Updated: May 6
In the current context, when we feel out of control, creating rituals restores some of that control. It is essential to shift our focus on the things that we can control by establishing Daily Rituals.
Over the past few weeks, many of the people I work with, when asked how they feel, say they are anxious or afraid because of the unprecedented circumstances we are living in. Others feel burnt-out or overwhelmed from spending their whole day in front of their screens.
I guess some of you reading this now share the same unpleasant feelings of not being in charge of your life, so I want to suggest the most powerful way to get through this uncertain period with ease: Shift your focus on the things that you can control through establishing Daily Rituals.
What are the benefits of daily rituals?
Nourishing rituals will also enable you to move away from flight and fight response by reconnecting your mind, body and heart. You’ll calm the amygdala hijack, and track back into brain waves that will help think new thoughts, be creative to find solutions in these uncertain times.
Recently, a series of investigations by psychologists have revealed intriguing new results demonstrating that rituals can have a causal impact on people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
In their study, Michael Norton and Francesca Gino found that rituals performed after experiencing losses – from loved ones to lotteries – do alleviate grief, and rituals performed before high-pressure tasks – like singing in public – do in fact reduce anxiety and increase people’s confidence.
Psychologist Hobson confirms that rituals aren’t just a benefit to our mental health—they’re actually essential: “We are an intensely social and ritualistic species”.
Are you convinced about the benefits of establishing rituals but are wondering what exactly is a ritual?
Based on my readings and research on this topic and my experience, I’ve defined 6 necessary ingredients for rituals which are:
Brushing your teeth can be a ritual if you apply all of the 6 points listed above. But are you doing it with intention or awareness? I know I’m not.
So, what are the rituals I could create?
Here are some recommendations based on what’s helping me at the moment:
Put on some music that you enjoy, dancing and singing with kids. In the morning we dance as a family on “Into the Unknown”, Frozen II soundtrack.
Midday or early afternoon:
Do some movements for 30mins such as yoga or cardio in your living room. I’m grateful my yoga studio is live streaming some classes at the moment.
Call a friend to check in. I love to use this time to catch up with a different friend everyday to have a chat.
Write in your journal the three moments you are grateful for today.
Fall asleep while listening to a Yoga Nidra recording. One that I listen to every evening before falling asleep is this one.
These practices are powerful and can change your whole day. Choose rituals that resonate with you and are simple, easy, fun and empowering so you want to (and not have to) do it everyday.
Now that you have some ideas, are you wondering how to make them a priority?
The short answer is put it in your daily schedule with 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Open your calendar, whatever the format, just open it NOW.
Step 2: Choose at least 1 ritual you want to schedule in your day and write it down in your calendar
Step 3 : Commit to it for the next week, you could use an app to track it or get a reminder. Some suggestions can be found in this article.
I really hope you gift yourself a meaningful personal ritual. Once you get it right, it will support you even in the most challenging moments : “In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love." - Mother Theresa
To conclude, I’d love to know what rituals YOU create.
What rituals do you wish to include in your life? Share your rituals in comments.
I invite you also to download my Free Printable Planner to bring greater clarity on your priorities and rituals.