Rosh Hashanah Self-Care Celebration

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is about the chance to look forward to an exciting new year of growth, sweetness and abundance. This is why we often say “ Shana tova oumitukah ” to wish others a good and sweet new year. 

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah may look different for some of us this year. We may not be able to attend services or celebrate the way we traditionally do with family. However, we can find ways to engage with the Jewish middah (value) of Simcha, or joy! This value pairs with the idea of self-care, or how we can increase our mental well-being by taking care of our bodies, minds, hearts and spirits. 

We’ve put together a Rosh Hashanah self-care celebration you can do. We hope you will join us in strengthening our mental-wellness by celebrating the New Year with our community. 

Pomegranate Kavanah

The pomegranate serves as a  symbol of righteousness and fruitfulness on Rosh Hashanah. Its abundant seeds represent both our hope for being blessed in the New Year and our desire to perform countless mitzvot (commandments) in the coming year. 

Take a moment to close your eyes and take a deep breath—three seconds in, three second hold, three second exhale. Choose an intention for this upcoming year. How would you like to treat others as well as yourself? What might you like to achieve? How do you want to bring blessings into the lives of others? 

If you’d like, you can recite this traditional Rosh Hashanah blessing: 
May it be Your will, Lord our God and God of our ancestors,
that You renew for us a good and sweet year.

On a piece of paper write down your kavanah (intention). Writing down our kavanah helps us commit to turning intention into action. 

Challah Hobby Challenge

During Rosh Hashanah, we bake challah, a traditional Jewish egg bread, in the shape of a spiral or circle to symbolize the continuity of life from year to year. The roundness—as opposed to the traditional braided Shabbat challah—signifies that an ending is also a beginning and represents sweetness and fluidity and hope for the coming year.

The creative process can help us manage stress, especially when paired with activities that have you using your hands. This can be baking, gardening, drawing, etc. Take time to make something or do something with your hands. You may choose to bake a challah or simply engage with a hobby you love. 

Shofar Blasts
On Rosh Hashanah, we blow  a shofar, a ram’s horn, as part of a traditional service to announce the new year. The shofar has many symbolic meanings: It calls for one to self-reflect and critically consider our own action this past year. It is a reminder of the sacrifice in the story of the binding of Isaac. It reminds us to be humble. It is reminiscent of the revelation and receiving the Torah at Mt. Sinai. And its blasts bring to mind joy for the newness of the year.

Even if you don’t have your own shofar, you can make music and evoke joy. Play an instrument, use your voice, or even drum on the table.

Consider offering a Blue Dove Foundation Mental Health Shofar blast.

New Fruit

On the second night of Rosh Hashanah, we enjoy a new fruit or something we haven’t eaten since the start of the season. When we eat the new fruit, we recite the Shehecheyanu,  which expresses our gratefulness for being alive and allowing us to reach this time.


Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, shehecheyanu, v'kiy'manu, v'higiyanu, laz'man hazeh.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season. 

Write your own Shehecheyanu-type prayer by filling in the blank:

This year I am grateful to have experienced: 


If you offer your own version of a Shehecheyanu and are open to sharing it as a communal resource, please email a copy to [email protected] or post it on social media and tag @BlueDoveFoundation. 


Booklet Section: New Year Blessings, Prayers for Healing & Peace, Gratitude