Relaxing Tea Remedies to Brew Before Bed

relaxing tea remedies to brew before bed
Picture Credit: Tom Godber

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 Root

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.

Catnip

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!

Chamomile

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!

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Acts of Self-Care to Try at a Coffee Shop

self-care coffee shop

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!

People Watch

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.

Meditate

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! 

Must-Haves in Your Self-Care Travel Kit

must-haves in your self-care travel kit

When it comes to keeping yourself comfortable on a long flight, train, or bus ride, it’s essential to pack a few extra items for self-care purposes.

A Self-Care Travel Kit, previously mentioned in my guide to Practicing Self-Care While Traveling, can help you handle the stress of getting to your final destination. Here are a few essentials, including some that are in my kit!

I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you real information about self-care.

Luxury Toiletries

By luxury, I mean toiletries that aren’t the typical toothbrush, deodorant, etc. Think the special pampering and beauty items that help you unwind or feel clean on the go.

J.R. Watkins Hand Cream with Shea and Cocoa Butters, Lavender, 3.3 Ounce

Trying to catch a few zzz’s on a red-eye? Studies have shown that lavender can aid sleep and reduce stress, so consider slathering on this lavender cream before take-off. Made with shea and cocoa butter, this cream won’t feel greasy and will soften you up while the scent chills you out.  Plus, this container is small enough to bring through security!

Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes with Cucumber and Sage – 30 Count

The grime that builds up after a long flight is one of my least favorite feelings. Avoid that yucky situation by stowing wipes like these Burt’s Bees ones in your carry-on. The cucumber and sage will help you freshen up!

OLAY Complete UV Daily Moisturizer SPF 15, Sensitive Skin 6 oz

I pack this daily moisturizer by Olay on every trip I take! It includes SPF 15, so it will protect your skin from the sun when you arrive in your destination. Just squeeze a bit into a FDA-approved travel bottle like the ones in this set: Silicone Travel Bottles Set, RockBirds Large Leak Proof Travel Bottles, FDA Certificated, TSA Approved (89 milliliter 3 Pack)

Sleep Accessories – Everlasting Comfort 100% Pure Memory Foam Neck Pillow Airplane Travel Kit With Ultra Plush Velour Cover, Sleep Mask and Earplugs

A neck pillow, sleep mask, and ear plugs can all help you get coveted rest while on the go. Save by purchasing all these items in one kit! Memory foam will help you stay comfortable for the duration of your flight.

Entertainment Material

The key to having an enjoyable flight is distraction from the customary unpleasantries. Tuning out turbulence, snoring neighbors, and the roar of the plane engine can be achieved with adequate reading, listening, or watching material.

CozyPhones Sleep Headphones & Travel Bag, Lycra Cool Mesh Lining and Ultra Thin Speakers. Perfect for Sleeping, Sports, Air Travel, Meditation and Relaxation – BLACK

Trying to lull yourself to sleep with a pre-downloaded podcast? Try these CozyPhones on your next trip. They lay flat against your ears, making it more comfortable to relax while listening.

Kindle Paperwhite E-reader – Black, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers

I personally like to pack a paperback, but e-readers are great storing numerous books, magazines, and news sources. My mom swears by her Kindle. Check out this sleek option from Amazon that provides the paperwhite tone readers love.

Protection – Zoppen Mulit-purpose Rfid Blocking Travel Passport Wallet (Ver.4) Tri-fold Document Organizer Holder, 1 Black

Knowing my travel documents are safe makes feel feel secure. This wallet has plenty of pockets for your passport, tickets, and other documents, and is made from material that will protect you from identity theft. Double win!

Smart Snacks & Drinks

Here are some of my favorite snack suggestions to keep hunger at bay.

15 Piece Game Jerky Alligator-elk-buffalo-kangaroo-ostrich-pheasant-venison-wild Boar Gift Pack

Protein is the best bet in terms of making me feel full. Check out these Game Jerky Sticks which come in a 15-piece pack. There’s enough to try a different flavor on multiple trips!

RxBar Real Food Protein Bars Variety Pack, 7 Flavors

Looking for a non-meat protein source to bring on board? Rx Bars are my personal favorite. Egg-whites and nuts provide protein while dates and figs make these super tasty. I love the blueberry flavor, which is also Whole30-compliant!

Simple Modern 17 oz Wave Water Bottle – Stainless Steel Swell Hydro Metal Flask – Wide Mouth Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Reusable Small Kids Coffee Leak Proof Thermos – Fiesta

Don’t forget to refill your water-bottle once you’re through security! These bottles by Swell come in a variety of colors and sizes. Pick your favorite variety and pack it to stay hydrated wherever you go. 

What are your must-haves in your Self-Care Travel Kit? Share them below in the comments and I’ll consider adding your suggestions to future blog posts!

 

50 Ways to Treat Yourself for Free

 

50 Ways to Treat Yourself for Free

Admit it: there’s nothing better than feeling pampered and unwinding. Treating yourself can be a great way to de-stress, but the price tag associated with more expensive self-care options like vacations, spa visits, and shopping sprees can be an obstacle when you’re trying to save money.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to practice self-care without spending a dime! Here’s a list of fifty free or cheap ways to treat yourself:

  1. Take a walk
  2. Listen to a podcast
  3. Call a friend and have a heart to heart
  4. Lay in the sunshine (with adequate sun-protection, of course!)
  5. Dance around your room
  6. Write in a journal
  7. Look for a free fitness class in your area
  8. Spend quality time with your pets (or find a friend who has pets)
  9. Check out free events in your community
  10. Meditate
  11. Wake up in time to watch the sun rise
  12. Try a new recipe that features your favorite ingredients
  13. Rearrange your furniture and decorations
  14. Play music that makes your heart sing
  15. Take out a new book from your local library
  16. Plan a day off from work
  17. Find a nearby hiking trail you haven’t been to before
  18. Window shop and make a wish list of your favorite finds
  19. Doodle or color
  20. Get dressed up when you feel like it
  21. Stay in your pajamas when you feel like it
  22. Sing
  23. Search for a new mantra
  24. Take a long bath or shower
  25. Snuggle under a blanket with a cup of tea
  26. Volunteer for a cause you care about
  27. Add new things to your bucket list
  28. Dig up old pictures and put your favorites on your fridge
  29. Stretch your body
  30. Watch silly videos online
  31. Use the beauty products hiding in the back of your cabinet
  32. Hug a friend
  33. Strike up a conversation with a stranger
  34. Nap
  35. Write down your favorite inspirational quotes
  36. Take deep, slow breaths
  37. Make a homemade gift or card for someone special
  38. Water the plants
  39. Water yourself
  40. Visit a museum with free admittance
  41. Look up at the stars on a clear night
  42. Try a new (affordable) hobby
  43. Roll down the windows when you’re driving
  44. Masturbate or have sex with a partner you trust
  45. Find a free crossword puzzle to do
  46. Prepare today for an easier tomorrow
  47. Re-read your favorite book
  48. Go to bed early
  49. Visit a garden and smell the flowers
  50. Practice gratitude

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What’s your favorite way to treat yourself on a budget? Let us know in the comments!

Have a little cash and want to treat yourself? Check out 20 Inexpensive Products to Treat Yourself To.