The first skiff of snow is on the ground and greedy birds are vying for position at the bird feeders outside my window.
Elevate Your Rituals for Better Mental Health
The morning coffee ritual has begun and the smell wafts through the air signaling morning has arrived even if the sun isn’t quite ready to make herself known. My youngest has overslept for school and is scrambling to consume a bowl of cereal and find the perfect sweatshirt, her hair in a messy bun that looks effortlessly beautiful on her somehow. The dogs have eaten their fill for breakfast—I hear them lapping up water and sighing with satisfaction as they plop down to take a morning nap having already been outside exploring in the snow. Someone in the house is already on their first ZOOM meeting call for the day and you can hear the usual banter about who still needs to arrive on the call and who is struggling with technology.
It’s a pretty typical morning during the pandemic.
Throughout the course of this year, I’ve had to find ways to establish rituals for myself and my family that create feelings of safety and security for all of us—home as a haven from what rages outside. This has been the key to making it through the pandemic without losing our minds. Dinner is eaten together, as a family, at approximately the same time each night. We play high/low—tell me the best thing from your day and the worst thing from your day. This game helps us stay in touch with one another and with what is important. I’ve paid more attention to getting and keeping the house in order so that every room feels welcoming and ready for whomever wants to lounge there. We make sure masks are clean and ready and soap dispensers are perpetually full. We encourage daily exercise. Right now it’s fun to get out and walk to see holiday lights.
Creating a safe place for yourself and your family to let go of the stress and pressure of living in a pandemic riddled world is key to maintaining good mental health. Rituals as simple as dinner and bedtime at the same time, reading books for 30 minutes before bed, scheduling a game night or making special treats for snacks all provide a sense of reliability, predictability, safety and love.
Now that we are officially in the holiday season, be intentional about your rituals and traditions. Elevate them this year so you and your entire family benefit from the healthy feelings they bestow