Nordic Walking Finland

10 Wellness Rituals From Around the World That You Can Practice at Home

by Kristen Gilbert

July 09, 2018

5 minute read

If you're looking for ways to improve your sense of well-being, take inspiration from our list of wellness rituals from around the world. Although we strongly encourage you to have the authentic experience in the destination, that's not always possible. Luckily, there are ways to incorporate some of these rituals into your daily life at home.

Costa Rica: plan de vida

hanging bridge costa rica

Costa Ricans often live a long life. In part, this is attributed to the concept of a plan de vida, or, reason to live. They develop a sense of importance and purpose in life by spending time with friends and family and building a strong network of love and support. They also pursue an active lifestyle, eat a healthy diet and spend plenty of time outdoors in the sunshine. Get out there and find your plan de vida.

Finland: Finnish sauna

Finnish Sauna

The Finnish love their saunas so much that it's a substantial part of the culture. Traditionally heated by wood, a Finnish sauna is a place to relax with family and friends as well as a place for mental and physical relaxation. For best results, stay in the sauna for as long as it's comfortable. Leave, and jump into a lake or roll in the snow to be refreshed and reinvigorated. For a little less drama, take a cool shower instead. If you don't have a sauna in your house, head over to the gym for a similar experience (minus the amazing Finnish culture).

Greece: the Mediterranean diet

Mediterranean Diet

Everything you've heard about the Mediterranean diet being one of the healthiest in the world is completely true. The Greek diet consists mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and poultry, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Eat like they do in Greece and you can lower your risk of heart disease and control your weight. Next time you're at the supermarket, pick up what you need to eat like a Greek.

Iceland: geothermal spa

Geothermal Pools Iceland

Iceland has an abundance of geothermal energy that creates pools of naturally heated turquoise water with a high mineral content. It is said to have health benefits ranging from being a lovely way to relax to clearing skin conditions, helping with respiratory problems and even relieving pain. This one may be hard to replicate at home, but you can get close by adding products made from geothermal mineral salt to a hot bath at home.

India: feeding the poor daily

Sharing Food India

A religious practice associated with Hinduism, sharing food is an essential part of what it means to be human. It is an affirmation that we share in each other's destiny and a recognition of our interconnectedness.

Feeding the less fortunate is a way to cement community bonds and celebrate the divine spirit within. Volunteer at a local food bank or soup kitchen or gather up donations for the food pantry at church to celebrate your interconnectedness to your community.

Japan: tea ceremony

japanese tea ceremony

Tea is a state of mind and a way of living in Japan. The tea ceremony is an important ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, called Matcha. The ritual of the ceremony is based on the 4 fundamental Zen principles of harmony, respect, purity and tranquility. The next time you make a cup of tea, focus on your movements and try living in the present for a bit of serenity.

Morocco: hammam

Moroccan Hammam

Otherwise known as a Turkish bath, hammams have their roots in religious cleansing rituals. A traditional hammam is a series of three interconnected rooms with a dome, running water, a cool side and a warm side. In the first room you start with exfoliation, next, the hair and body are washed followed by a cool room and a relaxing cup of tea.

Upon emerging from the hammam, visitors feel invigorated and very clean. There are many places that offer a hammam-like experience at home, but you must travel for the real deal.

The Netherlands: biking

Biking in Netherlands

The Netherlands is one of the healthiest countries in the world. Part of the reason why is because the Dutch ride bicycles just about every day as their main mode of transportation. There are even more bicycles than residents in the Netherlands! And with many cycling paths, protected intersections and bicycle parking spots, they certainly have the infrastructure to support this healthy and eco-friendly mode of transport.

Go out and get yourself a bike to use for short trips to the store or cruises through your neighborhood.

Spain: siesta

Spanish Siesta

Have you ever felt like you needed a little siesta, or "power nap" in the middle of the day? The Spanish have it figured out and in some parts of the country, the idea of the mid-day snooze is sacred. While most Spaniards don't take a siesta these days, it's still a great idea to rest and recharge a little in the middle of the day for longer lasting energy, better focus and clarity. Take a nap today.

Thailand: Releasing of Souls

Releasing fish Thailand

Rooted in Buddhism, this is a tradition based on doing good deeds. The tradition started hundreds of years ago in the rice fields when wet areas dried out and trapped aquatic animals there. The animals were carried to the nearest river and released, sparing lives and protecting the food supply.

You can still purchase these creatures in the markets of Thailand and release them back into nature. Just know that since you spared a life, you cannot eat the animal for the rest of your life. While this is a hard experience to replicate safely for any animals you can buy at home, you can still think about sparing a soul by doing things like adopting a pet from a shelter, eating more vegetarian meals at home or donating to animal conservation efforts.

Everything from enjoying a quick afternoon nap to helping those in need and everything in between can put you on the path to feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and full of life.

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