Welcome to my new blog series, Mommy's Time Out. This blog is dedicated to all moms who have ever needed their own time out. Each week I will explore new ways in which we can take a time out, rejuvenate, and re-energize ourselves.
Every morning Monday through Friday I stop after I drop off my little lady at school for a coffee before I go to work. Due to my hectic schedule and meeting after meeting, this coffee run is just that, a run. It's a quick in and out to get my caffeine and go. It's not joyful, it's not rejuvenating, it's another errand. Or at least that is the way it has been feeling lately.
So I have decided to make this much needed beverage a reason to stop, sit, breath and actually take the time to enjoy the coffee I just spent 6 dollars on. Here is the plan or the rules so to speak if you would like to join me in making a coffee break an actual break. And just like with anything new it is going to take some time, adjusting and planning.
Step one: we have to actually go inside, strange right, the drive through is just so convenient. But let's do it and this is where the act of being mindful begins. If we want to get the most out of our new coffee experience, we actually have to be there. Once we park the car take a deep breath and get prepared to take notice of everything around us. Notice what we hear, smell, and see. Notice how the weather feels against our skin. Really take everything in as we make our way to the door.
Step two: actually consider what you order. And remember to stay mindful. My favorite coffee place is always bustling with people, good music is playing and the smell of coffee and pastries are a pleasant way to say “good morning”.
Step three: placing our order. Maybe we will try something new, maybe we will stick to our favorite. But whatever we do, be kind to person behind the counter. Even if we were cut off 3 times driving there, or we just remember that we forgot to brush our teeth. Ask them how they are, place our order and say thank you. Always say thank you.
Step four: and this is a hard one if we have someplace we need to be, hence why planning is so crucial. Waiting...waiting for our drink. For me, I generally resort to my smart phone to pass the time. Let's not do that. Instead go back to being mindful. Maybe our minds will wonder, maybe we will make lists of things we need to do, maybe will become anxious because we can't remember if our child had their lunch box. If this happens we just have to acknowledge the thought and let it go, we can deal with no lunch later. We may even have to say to ourselves, "breathe in, breathe out", and if we catch ourselves saying it out loud, we will just let that go too. Before we know it, someone will be calling our name, or something that is pretty close to our name.
Step five: Find a seat, and enjoy. This is my favorite step. I like to find a seat by the window, and really drink my coffee. We can be mindful about anything, even drinking a cup of coffee. So here is how to do it. Pay attention to what the cup looks like, how it feels in our hands, notice the textures and temperate. Smell the coffee before we taste it. I mean really smell it, take a nice big deep breath in. Notice all the different aromas, and how the steam feels. Now we are going to take a sip, and as we do, pay attention to the taste and how it feels as we drink it. Try to track it as it goes past the lips, over the tongue, down the throat and into the stomach. This works especially well with a hot or warm drink. We just repeat this until the cup is gone. Keeping our focus on what exactly we are doing and taking in all that is going on around us, without judgement. Eveything is exactly as it should be.
There it is 5 steps to make the most out of a coffee break. No more returning emails, or checking on that Facebook post, or getting to the next level of candy crush. We can just take the time to enjoy and give ourselves the permission and space to take a break even if just for 15 minutes to get ready for the day. Maybe give it a try next time and see how you feel after. This is a perfect time out, and a way to get ready for the day feeling balanced and with a clear mind.