In a time of uncertainty – like we are living in now with the Delta variant, climate crises, and social, gender, and economic injustice – establishing a new routine is a reliable, grounding practice. A routine is like a ritual – a practice that captures our attention, and in the act of doing it, gives us a sense of control and calm.
In wisdom traditions, practices like meditation, prayer, breathing (pranayama), and movement serve as ways to transcend the chatter of our minds and the chaos of everyday life and be anchored in spirit. In that place of connection, you can observe the world around you, and witness your choices in a more mindful way.
Today is a good day to establish a new routine. You do not need to do something dramatic, rather you can choose something simple and meaningful to give you the perspective to return to the classroom, the office, or look at your home with renewed interest.
Here are some simple, new routines to explore:
Set an intention
- Think of your current morning routine – perhaps it's washing your face, drinking a cup of tea, or getting in the car to head to work.
- Choose one of these reliable times, and decide for the next 7 days, you will set an intent for the day.
- An intent is something you want to experience during the day – joy, connection, energy. You may choose the same thing every day or set a new intent every day.
- Think of your afternoon or evening routine – perhaps it's brushing your teeth before bed, loading the dishwasher, tucking your kids into bed.
- Choose one of these reliable times, and decide for the next 7 days, you will think of one thing you are grateful for.
- At this time, put your hand on your heart, take a deep breath, and think of one thing you are grateful for.
- You may choose the same thing every day, or a different thing every day.
State an affirmation
- At night, before you go to bed, state a positive affirmation about yourself.
- Complete the phrase I AM with an affirmation that is empowering to you.
- Things like: I am safe; I am creative; I am strong; I am loved; I am wise. (Listen to the meditation on the Chopra App.)
- You may choose the same phrase every day or a different one every day.
Take a walk outside
- Commit to a minimum 10-minute walk outside.
- When you go for your walk, put your phone away on “Do Not Disturb” if you can. Look up at the sky. Breathe in the air around you. Notice the colors and shapes of your surroundings.
Plant a seed or water a new flower or plant
- The ritual of watering a seed, flower, or plant daily can be relaxing and purposeful.
- Find a seed packet or little plant at your local market.
- Place it in a place where you remember every day to water it.
- When watering it, take a deep breath, in and out.
- Just enjoy the ritual.
A new routine should be easy, non-dramatic, and simple. The new school year is a natural time to begin a new routine as society begins new patterns (sleep, travel, meals). On the Chopra App, we created the Reset the School Day program to guide kids, and the adults who love them, with some of the simple practices outlined above. The consistency – even if for just a few days – is affirming and peaceful. If you miss a day, just take a deep breath, smile, and re-commit for the next day. Enjoy the power that comes from the simplicity of doing one small thing daily.