A Recipe for Restoration
Maybe it's the cold, dreary weather or maybe it's our entrance into Pisces season, but all I know is that I'd very much like to stay in bed for as long as possible, spend hours of the day drinking tea and reading, and all around devoting more time to rest. This isn't entirely practical, as someone who is currently running two businesses, seeing clients, and diving into multiple creative projects...but I'm doing my best to honor my need for relaxation and restoration at this time.
Winter is almost over and with its ending comes the fire of creation, soon to be set ablaze in spring. There is so much work to come in this next turning of the wheel. And while we are already sowing seeds now and planning for what needs to be done, the real hard work doesn't come for a few more weeks. I know I'll miss this time of rest and introspection that late winter/early spring allows and I'm doing my best to savor every peaceful moment.
On the topic of rest...we humans do peculiar things when we're tired. In a society that praises "busyness" and measures our worth by our productivity (which, by the way, is a huge lie society has told you!!!), it can be hard to prioritize ourselves and our well-being. We've been conditioned to push ourselves through the work day and to "grind" or "hustle" or adopt other unhealthy attitudes about our schedules. Some reach for adaptogens when they're exhausted (often leading to further burn out over time) and others pour another cup of coffee thinking that these things will "refuel" our energy stores. But we don't have an herb or caffeine deficiency! We are tired! And what is the logical solution to this problem?
Give ourselves the rest that we need.
There is an unparalleled sense of contentment provided by a warm cup of freshly-brewed herbal tea, restorative yoga class, or uninterrupted night’s sleep. That contentment is rooted in the deeply nourishing experience of rest, something our human bodies simply cannot survive without.
I understand how hard it can be to juggle our responsibilities and still make time to rest, but it is absolutely imperative to our health. Our stress response is so interwoven with our physiological and emotional wellness and by prioritizing our self care and creating time every day to rest, we can reduce feelings of burn out, support our body's physiological processes, and feel more at ease in our minds and bodies. I know this isn't major news – the link between stress and illness is well established – but I just want to remind you today that you have a right to take time for you, to take time to rest. Sometimes self-care can be as simple as taking a nap or going to bed an hour early. I feel like we often forget this so here is a sweet reminder :)
If the concept of creating more time for rest sounds like what you're needing right now, I encourage you to brainstorm 3-5 ways you can do so each and every day. Write down this list and keep it handy. Here are a few ideas from my toolkit:
Swap out my morning coffee for a nutritive herbal infusion to support a healthier stress response over time (I've included a recipe at the end of this blog post!)
Honor my need to step away from my office 2-3 times per day for a light walk, to do some stretches, or lay down in silence to clear my mind.
Free myself from distractions around meals so that eating is a restful and nourishing experience. For me this means eating in a quiet area without my phone, tv, or stimulating music on.
Set aside my phone 1-2 hours before bedtime and leave it in another room when I retire to bed.
Practice restorative yoga postures when I really need more restorative time in my day (poses like Viparita Karani are incredible when you're needing to release pent up energy or contain low reserves!)
Your list may look like mine or it may look totally different! When in doubt, have a cup of chamomile tea – it always helps. We also have a few tinctures in the shop that assist with calming the mind or soothing thenervous system. If you're looking for herbal allies for rest, I invite you to check out our Dreamtime blend and Nourished Nerves.
Or if you are experiencing more intense stress and need one-on-one support at this time, feel free to reach out and schedule an herbal consultation. It would be an honor to work with you.
A Recipe for Restoration – TUlsi Nettle chai
I know, I know – swapping out your morning caffeine for an herbal alternative doesn't sound appealing to everyone. But I promise you, you'll feel better for it in the long run...especially if you are dealing with chronic stress in any shape or form – whether that be physiological or emotional strain. It's all linked together.
Here is one of my favorite herbal teas to drink throughout my workday instead of coffee. It is a very nutritive and robust blend, full of complex flavors, that is both uplifting and grounding at the same time. I hope you enjoy it!
1/4 cup Stinging Nettles
1/4 cup Tulsi
2 tbsps Red Raspberry Leaf
2 tbsps Rosehips
1 tbsp Cinnamon Chips (or 1-2 sticks of cinnamon)
2 tsp Dried Ginger
2 tsp Licorice Root
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Whole Cloves
1 tsp Coriander
5 Crushed Peppercorns
7 Cardamom Pods
1 Bay Leaf
HOW TO MAKE IT:
This recipe is both a decoction and an infusion, meaning that there are two steps involved with brewing it. It has quite a bit of ingredients, but feel free to make it your own! To begin, combine all the ingredients except for the Nettles, Tulsi, and Red Raspberry Leaf. Lightly crush these with a mortar and pestle if you have one.
Next add 1.5 quarts of water to a pot with a lid and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the herb mixture, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover the pot. Decoct for 20-45 minutes. Then turn the stove off and add in the Nettles, Tulsi, and Red Raspberry Leaf. Allow this to infuse for 15-30 minutes. Strain the tea and enjoy with a bit of milk, cream, or honey. Leftovers may be stored in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to three days.
I really really love this tea and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments below! It's quite good with coconut milk and tastes great hot or iced. It's also especially wonderful for those approaching or currently having their menses. The herbs in this blend are super nourishing and full of vitamins and minerals, as well as warming for the body and soothing to the heart and mind.
May you enjoy this time of early spring and rest in the last few days of darkness.