It’s the holidays! While it’s a time of stress and overwhelm, for many of you it’s also a time of tradition. The holiday season is filled with traditions and rituals and I have been thinking about this quite a bit. A ritual is a ceremony or action performed in a customary way. My extended family has a pre-Christmas ritual of gathering around a big meal of Mexican food. I also listen to the same Christmas album while wrapping my presents. It’s nostalgic and brings happiness to my heart. I look forward to some of my holiday rituals all year round!

Rituals can be powerful determinants of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

 I’m very curious about your rituals. Have you cultivated any daily rituals that keep you grounded and present? Expressions of gratitude before your evening meal and a cup of tea before bed are simple rituals that can instill a feeling of peace and calm amidst a hectic day. Conversely, many of us engage in unconscious daily rituals that deplete our energy and sense of well-being. Frequent Facebook checks and a critical inner monologue are small but insidious ways we become depleted rather than buoyed up in the course of our day.

I would like to encourage you to take stock of your daily rituals. And if you’re up for it, choose one to create, one to keep and one to toss. Consider which rituals generate more peace and clarity as opposed to greater stress and distraction. Getting a good night sleep is incredibly important to me. So I have recently replaced my nightly ritual of scanning social media with a few meditative breaths and a technology-free zone an hour before bed.

Please share the daily rituals that help you stay grounded during particularly stressful times. And I’d love to hear what rituals you plan to create, keep, or toss! Here’s to a slightly less stressful kick-off to the end of the year.