“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Morning feedings, alternating diaper changes, figuring out breakfast for a picky toddler—all before I’ve had a chance to brush my teeth. As a mom of two little ones, I don’t need an alarm clock to get my morning started, but I’ve decided to use one anyways. Once everyone is awake, the day moves so quickly. I have to make an effort to slow things down and give myself a chance to breathe, to settle down and get my bearings before or between the whirlwinds. I’ve started to work towards finding time for me. Creating space in my day to sip, savour and surrender—to purposely slow down before I need to speed up.
The first step in my new routine is having my morning cup of tea before everyone is up. I drink a black tea to help wake myself up, like Orange Pekoe or Earl Grey. It’s the perfect way to start the day—calm and energized. Higgins & Burke Naturals™ makes a delicious Earl Grey with notes of citrus and Italian bergamot.
the ritual around it gives me a renewed sense of self and a way of caring for myself simply by enjoying and elevating my everyday experiences.
Tea has a funny way of forcing me to slow down. The process is part of that—boiling the water, the colourful steep and the anticipation that leads up to that first sip. It’s way too hot to drink quickly, so embedded in the drink itself is a sense of surrender, an invitation to settle down and relax if only for a few minutes. It’s the bridge between the beginning of the day and the speedy, sometimes chaotic things that follow. I don’t need it to survive in the literal sense, but the ritual around it gives me a renewed sense of self and a way of caring for myself simply by enjoying and elevating my everyday experiences.
Sometimes I overthink things, like self-care, for instance. I think that a weekend retreat at the spa or a luxurious vacation are what I need to take care of myself. While I definitely think there’s value in taking time for that too, waiting for those special moments left me feeling on empty most of the time. I think focusing on the simple acts, the everyday experiences like morning or afternoon tea—this is what helped give me a chance to rest and breathe. Every. Single. Day. Scheduled self-care is what I like to call this. It consists of small everyday actions that create space in our busy bustling lives for rest and reconnection.
The world stops, I take in the silence for a moment, wrap my hands around the warm mug and surrender to the sweet smells as I savour each sip.
In the afternoon, depending on the kind of day it’s been, I often like to find a few moments for another Earl Grey or a herbal tea like Higgins & Burke Naturals™ Peppermint Tea. When I’m at home with my two little ones, this usually takes place during nap-time. Brewing my cup of tea is the first thing I do when nap-time has officially started, and it reminds me that it’s time to slow down. Even if I need to throw a load of laundry in while my water is boiling, the kettle calls me back and helps me take some time to slow down and sip my tea, even if this is just for a few minutes. The world stops, I take in the silence for a moment, wrap my hands around the warm mug and surrender to the sweet smells as I savour each sip.
Self-care doesn’t have to be overly indulgent; it doesn’t need to be an elaborate vacation or month-long retreat. Self-care is something that can be practiced everyday. All we need to do is make that time, create that space. Just pause for a few minutes to sip, savour and surrender.
Congratulations to Crystal M. of Port Coquitlam, BC for winning the amazing Higgins & Burke Naturals prize pack. Enjoy!
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.