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  • Writer's pictureAnna Dibell - Karuna Surf Yoga Life

A lockdown coffee survival guide - or - why habits can make or break your mood during the pandemic

Sometimes the most mundane things can make that big difference, tiny habits so deeply rooted we barely even notice them. When we for some reason have to change them, some go easier than others. For those of you who know me, my morning coffee routine fall into the "other" category. For those of you who don't, here's the thing:

I absolutely and dearly love my morning abatanado* at our local street café. It starts my day in the best way possible.

But that was all about to change.

All was fine and dandy when we entered into this new year. Well, you know, there was still the pandemic and I don't have to tell you about the difficulties everyone around the world face in our own different ways. But still, we do our best to manage, right? Portugal, that I nowadays call home, was in a semi lockdown, but we were still able to frequent cafés if we did so in an orderly fashion. Which meant I could still go for my morning coffee. But things deteriorated, people kept gathering in groups outside cafés, and that lead to:

No more coffee! (and me losing my s***)

I know, it's not important, it's a luxury problem, and I honestly don't mind. It just made me reflect on habits in general. On how we all co-create our own suffering in a way, by the habits we keep. When something we really like is taken away, we suffer, because we have grown dependant on it. We have incorporated something into the fabric of our life, and then something, or someone, pulls a thread, and it gets all messed up.

I'm not talking about the bigger, life changing events like losing someone we love, or getting a serious injury. No, I'm talking about the everyday habits we keep and how changes can ambush us if we are not careful.

This was exactly what happened with my morning coffee routine.

So, why is that? Why obsessing about the coffee? I can just make my own right?

The thing is, when I thought about it more deeply, is that my morning coffee habit means more than just a sip of the magic bean juice. More than just the socially accepted chemical dependence. Losing this routine due to lockdown confused me and knocked my day off its course.

But as soon as I figured out the WHY, I was in a much better position to re-focus and change my morning routine to get back in the game.

You see, the morning coffee routine is about creating a space for me, without distractions. It's when I catch up with friends back in Sweden, it's when I plan my day and what I want to achieve during the day. It's a space and time where I align with the world and with myself. Of course, the coffee is one part, but not the most important.

When something we really like is taken away, we suffer, because we have grown dependant on it.

And now once I realised this, I could just as easily create this time and space at home. I made a new habit. It looks different, the coffee is not as good, but hey, I still get all the other boxes checked.

And when cafés are opening up again, I think I will never take that smoking hot abatanado* for granted again. Fingers crossed.

Action point and take away:

What everyday habit do you have that you really like - and if you had to change it, what is the deeper purpose of that habit? What good stuff does it bring if you look a little closer?

Thank you so much dear reader for getting this far. Stay safe, stay kind, and on today's note - stay caffeinated ;-)

*portuguese version of a regular sized black coffee, and oh so delish


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