The Rs: Routine and Ritual, Reflection and Restoration

Walking the dog and showering. Brushing teeth and driving. Washing dishes and folding laundry.

What do all these things have in common? They are daily routines when our brains can go on autopilot, requiring very little headspace for the task at hand, which allows us to.. well… do free thinking. Think about whatever our mind wants to wander that has nothing to do with the task at hand. Like work stresses, kid problems, the argument from the previous night. A dream. A memory. Maybe a cool ah ha.

When doing these easy routine tasks, it’s like you have two completely different sets of brains. Remember when you were driving somewhere and had no idea what route you took? Your body just automatically paused at the stop signs and parallel parked, while you were completely lost in your thoughts.

It’s as if certain movements, easy and familiar, allow us to separate the thoughts brain from the doing brain.

Nightly prayer and daily meditation. Yoga and breathing exercises.

What do all these things have in common? They are planned rituals that force our brain to focus on something that requires… focus. It’s a moment in time not to think about work stresses, kid problems, the argument from the previous night. It’s time to get in synch with our breathing, emotions, and merge physical with the mental. It’s an opportunity to reflect consciously about the now. It’s a mindful and purposeful effort to reflect, rest, reset, and restore.

What routines and rituals do you do that help you reflect and restore?

Published by Sherry Yuan Hunter

Sherry Yuan Hunter is a certified trauma recovery coach and certified parenting coach. Taiwan-born American-Canadian Chinese, married, working mother of two, Sherry identifies as a Sandwich Parent, Third Culture Kid, an untigering Mom, and Recovering Shouldaholic. Based in Toronto, Canada, Sherry has been working in student success programs at University of Toronto for 20 years, supporting students, young professionals, new managers, working moms, and new immigrants to success.

2 thoughts on “The Rs: Routine and Ritual, Reflection and Restoration

  1. Hi Sherry, Great article. Having R in your life is good. Sometimes you need to turn your brain off.  Besides playing sports, hockey,  I think lego and doing financial projects help.  Even doing my taxes help my brain to relax. Keep writing Joya

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with Lego and playing sports. I think they are both versions of meditation. Financial projects is an interesting activity to count towards that. Probably because you are very adept at financial things like taxes. For many other people, those activities add more stress… Okay folks, you all know who to call to help you with you with your finances!


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