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  • Janet Thompson Jackson

12 Daily Rituals During a Pandemic (or anytime)

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

1. Get centered at the beginning of the day

Before you pick up your phone or check your ‘to do’ list, get centered. You can do this in many ways, such as prayer, meditation, journaling, or looking at the sunrise.

2. Create a Routine

For some people losing their daily routine has been the most difficult part of living through COVID-19. Take a few minutes to grieve your old routine and then think about whether you can adapt any of your old routines into your new one. Then embrace your new schedule.


3. Move

At some point in the day – or better yet, at several points in the day – move your body. Get creative in your space and go outside if you can safely. Dance to some great music, join an online exercise class, take a walk with appropriate distancing... The how doesn’t matter, just move.

4. Counter daily news with something uplifting

Daily consumption of local, national, and global news about COVID-19 can be depressing and scary. Try to limit how much news you are consuming daily and be sure to counter that every day by reading something positive and uplifting.

5. Be kind

Someone needs your kindness every day. A coworker, a neighbor, the distracted driver in the car in front of you, the cashier at the grocery store, the delivery person – the list is endless. Make a point of greeting someone with a smile. Just be kind.

6. Stay Connected

The term “social isolation” is now a part of our lexicon. But, think more in terms of “physical” distance and not social distance. It’s more important than ever to stay connected with family and friends. Be sure to check in on your people - particularly extroverts and people living with depression, anxiety, or some other condition – who may be especially challenged by being isolated.


7. Breathe consciously

Of course you are breathing, but let’s up the quality of your breath! Start your inhalation low in your tummy and follow a slow breath all the way up into your chest. Pause for a short moment…then slowly exhale through your mouth. And when you exhale, be sure to let some worry or tension go with the breath. Try that about three times and I bet you will feel more relaxed.

8. Eat mindfully

To be mindful is to be present in the moment. To be attentive to your thoughts and actions. To eat mindfully try sitting down while eating, preferably not at your work desk. Put aside your phone or other device. Push away the work papers or other distractions. Take a look at your food. Then before picking up your food, let the aroma of the food fill your nostrils. Enjoy the smell of the food. Now put a little food in your mouth and pay attention to the experience. What textures do you feel? What flavors do you taste? Enjoy!

9. Review and Release

Review your day – lessons learned, challenges, fears, insights, key interactions, burning questions… Is there something you need to release? Try this exercise and make space for those things you really need to focus on:


What Can I Control? Write down, without judgment or shame, all the things you are worried about or spending a lot of time thinking about. Once you have your list, whether it’s 10 items long or three pages deep, go back and circle all the things you have absolutely no control over. Put those things on a separate list. Now take a look at what’s left and prioritize what needs your immediate attention.


10. Unplug

People on average now spend more time on media devices than they do sleeping. Try unplugging from technology at least one hour before bedtime. If that seems too drastic, try unplugging at least 15 minutes before going to sleep and add 5 minutes each week until you get to one hour. And, consider putting your phone out of arm’s reach during sleep.

11. Express gratitude

What are you grateful for today? It may be something big, like having a paycheck, or it may be as simple as having a comfy pillow to rest on. Experts say that acknowledging gratitude for just one thing every day makes us happier and more compassionate. Consider keeping a gratitude list and write down one thing or person each day you are grateful for.

12. Get enough restorative sleep

Sleep matters. Lack of sleep can make you irritable and have brain fog, but it can also make you ill and take years off your life. Most people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, but many of us don’t achieve that, at least not on a consistent basis. Do your body and mind a favor by getting to bed a bit earlier whenever you can.

Love ya,

Janet







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