Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tea Time

I take an afternoon tea-break every day.

Perhaps this sounds stuffy, frumpy or strange. No, I am not British.  Some of my relatives are actually from England. And France. Italy, too.  I just happen to enjoy my tea. I look forward to it every day.

I am not a tea totaler by any means. I drink coffee in the morning. A few cups.  I enjoy an occasional cocktail or glass of wine at night.  I also love a good cup of tea. The whole afternoon tea ritual is calming and centering.  It makes me feel good.

 I work from home. I can just put on the kettle and take a break any time I want.  Every afternoon around 3 o'clock, I start thinking about tea-time. It's a great way to step away from the computer or my chores. It's the perfect cure for a stressful day. When I meet with new clients, it's almost always over a cup of tea.

The English break for tea every afternoon. They stop working, sit back, relax and sip.  I think there's really something to this age-old ritual. Imagine stepping away from everything for a short period right in the middle of your day.  How many of you actually do that? Be honest. I know the truth. You eat breakfast in the car, sip coffee on the go,  have lunch at your desk,  and never, ever stop. Every moment of your day is crammed with information, activities, meetings, and constant interruptions.  I know this because I used to be exactly the same way. My mind was cluttered, my body exhausted and my spirit restless. Then I started breaking for tea.  I learned this from co-worker. She was from India and every day, she and I would have afternoon tea together. We worked in an office filled with demanding people, endless phone calls and dozens of unfinished projects. Our little afternoon tea ritual became my salvation. It kept me sane. And, when I took this much needed mini-break, I returned to my desk refreshed, alert, and ready to tackle any tasks that needed my attention.

For some reason, hot tea is more calming and healing than any other drink.  Iced tea doesn't have the same calming effects. There's just something about sipping hot liquid, even in the summer-time.  If you think you hate tea, try different varieties before you give up on it. There are all kinds of teas to choose from: green tea, herbal tea, flavored teas. I usually sip green or herbal tea. In the winter, I love a cup of Earl Grey. I don't add anything to my tea but that's my preference.  Feel free to add cream and a touch of sweetener to your tea.  Experiment until you discover what tastes best. If there's no way in hell you are ever going to enjoy a cup of tea, then try sipping hot vegetable broth. Hot water with lemon works great, too. For some strange reason, coffee (even decaf) just doesn't work the same. There's really nothing soothing about coffee. Tea is light and clean. For some reason, sipping hot tea every afternoon makes me feel pure and part of something grand and beautiful. I know millions of other people around the world are doing exactly the same thing.

The English love sweet treats with their afternoon tea. This is one part of the ritual I don't recommend. Don't use your tea break as an excuse to nosh on cookies, cake, candy bars or other sugary snacks. If you really want something to eat with your tea, make healthy choices: apple slices with natural peanut or almond butter, cheese and wholegrain crackers, a protein bar,  hummus with carrot sticks, a handful of almonds. Think energy. Think protein. Sugar will provide a temporary rush, but eventually, you will feel even more exhausted. And what happens then? You will be tempted to reach for more sugary snacks so you can keep going. BIG MISTAKE! 

I challenge you to try breaking for Afternoon Tea every day for next 5 days and see what happens. Step away from the computer, let the phone calls go to voice mail, sit back and enjoy. Invite a guest to join you  or just sit alone. If it's possible, find a peaceful place.  Put on some soothing music, browse through a magazine or just close your eyes and sit in silence. You will discover that your body is more relaxed, your thinking clear, and your spirit more at peace. 

And this is my Daily Cyn.............

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