“We always do the same walks, eat the same food, everything’s the same,” I complained to my husband as we set out for our daily stroll. Bill glanced at me and shrugged. He knew not to say much when I was in one of my moods. He couldn’t just snap his fingers and create a COVID-19 vaccine.
A few blocks into our walk, my attention shifted to a cluster of horses grazing by the Center for Animal Science at the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. Then the pungant scent of their manure followed.
“I love that smell, don’t you?” Bill teased, jabbing me in the side as I mouth-breathed with a grin.
Minutes later, we rose to our tippy toes and reached for bunches of purple grapes at the horticultural garden. As we savored the tart grapes, we couldn’t help but feel lighter in spirit. The corn fields, now lit up by the pink sky as the sun set, gave us another boost .
So what’s my point, you may ask?
Keep it simple. That’s my point.
We may think we NEED a fancy vacation or a night out on the town to de-stress and spice up our lives, and that would be nice……. I’m not gonna lie.
But in reality, what helps me cope the most these days is maintaining simple rituals. I’m convinced that this of the best things you can do for yourself and your family.
Here Are My 5 Go-To Rituals:
1) Take a Daily Walk
A walk is a great way to clear your head, get some exercise, engage with nature, and break up the monotony of pandemic-life. Check out this article on the ten benefits of daily walks.
2) Practice Yoga
Yoga has changed my life. It has taught me important life skills, like how to calm my mind and body through movement and breathe. One of my favorite yoga Youtubers is Adreiene Mishler. Yes, she’s a fellow Texan, but that’s not the only reason I love her! She’s calm, funny, knowledgable, and kind.
To make yoga one of your rituals, check out her free 30 day yoga challenge. And remember this: yoga isn’t something you should know how to do. It’s something you learn daily at your own pace. It’s forgiving.
3) Try Something New
Instead of preparing the same old recipes, dust off your cookbooks and try something new. Even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly (what does?), it still gives me a boost.
Lately, I’ve been scanning our little neighborhood library boxes for cookbooks. My husband has even joined in the fun. Check out this amazing mountain peach cobbler recipe HE whipped up in Midwest Southerner.
4) Do Something for Others
When I’m feeling stagnant or down in the dumps, doing something for others always helps me feel better. To be clear, I am not talking about an elaborate act of kindness. Oh no. That would feel overwhelming.
I’m talking about tiny acts of kindness.
Here are a few examples:
- Pick up a tiny trendy plant for someone at Trader Joe’s while grocery shopping.
- After whipping up your peach cobbler recipe, deliver a few servings to your neighbor.
- Give someone a compliment (If you’ve always admired their garden, tell them! If their face mask is super snazzy, tell them!)
5) Reach Out
Most of us have a tendency to turn inward when we’re feeling overwhelmed. We tell ourselves that we’re too worn out, or that we don’t have time to socialize. But reaching out to others gets us out of our heads and houses! A change of scenery can make a huge difference in our mood. Our kids benefit from seeing us reach out to others, too.
Here are a few ways you could reach out:
- Text a friend (or acquaintance) that you’d like to meet for a walk. Then suggest a few dates.
- Host a small gathering in your back yard (or at your local park). To be safe, ask others to bring their own drinks and snacks. Here’s a great blog on socializing safely during a pandemic.
- Offer to help a neighbor with a fall project.
- Join a virtual support group like my free parenting support group on Facebook.
Wrapping Up with 5 Rituals To Cultivate Peace of Mind During a Pandemic
That’s all for now. I hope these tips brighten your fall. Just remember. You’re never alone. And like my friend Steph shared in our recent podcast episode, How to Advocate for Your Special Needs Child, “We always get to start over tomorrow.”
Your friend and support,