Rituals root us to ourselves, to others, to our world.
As I wrote in this piece, rituals reconnect us “to our bodies, to our bones, to our breath.” They strengthen bonds with our best friends, with our partners, with our parents, and with our kids. They remind us of the beauty all around us.
Rituals can calm or energize us. They can inspire us to tackle the day’s challenges. They can remind us of what matters and what’s important.
Below are 20 nourishing rituals you might try. Rituals are very personal, so these are just some ideas to get you started and spark your own ideas.
- Dedicate a small notebook to describing the sunrise and sunset every day. Let this ritual nudge you to look up and savor the bigger, richer picture.
- Spend every Sunday morning eating breakfast in bed and afternoon eating reading a great book.
- During dinner have everyone in your household share a) something they appreciated about their day and b) something that was challenging.
- Start each day with a dance party.
- Every night light a candle, close your eyes, and think about what you’re thankful for.
- Every quarter focus on learning a new skill or trying a new activity. One quarter might be dedicated to watercolor painting. The second might be all about fiction writing. The third quarter might involve tai chi, and the fourth might mean a cooking class.
- Bake brownies every Friday.
- Keep a notebook at your bedside. As soon as you wake up, jot down your dreams, which can be a simple, quick list of the snippets you remember.
- At the beginning of every month, take a day trip to your favorite museum.
- Every morning spend a few minutes setting your intention for the day.
- Listen to a guided meditation every evening.
- Create a corner in your home where you can start your day, a place that contains images and words that inspire you and remind you that you are worthy, and don’t need to earn your worth, because it is inherent. Create a space that gives you the strength to face difficult situations.
- Ditch your phone every Saturday as you savor a hike with your close friends.
- Every morning set the timer for two minutes, and sketch a self-portrait. In her classes artist and author Lynda Barry takes attendance by having students draw self-portraits on index cards for the first two minutes. She collects the cards and returns them at the end of the semester. As Barry writes in her book Syllabus, “There are usually about thirty drawings in all, most of them completely forgotten until our last day of class. My hope is that they keep them. My hope is that they see the extraordinary result of doing something as ordinary as drawing a two-minute self-portrait on an index card twice a week.”
- Read a poem a day.
- Every Sunday night ask yourself, “What did I learn this week?”
- Every Monday morning ask yourself, “What would I like to learn this week?”
- Create a bedtime ritual that soothes you and lulls you to sleep. This might mean decluttering your bedroom, spraying lavender essential oil on your sheets and reading something beautiful before turning off the lights.
- Start reading a book with your children. Create your own kind of book club. Read a chapter a day after they get home from school or after your family eats dinner.
- Write morning pages: “three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing,
done first thing in the morning.”
What nourishing ritual will you start practicing? Today? This week?