These past few weeks have been bumpy, so I’ve been looking forward to moments in the day when I can catch my breath. Here, nine Cup of Jo readers share rituals — including barefoot walks in snow and Friday Fun Days — that bring them joy…

On the magic of water:

“Every night, I read in the bathtub after my three-year-old goes to bed. Sitting in silence and delving into a book while finally getting warm is the highlight of my day. It also gives my introverted husband the alone time he is sorely craving, and gives me some time with my book friends, which fills the gap in my extrovert heart.” — Hilary

“My mum has been wild swimming in a lake in Ontario, Canada, for years. She chops a hole in the ice and even has had a bubbler in the past to keep the hole from freezing over. At 65 years old, she has gone viral on TikTok for her submersions and barefooting – her account handle is @barefootsue. I don’t have TikTok myself, but it’s always hilarious running into teenagers who do and know who my mum is!” — Tara

On life with furry friends:

“Early in the morning, I walk two laps around the Great Lawn in Central Park, when the dogs are off leash. The dogs outnumber the people, and I feel like I’m a visitor in some sort of magical dog city. My anxiety is lower when I don’t bring anything to listen to, so I just walk and look around.” — Dee

On quiet moments:

“I retired a while ago, and three years back I took a part-time job as a cleaner at my local dental surgery. The deal with myself was simple: if you want to spend time writing your novel, you need to earn some money. Five days a week, I get up just after 6 a.m. and am totally alone until 8 a.m., when I return home again to fresh coffee. It’s wonderful to clean with just a podcast for company, the village empty in the early morning, mind clear and ready for the rest of the day. Two novels later, I have no intention of giving up this regular, meditative occupation.” — Annie

“I listen to history lectures in bed. I have done this for years, and when new lecture series from my favorite professors — Dr. Dorsey Armstrong, Dr. Philip Daileader, or Dr. Robert Garland — become available, I look forward to drifting off to sleep while listening to them. I find diving deep into the Middle Ages or the ancient Greek world takes my mind out of present woes, but also reminds me that people have come out of very difficult times before.” — Erin

On remembering loved ones:

“I lost my dad during Covid. He was an avid gardener with a collection of vintage milk pails, cooking pots, and wash bins that he turned into planters. I’ve used them to recreate his garden at my home. My grief ritual is planting his favorite vegetables in these beloved containers. Tending to ‘Dad’s Garden’ is my therapy and love letter to him. When days are particularly hard, like his birthday or Father’s Day, I water his garden with my tears.” — Leah

On setting new rhythms:

“Ever since age 12, I’ve celebrated July 1st as my own personal New Year’s Day. I like starting a secret new year at the height of summer as opposed to the dark, wet winter. It feels more optimistic and joyful. I make sure I’m awake and outside at both sunrise and sunset, so I have time to take stock of how things are going and what I want to change.” — Jessa

“Years ago, my parents started Friday Fun Day — or ‘FFD’ — where they do something new together each Friday. I’m a freelancer with a two-year-old and a three-month-old, and we adopted Friday Fun Day over the pandemic. I’ve decided no more trying to get ‘work’ or ‘something’ done on Fridays – and gone is the guilt, as well! Last week, we went to a park with my parents and drove through a new shaved ice place; sometimes we just make pancakes or muffins and cover them in sprinkles. We make a sign for Daddy that says, ‘Welcome Home’ or ‘Weekend Party!’ and stick it on the front door. I’ve never enjoyed Friday so much or been so appreciative of the small moments with my little people.” — Le

“Cup of Jo is definitely one! When work gets tedious, I hop on and see what new posts you ladies have given us and it’s an immediate mood-lifter. Especially reading the weekend post on a Saturday morning with my coffee.” — Jules

Do you have any favorite rituals that ground your day? We’d love to hear!

P.S. 12 feel-good reader comments and great reader comments on living fully.

(Photo by Lucas Ottone/Stocksy.)



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