By David Joel Miller
What ritual can you create to chase away your depressed or anxiety?
Rituals have both symbolic and literal meanings. The customary, usual, routine of things can make you feel more relaxed, calm and reassured.
Many people who struggle with emotional, mental or behavioral issues find that creating their own personal rituals can be helpful in keeping them grounded and on the path to recovery.
We talked before about recovery tools, those practices or rituals that you might do with others or as part of your religious or spiritual practice. It can also be helpful to have very personal rituals that help keep you on the right path.
Make your morning coffee mean more than a jolt of caffeine before the rat race.
Tea ceremonies, I am told, include not just the drinking of the beverage but the process of selecting, arranging and preparing your beverage. You can create a coffee ceremony for yourself if you chose.
For more American types, you coffee drinkers, consider getting yourself special blends, a fancy cup or mug and reserving a time to sit and enjoy that morning beverage while you contemplate your life and your recovery.
Some people find it helpful to reserve that time for sitting outside and watching the weather or early morning creatures. I like to sit and watch the birds and squirrels outside my writing window.
Prepare a special food.
Cooking, even on a limited budget can be a ritual in which you go to extra efforts to make your meal special and appetizing. Add that little garnish. Spend time shopping for special healthy treats. Try out new recipes. You deserve to be pampered by someone who cares about you and your health. Become that person and care for yourself.
Do a relaxing form of exercise.
Walk, stretch or practice your yoga postures. Do these things slowly and calmly, not in the pain-to-gain system, but in a mindful thoughtful way. Make a part of your daily ritual a reaffirmation of your worth and the efforts you are making to care for yourself.
Listen to relaxing music.
Find a music that relaxes you. Try out new listening experiences. Be your own companion on this musical journey. Music has a powerful influence on the moods of humans. Use that mood impact to your advantage.
Have a date with yourself.
Most of us spend the majority of our time with others. We can find it difficult to just be with ourselves. Consider taking yourself out to dinner, go to a movie or do something you have always wanted to do.
Of course, if you have a special friend or romantic partner in your life you may want to share some of these adventures with them. Just make sure it is a shared adventure, not a giving up of you for there to be an “US.”
If you are single or separate just now, enjoy that space and work on becoming your own best friend.
By learning to create special rituals for yourself, things that say “I care about me and what the best for me,” you can make your recovery something exceptional and affirm that you are special and deserve to be treated well.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books