Coffee Time=Me Time
I was really inspired today by coffee (that sounds a little weird, I know). My Dad was in town visiting from Florida, and I took him to a brand new coffee shop in our little town. I had yet to go and it seemed like a fun idea. Now when I say this is exciting, I mean it, because I live in a very …how should I say….small town, mom-and-pop-shop kind of area. New and modern things are hard to come by, but its also harder to find things that I like. We live in a very Pennsylvania Dutch-y type place, and it is not exactly a stop on the healthy lifestyle train (which is why I cook A MAJORITY of my meals). This coffee shop definitely stands out in my little town because it is very eclectic, modern, and urban in style. I was excited to see it opening, to say the least.
While we were there, as I enjoyed my iced vanilla latte with almond milk (my fav), I realized that coffee is much more to me than just that helpful boost in the morning. I started thinking about WHY I love it SO much. Truth is, most of the time, unless I down 4 shots of espresso, I don’t get that caffeine high from it. Before discovering fitness and self-care, I drank about 3-4 cups a day and STILL never felt awake. I didn’t really drink it to enjoy it, it was just something that I thought was helping me get through the day. Way back when I FIRST started drinking it, I am sure it affected me much more, but nowadays I don’t need coffee to help me feel awake throughout the day and tend to drink it solely for enjoyment. But why?
The obvious answer is: “It smells and tastes GREAT!” Well yes, that too. But for me, coffee is more than that.
Let me begin by explaining my daily routine. I wake up at 4:45 or 5:00am, go immediately out to my kitchen and add a dark roast pod to my Nespresso machine. (For those of you who have never tried the Nespresso line….you’re missing out). When my coffee is made, I head over to my living room, plop myself on the couch under my blanket and savor every sip for about a half hour. Yep, I literally wake up every morning a half hour earlier than I need to so that I can have my time with my coffee. There is something so majorly therapeutic about this time I take in the morning. It is like a warm blanket I can taste and smell. It’s my “me time” before my crazy day begins. It starts my day off with relaxation, gratitude, and calmness. The sun hasn’t started rising yet and I get to sit there and just exist. As a counselor, I NEED this time because most of my day is devoted to helping others, listening to others, and putting out the fires of overly dramatic scenarios. This time allows me to just be with me. My husband is still sleeping and even my dog doesn’t get up until later (somehow my cat doesn’t care if its 5am or midnight—he always wants attention). But it’s a beautiful, special moment each morning that I get to have and enjoy, and it allows me to set the tone for my day. I am taking care of me first-thing. Immediately after my coffee time, I work out most of the time, so it’s really a full hour devoted to putting me first.
I think that is why coffee is now more of a comfort and activity now than it is about waking me up. When I go to a coffee shop like the one with my Dad, it’s a chance to indulge in the taste of it, enjoy the company I am with, and to experience people and places. It has become a catalyst for special moments, me-time, joyful experiences, and, most of all, a time in my day where I am just enjoying something for no reason at all beyond the enjoyment.
If you aren’t much of a coffee drinker, that’s OK! The reason I share this with you is to point out that“joy” can come from the smallest of things, and that you can have these moments with other things you relish. Coffee is really just a stand in for the bigger picture which is, you need to find the things that bring joy into your day. It is important to take moments just for you, whether it’s through fitness, coffee, tea, meditation, or that glass of wine at the end of the night when the kids go to bed. These moments are SO important for your self-care and even your self-awareness. If you never take time for you, can you really learn new things about yourself? I know we all have busy lives, but even if it’s just twenty minutes out of your day to reset, think, not think at all, or be mindful of your body, it can really change your outlook. Coffee does it for me, but you need to find what works for you. So take 20 minutes tonight to do something you enjoy, that relaxes you, or just allows you to be peaceful (a bubble bath is ALWAYS a great idea, too!) and remember to be grateful for that moment no matter what you are choosing to do with it.