Relationships

14 Great Reader Comments on Rituals

Do you have any personal rituals? Readers have commented with so many beloved traditions lately that we had to share a few. Here are 14 memorable ones (and let us know if you have any you’d like to add)…

On making time:

“I make a French omelette every morning. I don’t put any fillings, so it’s basically just butter and two eggs, sometimes a slice of toasted sourdough bread. I haven’t gotten tired of it, but when I don’t get anything done during my mornings, at least I made myself breakfast.” — Kary

“I have tea time with a treat between 4 to 5 p.m. every day (if I can). It’s my time to be alone, stop whatever I’m doing, and reset. Giving myself the time to slow down and quiet my busy mind is essential.” — Erica

On adjusting to a new reality:

“We started something new for my daughter’s sixth birthday this year, as a result of quarantine, and I think it will stick as a tradition from here on out. Feeling bad that we couldn’t have a party or do much out of the house, we pulled out our four-foot pre-lit Christmas tree and decorated it with balloons. She woke up to her ‘Birthday Tree’ with birthday presents under it and was so excited.” — Jaime

“I’ve picked up lawn mowing and edging my yard and have become ‘that’ neighbor who is obsessed with pristine landscaping. I mean, almost every day, I walk around my tiny front lawn, and pinch off the top blades of grass that are growing faster than others. I’ve even texted a friend to do a social distance drive-by to honk at my lovely work.” — Kimberly

“My brilliant eight-year-old was having a tough night recently. She misses her friends and teacher and school and everything. I hugged her while she cried and said, ‘This stinks, baby, I am so sorry. No, you know what, it sucks.’ I took her outside on the deck and gave her permission, just this once, to shout ‘THIS SUUUUCKS!!!!!’ into the darkness. Wild times call for wild measures.” — Jillian

On small celebrations:

“I’m an opera singer, and I’m SO superstitious when it comes to pre-performance rituals. I have to: read a fashion magazine while listening to a chill playlist of downtempo/club/vintage beats and drinking a whiskey. I usually follow that up with a drive-through chicken sandwich on the way to the venue.” — C.

“I eat ice cream in the bath. As simple as that. It doesn’t happen often but when I need it, I go for it!” — Bea

“Every first big snowstorm of the season, my next door neighbors come over for a pasta and meatball dinner. They trudge in the snow through our backyard, always bringing wine, of course. We all sit by a cozy fire as the plows run up and down the road. We eat, drink and be merry!” — Michelle

“My grandma taught me about the ‘le dix de politesse’: you must always be ten to fifteen minutes late to a house party. Those are the last few minutes the hostess spends to make sure she looks good, after she has prepared everything for you to feel great in her home. I always appreciate that tactful approach from my own guests.” — Zaraza

On quiet moments:

“I’ve lived six years in my tiny 20-meter chambre de bonne and always worked at home painting watercolors. Yet, this is the first time I’ve started feeding the birds outside my window – pigeons, a big crow, a smaller blackbird who flew inside yesterday! No one else is in my building, but the tap and scrabble of beaks and claws on the roof makes me feel not quite so alone.” — ParisBreakfast

“My newest favorite thing to do is picking a new neighborhood in our city to walk around with my dad. We bring a cup of coffee and usually end up walking down the middle of the street because of the lack of cars out lately. The walks always start and end with my dad giving me some tiny bit of golden wisdom, a new thought he had about the world the other day, or a worry he has been carrying around. It reminded me how human my parents are, and how sometimes they need someone to lean on as much as we lean on them.” — Helen

On bonding with kids, big and small:

“It was a rule in our family from a very young age that if you saw a baby (at the grocery store, at a park, etc.), you had to smile at him/her. We wanted them to know they were welcome in the world.”— Dene

“As the mother of a teenager, I’ve been struggling with walking the line of supportive parent and “smother.” My daughter and I have devised a code — if she needs a little extra TLC, she tells me it’s been a ‘bird in the nest day.’ It’s our code word for her favorite snack. I fix the snack and then rub her hair or paint her nails. It lets her know she can have boundaries but get an extra level of support even if she doesn’t want to ‘talk about it.’ Best of all – it was her idea!” — Meghan

“When I was in middle school, I saw my first really impressive full moon and started to research the moon and all of its curiosities with my mom. At some point we must have found that it is believed to be good luck if you moon the moon, and even now, 15+ years later, if my mom and I are together on the night of a full moon, we moon it. We laugh so hard every time, and something about it actually makes me feel like I walk away a little more lucky.” — Erika

Have any rituals you’d like to add? We’d love to hear!

P.S. 11 more feel-good comments and great reader comments on love.

(Photo by Jen Grantham/Stocksy)

  1. daria says...

    A friend of a friend has a daughter born on Christmas and they celebrate half-birthdays instead! This way, they get to do Christmas with the Christmas stuff, and a birthday party in June, with birthday stuff :)

  2. Marcela Potting says...

    We call it morning celebration: cappuccino for him, black tea with milk for me by the window. Sometimes the windows are open and we watch the birds play, sometimes a bumblebee comes by, sometimes is cold and we have blankets around us, sometimes the heater is on and we put our feet on top of it, sometimes we just stay in silence, sometimes we sing. Simple as that.

  3. Abby says...

    Same! Sending you happy vibes :)

  4. Abby Glass says...

    When I was cabin crew for Emirates Airline, after a long flight (sometimes a 20+ hour duty on ULR flights) I would come home, drop my case, cabin bag, throw my hat, kick off my shoes, take off my belt, skirt and blazer. Pull the donut out of my hair as my head would be aching, and start running a bubble bath. I would still have my shirt and compression tights on, full face of make-up and red scrunchie in with my hair on top of my head. I would cut myself slices of cheese and take a handful of raisins and sit and eat them in the bathroom while the bath ran. I would then have a long bath and take my make up and scrub my red lipstick off therapeutically and forget about all the evil passengers. If I didn’t do this methodically bath/cheese raisin ritual I would go to bed so tense and wake up (even more) bitter!

  5. Jane says...

    My teenage son has been struggling with debilitating depression. On many nights, our longstanding family ritual of dinner and conversation was impossible for him…he had no appetite and was barely able to interact. Looking for a distraction, we had started watching Seinfeld from the very beginning, and when he seemed especially down, we’d ask him if he wanted to watch an episode or two while we ate. I initially felt guilty that we were eating in front of the TV, but it was outweighed by profound relief at seeing my sad and lonely son smile. Hearing him chuckle at Kramer’s antics or George’s gaffes felt like a tiny miracle. We just finished watching the entire series. I feel very grateful for our little ritual of Dinners with Seinfeld.

    • Nadja says...

      Jane, as a former struggling teen, this made me tear up. How lovely that you were willing to adjust your family’s “normal” to fit the needs of your son. I’m sure he feels seen by you, and that your small act of love is a buoy to him during this tough time. I’m sending beams of happiness to you both.

    • K says...

      This is beautiful. You are a wonderful mother and I hope the very best for your son. Also, as a thirty something that some how never watched much of Seinfeld, it has been a wonderful place for me during this pandemic as well.

  6. Jacqueline says...

    Since my daughter was born 14 months ago, we always start our day the same way. No matter if we had only been up a few hours (or minutes) ago, breast feeding or now bottle feeding. I listen for her first signs of stirring, get up and make a bottle and bring her into our bed for a morning snuggle. Sometimes we listen to music or just hang out for about 30 minutes. She is heading to daycare and I back to work soon and I know this will be disturbed as she is thankfully a late sleeper. I dread the idea of having to get all dressed and ready before her, then rushing out the door. It quite literally breaks my heart just typing it. But, I know I’ll always remember this time together.

  7. Amberine Sarah Zaki says...

  8. angelique Olszowka says...

    We have a Christmas day ritual. My daughter was born 3 weeks early, on Xmas day. As she grew older, it became a struggle to make her feel special on “her day” when everyone else is so preoccupied; no-one other than family really wants to attend a birthday party on such a major holiday. When she was 5, we came up with the idea of a “Birthday Tree”. It’s decorated with random xmas ornaments that we thought were “too funny not to buy” and homemade ornaments that she has made through out the years. Only birthday presents wrapped in non xmas paper go under this tree. On Xmas morning, we head to the birthday tree first to celebrate her day and let her open her presents. We then have birthday cake for breakfast and then move on to the more formal Xmas tree. Since it’s her birthday, we also let her choose the meal for that day, so we’ve had some pretty unusual Christmas meals (raclette, sushi, dim sum, swedish meatballs, catfish, pierogis and mexican food…). Its a small, fun ritual that I look forward to every year.

  9. Danae says...

    Claire, thank you for the template! It is the perfect way for me to reflect on july and plan for august.

    Here in Panama, we are in strict quarantine. I can leave my apartment based on gender and ID number, which is three times a week for two hours. One routine I cling to to remain sane is to wake up early, make the bed, and then work out…. followed by coffee and journaling. At night I’ve been listening to guided meditations to calm down.

    • Heidi says...

      I’m in Panama, too. Moved here just before Quarantine began. Wishing you calm and strength!

  10. margaret says...

    I try to make nearly every meal into a ritual because that means I’m carving out some time for a bit of happiness three times a day, every day (I really love to eat). This means a good meal, a good beverage. At breakfast, reading the news and listening to music. At lunch, putting the work aside and reading something online that I want to read. At dinner, candlelight, music or a tv show, wine, a toast, and time with my husband. And picnics whenever I can manage it!

  11. Mags says...

    Growing up, when my dad worked late my mum would make my sister and I a “telly tea” and we always got to stay up late to watch TV we ordinarily didn’t get to see. The telly tea always had to have the same 4 components – crisps, a few pieces of chocolate, 1/2 a banana and Jelly Tots. I remember I always ate each bit in a particular order.

    It was such an important ritual that my mum told my husband all about it just before we got married and now he makes me a telly tea when I’m feeling a bit sad. It’s one of my favourite things in the whole world.

  12. Mags says...

    Every morning my husband is up earlier than me and he has a full tea-making ritual. He has 4 cups a day and on the 3rd cup he wakes me up with a cup of tea for me made to very particular requirements in my favourite mug. I can’t get my own tea-making right and make awful tea so this little gesture totally makes my day.

    • Amber says...

      How lovely. I am quite particular about how I make my tea. The mug has to be hot, the water boiling, the tea bag steeped for no more than three minutes, the milk cold. I am generally chilled about most things but very particular about my tea!

  13. E Fitz says...

    Three points of context:
    1. My husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first child just as everything began locking down due to COVID in March.
    2. I’ve always loved toasted bagels with cream cheese, but for most of my adult life, I have eaten them infrequently as a “treat” because they aren’t the most nutritious meal.
    3. On Saturday mornings, I always go out for a long run, which I’ve continued to do through the first half of the pregnancy (just going slower and shorter these days).
    At some point during the spring, my husband started a pregnancy/COVID ritual of buying (or making) me a bagel with cream cheese while I’m out on my Saturday morning runs, so it’s waiting for me when I return. We sit and eat our bagels with cream cheese together at the dining room table and talk of all things serious and frivolous at the start of each weekend. This has become a really lovely ritual at a time when so much else in life is disrupted.

    • Kristen says...

      This made me so happy and made me reminisce about life with my husband in anticipation of our first baby. Enjoy these moments with just the two of you!

    • Blythe says...

      Throughout my pregnancy I craved bagels with cream cheese but they had to be everything bagels with veggie cream cheese. I couldn’t get enough! They were incredible during the early parenthood days too when you’re starving but also bleary eyed. Congratulations on your adventure in parenthood!

  14. Jay says...

    For many years, it’s been my ritual to smile at everyone I see, and to nod to acknowledge them. A long time ago, I read an anecdote from Dr. Jerome Motto (the psychiatrist and suicide prevention pioneer) that in the seventies, a patient in his thirties jumped to his death from the Golden Gate Bridge, and left a note that read “I’m going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump.” No matter what has happened, no matter how awful the day, I always smile at everyone, just in case.

  15. Courtney says...

    Okay, Jo, all the authors on here, readers and commentators, I can’t say how much all of these sweet rituals have just made me tear up with such happiness in this bizarre time in the world. Ready all of these sweet, quirky, unique, fun, loving rituals just makes me so happy and teary eyed. Thank you all!

    • Courtney says...

      reading***

  16. Annie says...

    My partner led me outside the other night. He had made a fire, torn up some cardboard and brought two sharpies with him. We wrote what we wanted to let go of and burned the cardboard pieces in the fire. Then we wrote what we wanted more of in our lives and burned those. It was so spontaneous and magical and we are going to make it into a ritual. Really appreciating the magic of simple ritual during this time.

  17. Shona says...

    Since we started living together, a year or so before we were married nearly 20 years ago, my husband and I bring each other coffee in bed every morning. Whoever wakes up first will make it; this has historically been determined by weekday schedules, but in the pandemic that’s out the door (and yes, sometimes we fake being asleep or nudge the other if we really need a few more moments of snoozing). We sit together in bed and drink our coffee, usually silently at first as we look out the window. Then we might ask about each others upcoming day or talk about whatever is on our minds, or something about the kids. It helps maintain a connection, and it’s just a nice slow start before life gets all busy and anxious and distracted.

  18. Allison W says...

    During the pandeminc, my husband and two of our best friends have started (socially distanced) running every Saturday morning while I stay home and do yoga. Then, the four of us always eat biscuits on our large, front porch. Looking forward to those Saturday morning biscuits and friend hangs helps get me through these rough weeks.

  19. Reading your “Have a ___ weekend” post, every Saturday morning with my coffee! I’ve historically had a hard time “allowing” myself to truly unwind over the weekends – which has become even harder during quarantine – and this small act is one way I get to truly relax and take me time (even if I end up working the rest of that Saturday.) I cherish it!

    • Katrina says...

      Same for me! I look forward to my Saturday morning cups of tea + Cup of Jo every week!

    • margaret says...

      Ha! I call cup of jo “My Saturday Morning Blog.” Burn a candle, listen to some opera or blues or whatever, and cuddle down with the dog under a blanket! With coffee, obviously.

    • Sarah says...

      Same in Michigan! It is how I know it is Saturday!! 💕

  20. Lauren E. says...

    I love that comment about arriving 10 minutes late. I once threw my husband a birthday party, and two of our friends showed up half an hour early(!). I was so annoyed until they walked in, telling us how grateful they were to be out of the house since their fourth baby was born a few months prior. They didn’t care that my hair wasn’t done or that the apps weren’t ready yet. It was the one and only time I was glad to have company early.

  21. Our lives have become filled with little rituals since lockdown to try to make the days feel different. But one of my non-pandemic related rituals is our breakfast birthday cake. Rather than a celebration and sugar rush from cake at the end of the day, especially when a birthday falls mid-week, we do a ‘breakfast birthday cake’; I’ll make a coffee-type cake, often using fruit and yoghurt and we wake the kids up by singing happy birthday holding a balloon and a candle-filled cake for them to blow out, still half asleep. Then we have cake for breakfast! It means I avoid having to make buttercream and all that extra decorating (not my favourite) and even if it’s a busy day ahead we’ve all managed to set a bit of time aside before the crazy starts. Both my daughters had their birthdays over lockdown and it really helped to set the tone for the day.

    • Mindy Hartman says...

      Birthday cake for breakfast – the full sugar version – is our treat too. It is a bit difficult with a 6 and 3 year old when I explain to one why the other gets cake for breakfast and they don’t, but it really makes you feel special when you get to say “I get cake for breakfast”. (The other trick is that we all share in a small slice the night before – so there is no extra longing for that piece – they know they’ll get their next piece on birthday night).

  22. Sarah says...

    I always love the reader comment round-up posts! CoJ attracts such a wonderful, wise audience, a mirror of the blog’s great content. Thank you CoJ team and readers!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Omg, I agree, Sarah! I love these readers so, so much.

    • Hannah says...

      I totally agree!!! She has created such a wonderful community!

    • Amber says...

      I so agree. CoJ always brightens my day. Jo has created such a wonderful space, ably supported by her team!

  23. Susan says...

    Ever since my daughter (now 16) was little, we would make a blanket fort during thunderstorms and watch the storm through the window. It started because she was afraid, but has caught on. Now, whenever a big whopper of a storm hits, someone yells “Storm!” and everyone drops what they’re doing, gathers in the living room or the screened-in porch, and we “watch” the storm together. It’s better than any TV show or video (and even gets my daughter off TikTok for at least a little while LOL)!

  24. Anna says...

    My husband and I started a monthly ritual years ago where we celebrate each other on the same day every month. Mine is the 1st, his the 15th. The celebration varies from date night to coffee ‘service’ to foot rub wake-ups. The backstory is funny: 20 years ago we did a bike packing tour for 6 days and I was grumpy, hot and pissed off throughout; my very patient husband stuck with me when I was ready to throw my bike over a cliff in the canyons of central Oregon. After the trip we looked at our print photos (no cell pics then) and I criticized some of the shots he took of me. We argued and my husband felt like I was being an ungrateful critic– he was right. We decided that day to start our ritual. I still have one of the original “menus” he made for a summer dinner on the first of July when he made all my favorites. Tomorrow is my special day and I have to say this ritual has been one of the best things about my marriage!

  25. Brenna says...

    My family is not religious, but we take a moment of gratitude before every family meal. I stole the phrasing out of a Real Simple magazine years and years ago!

    “For the food before us, and the family beside us, and the love that surrounds us—for these gifts we are about to enjoy, let us be truly grateful.” Then we make eye contact and say cheers! and clink glasses.

    My daughters (now 5 and 8) know this by heart and throughout quarantine have started singing it and adding and silly voices to the ritual. Honestly, I am usually annoyed by it because I want to respect our moment of “centering.” But the words themselves remind me that this silliness is all part of it, too, so I try to not be a grump and just soak them in.

    • Chelsea says...

      I love this!!

  26. Alexa says...

    I turned a boring chore into a ritual during COVID- making the bed! It was something I always did, but it felt like a boring necessity. Once I started working from home, making the bed each morning started to feel like something I could control and used it as a marker to start my day. Now I look forward to making the bed each morning and changing out my sheets every Sunday!

  27. Kim says...

    I love these so much!
    We have a few rituals at our house. One is that every single night (unless I’m not home, which is very rare) I sing to my kids some of “Silent Night.” When I have a sore throat, they sing it to me. I rock them in my arms or we all sit in a line and we rock side by side. Or if it’s late, they lay in bed and I use one finger to trace up and down their nose while I sing. They love that the best.

    • CN says...

      Our family’s bedtime song is Silent Night too! We started singing it during Christmas time one year but it stuck and we haven’t stopped since. Even my 20 month old son knows some of the words. Sweet to hear that there is another family singing Silent Night in August.

    • Kim says...

      That’s sweet, CN!

    • Megan says...

      Me too! That’s our lullaby. I love it so, so much. I sing it to my twins every night. ☺️

    • Nora B says...

      Yes! Ours is away in a manger. So random, but it touches me every time.

  28. Laura says...

    My daughter is now almost 16 but we still do an abbreviated version of the bedtime routine we’ve had since she was tiny. Starts with back and forth affirmations: “I am kind, I am strong, I am smart, I am important, I am a hard worker, I am brave, I am loving, I am loved”— and then I hum Amazing Grace before I say goodnight and leave. I cherish this moment of calm and presence every evening and am so grateful it still seems to be meaningful to her. <3

  29. Nanaka says...

    Since COVID started and we frantically wash hands instantly we get home, I read here as a trick that you should sing the alphabet song (especially with children) to have a good timer about how long it should take. Not knowing this song from childhood (I’m German), I just sing another song, which my mum sang to me when I was a kid. I don’t have kids, so I never really got around teaching others my childhood songs, but miraculously, they all come flooding back to me now every time I wash my hands :-) So I tend to pick a new one every time, and mostly it’s comforting (and sometimes really hilarious!) =D

    • Em says...

      Every Friday night our three-year-old twins bring their pillows and blankets up into our bed and we have a big family “sleepover”. Bedtime is filled with stories and giggles and snuggles, and the girls (and I) excitedly count down to Friday every week.

  30. Amy Koziol says...

    Since quarantine began, we have marked the end of our weeks with Family Slumber Party. We pull all the mattresses out to make a giant bed in our den. My 4 year old and 11 year old each pick a movie for our double feature. Even the dog joins the tangle of knees and elbows. My children have asked that we never stop this new tradition.
    Bonus: This also makes it so easy to strip and wash the bedding once a week.

  31. Olivia says...

    I’ve been using a one line a day journal since my daughter was born last year. Each page represents a day (ie June 4), and there are five areas to write a few sentences, each for one year. It’s been wonderful to read that around this time last year, my baby was just starting to use her activity mat, and this year she is running towards the water at the beach by her big self :)

    At first I almost wrote it to her baby self, but it felt too sugar coated through covid. Now I write it as if I’m talking to her as an adult, but such that a child could read it, too.

    I can’t wait to go through it with her when she (hopefully) has her own little baby.

    • CEW says...

      Right on! That’s so cool. I have one of those one-a-day journals too but I use more of as a gratitude journal. I did the Pinterest-y thing where I set up an email address for my son when he was born, and I periodically send him letters. Nothing too long, a paragraph or so, and I take care to remember that an 18 year old will be reading them, not a baby. So they’re only like 95% cornball & not 100%. :)

      Happy birthday to your daughter! Wishing your family health & lots of happiness.

  32. Deborah Small says...

    When I was growing up, my dad filled a big white country pyrex bowl full of freshly popped popcorn with real butter and sea salt every night at 10:00 pm. By the time I was in college and coming home less frequently, dad always brought in that bowl full of popcorn for me at 10:00pm, especially when I was having a rough time or we needed to reconnect. 30 years later, my dad has died and I have that same pyrex bowl in my house. Whenever my teenage son or I needs comfort, love or an excuse to reconnect, we pop fresh popcorn, melt real butter and sprinkle with sea salt and settle in for movie night (or a few episodes of NCIS).

    • Julie says...

      How sweet!

    • So sweet!

    • Melanie says...

      I teared up

  33. Rachel Q says...

    We got two pet rabbit sisters in May and one of my rituals for the past few months has been to get up early on Saturday mornings before my husband (who loves to sleep in), make some coffee and breakfast, then let the rabbits out of their cage to hop around the house while I knit and catch up on podcasts and watch them happily romp.

  34. laura says...

    I love this post so, so much!

  35. Emily says...

    I grew up having Shabbat dinner every Friday night, lighting candles, having wine (or juice squeeze, if not old enough!), and challah. It was such a wonderful thing and we’d often have ‘special breakfast’ the next morning — a family tradition consisting of those Saturday or Sunday mornings we’d have Challah French toast, pancakes, eggs and bacon… something more time-consuming and fun and delicious, that my parents who both worked full time had time to make on the weekends! I’ve carried special breakfast into my adult home and it’s so luxurious and fun every time.

    • Candy says...

      Our family too! We’d light candles, say prayers and then during the meal, we’d go around the table and each person would share something nice they did for someone else during the week — a way to teach our kids to be kind and helpful to others.

    • I miss our family Shabbat dinners of my childhood (and the Challah!)

  36. Claire says...

    As a kid, I always loved when we would have picnic dinners in the living room in front of the TV. It was an incredibly rare occasion, typically reserved for watching the Oscars (my mom’s big thing) and a major sporting event like the All Star Game, Super Bowl, or World Cup (my dad’s thing).

    We would spread an old tablecloth on top of the rug in the middle of the living room, and bring in our dinner plates. It was so fun to eat off of real china (my parents used their wedding china as their everyday plates, haha) sitting on the floor together.

    • Kim says...

      We call them picnics, too!

    • Cherie says...

      We call them “carpet picnics”. Love!

  37. AE says...

    Pre- COVID, my husband traveled a lot for work. On those weekends, I rush home from work, buy about 2lbs of crab legs and a pint of butter pecan ice cream, lock all of the doors windows/ turn on all of the lights, and stay up late watching movies while stuffing my face with a personal crab bowl (or crab with garlic butter!) and ice cream. I let it slip the other day and he wanted in on the action, so now we crab together :)

    • Alexa says...

      you….are amazing. this made me laugh out loud. it’s just so good.

    • Natalie says...

      Apparently, I’ve been doing Friday nights wrong this whole time! :)

    • M. says...

      This is perhaps the best private ritual I have read or heard of yet. I love that your husband loved it when you finally let it slip and I love that you welcomed him into it. “We crab together.” 😂

  38. CC says...

    I lost my husband to a sudden heart attack the day before our city went on lockdown 4 months ago. Our home was being renovated so I couldn’t live there. My entire world has been upside down since March but every night after my shower I put on my favorite perfume and open a bottle of my husband’s cologne and smell it deeply. It is comforting and familiar and gives me peace and strength to face the long night alone. I imagine myself doing this forever.

    • Jen says...

      CC, I am so very sorry for your loss. What a lovely ritual of remembrance

    • kd says...

      This is a lovely sentiment and I’m so incredibly sorry to read that you lost your husband. Especially sorry that this happened as the world turned upside down. I’m glad you have this ritual to give you peace and strength. You deserve all of that and more. Hugs, health, peace, and lots of love being sent your way from a stranger on the internet. xx

    • Megan says...

      All the best to you, CC. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Hang in there.

    • Abra says...

      Oh, CC, from one widow to another, I am sending all my love. It hurts so much. Keep breathing it in. Sinking into your love –as badly as it hurts– helps too. I’m sure you already know this. A year and a half later, I stand inside my husband’s closet (mostly untouched since he died, also suddenly, also heart related) and breathe. In the beginning and when the loss feels the closest, breathing and being with it helps. Big hugs to you. You’re not alone.

    • Lizzie says...

      CC, I’m so sorry for your loss! There’s never a good time for it, but right now seems especially terrible. Your ritual is so touching, and I’m glad it brings you peace and strength.

    • Lynne says...

      I’m so sorry CC, what a hard road this has been for you. It’s been rough enough during these covid times and then to suffer such a loss…
      I love your ritual of smelling your husband’s cologne and am glad it brings you comfort and strength. I just wanted to message you to say I see you and what you’re going through and I want you to know that this stranger is rooting for you. I wish you peace and comfort and the strength to find your way through your grief and to come out stronger and feel good again.

    • Caitlin says...

      That’s a lovely ritual, CC. Sending you love and peace.

    • jdp says...

      oh man. such a year it’s been for you. deep, fragrant breaths, hang in there..

    • Midge says...

      I am so sorry for your loss. What a lovely ritual.

    • Cookie says...

      Sending you the biggest hug in the world.

    • Laura says...

      Oh CC – Thinking of you and sending my warmest of wishes. I am so sorry. So beautiful you have that loving ritual and your eternal love.

    • Sarah says...

      CC – sending you a warm hug and so much love

    • MB says...

      I’m so sorry, CC, for your immense loss. Grieving is never easy, but made all the more difficult in these strange times. Try not to put any expectations on your grief or yourself, and find those rituals that bring you even a micro-fraction of comfort and stay with those. Take care of yourself xoxox

    • Tricia M says...

      Dear CC,
      This is an especially difficult time for those who have been bereaved, just when you need the support of friends, family. Know that this online community sends you all the love. Be gentle with yourself and do what ever it takes to get you through. That is a lovely ritual and comforting.xx

    • Kim says...

      I’m so so sorry for the loss you’ve experienced. ❤️

    • Virginia says...

      I am so sorry. This is such a beautiful & tender way to connect.

    • Chrissy Collins says...

      CC I will be thinking of you and sending you healing energy!

    • CC says...

      To all who posted these loving, compassionate, caring messages thank you from the bottom of my heart. I send each of you hugs and hopes that you and your families are safe. 💗

    • Denise says...

      I lost my husband to the same thing just over nine years ago. He wasn’t a cologne wearer, but he did have a distinctive smell on his shirts and I would just bury my face in them. After a while, the smell was gone. Then about four years ago, I pulled out some of his clothes to have a quilt made. I picked up a shirt and his smell was there! It was such an amazing moment, to have a little bit of him. I’m crying now just thinking of it. I’m so glad you have the cologne! Sending you lots of love.

    • CC says...

      Denise, thank you for sharing such a beautiful story and for your kind and loving message. This is the most difficult journey of my life. I’m doing all the “things” therapy, grief group (both via zoom), meditating, tapping, journaling but most days are unbearably hard. I feel lucky to have loving supportive children, though to be honest seeing how heartbroken they are is devastating as a mom. My three little grandsons also help my heart. I hope you have had love and support through your journey and you’ve found comfort there. 💗

    • Mags says...

      So sorry for your loss CC. What a wonderful way to evoke memories and keep your husband with you ❤. These simple gestures can mean so much.

    • Claire says...

      CC- I am so very sorry to read this, CC. Wishing you so much comfort and peace and kindness. Thinking of you, sending you love.

  39. These are all so lovely.
    On warm evenings, my dad and I used to go out into the yard and watch for satellites going by in the sky. They look just like moving stars and it feels like good luck to spot them. Sometimes we wouldn’t see any, but once we saw 16 in one night! I’ve always loved spotting hard-to-spot things (Easter eggs, cats in windows, Waldo…), and this was one of the only things my dad and I did just the two of us. It was our special time and I will always think of him any time I see a satellite. Plus, a lot of people don’t know you can see satellites, and I get to impress them when I find a moving star!

  40. laura says...

    I leave my son his Christmas stocking hanging from his bedpost. As soon as he wakes up Christmas morning he can go hogwild opening the items. It keeps him in bed a bit longer but it also helps alleviate some of the excruciating wait times for what’s under the tree.

    • Emily says...

      Laura- my parents did the same thing for me and my brothers starting 40-ish years ago. They started doing it to contain my oldest brother for a few more precious pre-dawn hours but it stuck and evolved into our favorite part of the holiday. I still remember the thrill of going into my parents room (after the sun came up, literally the rule) to show them what Santa brought, even long after I know the goodies came from them, even as a teenager, all of us in our PJs sharing and showing. I hope the tradition lives on for you and your son, we do it with our kids too!

  41. AC says...

    Like many, we were a busy family pre-Covid. My favorite new rituals are Saturday mornings with my 12-year old daughter: we dress nicely, in a summer dress (i.e. no sweat pants as during the rest of the week), and then we go to the farmers market, browse around, get our fruits & veggies for the week, and get some tasty treats from the German bakery and a cup of Kombucha and sit in a park to enjoy those treats. My other rituals are walks with my husband in the evenings late, or with my teenage son at lunchtime. While I am ready to venture out into the world again, I do enjoy these simple pleasures.

    • That’s such a beautiful and simple pleasure. Definitely inspires me to dress up nice and walk up the block to my farmer’s market. Thank you! <3

  42. Ceridwen says...

    This was so lovely and calming to read today. My ritual in the mornings is to brew offer, drink from my favourite cup (it was my gandmother’s) and read Cup of Jo before anyone else in my household is up. I love it. On Saturday I drink from a coffee bowl I bought in Paris more than a decade ago, and make crepes for my kids. Changing Of The Cups helps me switch over to weekend mode.

    • Mary says...

      “Changing of the Cups” is fantastic!

    • Emma says...

      I have a weekend mug as well, Ceridwen! The best.

  43. Annie says...

    When I was little, my mom would randomly announce it was backwards night. Backwards night meant when we got home from daycare we took our baths/showers, then we ate dessert, and then we ate dinner. To my brother and me, it was so exciting! To my mom, I’m sure it was a large effort to entertain small children after a long day at work and an even longer commute. I look back on it fondly.

    • Claire says...

      Wow, I love this! That sounds like such a fun memory. :)

  44. Sarah says...

    This is incredible! I love it!

  45. Robin says...

    My newest favourite ritual started with COVID. My niece only lives ten minutes away, but she and I are pen pals! She’s only four, so she mostly sends drawings (which I love, we change them out on the fridge each time a new one arrives) but she recently learned the letters of her name. I send her a note, and a self-addressed envelope but with a separate stamp so she can stick it herself, sometimes a photo or some stickers. My brother said she squeals with delight when she gets mail which is all I could hope for.

    • Daisy says...

      This is so adorable.

    • beth says...

      My grandmother was my pen pal when I was about your niece’s age, and while I have no idea what I sent her, I do still remember the excitement that came with every delivery of her letters, always written on cards with lilacs in the bottom corner. I am 44 now, and have been a lifelong devotee to sending snail mail, even though I hardly ever receive anything back, and I truly think it’s because of my grandmother. I suppose letter writing is one of my rituals, as I usually write 3-4 letters at a time to a few different people, usually once a month.

  46. Rose says...

    Ours is Pancake Sunday. Almost every week, usually with an excessive amount of chocolate chips! We’re on year three of infertility and it’s sad that it’s still just the two of us… I can’t wait to make pancakes for a child someday. But for now, we still enjoy it.

    • Amy says...

      My heart felt your comment, Rose. Sending good thoughts your way.

    • Melissa says...

      Dear Rose,
      I can’t wait for you to make pancakes for your little one someday too. My husband and I went through the terrible heartbreak of infertility as well. I hope along side you from afar.
      xox
      Melissa

    • Courtney says...

      I have been there and it is so hard. Sending you love and luck, Rose!

    • Macauley says...

      Ooof, I feel you Rose. Wishing you love.

    • Dawn says...

      Rose,
      I’m also in the trenches of infertility and wish you the very best.

    • Meg says...

      My long hoped for daughter turns 7 on 8\7. Her golden birthday. Your comment brought instant tears to my eyes from remembering the deep, constant achIng of wanting her, and the never ending gratitude of my greatest wish come true. You will also get your wish and make those pancakes.. Holding you in my heart until you do.

    • Melanie says...

      Sending you love & best wishes Rose! I have walked a similar road and I just want you to know my thoughts are with you.

      Those pancakes sound delicious and I hope a little one is lucky enough to join that lovely ritual someday. xx

  47. Jessa says...

    These are are so real and heart-felt, I love them. I love the “bird in a nest”, I’m filing that away in my mind for not too long from now with my own daughter.

    I celebrate July 1st as my own personal new years day. I like starting a secret new year at the height of summer as opposed to dark wet winter, it feels more optimistic and joyful to start fresh at the top of the wheel of seasons so to speak, instead of at the bottom. This is also Canada Day here and full of parties, barbecues, and camping, but I make sure I’m awake and outside at both sunrise and sunset that day and have some time for myself to take stock of how things are going and what I want to try differently. I’ve been doing this since I was about 12 and have never told more than a couple of my closest friends. My husband and kids probably just think I’m so happy due to it being Canada Day :)

    Every night at my kids bedtime I sing a few songs including two that I made up for them, one about flowers blooming and one about a bunny and a tiger cub. I know one day they won’t want this anymore but for now I’m cherishing it.

    • LOVE THIS. Adopting it!

  48. Meg L says...

    When my sister and I were little kids, waiting to open presents was excruciating! So we started getting each other a present to open on Christmas Eve morning. As we got older, we’d make waffles or cinnamon rolls to have for breakfast while we opened them. Now, a couple of decades later, we still spend Christmas Eve together, cooking dinner, eating snacks and drinking wine, and opening presents :)

  49. Jess says...

    The first one that popped into my head is Friday Night Pizza. Both my husband and I had pizza for dinner on Friday nights when we were kids, and probably 10 or so years ago, we brought the tradition back.

    Back then, we would come home from work on a Friday evening, then we’d go to Trader Joe’s together to buy fresh dough and toppings. It was fun to think of new pizzas to make each week, and we got pretty creative.

    After our son was born, we would still make our Friday evening Trader Joe’s trips for pizza supplies, with baby in tow. Only my husband took over the pizza prep and baking duties while I nursed our son to sleep. We’d enjoy our freshly baked pizza in front of the TV with glass bottles of soda, well-earned after a hard week.

    Now our son is almost six and they take the Trader Joe’s trip together before I get home from work. And all these years later, hubby’s still the one to make the pizza. He’s better at it anyway.

    • Kelly says...

      We do Sunday pizza night! My husband and I have been doing this weekly since we first moved in together, six years ago now. We took a short break three months ago, after I’d given birth (to our first), but we’ve recently started it back up again, baby and all! I’m looking forward to the day our son can join in the fun.

    • Cora says...

      We do Friday night pizza night too. We make homemade pizza and eat it in front of the TV watching a family movie.

  50. Cece says...

    At the weekends, we have a family brunch at about 11.30 unless we’re off out somewhere. Then my husband puts the baby down for his nap, and curls up with our daughter on the sofa for a film. And I blitz the kitchen and deal with all the annoying bits of clutter and marks on cabinets etc that have irked me all week, scrub down the high chair, steam mop the floor, etc. BUT: I do it all while listening to Jagged Little Pill from start to finish, as loudly as possible. And I sing along, also as loudly as possible. When Alanis is done, I stop cleaning. That 90s feminist anger music basically been therapy for me during lockdown!

    • NK says...

      Cece, I think we’re living exact parallel lives, though I alternate between Alanis, Ani, Dar and Melissa!

    • Andrea says...

      Jagged Little Pill! I love this so much, what a great idea :-)

    • Alexa says...

      oh my god, i love this.

    • Sarah says...

      I am stealing this! Perfection!

    • Tabby says...

      Haha, Jagged Little Pill is my anger album. Whenever I’m frantically cleaning/cooking/gardening listening to Alanis my SO knows not to disturb! It’s such good therapy!

  51. A says...

    I’ve got two kids (almost 1 and 5) and we just started a ritual where the kid not having the birthday gets a ‘big brother’ or ‘little sister’ present, since their sibling’s birthday was the day they became a brother or sister. I’m hoping it becomes a way to also celebrate their relationship as siblings.

    • Lizzie says...

      When I was growing up, a family friend always brought a little gift for the birthday kid’s sibling, and it made me feel so special even when it was my sister’s birthday. That said, it probably works better when the birthday kid only has one sibling…otherwise I’m sure the whole thing can get out of hand!

    • I love that!!!

  52. Alex says...

    We’ve been doing “Kids in Charge Day” once a month since quarantine started where we let our 4 year old daughter be in charge for the whole day. So far her requests have basically been the same each time: swim in the pool for 3 hours straight, as much screen time as she wants, ice cream for dinner, and a mom or dad sleepover party complete with a movie and painted nails. Giving her a tiny sense of control seems to be a good thing right now; and its been fun for us to loosen up, get quality time with her, and eat a lot of icecream!

    • GoldenMoon says...

      Brilliant and fun!

  53. Erin says...

    Life has been so heavy, filled with fear, doubt, uncertainty, everything. This post and these comments feel like a warm hug. Taking notes and dreaming up rituals and traditions for our little family to implement when life returns to normal (or new normal). Thank you, COJ, for always giving me the warm fuzzies just when I need it most.

    • Johanna says...

      ❤️ so true!! So comforting

  54. Tracy says...

    My sons are 4 and 6 and this year the oldest said he wanted to celebrate “Brothers Day” on the day exactly between their birthdays. It is to be a day filled with whatever they want to do. So on July 11, we went for a hike, had snow cones, went swimming in a river, and watched a movie. It was an excellent new ritual that is now marked on the calendar annually!

    • Merridy says...

      I love this idea! During quarantine, our kids seem to enjoy each other more with having so much time to hang out together. But birthdays have been tricky. They have birthdays six months apart so there is definitely some angst for the kid not celebrating. I love the idea of them planning a special “Sisters Day” together. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Kristen says...

      We also celebrate Brothers’ Day!! Though we celebrate on the day when the sun sets exactly between the two peaks of The Brothers mountain here in Seattle — so it’s actually two days each year. The only rule is that both brothers have to agree on what we do.
      Tracy, do you also secretly dream about them continuing to celebrate Brothers’ Day as adults?

    • PSJJ says...

      My kids are also roughly six months apart so they get a half-birthday present and mini celebration on their sibling’s birthday! It seems to help them enjoy the day rather than feel envious.

  55. b says...

    I try to read for 30 minutes before starting my work day. This doesn’t always happen as the company I work for is based in New York so my 5 a.m. wake up is 8 a.m. for them and we have to dive in right in, but I always try to sneak in a few pages before starting my day. It sets the tone and makes me more focused.

  56. Lizzie says...

    When I was a kid with braces, my parents always let me get a milkshake from McDonalds after my orthodontist appointments to soothe my sore teeth. It created a pavlovian response in me though so now every time I have a dentist appointment I start craving a milkshake afterward :)

    • beth says...

      Ha! I always went to Wendy’s for a Frostie after my orthodontist appointments!

    • nadine says...

      My dentist is just across the road of a bakery that makes a delicious and chewy tomato and garlic italian style pizzetta. I have the same pavlovian response but to those pizzas. I admit that’s a bit weird after a dentist visit but i still find it delicious. And it makes me look forward to go to the dentist! hahah

    • Kaitlyn says...

      Oh same, but from Sonic!! The tightening of the braces was brutal, and a milk shake was the best reward!

  57. Katie Rose says...

    These are all such beautiful rituals and celebrations. I love reading “I’m in Charge of Celebrations” by Bryd Baylor. It’s a beautiful picture book for both children and adults about the joy of celebrating everyday moments and making your world a place that feels special.

  58. Jordan says...

    Since we started dating, my husband and I transition from work to home mode by walking our dog and giving each other a play-by-play of our days. It started as “tell me about your day,” eventually shortened to “give me a tell” and now just “tell.” Even after years, I have so much gratitude that he shows curiosity in the minutiae of my days, and me in his.

    • Ok, this one got me. Super sweet.

  59. Sharon in Scotland says...

    Is this a ritual?
    I buy a box of 4 magnums, (Belgium chocolate vanilla ice cream lollies) every 2 weeks.. They are eaten over a weekend and one of them has to be eaten very early in the morning. I get out of bed, pad downstairs, get the magnum out of the freezer and go back to my nice warm bed to eat it. There is only ONE way to eat it:
    Bite the top bit off, just the chocolate
    Bite off the right side, just the chocolate
    Flip it over and do the other side
    Bite off the flat face of chocolate, extra points if you get it off in one big piece.
    Flip it over and do the other side.
    Then and ONLY then do you attack the ice-cream
    Finally, bite the chunky bit of chocolate left on the stem of the lolly stick.
    Frivolous and not important, but cosy and comforting

    • Heidi says...

      Well, I know now what I’m doing this weekend. ;)

    • Rachael says...

      It was always a family tradition that my Nana would stock the freezer with Magnums when we went to visit her in England. I’d eat them exactly the way you described!
      She passed away in March, so I’m very grateful for the nostalgia!

  60. Anon says...

    Rituals of a childless, introverted 28 year old in Ohio…

    Morning: rise at dawn, make coffee, feed cat, water plants, then read/daydream for about an hour till I have to start work. Currently reading: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

    Evening: around dusk, light a candle and fill up the bathtub. Soak while listening to a book on tape. Right now, it’s the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. No, I don’t always listen to children’s lit, but something about this book is so comforting to me! And it’s read phenomenally by a lady (her name is Dr. Chrissi Hart) with the perfect British accent.

    The middle of the day is often filled with stress and collective mourning for the world we now live in, but these rituals are the bookends are keeping me grounded for now.

    • jane says...

      I reread the entire set of The Chronicles of Narnia every couple years – they are such a comfort. I’ll have to try the audio version, thanks!

    • Natalie says...

      I love this, Anon!

    • Brittany says...

      Ah I finished Braiding Sweetgrass a few weeks ago and loved it! It is so peaceful to read, especially at a time like this. I hope you’re enjoying it!

  61. Agnès says...

    These rituals are sooo good, thank you so much, I especially love the omelette one ;-).
    We have a moroccan breakfast every sunday (olives, goat cheese, olive oil, special round bread); we have many summer holiday camping rituals, but no camping this year. IT SUCKS.

    • Agnès says...

      Also: no week-end can really start if i don’t check the Cup of Jo friday links (and that’s tricky because sometimes, I have to check really late, being in France and all sleepy). Thank you for all these good, happy posts. I really feel they’re all making us nicer persons.

  62. Lauren says...

    For the past several months, our daily ritual has been to drink coffee in bed (delivered by my husband!) and listen to our morning podcasts together (NPR Up First and NYT The Daily). It started when I was breastfeeding our son in the mornings and now he runs around our bedroom chasing a tennis ball while we ease into our days with caffeine and news. Coffee in bed is such a simple luxury and I love it!

  63. Meg says...

    I am pregnant and therefore flooded with hormones, but mooning the moon made me cry. I hope my future daughter and I can have moments like that.

    All the hugs.

    • S. says...

      SAME HERE!! Brought such sweet tears to my eyes thinking of it. How funny and precious!

  64. This is curing my soul today. So much heaviness in the news and in the world, and I need an escape from it. These are reminders that real, good, life is going on despite what’s being flooded to us in the news. Thank you. More of these right now, please!

  65. Lisa says...

    Kind of a ritual – pre lockdown my husband would frequently travel for work, going away for 2/3 nights every month / 6 weeks. When he was away, my favourite dinner to have with our children (ages 2 and 4) was pasta with homemade pesto and as many green vegetables as I could be bothered to add that night, and lots of cheese. He hasn’t travelled since February because of the lockdown, so he too now has green pasta at least once a week. It’s such a comforting dinner.
    Another thing I do when he’s travelling (which I read about in the autobiography of someone who’s family were good friends with Saddam Hussein) is letting the kids come and cuddle in my bed and read stories together, before we go and do the whole bedtime thing.

    I’ll need to find a new ritual for when he starts travelling again (beyond watching the dumbest Rom com I can find on Netflix). I think ice cream in the bath might be it!

  66. The “bird in the nest day” made me tear up. <3

    • Shaina Kaye says...

      Ugh me too! I instantly got choked up.

  67. Mandy says...

    I need all these kinds of posts right now!! Rituals, traditions, simple pleasures reading and re reading them all!! So much comfort in rituals and traditions leaning in heavy to the comfort of these!

  68. Bea says...

    I love reading these lovely rituals! Can’t help be reminded of some of the unlovely rituals I have involuntarily developed in work-from-home-during-a-pandemic mode.

    Watching 40 minutes of TikTok in the bathroom before starting work?
    Bringing my tweezers to the living room mirror in the middle of the day to pluck emerging chin hairs?

    …anybody else?

    • Emily says...

      lol

    • Anonymous LOL says...

      Yes to the chin hairs

    • Hilary says...

      Taking extra long in the bathroom so I can read NYT mobile in peace away from my 3-year old?

      Cackling with glee every time I heard my in-laws on the phone because Covid = I don’t have to see them for months?

      Impulse buying things on Etsy because “it’s a pandemic and I deserve it?”

      In other words…I’m with you!

  69. Rachael says...

    On weekend mornings, my dog and I are the first ones up, so I make a cup of tea and we check on all the plants together – sometimes that means watering and pruning, sometimes just sitting together to enjoy the peaceful greenness.

    After particularly trying days, sometimes my husband and I will share a joint and talk about anything-but-work. It’s a great way to remember life’s priorities, to share ideas or learnings we might not otherwise discuss, and to have a good giggle together!

  70. Megan says...

    I love the idea of a “bird in the nest” day! Reminds me of what I’ve begun whispering to my infant daughter when I put her to sleep at night: “Thanks for this day, for all birds safe in their nests, for whatever this is, for life.” It’s from Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver, and maybe it’ll become one of our bedtime rituals. Maybe we’ll have “bird in the nest” days when she gets older, too.

    • SR says...

      So lovely

    • Kim says...

      I love Barbara Kingsolver!

    • Brooke says...

      Oh what a sweet tender thing to whisper, Megan. 💛

      Prodigal Summer is such a juicy read too!!! LOVE that book.

    • Leissa says...

      The audio book of Prodigal Summer is especially wonderful. Kingsolver herself reads it.

  71. Jess says...

    Meghan! My mother would make me “bird in the nest” when I was feeling low or was going through a breakup. We called it a “mad hatter”. Love this code for needing a little extra. I’m going to squirrel it away for when my girls reach this stage.

    • celeste says...

      Having never heard of this recipe, I’m googling pictures…softboiled eggs on toast?

    • Meghan says...

      OMG that melts me – my daughter is being very teenaged evil right now but the next time she’s in a good mood (please let that be soon!!!) I’m going to show her we have a bird in the nest twin in the world!!!!!

  72. Katy Harmon says...

    I love the idea of a birthday tree during quarantine (and in the years to come). My oldest is turning 8 in 2 days and I’m going to pull one of my (I have 3) 4′ pink Christmas trees to put her presents underneath. THANK YOU for such a great idea.

  73. Kristina says...

    Meghan’s ritual made me tear up. What a gentle way to mother a teenager! I am tucking this away for the future! It reminds me of the book “The Rabbit Listened”, which I love reading with my little ones, about the power of simply listening and being a comforting presence to someone in need.

  74. Courtney says...

    I was on a walk recently near a local dam and saw a family with two kids, maybe 4 and 8 years old, all screaming at the top of their lungs at the top of the dam. As I walked by the mom apologized and said, “Sorry this is where we come to scream.” I couldn’t help but laugh and told her no need to apologize, I feel like we all need a place like that during a time like this!

    • Katy Harmon says...

      Totally taking my 4 and almost 8 year old somewhere to scream next week.

    • Meg says...

      I’m not a mom but giving kids and ourselves a place to scream right now (and always?) strikes me as excellent parenting. Make space for big feelings!

    • Alex says...

      The top of a damn sounds better than what i’ve been doing which is driving my car to an empty industrial block to sit and scream! But you do what ya gotta do right?!

    • jane says...

      This reminds me of a man in a town nearby who was so fed up by everything going on now that he felt like going outside and screaming – but he didn’t want to put rage in the world so he decided to scream positive things at the top of his lungs. And now for the good part: because he his work as a chef is on hold indefinitely, he decided to turn that into a job by allowing people to hire him to scream positive messages to whomever they choose as long as he can get to their address on his bike. Isn’t this so funny and kind of smart? I saw him on the news, delivering a screamed message to someone along the lines of: “You are so smart and so beautiful! You are the best friend I’ve ever had!” LOL, I just love it.

  75. Holly says...

    I hate flying, even though if done it hundreds of times in my life. Right before the plane takes off I cross my fingers and close my eyes, every single time. Once the captain takes off the seat bell sign I sigh in relief that my crossed little fingers got me safe into the sky yet again!

    • Kim says...

      I hate to fly too! A teacher once suggested that I play “Chariots of Fire” just as the plane starts to taxi down the runway. I thought it was silly until I tried it. The song really opens up and gets going as the wheels leave the tarmac and I feel free and safe while we climb. I still avoid planes when I can, but this ritual helps tremendously.

    • Jill says...

      I do the exact same thing! I work in aerospace so you would think my brain would know better and not be afraid. lol

    • Kaitlyn says...

      Not a fan of flying either flyer! The number one thing that helps me on long haul flights is to stand up at the back and chit chat with whoever comes back there to stretch their legs! Standing instead of sitting feels less claustrophobic and chatting is a way better distraction than the films which never hold my attention. Plus you get some wonderful stories from people all over the world!!

  76. Shira says...

    Earlier this year I started having a hot chocolate every afternoon while my baby napped. Homemade with just 70% dark chocolate squares, Dutch process cocoa powder, and oat milk. Something about taking that time to treat myself with rich dark chocolate in a mug made up for every difficult thing that happened throughout the day with a small baby. It made me so happy that I’ve continued doing it every day, despite July heat waves (now I just go down to our basement TV room to drink since it’s always cool down there). The best afternoon ritual – I may still be doing this when my baby is a teenager!

  77. Elena says...

    Nearly every Saturday morning since quarantine began, I put in a large order of pastries (read: far more pastries than the number of people in our household) to pick up from a favorite local bakery. We slice each one into pieces to share and take them to eat in a lovely outdoor place. Sometimes that’s a park or a nearby hike, but often it’s just the back patio. It’s extravagant, but such a nice thing to look forward to that makes the weekends feel more special than the weekdays, since everything has a tendency to blur together.

  78. Katie S. says...

    My mom’s birthday is on Christmas day, so naturally she’s spent her whole life sharing it with someone a little more, um, well-known. My grandma never wanted her to feel like her birthday was any less special though, so every year at about 3pm once all the Christmas presents have been opened and brunch eaten we immediately switch over to birthday mode. We change the decorations, bring out the previously hidden birthday presents (no Xmas wrapping paper allowed!) play different music, and bring out separate food! We takes pictures and have fun and it’s like everyone gets a second wind, plus my mom gets to know that the day is ALSO about her and how special she is.

    • Claire says...

      How sweet!

    • April says...

      My mother’s birthday is on Christmas also. She grew up in a fairly poor family where each kid received 1 present for Christmas and 1 present for their birthday but she only received 1 present for both. Her birthday wasn’t really celebrated and I think that felt so unfair to her as kid which is understandable. I too always make sure to wrap her birthday presents in birthday paper. I usually take her out for a separate meal before or after Christmas and I try to remember to say “Happy Birthday” before I say “Merry Christmas” when I see her on that day.

  79. Claire says...

    I have a template that I fill out In the mornings that is intended to help me focus, appreciate, and set deliberate intentions for the day. This is solid magic. I have never, ever had this exercise fail me. I am always in a better place for the rest of the day, no matter what I am struggling with when I begin to write.

    • Pascale says...

      I would be so grateful if you would share your template. I’m going through such a hard time lately because of losing our family business due to the pandemic.

    • Jessica Taylor says...

      I’m so intrigued…..Is there any chance you could share that template? I hope I’m not being invasive by asking, but I would love to try that or research one for myself if you had a resource. Thank you!

    • Samantha says...

      please share this magical template!

    • El says...

      Also longing to know more about this template!!

    • Susan says...

      Where is this magical template?

    • Claire says...

      Hi Y’all, yes I am happy to share. This template was created by the brilliant and radiant wonder of a human Carrie Contey, https://www.carriecontey.com/ She created it for one of her workshops. I can’t find a link to the template, so here are the prompts, in her own words. May it be an inspiration to you!
      Here’s what I am appreciating about myself, my people, my life! (Write one or 100. The more you write the better you will feel.)
      How I want to feel at the end of today? (Write one word OR describe it with as much detail as you can. Imagine yourself ending the day feeling that way.)

      Steps I took yesterday to achieve my goals?

      To-do Today

      What steps will I take today today to step closer to my goals for the end of this year?

      Right now I feel… (Claire’s note: don’t hold back- be genuine about where you are.)

      Won’t it be wonderful when? (Play play play! Use this prompt to exercise your dreaming muscle. You can write down your three dreams so that you keep them fresh in your mind or you can go rogue and write down all your dreams. Do what bring the most joy!).

    • Britt says...

      I love this. Claire, thanks for sharing :)

    • Agnès says...

      thank you so much, Claire!

    • Ali says...

      Just put this in my journal! Thanks to you and Carrie!

    • Danae says...

      Thank you for the template, Claire!

  80. Avery says...

    When I was in college, I made up a silly song that I would only sing when folding the laundry. It helped make it more fun than boring. I still sing it every single time I do the wash, and now my husband sings it, too!

    • Michelle says...

      Avery, can you share the song? How fun!

    • Louisa says...

      Me, too! I sing “I’m doin’ laundry” instead of “I’m going hungry” to the lyrics of the Temple of the Dog song, Hunger Strike. Still sing it. Every time!

    • Julie says...

      Louisa, I’m stealing that! Haha!

  81. Daniela says...

    My husband and I now have a ritual of going somewhere, once a month. Even if it is just for a night it is such an amazing way to reset and just be together without distractions. Because of covid, we stay in our state and pick a remote airbnb to hole up in.

    This weekend, we spent less than $200 on a cabin on almost 200 acres with horses, cats, etc! We’ve been looking forward to it since our last getaway.

    • SG says...

      Once a month? WOW. We’re lucky if we go somewhere overnight by ourselves once a year! Or two.

    • Daniela says...

      We don’t have kids and both work long, stressful shifts and aren’t spending much money on other things so it’s our way of taking care of ourselves and our marriage.

    • kd says...

      Good for you! As a someone who is not married and doesn’t plan on kiddos of my own, I appreciate this sentiment. I hope that I can reinvest in my relationship in a similar way in the future. :)

    • Claire says...

      I love this idea, Daniela! And I think it’s wonderful that you and your husband make an intentional effort to nurture your relationship. :)

      My mom once told me (via her spiritual advisor) that going to couples counseling was not a sign that the relationship is struggling/failing, but rather that the relationship is important and worth putting effort into maintaining. That mentality made such a positive difference in my life. I like to think that my parents go on weekends away (maybe once or twice a year) so show themselves their relationship is important.

    • April says...

      My husband and I are kid free and this is my goal for the future – to try to get away once a month. Life often feels so monotonous to me and I feel like regularly exploring new places breaks things up and keeps me happy. Also, we bought a fixer-upper a few years back and trying to remodel it has really tested our patience with each other so it’s great when we can get away from that and remember why we like each other.

  82. Darby says...

    Before a hard workout, I always have to “ease in”. I think the benefits are as much about mental preparation as physical… if I am running, I will walk for at least 5 min. If it is a weights or HIIT workout, some gentle stretching gets me ready. Especially if I am working out later in the day, I need the time and movement to help me to transition to workout mode.

    • Sasha L says...

      When my kids were still home, we always got donuts one day of our vacation, never eat then at home, and those were the best treats ever.

      Every morning I do a meditation before work. It helps me feel like I’m taking care of me and giving the world the best me there is.

      Every night my little heeler rescue climbs on bed with me and “puts me to sleep” by sniffling and licking my face. As soon as I’m asleep he takes off for his favorite sleeping spot on the couch.

      Every night before dinner my husband and I hold hands and thank God for our precious food. I don’t believe in God, my husband is agnostic, but we both believe in the power of gratitude.

    • Agnès says...

      Sasha your dinner prayer really made me laugh! We also have a ritual before dinner, (not to God), we just hook our little fingers with the person sitting next and we chant something like “umpapaumpapapum” and we thank the cook for the food :-) I love it.