A basic fact about me is that I love coffee.Read More
It seems like everyone goes on some sort of diet when January 1st rolls around.Read More
October is here, and it’s really starting to feel like fall in New York! Time for sweaters, apple cider donuts, and scary movies!
At the end of most days, I tend to feel a little wired. The ping of my Pixel 2, emails on emails on emails, and the latest Drag Race meme all tend to keep my mind buzzing regardless of my body aching for horizontal relief.
To achieve that shuteye, I include a few different practices into my nighttime routine to calm my mind. One of the most effective relaxation remedies I do regularly is sip on a cup of herbal tea. The steam, boiling water, and kettle hiss make brewing a tranquil ritual itself, and the resulting beverage can really help you unwind.
Various types of teas have sleepy and relaxing effects. I suggest testing out a few of the teas below on different nights and seeing how each one impacts your sleep.
Valerian has been used to treat various ailments for centuries, and recent studies show that this herb can help improve sleep quality and make you fall asleep faster. It also reduces anxiety in some, making this a solid option for me.
The taste of Valerian alone is pretty earthy, so combine it with an additional tea flavor or squeeze some lemon in it if it’s not to your liking.
Your kitty may already be obsessed with this herb, but did you know that catnip is safe for human consumption as well? The leaves, flowers, and roots of catnip have been used extensively to treat different medical problems. Cats can display a variety of reactions to catnip, but the plant tends to make humans feel calm.
If you’re considering trying a cup of minty catnip tea to aid your sleep, be sure to brew the leaves or flowers only. The roots of catnip can have stimulating effects.
Try this pouch of Dried Catnip Leaf by Wild Foods that both you and your cat can enjoy!
Dried chamomile flowers brewing in hot water may aid a multitude of medical problems, including insomnia. A specific flavonoid called apigenin acts on the benzodiazepine receptors in your brain, causing you to feel woozy and ready to hit the pillow shortly after consuming a cup.
You can also use chamomile essential oil for aromatherapy. Try Roman Chamomile Essential Oil Ultra-Premium 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade By Avíanō Botanicals
Decaffeinated Green Tea
I’m sure you already know that green tea has a multitude of health benefits, but regular green tea might keep you awake because of the caffeine. Thank goodness for decaf!
Green tea, even the decaffeinated variation, contains l-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation. Stick to sipping a decaf cup of this old favorite for improved sleep and other benefits.
Sleepy Time Variations
Not sure which tea to try first? Consider trying a mix of herbs in a tea intended for sleep, often called sleepy-time tea. Many brands offer pre-made mixes intended for resting. Here are a few options:
What’s your favorite tea to drink before going to bed? Share in the comments and I’ll consider adding your suggestions to this article!
A cozy corner table in a coffee shop can be oh-so inviting. I can spend hours in The Black Cow or Manhattanville Coffee, and it’s because these spaces make me feel really comfortable. Heck, I wrote this blog post at the Peekskill Coffee House.
Maybe it’s the bustle of the morning customers in need of caffeine, the smell of steamed milk and cinnamon, or the endless stream of tunes that keep me coming back. The combination of these factors make the magical coffee shop a perfect place to practice self-care.
From one coffee-love to another, here are a few acts of self-care to try the next time you visit your local coffee shop.
Allow the Environment to Affect You
Why do I love coffee shops so much? The sights, sounds, smells, and tastes are generally pleasant at the majority of shops. One of the easiest ways to practice self-care is to put yourself in an environment that makes you feel good, and coffee shops just do that for me.
My favorite coffee shops emit warmth, play music to fit the mood, and are full of light. What environmental details matter to you when it comes to feeling good? If your ideal coffee shop has free WiFi, serves sandwiches, and sticks to a jazz playlist, then search for that spot and visit it often. Your coffee shop could become a self-care spot for years to come!
This tip is related to allowing your environment affect you but deserves further explanation. I’m not suggesting stalking anyone in particular, but people-watching (and dogspotting) can be a wonderful way to reconnect with humanity and ground yourself. Simply grab a table and take in the fascinating human beings and animals around you while you sip your tea.
Relax, you’re not creepy – everyone people watches! Starting by simply observing the actions and reactions around you that catch your eye. Focus on the occurences that bring you joy and let yourself get lost in someone else’s universe.
Check Tasks Off of your To-Do List
In my opinion, the coffee shop is the perfect environment to complete tasks you’ve been putting off at home. Tax prep, studying, or finally organizing your inbox may be slightly more bearable in the presence of pastries. There’s also a good chance other people will be working around you. Let the atmosphere of productivity inspire you.
Complete that nagging task and take a sip of coffee. I always feel so good when I cross something off my list.
If the background noise becomes too distracting, I suggest listening to music, a podcast, or an audiobook while you work. You could try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks or Join Amazon Prime Music and start with a 30-day Free Trial.
Some people prefer to meditate in a place that is totally silent, but I actually like to meditate with a bit background noise. Maybe you’ll like meditating in a coffee shop too!
I typically try to meditate alone at a table for a few minutes before tackling that to-do list. I start by focusing on my breath in relation to the various sounds and smells around me. I feel my body touching the chair and my feet resting on the floor. A few minutes of being aware of my environment creates the calmness that allows me to reach that tranquil place.
Order a cup of green tea once you’re done meditating and let the calm vibes flow!
Strike Up a Conversation
If you have extrovert tendencies and social interactions re-charge you, then take advantage of the friendly atmosphere that many coffee shops provide. Connecting with the person at the next table could make you feel really great.
Unsure of how to make that first move? Try respectfully complimenting a stranger, chatting with your favorite barista, petting a dog (with the owner’s permission), or making a silly face if a baby or young child looks at you.
Do you practice acts of self-care at your coffee shop? Share your personal experiences and favorite spots in the comments!