Last week saw World Mental Health Day, and it was great to see all of the online and physical support being offered across the globe to combat what is still a huge problem for many.
People big and small spoke out about both their own mental health experiences, but also the ways they had dealt with their situations, which inspired me to draft this piece. I don’t keep quiet about my own experiences with anxiety, as I definitely suffer and understand the frustration caused by it. I’ve already written a post on the relation between anxiety and coffee before, which you can find here.
Seeing everyone else’s top tips on battling mental health made me think over my routine, and what keeps me going on tougher days. I've been drafting a blog post similar to this for a little while, so I bished, bashed and boshed this one out to align with International Mental Health Day.
It’s nothing too out there, and I do wish to clarify that I am in no way a mental health specialist. These practises work for me, but may not necessarily work for you.
Although this is technically touched upon in all of the below, I wanted to dedicate its own little space to ‘self-care’. As the technology age develops and we become ever increasingly busy, it’s important to make sure we dedicate time to ourselves with minimal distractions.
This helps push the reset buttons on myself, clear my mind, and get rid of any fogginess I may be feeling.
I find having a routine in the morning, coffee or no coffee, definitely helps keep a clear mind space and keep my anxiety at ease.
Although don’t take this routine too seriously: I’ve witnessed people actually becoming more anxious at times when they aren’t able to keep up with their routine - say, when they have to miss their cup of coffee in the morning.
A routine should keep your mind at ease, not make you worry more.
It’s no secret that I spend a lot of my life inside (or directly outside) coffee shops. However, I try to keep my regular coffee shops divided into different purposes, as each shop has a different vibe where I’ll achieve certain activities better.
For example, Beanberry Coffee in Kingston is definitely my go-to coffee shop to do work in. A handful of plugs, semi-comfortable seating (you can’t have it too comfy otherwise you won't want to work!), as well as a stripped back/industrial vibe to the shop makes it an ideal environment to knuckle down in.
However somewhere like Vanilla Black in Kennington, definitely echoes more chilled out vibes. The interior is light and bright, clearing the mind, with many different knick knacks in the shop to grab your attention and brighten your mindspace. Not so great if you’re getting distracted every five minutes like I would!
By having these different zones, it means you have a go-to place for when you may be feeling a little low, or somewhere with little distraction so you can focus a fuzzy mind.
Concentration + Precision
I find being able to channel all of my thoughts into making my cup of coffee a way to eradicate any toxicity floating through my head.
Coffee isn’t just pour and go (well, at least the stuff I’m drinking!); you have to be precise: measuring out all ingredients, to ensure that you extract the best out of your coffee beans.
I find concentrating on this is almost a mini form of meditation: zoning out on all other thoughts and making you focus on one task is proven to relax you.
Hygge + Fika
Without going into too much depth as thse can be easily googled - I try to follow Hygge and Fika concepts to achieve a more balanced life.
Most of the items in this blog post are covered through Hygge, which is why I had to quickly nod some appreciation in it’s way!
These include making time for myself in a quiet (tech free!) environment, keeping my surroundings calm and cosy (as this is what environment I enjoy the most), and taking the time to sit down and sip a coffee: no distractions.
Study + Research
Some people may find this the bane of my lives, and maybe it’s the curse of the History Grad within me, but there’s not much better in life to me than learning new things. I love kicking back with a book or wiki-page and delving into new ideas and theory focusing on coffee.
Blogs are popping up left right and centre, and I love spending an hour or two scrolling through and discovering other people’s experiences in their cultures.
Surrounding yourself with people who can understand you is definitely important.
Not just in a way regarding your mental health, although it is very important that you find people who you feel comfortable talking to. I also mean people who share the same interests with you, and make you feel at ease when you may not be feeling at your best.
I’m very lucky to know some amazing individuals in coffee, and when we talk about our shared interest it calms me down (or gets me excited about new ideas)!
I'm thankful that I'm lucky enough to be able to follow this kind of lifestyle, and my blog is definitely a big reason as to why I can do so. Even if you can't practice all of the above, selecting one or two and giving them a try could work wonders for you - just like they did for me.
Do you have any other wellbeing activities involving coffee? I'd love to hear them!
Until next time, lovelies.