I believe in healthy, soothing rituals. I’m talking about behaviors and practices meant to achieve physical, spiritual or emotional comfort.

For example, my husband and I try to have dinner on Friday night and then see a movie. Then there’s my grandmother, who had a cup of hot English breakfast tea daily and savored the moment when her cold hands came into contact with the warm mug. Or my friend who wakes up before dawn every weekday and laces up his sneaker to run.

Small and healthy rituals are important. They anchor our minds to the present and provide a modest level of comfort when other aspects of our lives aren’t going so well. If work sucks and your kids are monsters, it feels good to take an evening bath or have that one piece of Dove dark chocolate every day.

That’s why it’s so hard for people to quit smoking and drinking. The self-soothing ritual of the morning cigarette? The glass of champagne at the end of the day? Replacing it with a goddamn cup of tea is dissatisfying, and, honestly, depressing.

But finding a wholesome, daily ritual is worth a look. Whether it’s five minutes in a dark closet where nobody talks to you — or your favorite Starbucks drink on the way to work — there is something out there for everybody. 

You deserve one moment every day that feels great and requires no apologies. I think you can find something special that doesn’t harm your body and soul. One good thing you do for yourself that nobody else can do for you.

That’s my wish for you, today.