Cleansing the Mental Palate

Make sure you have your ginger, or sorbet.  You may wonder what in the world I’m talking about.  I have started a regular routine similar to the sorbet served between courses, or the piece of ginger I see people eating in between pieces of sushi.  Both of these foods serve the same purpose – they cleanse the palate with a deliberately different flavour in preparation for the next experience.  I think we need to do the same with our daily schedule, and not just food.

We humans are creatures of habit, and most of us already have these little routines in place as we transition from one part of the day to the next.  When we awake, we might stretch, use the washroom, clean ourselves up, get dressed and groomed for the day, and perhaps brew some coffee.  As bedtime draws near, we put on our pj’s, brush our teeth, take off our makeup, maybe read a bit, or have some calming tea.  But what about the transitions during waking hours? I recently realized this need for myself, and I have put in place a new routine, mental sorbet if you will.

I found that upon coming home, my mind was usually still racing with the day’s tasks, and it was taking me a very long time to settle into the more relaxed rhythms of being home for the evening.  I also felt far too tired in that moment to deal with the tasks at hand at home, such as cooking dinner, anything else that was planned for the evening, etc.  I love doing all those things, but it was simply too long a stretch to be mentally focused to such a degree.  So here’s my little routine, what I do once I’ve stepped in the door:

  • Take off shoes, put down bags, wash hands, etc.
  • Light a scented candle
  • Put on relaxing music
  • Change into clothes for home and relaxing
  • Make myself a light snack – properly prepared on real dishes
  • Enjoy the snack as mindfully as I can, either listening to the music or listening to some positive, inspiring messages

Once I’ve done these items, I feel like a “reset” button has been pressed, and I am ready for the next part of the day – usually dinner, something around the home, maybe plans for going out in the evening – I’m ready for it!

It’s a very simple technique, and I did something similar intuitively when I was younger without giving much thought to it, but it makes such a difference.  Not only do I feel more at ease and energized throughout the day, but it makes me a brighter and more cheerful person at home!

Chime in below, do you have daytime routines to transition?  What are some signals you’ve set up for helping your body and mind move on to the next chapter?  And hey, what’s your favourite sorbet?  I like citrusy ones like lime or pink lemonade 🙂

(Photo of sorbet from Wikipedia)

 

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