My Daily Check-in Ritual
Starting a new life in a new country means a lot of the daily rituals you build for yourself become temporarily flipped on their heads. The rush and excitement of new surroundings is thrilling, but eventually you long for the things that make you feel most yourself. I take pride in the fact that a lot of these things for me exist in rituals and practices I've developed, which makes them portable and enables me to exist presently and more wholly myself, despite completely unfamiliar surroundings.
Carving out time for exercise, writing, and practicing gratitude can seem extremely daunting, if not impossible. It is easy to feel as though we will never have enough time for these things. But as my trainer says, when you say you "do not have enough time for something," replace that with, "that thing is not important to me," and see how you feel. Since I discovered my own need for developing a daily gratitude ritual, I wanted something that seemed less daunting, so that not "having time" couldn't be an excuse. I knew gratitude was important to me, so I came up with an easy means of practicing it every day in around five minutes, and it turned into a sort of positive mental check-in in several areas of my life. Each night before bed I try to write five sentences of affirmation, expressing gratitude and positivity. Not only does this ease my anxiety and reset my brain for rest, but it also increases the amount of writing I do, and some nights I end up writing a lot more than five sentences. The list goes like this:
1. Gratitude: Something I am grateful for that happened today.
2. Body positivity: Expressing appreciation and thankfulness for my body, all it provides me and enables me to do.
3. Self-love/ forgiveness: Showing compassion or forgiveness for one thing that I didn't like about today, whether it was something I said or did, forgot to do or didn't get quite right. Or just any way I choose to interpret self-love that day.
4. One way I have worked toward a goal today: I have set a lot of goals for self improvement this year and this is a space I use for checking in on those goals and holding myself accountable.
5. Affirmation for tomorrow: I am one of those people that lays awake at night anxious for whatever stressors are to come the next day. This is a way I attempt to ease that stress and assure myself that tomorrow can and will be good.
This ritual is one thing I can practice no matter how chaotic and uprooted my life becomes. It is a means of arriving back in my own skin, diminishing anxiety, and finding gratitude and peace. It is something I cherish and look forward to each day and I hope others will try it and benefit from it as well! Here's my list for today:
1. Gratitude: I am thankful that I am settling into my beautiful new life here in Sevilla, and I am thankful for the courage it took to get myself here.
2. Body positivity: I was able to complete an upper body work out today at my new gym and it left me feeling strong and capable despite taking time off from lifting.
3. Self-love and forgiveness: I am still struggling to balance my schedule and it leaves me doing things like lesson planning and blogging at 2am. This is okay and I am doing great for someone who has just had their life turned upside down. I am getting there!
4. Way I've worked toward goals today: I was able to be productive in my self-care today by joining a gym and attending a writing meet-up here in Sevilla.
5. Affirmation for tomorrow: Tomorrow I will be open to new experiences, even the critiques and judgement of others, and choose resilient joy over negative emotions.