Ceremony is everything — Ep. 2

This episode of Ceremony is everything features special guest writer Dominic Harvey; Broadcaster, Runner, Writer & Podcaster. 

I am writing this while drenched in Covid-19 and avoiding everyone outside my 4 walls.

I have had 2 reasonably crappy days but was thankful to be as vaxxed as legally allowed.  Because I doubt it would have been a fun time without the Pfizer gold in my arm.

Being sick really bums me out.  It makes me feel flat and I hate not feeling good.  So while I’ve been unwell, I’ve been doing everything in my control to feel as good as I possibly can.  This includes simple things like getting out of bed, showering and getting dressed instead of just moping about in an Oodie all day (yeah I own an Oodie, judge me all you want). 

I have the same ritual every day.  Steps that I do habitually now.  Regardless of how I am feeling, these steps make me feel as good as I can and set me up for the day.  The thing is, once they become ingrained as habits, they just happen without much thought.  The hard bit is getting started and bedding them in as daily rituals.

After working in breakfast radio for the best part of 30 years until the middle of last year, I have, for the first time in my adult life, been able to experience the joy of waking up naturally, without an alarm going off at shit-o-clock.  These days, the closest thing I have to an alarm clock is my little dog waking me up by licking my face, letting me know he needs to go outside.

On waking up I have 2 glasses of water with ice cubes in, as cold as possible.  I don’t always succeed at this next part, but I try to drink it as mindfully as I can, focusing on the way the cold water feels as it travels through me.

Then I brush my teeth, doing my best to focus on the task in hand.  This is easier said than done as I find my mind desperately wants to wander and think about anything other than oral hygiene.

The shower is next.  I always start the day with a shower.  It’s maybe a little odd, but even if I plan to run or go to a gym glass, I will always start the day with a shower first.  Most days my shower routine involves scrubbing my face with the Rock & Roll Scrub and taking care of everything from the neck down with Shearers soap.

I also shave in the shower, using the old-fashioned.

Once all the admin is done, I brace myself and put the water on the coldest setting available.  Then I count to 60.  I’d like to think it’s an honest minute, but in reality it is probably closer to 30 seconds!  This is something I started after reading a Wim Hoff book and picking up his mantra, “A cold shower a day keeps the doctor away.”

It’s not particularly fun.  I’d be lying if I said I looked forward to the hot water going cold.  But I feel amazing after it’s done.  It gives me a sense of clarity.

Once I’m dry and massage my face with Moisturizer.  I got given some by a mate not long after T&D was established and I have been a loyal customer ever since.   If I smell good, I feel good. 

Then I do something that is a little bit cheesy.  But I wouldn’t be authentic if I omitted it from this piece.  I was listening to a podcast I really like hosted by an ultra-marathon runner called Rich Roll.  His guest, Mel Robbins, introduced me to a strategy she created where you look in the mirror every day and high 5 it.  It’s not something I would do in the communal gym showers.  But in the privacy of my own bathroom, why the hell not?  Google it if you want more info about it.  It’s to do with being your own cheerleader. 

Then I am ready for whatever the day may bring.  Even in times like today, when I am sick with a virus.  I feel as good as I can.  On days when I wake up feeling normal, these rituals make me feel super crisp.  And that’s the thing- control what you can, and don’t worry about the things that are out of your control.

It may all sound a little bit self-indulgent.  And you may be thinking, “must be nice…but I don’t have time for all of this.”  But the truth is it takes maybe 10 minutes all up.  That represents less than 1% of the entire day.  Spending 1% of my day so I look and feel ready for the other 99% seems like good time management to me!

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