Drinking tea. I’ve never ever ever been a tea person. I walk briskly past the eager employees hold trays of exotic tea samples at Teavana in the mall. And trust me, I’m not one to turn down a sample. Whole Foods on a Saturday? Let’s feast.
Anyway, I decided to become a “tea person” and so far, it’s working out — especially because my best friend Michelle got me a gift box of a a loose leaf tea brewer (not a technical description) and a variety of new teas to try. Who knew you could get tea in strawberry lemonade flavor?!
What’s the point behind my transformation? You can only drink so much coffee. Even decaf at night messes with my head because I know that it has a little caffeine. I don’t want anything messing with my sleep! Plus, tea has so many anti-oxidants, flavors and it chamomile makes a daring promise to calm me down, which is usually something I desperately need.
I’m by nature an anxious person and enjoy having food and/or drink in my hands at all times. Since eating 24 hours a day isn’t exactly ideal for staying healthy or getting anything done, tea is a great option.
1. Perfect After Too Much Coffee. I would just keep drinking coffee if it was in front of me, but there’s no point in creating more of an addiction than I already have. Therefore, instead of that mid-morning jolt, I opt for a tasty, energizing spring tea to smolder my craving for something hot.
2. The Afternoon Slump. Another time when I’d normally get coffee, but I always feel apprehensive about it. Should I really be drinking coffee at 3 or 4pm? Again, sleep is very important to me and even thinking coffee will affect my sleep will do so. Having tea to get me through helps.
3. Post-Work, Pre-Dinner. Like most people, I get home from work after a long commute rather ravenous. It’s been my habit to immediately break open the tortilla chips and start munching until dinner is ready — AKA, while I’m making dinner. Usually, that means cramming down an extra 300 calories before dinner. Not necessary. In lieu of wine, which I’m trying not to drink on the weekdays, tea provides the calming ritual and hunger satiation I need to make it until dinner.
4. Put a Kibosh on Overeating. Okay, so I haven’t mastered this one yet but it’s been helping. I have insatiable hunger (or just something that is insatiable) in the evenings. I always just want to keep eating, crunching, chewing….some may even call it numbing (hello, people with emotional food issues!). By having a go-to in tea (get a sweet, fun flavor), I have something to hang onto instead of clutching an bowl of ice cream. So far it’s helped me stop before heading over the overeating cliff of no return and I hope to utilize it even better with practice.
5. Bedtime Anxieties. Ever get that feeling of panic when you know you should be tired because it’s bedtime but you’re not? Maybe that’s just me, but sometimes when bedtime comes and I’m not tired, I start envisioning a night of staring at the ceiling, worrying about how I’ll be too tired to function the next day. Well, I hardly ever actually do that but to calm my fears, I brew up a cup of Sleepy Time tea and don’t let the panic take over. Just having that action to take makes me free pro-active in getting myself to sleep — and that’s a mental savior.
6. When You Need to Slow Down. I’m the kind of person that always likes to be busy. On the weekends, I struggle if there is a lot of downtime. Why aren’t we doing something? It’s silly, really, but instead of freaking out, sometimes I just need to slow down, make some tea and grab a book. Lord knows I’m always reading three books at a time. Having a cup of tea reminds me to be quiet, think and just chill.
7. Taking a Break. Many times, when I’ve traveled to foreign countries, tea time is a staple of the day. In Kenya, we stopped multiple times a day for tea. It seemed off — you just stop working and have tea? What is this? But I found that I really looked forward to having tea. It broke up the day, invited conversation and was a bit of pleasure no matter what else was going on. What a novel idea! If only Americans would stop for “tea time” at set times each day, where we could stop working, engage in conversation and relax. That may never happen as a general rule, but I can certainly do so for myself and hey, I think I will.
I asked my Facebook friends the other day what I should try and they came back with some awesome responses. Here are a few of those:
Am I missing anything from this list? What’s your favorite kind of tea?