close your eyes, and inhale through your nose for a count of four, 1-2-3-4. Hold your breath for a count of four, 1-2-3-4. Then slowly exhale through your mouth to the count of four, 1-2-3-4. Repeat several times and you will feel refreshed and renewed.
E=Exercise Rituals

Research tells us exercise produces relaxing hormones such as endorphins and reduces the production of stress hormones such as cortisol. Exercise can be as effective as antidepressants in reducing stress and depression.

  1. Walking. Simply going for a walk instantly reduces stress and helps create calm in the body. When you are stressed, walk around your office building or walk up and down the stairs for a few minutes to reduce stress.
  2. Get a new piece of furniture. Going to a gym is just impossible for many of us who live overscheduled. Put a tread climber or a treadmill in the corner of your television room. Get on it for 20 minutes as you watch the recordings of your favorite shows. If you choose a 30-minute show by the time you finish your show your exercise time is over. This is also a good way to mentor healthy practices to your children.
  3. Yoga. We have emerging research on the stress-reducing power of yoga. Memorize five simple yoga stretches. Doing some simple yoga stretches in your chair, at your desk, on your bed or on the floor to relax your tense muscles and reduces the stress in your body and refresh your mind. Find your favorite teacher and download their app to your smartphone, iPad, or computer.
  4. Family exercise. Keep a basketball hoop or badminton net in the back yard.  When the family is stressed over some situation, get outside and play or go for a walk.  Every evening after dinner the entire family goes on a walk together. This creates a family time of communication, intimacy, and play.
  5. Ecotherapy. Get some sunshine on your body. Many of us are short on Vitamin D these days and this will be a great health benefit.
  6. Your office. Walk around your office, smile and connect with as many people as you can. Make sure to smile and experience receiving the energy and connection with your work team.
  7. Your posture. Combat the tech curve. Bending over watching your technology can lead to horrible posture. Your head weights 10 pounds but when you bend over looking at your screen that weight you are toting goes up to 60 pounds. That really affects your back and neck. This simple exercise can change how you breathe and feel. Imagine a string connected to the top of your skull, drawing you upward toward the ceiling. Feel yourself getting longer and lighter, your ribcage floating over your pelvis
  8. Take a brisk walk. Walk up and down the stairs, around your office building or up and down the office halls. Try to get outside if possible to get the ecotherapy benefits.
  9. A quickie. Quickly do ten wall push-ups, ten toe touches, ten squats, and a ten-second wall sit. Feel that strong heart and mind flowing.
  10. Clear your workspace. You’ll clear your mind and feel more in control of your day.
  1. Purse or wallet ritual. Take a few minutes throw out all tissues, save your receipts and combine your lists.
  2. #LOL. Laugh out loud. Watch that dog or cat video everyone’s been sharing lately, a clip of a great sitcom, or a favorite comedian for a few minutes.
L=Love Rituals

Sharing your stress and concerns helps the mind and body relax and renew. Research tells us there is a positive relationship between having community and our health. Pioneering cardiologist Dr. Dean Ornish says, “Isolation kills, community heals.”

  1. Meet with a friend, coworker, or friends at least once a week for a meal. When we have a physical connection with others we produce healthy hormones and they relax us and reduce our stress. You produce endorphins and oxytocin when you meet with someone you care about.
  2. Get in a group. Create a study group, a card group, an exercise group or some group around some interest you have. When you have friends that support you there is less stress in your life. Reserve your workroom or conference room at your office and begin a group that meets regularly at lunch once a week around a common interest: a book club, gardening, parenting, investing or other interests.
  3. Phone support. Keep at least three best friends, family or a coworker on your phone list. When you are stressed call a friend, coworker or family member for support and that will de-stress you when you realize you are not alone and someone cares about you.
  4. Send a video message. Yes–you can use tech to create something meaningful. Forget text: Film yourself delivering a 30-second message, telling an audience of one how much you appreciate him.
  5. Photos. Look at some photos you love on your phone. You will experience great memories and get a smile on your face.
  6. Compliment others. Walk around your office and become aware of the positive aspects of other’s lives and compliment them. You’ll be happy.
  7. Connect. Check in on a friend. Let her know you are thinking about her and tell her something encouraging or loving.
  8. Gratitude. Write a list of five things that you are grateful for.
F=Food

Food is medicine. Food is healing. Food regulates your moods, your sleep, and your health. Stress can be regulated by what you eat.

  1. Eat breakfast. Eating breakfast increases your metabolism which helps keep your weight down and helps with your mood swings.
  2. Omega 3’s. Research shows omega 3’s help with anxiety, stress and depression.  Eat fish, nuts and other foods rich in omega 3’s as much as you can. You can also take omega 3 supplements.
  3. Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6’s increase the serotonin in your body. Serotonin calms and heals the body. Make sure you eat bananas, tuna, turkey, salmon, rice, sweet potatoes or sunflower seeds.
  4. Drink some water. Water helps you relax and destress your mind and body. Renew your body with delicious water.
  5. Enjoy a snack. Keep fun enjoyable snacks on hand. Eat mindfully noticing the look, texture, and taste of your food.
  6. Take a tea break. Never underestimate the calming ritual of even a simple tea ritual. Try a different flavor, such as hibiscus, orange, lavender, chamomile, or peppermint.
Food NO-NO’s
  • Energy drinks
  • More than 1 cup of coffee or tea
  • No sugar
  • Do not drink lots of alcohol the evening before. When the alcohol wears off your body responds to stress very poorly.
Food. Nourish Your Mind
  1. Read that article. You have been saving an article you wanted to read but didn’t have time. Feast your mind on this delicious article for a few minutes.
  2. Enjoy a short read. Keep an inspirational book near so you can get renewed by the words of someone you trust and enjoy.
  3. Listen in. Listen to five minutes of the most beautiful music you have at hand. Your favorite music will restore you and make you feel like you can conquer the world again.