When I moved to my new apartment in North Carolina, I had the goal of creating a relaxing, re-energizing space just for me.Read More
I was recently hanging out with some friends when the topic of conversation turned to meditation. I shared that I generally try to meditate for a few minutes on a daily basis to ease my anxiety and chill me out. It’s a major part of my self-care routine.
They looked at me with bewilderment. They had experienced various struggles with their attempts at meditation and thought that it simply wasn’t for them. They found it difficult to quiet their thoughts, to be still, to think of absolutely nothing.Read More
2018 was all about self-care for me.
During my quest to treat myself a bit more than I had been, I purchased several self-care products and services and had other ones gifted to me. Here’s a round-up of my ten favorites (plus a few honorable mentions) that I’ll continue to use in 2019 and beyond. Consider gifting these to yourself or a friend this holiday season.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been battling a nasty sinus infection/cold/cough. It hit me right in the middle of my parents’ visit to my new apartment over Thanksgiving and lingered through the first few days of December.
Getting sick is all around miserable (as I’m sure you know.) All I wanted to do was sleep but my dog and congestion had other ideas. I was in a grumbly mood about spending too much money on tissue boxes and cough drops and annoyed at myself for coughing through my little brother’s birthday dinner. I wasn’t getting better fast enough and that just made me more disgruntled.
A cozy corner table in a coffee shop can be oh-so inviting. I can spend hours in The Black Cow or Manhattanville Coffee, and it’s because these spaces make me feel really comfortable. Heck, I wrote this blog post at the Peekskill Coffee House.
Maybe it’s the bustle of the morning customers in need of caffeine, the smell of steamed milk and cinnamon, or the endless stream of tunes that keep me coming back. The combination of these factors make the magical coffee shop a perfect place to practice self-care.
From one coffee-love to another, here are a few acts of self-care to try the next time you visit your local coffee shop.
Allow the Environment to Affect You
Why do I love coffee shops so much? The sights, sounds, smells, and tastes are generally pleasant at the majority of shops. One of the easiest ways to practice self-care is to put yourself in an environment that makes you feel good, and coffee shops just do that for me.
My favorite coffee shops emit warmth, play music to fit the mood, and are full of light. What environmental details matter to you when it comes to feeling good? If your ideal coffee shop has free WiFi, serves sandwiches, and sticks to a jazz playlist, then search for that spot and visit it often. Your coffee shop could become a self-care spot for years to come!
This tip is related to allowing your environment affect you but deserves further explanation. I’m not suggesting stalking anyone in particular, but people-watching (and dogspotting) can be a wonderful way to reconnect with humanity and ground yourself. Simply grab a table and take in the fascinating human beings and animals around you while you sip your tea.
Relax, you’re not creepy – everyone people watches! Starting by simply observing the actions and reactions around you that catch your eye. Focus on the occurences that bring you joy and let yourself get lost in someone else’s universe.
Check Tasks Off of your To-Do List
In my opinion, the coffee shop is the perfect environment to complete tasks you’ve been putting off at home. Tax prep, studying, or finally organizing your inbox may be slightly more bearable in the presence of pastries. There’s also a good chance other people will be working around you. Let the atmosphere of productivity inspire you.
Complete that nagging task and take a sip of coffee. I always feel so good when I cross something off my list.
If the background noise becomes too distracting, I suggest listening to music, a podcast, or an audiobook while you work. You could try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks or Join Amazon Prime Music and start with a 30-day Free Trial.
Some people prefer to meditate in a place that is totally silent, but I actually like to meditate with a bit background noise. Maybe you’ll like meditating in a coffee shop too!
I typically try to meditate alone at a table for a few minutes before tackling that to-do list. I start by focusing on my breath in relation to the various sounds and smells around me. I feel my body touching the chair and my feet resting on the floor. A few minutes of being aware of my environment creates the calmness that allows me to reach that tranquil place.
Order a cup of green tea once you’re done meditating and let the calm vibes flow!
Strike Up a Conversation
If you have extrovert tendencies and social interactions re-charge you, then take advantage of the friendly atmosphere that many coffee shops provide. Connecting with the person at the next table could make you feel really great.
Unsure of how to make that first move? Try respectfully complimenting a stranger, chatting with your favorite barista, petting a dog (with the owner’s permission), or making a silly face if a baby or young child looks at you.
Do you practice acts of self-care at your coffee shop? Share your personal experiences and favorite spots in the comments!