Anyone else find it easy to slip into moving through your day out of habit or as a reaction to what’s going on around you? While that’s totally normal, too much coasting through our day-to-day can lead to feeling less than fulfilled. What if instead of mindlessly floating through our day, we consciously added simple little rituals to bring more awareness and joy into everything we do. Especially when there’s so much happening in the world that’s out of our control, rituals can ground us and bring us mind, body, and heart, into the present.

Just like a simple morning ritual sets the tone for your day, a dinnertime ritual closes out your day and signals a time of slowing down and connecting with yourself or your family.

I have such sweet memories of family dinners as a child, a nightly gathering around the table. Meals were usually home-cooked, phone-free, and sometimes full of chaos, sometimes full of meaningful conversation. As I’ve created my own home, I’ve found it all too easy to fall into the habit of popping on a show while we ate. This isn’t the worst idea (movie and a picnic in the living room!), but when it became a regular occurrence it was a problem.

On top of that, with balancing work, relationships, momm-ing, life etc., dinners can end up feeling hurried.

In order to bring a bit more intention into our meals, our family has adopted a few rituals to set apart dinners as a place to pause and connect. While it doesn’t happen every evening, we love our dinnertime and look forward to it all day. Scroll on for a few simple but meaningful dinner time rituals to incorporate into your evenings.

Light a candle.

This has become our favorite dinnertime ritual. I bought a few new candle holders and we started lighting candlesticks as a way to set apart and elevate just a casual dinner at home.  The warmth, fragrance, and gentle light creates a sense of calm and a peaceful sensory element to the meal. We blow out the candles as we clean up dinner, signal the end of the meal, and move our babe towards bedtime.

Find a meaningful way to begin your meal.

Bring gratitude and thoughtfulness to your mealtime, whether it’s with a prayer, a moment sharing gratitude, singing a fun kids song, or raising your glasses to say cheers.

Start thoughtful conversation (even if it’s short and simple!).

One easy way is to ask your family about their favorite part of the day. There are two great things about it: it helps focus on the good stuff, and it encourages more conversation than a general question about how everyone’s day was.

Set a playful mood and laughter.

Dinnertime can be a place of fun! While, yes, picky eaters and dinnertime battles are real, it can be so helpful to shift our mindset and remember to have fun. Turn on a special dinnertime playlist and enjoy each other’s company!

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