February Mental Health Activity: 10-minute Rituals
At MMW, we strongly believe that mental health is dynamic, not static. Each and every one of us requires daily reinforcement of mindful, joyful, and healthy habits to maintain a good mental wellbeing.
However, these daily habits do not need to take too much of our time to be effective. Therefore, in true “progress over perfection” fashion, we chose “10-minute Rituals” as the mental health activity of the month. In February, we will focus on creating and committing to a quick daily ritual for ourselves.
The entire MMW team is partaking in this month’s activity as your accountability buddies. Read their 10-minute rituals below to find some inspiration!
I have a long commute to work every day and it used to make me feel it was a waste of time. Until I decided to utilize that time for something constructive. I've started practicing meditation for 5-10 minutes a day and the fact that I could stop my mind even for a minute was a revelation! So in February I will try my best to practice meditation daily.
My ritual for February is a 10-20 minute yoga exercise every morning before work. I embarked on this journey since the beginning of the year thinking that I want to learn more about the connections between the brain and the body. The aim is to understand myself better through the exploration of moving my body. I think it will help me not only with that but also will create a routine for self-care and help me start my day on a positive, more grounded note.
Chiara: I have chosen to take a 10 minute walk to a close by park without my cellphone but with a notebook, so that I could connect with myself and nature while I reflect on the small steps I do every day and keep it in my notebook.
My 10 minute ritual is my morning coffee. I try to take the time while the kettle is boiling and when the coffee is brewing to take a deep breath and repeat some of my empowerment quotes. Sometimes I like to take that time to do some stretching while standing as well. It helps me to have a easy start for the day and ground myself. A part of the ritual is also the first sip of coffee where I feel it warming me up and energizing me at the same time.
My 10 minute ritual is synchronizing coffee time with sunset. I try and make the coffee myself to exercise control and bring a little mindfulness into my routine. Frothing the coffee is a small meditative act by itself! And sunsets are a reminder for me to unwind and slow down, there's beauty in the process of observation. It grounds me to the present.
My 10 minute ritual for February is to do some gentle mindful yoga and stretching exercises in the mornings to make sure I don't develop more backpain from working from the home office with bad posture.
Nour: I’ve had sleeping problems since 2019 and they got worse with the whole pandemic situation. So for my daily ritual I will be reading the Quran and take 10 deep breaths before going to bed. I would also include chamomile tea at times for my night time ritual if I’m really struggling.
Okenla: I will be visiting a waterfront on my campus while listening to calming, wavy music. It's just fascinating staring at the never-ending horizon of the lagoon with vehicles commuting on the bridge in the distance.
It might look simple but I decided to commit a while ago to a 5 minute breathwork: 5 minutes right after waking up and 5 minutes before bed. Really focusing on deep belly breaths for 5 to 10 minutes a day to stabilize your nervous system. This sends the message ‘’everything is fine and safe’' to our brains.