The Wellness Spotlight Series aims to highlight the health and wellness benefits of our teas.
It’s February, and by now, any resolutions that we made are most likely behind us, if even a memory. Each new year, it’s easy to believe that the answers to our wellness quest lie somewhere outside of ourselves–a thousand new products emerge from unknown depths of our social media feeds, claiming vibrant health in the form of a new powder, skincare products that defy gravity and time, and everything shy of immortality–and yet, these things simply never stick. With so much available to us in an instant, and each product promising a new solution we didn’t even know we needed, it’s hard to discern what will add balance to our lives from what will add even more stress. Lately, I have been getting curious about my wellness routine by simply asking: what really works? What has proven worthy and useful, time and again? What can make me feel good through every chapter of my lifetime, and not just until the free trial ends?
Enter: tea. Tea is the beverage of the world. For thousands of years, it has been known to promote health, community, and is associated with disease prevention and well-being. Tea has been right in front of us this whole time–perhaps even in one hand as we scroll with the other. It is the drink of thinkers, dreamers, and of course, readers. Before I sat down to write this evening, I got to tear open a fresh bag of A Dream Within A Dream. I was immediately greeted with a perfume of sweet chamomile, crisp apple, and calming lavender. As a full-fledged caffeine addict, it was hard for me to see at first the benefits of having a cup before bed, but it’s only taken a few nights for it to become a welcome and overdue addition to my nightstand. Aside from helping me to wind down, using a beautiful loose-leaf tea allows me to look at what’s going into my cup–a colorful array of flowers and herbs, hand-blended one town over from my apartment. This simple act has become a nightly meditation–my new ritual, cozied up with a book to fall asleep to. What could yours be?
To create your own tea ritual, consider the following:
Are you hoping to perk up in the morning with a touch of caffeine and a blast of antioxidants? You may want to reach for Picnic at Pemberly–a green tea blend with delicate floral notes, or Second Breakfast–my favorite black tea for when I need an extra push to get out of my hobbit hole. Or, like me, you can choose to wind down at the end of the day with an herbal or low-caffeine blend that will lull you into relaxation.
Try to set aside at least five minutes to prepare your tea (aside from steep time). Whether you plan to enjoy a caffeinated blend in the morning or mid-day like Vanilla Matcha or Poet’s Study, or an afternoon cup of Beach Reads to unwind, allow yourself a few moments to take in the sensory experience: the textures and scents, the warmth of the cup, and the sweetness of a few deep breaths to yourself before your first sip. This is not a time to scroll your phone while you wait for the water to boil–rather, commit to giving yourself the opportunity to be present. Five minutes of mindfulness each day is plenty of time to help regulate your emotions, decrease stress, and improve self-awareness.
Don’t get me wrong–I’m not asking you to give up coffee, and I hope you don’t expect me to. But with creating ritual, it’s important to have consistency. Will you brew a cup every morning to create a sense of connection with yourself, or just whenever you plan to escape into a book for an hour/entire day? There’s no right or wrong answer, but it’s important to be set up for long-term success. My trick is to take the pressure off of keeping my brewer clean by having an extra mesh tea infuser and a few compostable tea bags on hand.
Creating ritual is an incredible gift of self-care, and we can all make the time to commit just a few minutes a day to being present and brewing up a cup of health and relaxation. Happy drinking!