The importance of rituals

My original plan was to post this yesterday, but in light of the death of Robin Williams, I’m glad that I pushed it off for another 24 hours. Before we begin, I’d like you to take a moment to give your loved ones a hug, whether that be your parent, your significant other, your children, your roommate, your friend, your pet, any or as many of the above as is close by. If no one is around, give them a call or send them a text, reminding them how much you love and care about them.

Life is hard, plain and simple. Each and every day, there are many challenges we face. You, my dear readers, are probably in school, or work a fulltime job, or are a stay-at-home parent (which should also fall under the “fulltime job” category), or are a mix that draws from all three categories. On top of the daily challenge that comes from having a set schedule of waking up, proceeding to do [insert occupation here] for how many hours out of the day, and then attempting to find a reasonable time to get to bed and regenerate before doing it all again, we get those curveballs thrown at us: unexpected bills, our car breaking down, something breaking in our residence, someone or ourselves getting ill, etc. Even during the weeks when we experience relatively smooth sailing, going through a more or less stagnant routine can be draining enough.

I’ve made the transition from fulltime student to fulltime employee and I still feel this. I feel the dread of the weekday life every Sunday evening, and this past Sunday was no exception. Made worse by the fact that my long distance boyfriend had to return home 150 miles away after being with me for the weekend, I couldn’t escape my tanked mood until I remembered, “Wait, it’s Sunday night! That means it’s masque night!” And that was the moment I realized how important my rituals are in carrying me through the monotony and helping me be ready to tackle another day.

For me, it involves setting aside time to pamper myself. As I’ve shared recently, I’ve been struggling with the condition of my skin on my face (updates on this to come soon), and one of things I’ve incorporated into my skin regimen thanks to /r/SkincareAddiciton is the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque every Sunday and Wednesday evening. I chose these two days because I view Sunday as the end of a long week, which for me at the moment includes a lot of physical training for my half marathon that definitely grimes up my face, and Wednesday is the perfect middle of the week day where I can do this, get over the hump and see myself through to the weekend. In addition, while the masque hardens, then once I follow it up with a mineral (baby) oil massage to help get out more gunk, I catch up on videos from my favorite beauty gurus on YouTube. The 15 minutes it takes the masque to harden is the perfect time to watch a tutorial or a product review.

You might think, “Jaimie, if you do this every Wednesday and Sunday, doesn’t that make it a routine, not a ritual?” While I do it routinely, the reason it is a ritual is because the focus is not on getting it done but about making it something for myself. My consistent focus every day is to treat my skin well by sticking with a beauty regimen that works, and technically I don’t need to do the masque and oil massage to keep my skin healthy, but it is a good added step and, more importantly, it is a way to pamper myself. I make sure to put this time aside on Wednesday and Sunday evenings to focus on things that I enjoy, which is learn more about beauty and makeup, while also taking care of myself. Not only am I doing something good for myself physically, but also mentally and emotionally by allowing myself to unwind, shut out everything else, focus on my interests, and do something that makes me happy.

It really is the little things in life that mean the most. Taking an hour two days out of the week to do this may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but trust me, it makes a world of difference. It’s not my only ritual. Another of my top rituals is, when I’m having an especially rough day, I will put aside my phone and computer, take a bubble bath if I can (which I unfortunately can’t do right now because of the state of the bathroom in this new house…you know, let’s just not talk about it), grab some sort of comforting snack and throw in one of my favorite movies before I reconnect to the world. Last night, after hearing the news of Robin Williams’ death, that was dark chocolate covered strawberries and Mrs. Doubtfire. It gave me time to unwind, process, and reflect on the wonderful career of an actor who was a huge part of my childhood.

What are rituals that are part of your life? They can be beauty related, food/cooking related, or anything you’d like to share. I’d love to hear about the things in your life that you do specially for you! If nothing comes to mind, I highly suggest adding some you-time to your schedule. It doesn’t have to be much, maybe only a half an hour once a week. The important thing is that it’s about you and only you, and can help give you just the right boost you need to make it past all the chaos and the bullshit that plagues our lives every day.

Until next time, dear readers, stay well, stay beautiful! xx

While the main focus of this blog is beauty and food, the constant focuses of my life that tie in very well with these two topics are wellness, positivity, and above all self love and maintaining personal health. The recent loss of Robin Williams has given us another opportunity to recognize the importance of these topics and the reality of mental illness. Please know there is absolutely no weakness to be found in seeking help, only the strength within you to fight for yourself and your right to exist. Always remember that you are not alone. If you are in the US and would like to talk to someone, or know someone who could use this service, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For international readers, please visit this link to be connected with someone in your home country.