Synonyms for ritual. Routine, tradition, customs, habit, practice, procedure. I have many rituals that fall under the umbrella terms I’ve just mentioned.

Rituals give a sense of purpose, belonging and grounding…all of which create a sense of good wellbeing. Built in rituals add to our character, quirkiness and essence. I only have to look at my two children and know this.

Fin, my eldest, will get out of bed each day and make it. He has his own routine of self-care ( shower, get dressed, breakfast) intertwined with his responsibilities in the house ( unload the dishwasher and walk the dog). Fin will make me a coffee as I’m in the shower – that’s his ” I love you mum” without the need to say it. This works for an almost 15 year old and it works for me. These things he does each school day, and they set him for the day ahead.

My youngest, Ethan, will get out of bed, cuddle the dog within an inch of his life and sit on the stairs in a trance as he”wakes up properly”. He then gets continually nagged at to do the simplest of tasks, grumbles a bit – then hunts me down for a ten second hug. No more and definitely no less. This grounds him for the day, unlocking the gate of the morning into the newness of the day.

These little habits, routines, rituals- call them what you like -are the grounding for my children. If you were to take anything out of the equation- they are thrown temporarily off kilter.Thankfully their resilience kicks in and they can stabilise themselves in most scenarios. This is true of any human being.

I too have my own rituals and routines. I take comfort in them. They make me feel secure. I guess they are like my bungee rope. They allow me to discover new things and challenge myself to step out of the comfort zone, but I know I have the safety of what I know and what I have embedded in me to fall back on.

Meditation, lemon water and coffee are my morning ritual. Getting outside , even for ten minutes at lunchtime, is part of my afternoon ritual. Exercise ( usually the gym) and walks out with Ted, my dog, play a part in my afternoon. Evenings involve prep for the next day, a family sit down meal ( twice per week given extra clubs and other such commitments) work and then a hot bubble bath listening to a book. All of which give me great comfort, purpose and a sense of accomplishment.

My faith, too gives me rituals that I follow. Saying Grace, the Lord’s Prayer, Communion, gathering in church. All of which filter into my wellbeing like little streams of goodness.

This blog even, has become a bit of a ritual…sitting contemplating the theme- calling friends to discuss it and get their perspective. The writing, the sharing. Reading other people’s blogs…something that I’ve added to my daily efforts.

When lock down is lifted and normality resumes I believe new rituals will have been developed and some great habits embedded. There are certain things I won’t be in a hurry to let go of. There are rituals I will lovingly welcome back into my life, such as my gym fix. What I do know is routine, rituals, habits- they play a massive part in maintaining good wellbeing. Without them we are set on a downward spiral of sadness, depression and anxiety. Putting our physical, emotional and psychological health at risk. We need them to survive.

On that note, I’m off to home-school my children as the 9 am bell is about to ring!

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