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Routine or Ritual?

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Candle in a mask, covid-19

The end of the third UK Lockdown is inching ever closer as every local hero receives a jab in their arm. I've yet to receive mine but I live in Tower Hamlets, who are unfortunately slightly behind other London Boroughs. However, as soon I receive the text or letter, I shall be there!

How have I been spending my time?

I have an "office" job which I've been continuing with, working from home and I still intend to transition to work full time as a massage therapist albeit with adjusted timescales now.

I'm naturally reflective - and if you're familiar with Insights Discovery, I'm Blue - and these lockdowns have provided plenty of time to reflect on habits and how time is spent. I began running during the first lockdown and enjoyed the spring sun and post-run high but it felt like a routine rather than a ritual; I went on autopilot rather than doing it because I enjoyed the act of running.

I moved to hiit classes with a fitness app which I have thoroughly enjoyed and look forward to in the morning, adding it to my ritual of fresh coffee as I gather my thoughts for the day. I've maintained my yoga practice although I must admit I do much prefer classes in-studio, I've found I'm much more distracted at home with an online yoga class. This surprised me as I live alone and there's no one at home to distract me!

coffee mug and coffee beans

A close friend recommended reading stoic philosophy, which I have found incredibly useful for managing day to day feelings of frustration and I now know where some yoga instructors got their inspirational quotes from!

I've also enjoyed the slower pace of life. Whilst the restrictions on social interactions have been mind-numbingly awful, especially through the cold, dark, wet winter months, there are some things I would happily leave in The Before Times.

Crammed tube trains in rush hour, for example. Why do we want to go back to them? What benefits do they offer that working from home more often can't? Commuting was definitely a morning routine. I don't know about you but I would much prefer a morning ritual that provides me with a sense of satisfaction, hope and resilience to tackle the challenges of the day. And there will be challenges every day. But they can be met and overcome and even turned into fuel if you've made it to an advanced level of stoicism.

Oxford Circus Station

One step at a time though. Poco a poco as my Spanish friends would say.

What have you discovered during the lockdown? Feel free to leave a comment, I'd love to read all about them.

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