If the current world situations have you feeling extra anxious, now is a great time to consider creating new rituals. Having some meaningful habits in your life gives you a sense of belonging, purpose, and order. During these last several months many have stopped their previous public rituals such as meeting a friend for brunch, or grabbing a coffee each day on the way to work. It’s important to replace these lost rituals with new ones. Below we’ll delve into what rituals are and how to incorporate them.
What exactly is a ritual?
The difference between a routine and a ritual is the thought and purpose beyond completing the act itself. Ness Labs has a great definition and states, “Rituals do not have to be spiritual or religious. What matters is your subjective experience. With rituals, you are fully engaged with a focus on the experience of the task, rather than its mere completion.” A ritual involves more mindfulness than a routine and helps you be more in the present moment.
Implementing rituals in your life
It’s likely you already have a series of things you do daily and weekly. Maybe that’s your morning coffee while reading the news, a walk at the end of each day, or cooking a favorite meal on Sunday evening and enjoying a sit down dinner with your family. If you already have these habits in place, bring more meaning to them. For example, pour your coffee in a favorite mug and mindfully savor each sip. Elevate the everyday ordinary and create something meaningful. Rituals don’t just apply to your personal life but your professional life as well. You may have already started doing this without even realizing it’s a ritual. An example of this may be a recently implemented Zoom happy hour with your team mates on Friday afternoons or a weekly recap to celebrate your work accomplishments. Start to think about what routines you already have in your life and if there are any you’d like to add to help you progress towards your personal and professional goals.
To recap, rituals are habits that you’ve attached a particular meaning. Changing your mindset around your routines can help your mental health. Harvard Business Review spoke with Mike Norton, a professor at Harvard Business School who has studied rituals and their effects on our wellbeing who found that “rituals play a number of critical roles: rituals in the face of loss can help us feel less grief, rituals with families can make us feel closer, and rituals with our partners can reinforce our commitment to each other.” Start to think of ways you can incorporate more rituals into your personal and professional life and see if it positively effects your wellbeing.