Habits, Routines & Rituals


I love my habits, routines and rituals!! They ground me, help me have structure when life feels out of control, and they are an anchor for my health- physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual. On challenging days, it is my habits, routines and rituals that help me get by and even lighten the challenge of the day. But did you know that habits, routines and rituals are not one in the same and serve very distinct purposes in our lives? 

 Habits are automatic behaviors triggered by specific cues. For example, you feel tired (cue) so you brew a cup of coffee (behavioral response). The sneaky thing about habits is they dictate the choices we make and the lives we live for better or worse because they are automatic.  We all have habits that seem to appear out of nowhere. These can be the ones that arise through periods of challenge and stress and are carried on beyond the initial experience that triggered the habit. A good example of this is the common habit of urinating in the middle of the night. This is often prompted in early postpartum but far outlives the 4th trimester. This is why recognizing and being aware of your habits is so important! We can’t shift and change something we don’t recognize. 

Routines, often confused as habits, are a series of frequently repeated tasks in specific order. They generally require focus unlike habits. Routines, over time, can become habits. A good example of a routine is making breakfast and preparing lunch bags. It’s not a habit because as much as I would like if it didn’t take so much focus it is far from automatic- I have to think to some degree every time. The nice thing about routines is they set a predictable rhythm to activities. Even though you still need some level of attention, one task rolls after another relatively easily. Intentionally beginning a routine that supports health in some way is a great first step toward creating a new habit.  Recently I started meditating again first thing in the morning. This refreshed routine looks something like this… hit snooze 1x, sit up in bed, sip some water, arrange my pillows to sit up tall, meditate, go to the bathroom, walk outside for 3 deep breaths…begin getting ready for the day. Over time, this will feel less effortful than it does right now, but the flow of each step is the beginning of this re-emerging as a habit. 

Rituals are meaningful activities repeated regularly that hold spiritual or cultural significance. I love rituals! They are deeply supportive and nourishing to our mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic health. Rituals tend to be activities that make you feel better once completed. Some common examples are prayer, meditation, lighting a candle, or attending religious service.

 So many of us are very focused on our habits, when in fact I think focusing on our rituals can have a bigger impact. I like to call rituals that ultimately support an aspect of our health (they almost always do), “soul-aligning” rituals. These are activities that ground, energize and connect us to ourselves or a higher power. The result of having soul-aligning rituals is having an extra layer of protection and support for the most challenging of days and periods in our lives. 

My favorite soul-aligning ritual right now is pulling a tarot card each Sunday evening. I’m enjoying learning tarot and it is inspiring to allow the card I pull to inform my focus or energy for the week. It’s a fun little ritual that keeps me connected to my higher self and in soul-alignment! 

If you are interested in starting up a meditation routine… hop into my Instagram Channel where we are on Day 5 of a 7 day meditation challenge. CLICK HERE to join, it’s not too late to begin!


About Me

Aloha! I’m Hilary.
I founded my own business to support women more effectively as a coach and doula. At Mama Wellness Weekly and HV – Holistic Health, I use my expertise to empower women on their wellness journeys. Thanks for stopping by!


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