Everyone has a ritual. From making a morning cup of coffee to scheduling a daily afternoon walk with the dog, we establish a personal routine almost without noticing it. Though rituals have their roots in religions and ancient civilizations, most of us practice smaller rituals in our daily life: cooking breakfast on Sundays, reading a book before bed, a glass of wine with dinner on Thursday nights. The characteristics that define them are repetition, stability, and often monotony. Ironically, the rituals that keep us healthy are the same ones that we often dread: eating healthy meals when we’re craving chocolate cake, exercising when we’d rather sleep in, going to the dentist when we’d rather do anything else. Though everyone will agree these healthy habits are good for us, some rituals can, in truth, make us miserable.
Rituals, in their seemingly banal repetition, bring unexpected creativity into mundane everyday tasks. Rituals give us a sense of ownership over our own lives, reminding us of our responsibility to invest time into our physical and mental health. Rituals are not meant to be robotic or one-size-fits-all, they’re meant to help us determine our own personal needs to lead successful, healthy lives. They offer us a chance to separate ourselves from the endless noise of the outside world and concentrate on our inner needs. When we find the ritual that works best for us, we find the best version of ourselves: focused, energized, and ready to tackle what lies ahead.