ritual: a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone | (of an action) arising from convention or habit.
You may not realize it, but you perform rituals every day. The simple, luxurious act of dabbing perfume onto your wrists, playing a record while making dinner, your walk to the farmers’ market, cooking pancakes with your kids every Sunday. We regularly participate in these activities, but we rarely recognize how important they are to us. This was the case for me until a few years ago. The chaos of running a business while juggling motherhood became overwhelming. I was desperate for something to ground me, to make me feel like I had control. I also was struggling with one of my child’s special needs and wanted a routine that would provide comfort. That’s when I realized that daily rituals as a family don’t have to be anything huge. Simple things like our after-school dance-off and reading a book before bed—these small rituals foster connection and security.
Once I understood the importance of family rituals, it got me thinking about my own. I work tight hours during the week and I don’t work on Fridays. My children are still small and I want to be able to be involved in their lives as much as I can. That means I have a lot to cram into my workweek. Efficiency is key. Except, I resented being a workhorse only to jump right into parenting. I still needed time for me. That’s when I realized that my daily rituals, even the not-so-attractive ones, provide me with the comforting ‘me time’ I need. It may not be working out every single day or a relaxing day at the spa, but it’s enough to keep me sane.
The simple, luxurious act of dabbing perfume onto your wrists, playing a record while making dinner, your walk to the farmers’ market, cooking pancakes with your kids every Sunday.
Long gone are the days where I wake up with the sunrise, leisurely drinking coffee as I acclimate to the day. My mornings are the opposite of calm. They start early, are hectic, and I’m usually running around in a panic getting my kids out the door and off to school. Sometimes I dread mornings. However, I’m grateful that I work from home and can carve out time for calm, quiet rituals when I return. With a short workday, it may seem unproductive to get home at 9 a.m. and not dive right into work (it’s taken me a long time to not feel guilty about this), but I know how crucial it is for me to take these rituals seriously. The weeks where I’ve let them slide in an effort to get shit done, I turn into a crabby monster.
I realize that most people don’t work from home and finding time for rituals may feel like a challenge. With so much work to be done, chores to finish, kids to raise, it can feel overwhelming. The beauty of a daily ritual is it’s totally personal to you and your schedule and needs. So while these may be some of my examples, it’s important for you to think about what makes sense for you.
Here are my morning weekday daily rituals:
- Listen to a podcast in the car on my way home from dropping off the kids
- Do 10 minutes of guided meditation or journaling
- Enjoy a quick morning skincare session
- Put on a record while I wash the dishes and put in a load of laundry
- Light my favorite candle
- Reheat my coffee pot for a few more sips of coffee in peace
- Organize my desk and notebooks as I prepare for work + jot down any creative ideas I have
- Call my parents
That’s it. It usually takes me about an hour. Seems silly, but I do most of these things each morning and they give my brain time to unwind and get ready for my workday. Two days out the week I will skip a few of these to make time for a quick workout, which I typically do from home, but going to a Pilates studio or a spin class can be a real treat on a lighter week.
Want to read more about rituals? I started a monthly newsletter for Glitter Guide that centers around our monthly editorial theme. January’s was: The Creativity Chronicles Vol. 1: Reflections, Intentions and Rituals.