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Have you ever thought about the things you do every day? The routine and ritualistic things you do on a daily basis? Things like brushing your teeth, drinking coffee or tea while checking email, taking a vitamin, greeting a colleague in a specific way, reading bedtime stories to your kids, etc.
There are things (sometimes big and sometimes little) we all do every day and often without much thought. And even though there may not be much thought behind the actions after they have become a part of your daily life, they can play a huge role in your sense of belonging and mental well-being. They can help build and affirm your confidence and strength to lead your day into the direction you choose.
My usual morning routine includes an alarm at 4:24 AM to get to Orangetheory for a 5 AM workout. My workout is followed by a trip to the McDonald’s drive thru for a large Diet Coke. I then text a dear friend a motivational quote to help start both of our days on the right foot.
The first few weeks of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order were a struggle for me in part because I didn’t have that routine.
I was still waking up and working out, but it wasn’t the same time, same place, or same community experience as before. I was deciding every night before I went to bed what time to set my alarm for the morning. I was trying different workouts to see what exercise routine would stick in my new home workout environment. I was texting my friend at all different times because my morning routine was all over the map. And I was missing my McDonald’s Diet Coke, because out of the can just isn’t the same!
It was only after a few weeks into isolation that I realized a big contributing factor to my feelings of being unsettled and anxious was my lack of routine and those morning rituals.
Parts of my routine were there but not in the same way and thus not creating the same foundation I had learned to rely on for so long. I was missing my morning rituals that help ground me and start my day. I initially thought it was the large component of just working out. And it is/was, but I realized it’s also the little things that are profoundly impactful like getting up at the same time every morning, doing the same exercise routine every morning, and texting my friend at the same time every morning.
To me, doing my morning routine is the sign of a new day. A new opportunity to experience life. A new chance to kick ass!
Rituals and routines also help eliminate unnecessary decisions. As a single mother working full time, I’m quite literally making decisions of one kind or another almost all day long. The less decisions I face each day, the better. Even if those decisions seem easy and mundane. Not having to determine what time to set my alarm every evening and not having to decide what workout I wanted to try was a huge relief once I acknowledged they were decisions I wanted to make once and only once.
We all have morning rituals, whether we are aware of them or not. We also have mid-day rituals and nighttime rituals. It’s just part of life. How can you use those rituals to provide a sense of foundation and security?
How can you build rituals and routines that provide a sense of belonging to your families, communities, and your teams at work? And a sense of strength and confidence for yourself?
What rituals are you missing? How can you adjust older rituals to fit into your new normal?
There is a lot going on in our world right now that we can’t control. Your personal rituals, routines, and habits are 100% in your control. I urge you to grab hold of the things you can and create the life you want.
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Stevie Cromer is the Cultural and Enrichment Manager for LUNA Language Services. Stevie regularly provides engaging content to LUNA’s team to encourage a culture of care within our own LUNA family. For more suggestions and resources about how you might build a culture of care throughout your organization, please reach out to Stevie at stevie@LUNA360.com.