Do you have any joy rituals? You know, that first cup of coffee enjoyed alone in your kitchen, bed, car. A glass of red wine after dinner while doing the crossword puzzle perhaps. Or maybe a solitary run before dawn, rain or (moon) shine.
My favorite joy ritual is a semi-weekly hot bath, in the evening with a glass of iced tea. I get to recharge my battery. Relax my muscles, soothe my skin, and stimulate my brain.
I live alone so for me this is not about escaping, it is about renewing and balancing. It is about joy. Its practice affects my mood. I am happier and more present when I follow my ritual.
There are a lot of things in our lives we can’t control, especially right now.
We can’t control our family or work obligations. We can’t predict when things will begin to feel normal again.
In order to make sure we are at our best, we need to allow ourselves joy rituals. In fact, we need to realize that these rituals (some might call them routines, habits or even indulgences) ARE for our own joy.
Sometimes we don’t feel comfortable acknowledging these rituals to ourselves or others out of fear of judgment.
It is an unfortunate truth that taking time for ourselves has a negative societal reaction. So we do them unconsciously or secretly fearing being found out.
In the course of our lives, we have a lot of people counting on us for things.
For each of us to show up fully for those responsibilities, obligations, or choices, we must take care of ourselves.
It is the airline safety school of self-care. “Put your own oxygen mask on before helping others.” Fill your joy tank in order to assist others with living happy lives.
Perhaps you won’t ever admit to others what your rituals are and that is perfectly fine, as long as you take the time to acknowledge them to yourself for what they really are, self-care for your own joy and well-being.
We can all move through life completing our goals and obligations waiting for the completion of these things to bring about happiness or we can realize that happiness and joy are the little things in life.
Things like a hot bath, that we can either do unconsciously or we can acknowledge that doing them brings us joy.
Name it, claim it and know that by claiming and enjoying these small moments of joy we have a better quality of life and you are helping yourself be able to show up for your life as the best you possible.
Have your joy rituals been disrupted by the pandemic?These days we may need to get creative. Open our minds to new possibilities as we aren’t able to do some of our regular rituals. Trust that after a while we will be drawn to new routines and rituals that will fill our cup.