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 per cent 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 per cent have adopted more rituals over the last 18 months as they attempted to get through the pandemic.
Of those, 15 per cent 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 per cent per cent 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 everyday – 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 per cent 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 per cent use them to feel calmer.
More than a fifth (21 per cent) said it helps them manage with stress and 19 per cent rely on them to help improve their overall mood.
But one in five believe they help them feel more connected and in the moment, while 58 per cent think they make their life easier.
Generally, more than a third believe rituals have helped them, with 21 per cent believing they helped to get them through a particularly stressful period.
Another one in 10 think they prevented them from getting ill while nine per cent 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 per cent feel there are aspects of their lives that they don’t feel completely on top of.
Of those, 43 per cent think they are struggling when it comes to the physical fitness while 40 per cent 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 per cent admitted they aren’t sure how to get control of the areas of their lives they don’t feel completely on top of.
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 Brits swear by:
1. Having a cup of tea or coffee at the same time each day
2. Taking a glass of water to bed to rehydrate in the morning
3. Writing a to-do list to keep on top of your tasks
4. Listening to music to destress
5. Reading before bed for relaxation
6. Eating meals at a dinner table rather than at your desk or on your lap to concentrate and eat more mindfully
7. Getting changed into comfy clothes after finishing work as a mental switch off
8. Looking out of the window every so often to have a minute to relax
9. Making sure to go for a walk each day for stress reduction
10. Spending time in and around nature/natural surroundings to unwind
11. Doing stretches to prepare for the day or unwind before bed
12. Taking supplements daily as part of a morning self-care routine
13. A beauty regime to help with self-care
14. Cleansing your skin for deep nourishment
15. Laying the dinner table before each meal to help make them less stressful
16. No looking at electronic devices while eating to be fully connected with each other
17. Having a full family meal on set days of the week to make sure you have the time together
18. Laying out the following day’s clothes the night before for calmer start to the day
19. Lighting candles to relax
20. Looking away from your monitor every so often to destress
21. Saying a daily prayer
22. Walking the dog in the morning, evening or both
23. Having a bath daily and using oils to help you relax
24. Making sure you call loved ones on set days/set times
25. Setting out all the components of your breakfast to set you up for the day
26. Setting out all the components of your lunch to save time and ensure you don’t skip it
27. Practicing yoga to unwind
28. Setting a time to move throughout the day to avoid being too sedentary
29. Not looking at screens after a certain time of day to give your mind a break
30. Daily gratitudes to help with a positive mindset