At what point did we start feeling the pressure of obligation? I’m trying very hard to pinpoint the moment when I became reliant on my calendar; living and dying by notes, appointments, and reminders to be somewhere, to do something for someone. I know it was before I had children, but I can’t recall if it was before or after high school.
For the last few months, I’ve been working on changing how I work. From time management to good old-fashioned productivity, I’ve needed to shift my thinking from OBLIGATION to INTENTION. I don’t have to do something, I get to.
With this in mind, I’m going to adjust my relationship with iCal.
If I must rely on the calendar for all commitments and responsibilities, I will schedule in self-care.
In all sincerity, let’s bring back the afternoon tea party. No really. Hear me out. These are a few of the reasons why I’m an enthusiast of teatime.
1. Connecting with friends IRL
If this isn’t the #1 piece of advice I’ve heard on how to improve your quality of life, I don’t know what is (aside from being sure to hydrate). Set up a regular time to meet and, barring an emergency, make it happen. Chances are, they are longing for this connection as well. (Insider Tip: Don’t cancel because of lack of childcare! If all parties have kids, it’s an instant playdate.)
2. An excuse to treat yo’ self
I’m not advocating to purchase luxury cars, but use your great-grandmother’s tea set. Or indulge a little, and buy yourself that darling mug from Anthro. (You know which one. All of them.) Buy a buttery cookie to go with your tea. It’s okay (and healthy) to treat yourself occasionally.
3. Rituals are comforting
Part of what I love about tea is the ritual. When I went to the UK this past spring for my brother’s wedding, I loved the ritual of placing the tea in the teapot, pouring in the water, letting it steep, placing all of the items just so. There’s comfort in the rhythm and ritual of the whole process.
4. There’s no such thing as instant tea
(Or at least one that tastes good. Prove me wrong.) The act of making tea requires patience and time. It was HARD for me to stop multitasking while the kettle boiled. I used this time to meditate, go for a brisk walk, or yes, Insta scroll (not work-related, however). Once I got the hang of doing nothing, it got easier.
5. Tea can be useful for you
Traditional Medicinals Teas can support and relieve nonserious common conditions*. When I was nursing both kids, I would drink the Mother’s Milk tea. I also drank Pregnancy Tea, while pregnant with both of my kids. These days, I’ve got Throat Coat in a mug, as we are now dealing with the beginning of winter weather (and a kiddo in preschool!).
Admittedly, sometimes these tea parties are a party of one, but that’s just fine! It’s alone time that I can use to eat my buttery cookie, drink my Dandelion Chai tea, and give myself 15 minutes of much-needed me time before my next appointment.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dog. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.