Brits have revealed the habits and rituals they swear by to get them through the day including yoga, calling loved ones at a set time – and taking time to make a regular cuppa.
A study of 2,000 adults found 42 percent have an average of four things they do every day to keep them happy and healthy – with men more reliant on rituals than women to help create structure and routine.
But in true British fashion, the simple act of a cup of tea or coffee at the same time of day was named the top ritual for keeping calm, collected and centered.
Others rely on making sure they take time to eat away from their desk and looking out of the window to give themselves a minute to relax.
It also emerged 51 percent adopted more rituals over the last 18 months as they attempted to get through the pandemic.
Of those, 15 percent now set a day for the whole family to share a meal to ensure they have quality time amid their hectic schedules.
And the study, commissioned by Healthspan as part of its Rituals to Wellbeing campaign, found 35 percent claim their lives are heavily structured around the routines.
Psychologist Dr Meg Arroll, who is working with Healthspan, said: “Many of our daily habits and practices have now been given new meaning in light of the pandemic and have become valued rituals.
“This is notable as transforming a set of actions that you do every day – even something as simple as making a cup of tea – into a ritual will give you the added well-being benefits such as stress management and feeling grounded in the present moment.
“Many of us have just experienced incredibly high levels of stress and anxiety over a lengthy period of time, not only as we dealt with the worry that came with the pandemic itself, but also as we adapted to the restrictions changing our day-to-day lives.
“Rituals are all about the meaning behind why we do something.
“The survey highlighted that 52 percent of people have adopted new rituals which have helped improve their quality of life, whether it’s to help keep you calm and collected, reduce stress, or simply help you get through everything you have to do that day without feeling overwhelmed or burnt-out.
“But, while the pandemic saw us unable to do some of the rituals we had previously swore by, it was also an opportunity to create some new ones or view our habits and practices in a new light.”
The study also found more than a third of those polled swear by carrying out certain rituals because it makes them feel good, while 33 percent use them to feel calmer.
More than a fifth (21 percent) said it helps them manage stress, and 19 percent rely on them to help improve their overall mood.
But one in five believe the rituals help them feel more connected and in the moment, while 58 percent think they make their life easier.
Generally, more than a third believe rituals have helped them, with 21 percent believing they helped to get them through a particularly stressful period.
Another one in ten think they prevented them from getting ill, while nine percent feel they have allowed them to better cope with parenting.
Others think they have helped when going through a divorce or bereavement, retirement or when starting a new job.
The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found 54 percent feel there are aspects of their lives that they don’t feel completely on top of.
Of those, 43 percent think they are struggling when it comes to the physical fitness, while 40 percent need more help with sleep.
Mental health, money and relationships are also among the areas where people think they are finding it hard to cope.
But 77 percent admitted they are unsure how to gain control of the areas of their lives they don’t feel completely on top of.
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Dr Meg Arroll added: “Habitual practices that were carried out routinely for years have now been transformed with new meaning to become health and wellbeing rituals.
“This demonstrates how some of the toughest times can allow us to develop important coping strategies that we can then use in our everyday lives, which act to increase mental strength, provide meaningful human connection and protect physical health.
“This concept known as ‘post-traumatic growth’ is a key aspect of positive psychology and is something that we can all take forward after the past gruelling 18 months.
“These rituals will also help us to cope again if we need to brace ourselves for a further wave of Covid, or any other future difficulties.”
Top 30 daily rituals:
- Having a cup of tea or coffee at the same time each day
- Taking a glass of water to bed to rehydrate in the morning
- Writing a to-do list to keep on top of your tasks
- Listening to music to de-stress
- Reading before bed for relaxation
- Eating meals at a dinner table rather than at your desk or on your lap to concentrate and eat more mindfully
- Getting changed into comfy clothes after finishing work as a mental switch-off
- Looking out the window every so often to have a minute to relax
- Making sure to go for a walk each day for stress reduction
- Spending time in and around nature/natural surroundings to unwind
- Doing stretches to prepare for the day or to unwind before bed
- Taking supplements daily as part of a morning self-care routine
- A beauty regime to help with self-care
- Cleansing your skin for deep nourishment
- Laying the dinner table before each meal to help make them less stressful
- No looking at electronic devices while eating to be fully connected with each other
- Having a family meal on set days to ensure you have the time together
- Laying out the following day’s clothes the night before for a calmer start to the day
- Lighting candles to relax
- Looking away from your monitor every so often to de-stress
- Saying a daily prayer
- Walking the dog in the morning, evening, or both
- Having a bath daily and using oils to help you relax
- Making sure you call loved ones on set days/set times
- Setting out all the components of your breakfast to set you up for the day
- Setting out all the components of your lunch to ensure you don’t skip it
- Practicing yoga to unwind
- Setting a time to move throughout the day to avoid being too sedentary
- Not looking at screens after a certain time of day to give your mind a break
- Daily gratitudes to help with a positive mindset