This morning I work up quite anxious. I had a long list of appointments, and that fact alone had me on edge from the moment I opened my eyes. I took a couple of deep breaths to calm my thoughts, just long enough to formulate a plan to a bit of peace before the storm possibly hit. Pulling out my phone, I discovered there was a coffee shop near my first appointment. At this time, my friend Norma was letting me drive her car, as she was still recovering from her illness. First on my list was dropping Norma off at work, for a 7:00 AM start time. At 8:00 AM, I had an appointment with the Greater Dayton Premier Management, looking for housing options. Between those appointments, I stopped in at Ghostlight Coffee. I had been there a time or two before, but never alone. This place is such a cute place to me. I enjoy the environment of this coffee shop. After staring at the menu for a bit, I ordered a caramel latte with a sesame seed bagel and lemon poppy cream cheese. Once I got my order, I settled down into my seat; however, my anxiety was trying to keep me from feeling comfortable. I closed my eyes, and in my head, I said, “take a sip and get ready for the day.” I repeated the phrase in my head at least five times before I was able to take one deep and slow breath. As the air slowly flow out of my lungs and passing through my lips, I felt my tension float into the air. When I opened my eyes, my latte was inviting me to take a sip and get ready finally! The latte was excellent, the bagel was perfectly chewy, and the cream cheese seemed super cream with a hint of tart lemon flavor. I had about 45 minutes to kill before I needed to leave my first appointment. Plenty of time to savor this morning meal, while the sun was starting to make its appearance. Depending on the level of my anxiety, there is always a small window where I can get in there and disrupt it’s attempt to take hold of me. Coping skills like these take time and practice. Often in a panic, I forgot to employ my coping skills. It is one of the reasons I practice them regularly, allowing them to become second nature. There are instances when this works entirely and other times when it works enough to get through. I feel “take a sip and get ready” has come to mean practice a coping skill for this situation and get ready to move forward from this place. What coping skills do you employ to help you move forward?