The Power of a Daily Ritual

ellieelien-SZwVtUpsEqU-unsplashPhoto: ellieelien@unsplash

Rituals are the formulas by which harmony is restored.- Terry Tempest Williams

We planted four yellow rose bushes in our backyard garden last summer. They are situated in an area that for some odd reason, everything seems to perish. I have a number of concocted theories as to why this continues to happen. Firstly, our home is well over 70 years old and from what I discern from original plans, a garage once stood near that area. Maybe this contributes. Or there is possibly too much sun. Too little water. Or our 100 pound German Shepard stomps over the plantings when chasing her tennis ball.

I’ve just surveyed the current situation. It’s not looking all that hopeful.

The point is not the roses, but that the ritual of the garden occupies my mind in a manner that frees me for some stretch of time. Small rituals makes us more comfortable, more centered — even when a sense of instability may exist all around us. For you, this may mean walking around the block after dinner, game night, sitting on your balcony in the morning or a quiet cup of coffee before you write a report.

You could call these routines, but somehow these idiosyncratic actions hold more value than that label would imply.

Whatever that ritual is, no matter how small it may seem — it matters. Small rituals help define who we are as individuals. They help align who we are with our surroundings. I feel they likely make us better contributors, as well.

When we get back to our desks, the rest will still be there.

But for that moment, I’m rooting for the roses.

Strategy: Rituals

  • Do you have a small ritual that helps you remain productive right now?
  • Do you feel rituals have become more important during this crisis?
  • Does your organization or team have a ritual that helps them along?

A frequent contributor to LiveWorkThinkPlay, Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist who helps people & teams build a stronger work life foundation. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program, she has been featured at the Harvard Business Review, Talent Zoo and The Huffington Post.

2 thoughts on “The Power of a Daily Ritual”

  1. Right now I am working from home. That means that I rarely leave my house during the week for much of anything. Each morning we have a virtual meeting at 8am to check in with the office and get our assignments for the day. My wife and I go out to the porch around 7:15 for 30 minutes to talk about our day and have our morning cup of coffee. Help us stay connected and keep a little sanity.


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