This term can be admittedly overused in our vernacular, I feel, but even so, the practice should never be dismissed from our routines. Those days or weeks when life teeters at dangerously imbalanced angles, rituals can, quite literally, save the day. Plus, they are much healthier than binges or guilt-ridden cravings to manage impending meltdowns.
Rituals can be daily, weekly, or as needed and are unique to everyone. They are designed to provide a guaranteed window of peace and organized structure to an otherwise chaotic situation. It can be a challenge at first to respect the importance of scheduling time for rituals, but with practice, they will prove their importance and value of everyday living.
One ritual I hold, which I consider preventative and that I practice daily, is tea time. Even on my busiest days (which, is essentially every day), the simple preparation of tea, the eye-pleasing beauty of the leaves, the aromas, the selection process suited to my mood and senses, as well as its consumption is, in itself, a giant act of self-respect and self-care. Ideally, I like to take a brief moment to cease all activity and take in the moment, but most days, this is not realistic. Even if I can't break away, it is a practice that I can partake in, with no excuses, while still reaping its benefits and also successfully completing that speadsheet (or three) by 4pm.
Another weekly ritual I hold is what I like to call Smooth Jazz Sunday. I have a cat that absolutely loves smooth jazz (true fact), so every Sunday at 9am, I make sure I've picked up my toasted bagel with peanut butter, my coffee, my journals, and Sherman and I sidle into our spots on the sofa for the next two hours to enjoy the sweet sounds of The Dave Koz Lounge on Sirius XM Watercolors. No shit. I even schedule my long run around this priority. The benefits? It sets a pleasant and balanced tone to the day, as well as to the week, I get bonding time with my ginger gentleman, and I plan my work, run, and play calendars for the entire week. I feel prepared, structured and in control. All good things.
Start by listing things that bring you balance and peace. This exercise in itself is an instant mood-lifter, because you are thinking of things that bring harmony to your world. These needn't and shouldn't be costly undertakings, either. It could be as simple as walking the dog. Then, schedule it in your calendar, like an appointment. It is remarkable how introducing one small ritual that evokes joy and provides therapeutic benefit can change your entire outlook on everything else.
One of my favorite night-time tea concoctions is Turmeric Tea, or Golden Milk. It is perfect for bed time and a breeze to make. It instantly blankets you with a naturally sweet, warm hug from the moment you prepare this aromatic, anti-inflammatory, mood soother: