A daily cup of tea provided comfort to millions of British citizens through one of the darkest eras of their history: the Second World War. Some went as far as saying it helped hold the country together. As leading tea expert Bruce Richardson explains:

“Tea was the great ‘cheerer-upper’ of the war. Everyone from the Throne downward can attest that civilians and military alike turned instinctively to the solace of the kitchen teapot, mobile canteen urn, or an improvised trench-built billy-can.”

Fast-forward to today: In Italy, as the coronavirus took hold, people started a ritual of singing to one another from their windows and balconies when their country went into full lockdown. In New York, similar moments are emerging as the crisis unfolds here, including daily clapping and cheering tributes to heroic healthcare professionals.

The takeaway? Small things are powerful. Now is the perfect time to establish small, daily rituals for yourself and your family. Having something positive to look forward to will help you and loved ones get through the tough days ahead.

Give yourself permission to take a break from thinking about the virus, even for a little while, and sideline the fear. Something as simple as a cup of tea, a song, a dance, a cheer, cooking together, playing cards, taking turns reading and telling stories to one another—practiced around the same time each day—provides a desperately needed hopeful anchor.


  • Paul Napper


    PAUL NAPPER leads a management psychology practice. His client list includes Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, universities, and start-ups. He held an advanced fellowship during a three-year academic appointment at Harvard Medical School (HMS).
  • Anthony Rao


    ANTHONY RAO is a cognitive-behavioral therapist. For over 20 years he was a pediatric psychologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an instructor at HMS. In 1998 he opened a specialized private practice. He appears regularly as an expert commentator.