'What I wouldn't give for a hot cup of tea!'

I don't know how many times that phrase, or words to that effect, has come out of my mouth over the last 7 years. Having a small human or two around the house seems to have had a negative impact on my ability to drink a cup of tea whilst it's still at the desired temperature. Not so hot that it scalds your mouth and you can't taste anything else for the rest of the week, but not cold, so you end up spitting it back in the cup! A warming, soothing, refreshing brew, that I can wrap my hands around, breathe in and surrender to.

When I go to the hairdressers, which isn't as often as I'd like, and I get asked if I'd like a drink, my inevitable answer is 'ooh, yes, I'd love a hot brew, please!' You see, sitting there, with nothing else to focus on, I can drink it whilst it's still at that perfect temperature (although obviously in between the snipping and blow-drying - no one wants hairy tea!).

I met up with a fellow self-employed mum not so long ago (a networking meeting conveniently arranged at a local chocolate themed cafe . . . ) and I ordered a mug of tea, a 'hug in a mug' I called it, as I was cold and a little run down.

Tonight, I've been working, The small humans are sleeping, the tall male one is out with his friends, so I have some time to get back on top of the to-do list. I made myself a brew, sat down at the computer, got cracking. Time passed and I reached for the cup. It was cold. Not even a smidgeon of warmth emanating from it.

And I realised something. I had a brew-reka moment, if you will!

That "hug in a mug" is exactly that. It's a hug. It's a gesture to myself that I am looking out for me. I am taking the time to meet a need, to refresh a thirst, to give myself a moment of comfort. Much as a physical hug from a loved one is comforting, nurturing, warming, that cup of tea represents so much more than a drink. When I drink it hot, it's usually because I'm doing something FOR ME; I'm relaxing with a friend, having my haircut, reading a book, making time for me. And when I've let it go cold, I've not looked after myself. I've not taken the time to drink it whilst it's warm. I've neglected me. It's not a hug, it's more of a limp handshake.

So, next time you make a brew (and it doesn't have to be tea, you know, coffee, hot chocolate, a warm Ribena - any of these will do!), sit down and drink it. Wrap your hands round it, savour it, drink it mindfully. Be aware of you, in that moment, doing something for you. Taking 5 minutes out of the day to stop, rest, refuel. Give yourself a hug. That warmth, love, compassion and energy you give freely to others? Maybe it's time to give some back to yourself. If you want to find out more about my Just Relax classes for adults, please click here.