Our early lives are filled with ceremonial doors to pass through, with the beginning and end of each school year (not to mention semesters and midterms) providing structure and a feeling of progression for the first eighteen years of our lives. Then, without warning, we are thrust into a world with its seemingly never-ending progression of days, commuting, working, and paying bills until the next big punctuations of marriage, childbirth, and death. Fun, right?
This is why bringing rituals into our everyday lives is such an important––and often overlooked––way to usher in a sense of meaning. Rituals bring shape and connection to our days beyond the confines of the work week. Meg Cox, author of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Everyday, recommends “simple, heartfelt rituals that work for the way people actually life right here, right now––not in some parallel Utopian universe where we have tons of time, oodles of creativity, and money is no object.” Amen, sister. With that in mind, here are ten ways to start incorporating rituals into the life you have right now.
1. Greet the day. Whether you relax in bed for a moment after your alarm goes off, ease the Mondays with coffee at your favorite cafe, or welcome each daybreak with a few sun salutations, give yourself a morning ritual that makes you feel cheery about the day ahead.
2. Recurring meet-ups. Participants in a book club know that sometimes these are the friends we see most often because the meeting is carved in stone on a monthly basis. Use the same principle with other people in your life. Get together the first Tuesday of every month with your knitting pals, or the last Saturday of each month with your best friend.
3. Family meal. Your “family” can be a your co-workers, your sweetie, or your best gal pals, but bread was meant to be broken together. Have at least one meal a day, every day if possible, with others as a chance to connect and catch-up.
4. Get alliterative. It can be Taco Tuesday, French Friday, or Sappy Movie Saturday, make one day a week a cue for a special activity, and you’ll start to look forward to this weekly holiday.
5. Choose the hour. The Brits have their four o’clock tea time. Why not have your own four o’clock latte? Or a noontime call to a friend, just for a quick check-in? Or an 8pm, post-dinner stroll?