If you can’t keep track of what day it is or feel demotivated to join the productivity race and viral challenges during this pandemic, it’s completely okay. In this consumerist era, it’s easy to succumb to FOMO and lose track of what really matters. But remember, you’re doing just fine.
Take some time out to treat yourself to these wellness rituals from around the world. Because, what better time than the lockdown to give self-care some serious thought?
1. Japan’s Inemuri or sleeping on duty
This would easily make to your favourites list. It’s a known fact that Japanese work hard. Instead of taking a break after burning out, they prefer catching a breath by napping then and there — on top of the work desk, in the train while commuting and practically, anywhere. This practice of power napping is also common in Spain, where no one frowns if they see you snoozing after a big lunch. They call it the Spanish siesta.
2. Finnish Sauna or hot shower
Sauna ritual is extremely popular in a country which also happens to be the world’s happiest. Dots connecting? From crystal clear skin to improved serotonin levels, the benefits of traditional Finnish Sauna is endless. Now how can you recreate it at home? Empty some bath salts into your bathtub, light up a few scented candles, increase the water temperature to one level higher than tolerable, grab a magazine or perhaps a glass of wine, and you’re set. If you have a facial steamer at home, combine the ritual with a facial, but only once a week to avoid skin inflammation.
3. India’s Yoga and ayurvedic rituals
Yoga could possibly change your entire lifestyle for good. Even meditation could be hard for some but yoga can be mastered gradually if you have patience. And now that you have all the time in the world, you can give it a try. Rather than recreating the practices from every Instagram and youtube channel, enrol in an authentic online class and involve yourself religiously. Ayurvedic rituals, on the other hand, are for your external wellness. From sesame oil pulling to drinking lemon water with honey, some rituals are very simple to try without much effort. Again, rule out the “seven days” and “how-to” challenges of self-proclaimed Ayurvedic experts, some are futile and up to no good.
4. Norway’s Friluftsliv or free air
No wonder Norwegians love outdoors. In a stunning country like Norway, getting out there is probably the only therapy ever needed. They believe breathing free air and being surrounded by nature improves the quality of life. Practice Friluftsliv by spending time gardening, if you have space in your backyard. Gardening and taking care of plants have separate health benefits of their own. Also, make it a habit to soak up the sunlight every day, morning or evening, as there’s no short of health issues that can arise from sunlight deficiency. People working from home face this problem a lot.
5. Italy’s La Passeggiata or evening stroll
Wait up, it’s not on me if you drop everything and go for a walk outside. Stay safe and please follow social distancing until the quarantine period is over. What’s meant here is, Italians follow this beautiful ritual where they go for a leisurely stroll in the evening with their friends and catch up on what’s going on over coffee. Well, walking outside is clearly ruled out now but do you happen to have a large porch in your apartment? Or terrace with a view? Go watch the sunset and stroll back and forth. Even try befriending a neighbour. You’ll be surprised at the improved quality of your sleep and circadian cycle.
6. South America’s Mate Tea or Sweden’s Fika
South Americans rely on Yerba mate or herbal tea to cleanse their body, improve immunity, and even lose weight. But that’s not their point. Our life is so fast-paced that we rarely have time to stop and appreciate the good things in life. Swedish and Latin Americans understand this, and hence the rituals to take time out and slow down things. You’ll be surprised at what 15 or 20 minutes of a slow-mo life could do to your day. And coffee lovers, you can go with Swedish Fika, the much-loved coffee break.
7. Africa’s Ubuntu or humanity to others
Sometimes inner wellness cannot be always satisfied from within. Africa’s Ubuntu ritual is all about finding your inner peace by being kind to others. Ubuntu translates to ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’ and asks one to be happy at the happiness of others. It can be a ritual. It can be practised. Practise kindness as a habit, for no greater fulfilment can arise from spiritually alienating yourself from the external world.
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