Routines are my favorite way of finding stability in the nervous system. You probably have some routines in your day that you hardly think about. A morning cup of coffee, brushing your teeth, reading before bed, your workout routine, all contribute to a sense of stability and calm. Routines reassure you that despite challenging or chaotic life things that happen, you can rely on certain known things or events to keep you feeling better about your circumstances.
Children and pets need routines to be assured that they can manage to feel calm enough even in extreme situations. Baths and regular meal times can do wonders for your little one, your pup, and for you. Especially if falling asleep or staying asleep is challenging (aside from any baby-induced awakenings), having a calming bedtime routine is essential. You might consider including a shower/bath, reading to your child, meditative practice, essential oils, or journaling in your pre-bedtime repertoire.
A more spiritual kind of routine is a ritual. Celebrations for the fall or new moon, a solstice like the one happening this week, religious holidays, sabbath services, baby namings and memorial services/celebrations of life all are rituals that weave meaning and connection into our lives. You might have a prayer practice, an altar with candles, regular visits to your house of worship or to the burial sites of loved ones. These times spent tending to our spirits and the spirits of others are immensely calming. Often overlooked as an aspect of wellness, especially emotional wellness, it can unlock some very deeply rooted stagnancy in the body that can be a cause of anxiety or depression.
I spent time at sacred wellspring yesterday in the south west of England. The ritual of drinking from well springs during Celtic times was something that my ancestors did. It has not been a part of my life in any official way until yesterday, although my affinity for water could certainly be attributed to my ancestral roots. Creating a ritual for yourself out of the traditions of your lineage is so powerful and healing to the nervous system. It helps you reconnect with yourself amidst the chaos of transition and change, be it a new baby, a new job, a new living space, or a new role as a parent. Connecting to your ancestral traditions is both stabilizing and nourishing, much like the roots are for a plant.
The nervous system plays such an important role in a healthy pregnancy and emotionally-centered parenting. Rooting yourself in meaningful traditions now creates not only stability for you but for all the little beings, human or otherwise, who will thrive under your care.
Lauren is a perinatal nurse, birth doula and herbal consultant specializing in transformational emotional support in pregnancy, parenting, and during other periods of personal growth. She supports people through one on one coaching, classes, and online resources to create a support system through the use of herbs and body based techniques. Send me a message and we can schedule a time for a free consult about what you want to achieve and how I can help.