Ritual + Burnout

Wednesday Letter #47

When we hear the word ritual most people conjure up religious ceremonies and practises. The link between organised religion and ritual is so embedded in the minds that we fail to consider other ways in which ritual manifests.

It makes sense that the christian ceremonies of baptism, first communion, confirmation, marriage and funerals spring to mind first when they are the rituals you have grown up with. 

But ritual is so much more than that. If you’re familiar with mental health services you’ve likely been encouraged to focus on making routine things more ritualistic. The thought process being that shifting your mindset in this way helps you connect with the present moment. Rituals can be any activity that is performed in a customary way.

Our morning coffee as we stare out the window preparing ourselves for the day ahead. 

The unfurling of our yoga mat as we ready ourselves for class to begin.

The strike of a match as we light our favourite candle before settling down for an evening of reading or binge watching the latest must-watch show. 

Using our evening shower or bath to wash the day away, so we can start afresh tomorrow.

Writing our worries down in a journal in the hope that getting them out of our head will begin to lessen them. 

The five minutes during our lunch break where we do nothing but focus on our breathing.

In these strange times—I still don’t have the words to describe all of this any better—we may find ourselves looking for smaller rituals more frequently than before. Everything has changed, so our normal daily routines are no longer our daily routines. 

We’re all still figuring out how to live with these lockdown restrictions. We’ve adjusted, yes, but that doesn’t mean there are no complications. Take the small peaceful moments where you find them. 

Slow down.

Go easy on yourself. 

Go easy on the people around you. 

Go easy. 

Take care. 

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