But First, Coffee: A morning ritual
“Not all who wander are lost. Most of them are just looking for coffee.”
The phrase “First, I drink coffee, and then I do things,” runs very true with me. It can even be said that I’m not doing anything until I’ve had my coffee. I’m on autopilot until that warm elixir runs down my throat. A mindless zombie, feeling my way around the house. A purple minion, if the delay is too long. But I don’t need coffee for the caffeine. “Coffee time is me time.”
Most of us have morning rituals and for most of my life (since the age of 12), coffee has been included in mine. My day doesn’t start without coffee and nothing gets done in the day without it. My family knows not to talk to me until at least half of my first cup is gone. Be it five minutes or two hours, I always have “me time” with a cup of coffee. There’s the usual face care routine and getting dressed, but before I allow the day to overtake me, I prepare with a cup of coffee.
What’s the point of this? Well, it’s to take a moment for myself, before everyone else has all of my moments. I would encourage anyone to carve out a set time for themselves at the beginning of the day. If you don’t take for yourself at the start of the day, more than likely won’t get to do it later. Sit down with your favorite warm drink in the morning and allow your mind to boot up. While we would love to just get up and go, the truth is that we can run ourselves ragged doing so.
Not enough of us take time out at the beginning of our day for our self, and frankly, it is very much needed. We startle ourselves out of our sleep with an aggravating alarm sound and hit the ground running. We can go all day without taking a breath, just to crash—not sleep— and then repeat the same thing the next day. While we can take time for ourselves at any point of the day and it is important to do so, the morning time is precious. The day is still new, the mood can be set, and the potential explored.
Now am I sitting down drinking coffee in silence for two hours straight? No—although I could. I use this time to enjoy my brew and do quite a few things. At home, I prepare the coffee pot first thing, choose a favorite large mug and prepare a cup with my current favorite creamer (as of now Coffee mate’s Crème Brulee). I do this while listening to classical music or light jazz (mainly because my sister banned Kpop before 10:00 a.m.). With my cup of coffee, I open the blinds to let the light in and sit down at the nook table.
Here, I’ll take a moment to look outside before starting on my morning devotional. I have been working on a S.O.A.P. journal and it has been a blessing on my life. After completing my S.O.A.P. journal entry, I’ll then add to my personal journal. (A lot of writing, I know.) For me, this focuses and renews my mind to face the day. If there is time, I’ll even work on my adult coloring book. My morning usually runs like this unless I need to be somewhere early or need to adjust for a workday. If I’m feeling fancy, I may just take everything with me to a Starbucks or a nice local café.
Specifically, for workdays, I arrive early to have time to myself. I’ll sit in a corner with my coffee in hand, meditating, listening, or even watching a show. I enjoy the alone time until I have to actually start work. Taking “me time” before starting the workday, is not procrastination, or laziness, but a time for mental preparation. Mental preparedness is often overlooked (in more than just work) but giving attention to our mental health proves to be beneficial.
By spending time with myself first thing in the morning, I internally set my atmosphere for the day. This is something everyone ought to do at the start of their day. Many of us are dictated by our workload and give everything out without getting anything in return. Considering this, it is even more pressing to fill ourselves up before clocking in on the job, on our business, and on the world. We should not forget amidst the daily grind, to have a “personal grind”. A flat tire does more damage to the car when it keeps running.
Make a reservation for one, first thing in the morning. My morning coffee is a personal, open and unending reservation I have made with myself before I get too deep into anything else. While coffee is an all-day affair for me, having that first sip is like hearing bells. The planets align, flowers bloom, and everything becomes right in the world. Okay, maybe it is not that extreme and serendipitous, but it's close enough. The entire tone of my day is set. I organize my thoughts, meditate, and push aside any anxieties that may rear their ugly head. Anything I need for the day, I get in the time I finish that first cup.
Everyone needs a little bit of “me time” and I challenge you to try this at the beginning of your day. You may even see a difference in how not only your day goes, but your attitude towards the day. When your mind is set right, you can literally face anything. That annoying co-worker, disruptive student... traffic. You can avoid a break-room smack-down and complete wipeout.
Do this for your sanity. I stand by “me time.” Maybe you don’t have time to set aside an hour or two. Try, setting your alarm clock in the morning at least an extra 15 minutes earlier. Find an activity that you can do within this allotted time or more, whether it be a daily devotional, reading the newspaper, or watching cartoons. Perhaps you don’t like coffee (the horror!). Steep some tea or mix a cup of cocoa. Be it at home, in the car, or at your desk, set aside time for yourself and your sanity will thank you later.
Creating space for myself first thing in the morning is a part of my morning ritual. How about you? Do you include any “me time” in your morning rituals or do something else?
Let us know below! We would love to hear.