Rituals are a necessary part of life. They can help us get through dark periods, boost confidence, relieve anxiety or nerves, or even develop our imaginations. Rituals can be performed communally like during a religious holiday or a grieving period. Or they can be a simple elegant rite you perform all on your own, like a morning cup of tea or nightly meditation.
Some rituals can be superstitious, like wearing your lucky socks before a big game, or saying three Hail Marys before boarding a plane. These types of behaviors could seem silly to an outsider, but if they help that person’s anxiety, why not?
One of my favorite pastimes is taking a cup of tea at a certain time in the evening. After dinner when I finally settle down to write or read a book, I like to get out a pretty cup and saucer and make a little pot of tea. I light a candle and let go of the day’s stresses.
Another favorite is to enjoy a beautiful piece of chocolate. Just one, not a whole candy bar, but a fancy expensive bon-bon. I put it on a beautiful plate and enjoy with a small glass of wine or coffee. I eat it slowly, savoring every delicious bite. It keeps me from eating an entire Hershey bar and I get to enjoy my beloved chocolate.
I enjoy my private rituals. I look forward to these moments alone. But I also enjoy sharing them. Welcoming a visitor into one of yours can be a pleasant, even intimate, experience. Passing them on to your children can be rewarding. Reading in the evenings is something I learned from my mother.
At the office a group of my male coworkers have tea at a certain time in the afternoon. They each have their own blend. They go to our office kitchen and make it together but then take it back to their desks and continue working while they drink. It’s the making of the tea that they enjoy. It gives them a moment to chat about how their day is going.
Creating Your Own Rituals
Think about what types of rituals you can create for yourself. Build them around activities you enjoy, like tea drinking, reading, baking, baths, yoga, etc.
Keeping a ritual of meditation before bedtime is a great way to prepare for sleep. It’s calming and can open your mind and stimulate your imagination. Let your mind wander, allow new thoughts to enter. Give value to that time.
For me the best part about rituals is that they take time. They give you a moment to slow down and sort out life while engaging in something that you enjoy.
What are some of your rituals?