August Tea Favorites + My 2017 Mental Health Journey
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My health and wellness story from this past year, why mental health issues are hard to blog about while you’re in them, and what I’m doing now. Plus, my favorite teas from August 2017.
Usually when I sit down to write a monthly favorites, I start with a recap of the last month. But, I’ve been a little behind this year. Yes, I know, it’s August. So, that’s like… a lot of the year.
Back in January I was having issues with insomnia and anxiety — not to mention other health issues. I have dealt with anxiety for about the last 3 years but the insomnia was new and it seriously threw my being into chaos. It’s amazing how easy it is to take sleep for granted until you aren’t getting it. My mind would turn to “what ifs” which would perpetuate the self-inflicted cycle of… not sleeping.
I knew my regular routines at that time weren’t great. I hadn’t been exercising regularly. I wasn’t keeping up a meditation practice. My mind and body weren’t cued up for sleep. And because I’m the type to make lots of lists, plan in great detail and generally always be in control... the uncertainty of not knowing whether I would sleep on any given night made me crazy.
Really, this situation was all about control. And I needed to let go. From a much larger viewpoint, I needed to simply trust in the universe. I needed to trust that whatever happened was fine. It was perfect. Because it was happening.
So that’s why I’ve been paused on writing and creating recipes here. Part of me knew it could be valuable to share this experience as it was happening, but it’s hard to write about health issues and mental health issues while you’re still working through them. It’s hard to focus on anything other than collecting your pieces and assembling them in a more stable leaning tower for next time.
And that’s what I’ve been trying to do for the last six months or so: build my leaning tower in a more lasting way. My anxiety and insomnia have calmed down immensely since February so these aren’t daily or weekly issues. I know more of my triggers now and I also know that during certain events and times of year it’s going to be worse. I can notice when I’m feeling stressed (trigger for anxiety) or when my mind is starting to obsess (trigger for insomnia) and stop. And breathe. And be aware of the spiral that is beginning to build. Once you’re in the whirlpool, it’s hard to get out. But it’s possible to catch yourself if you’re aware.
Since this started, I’ve built exercise into a fundamental part of my day now. I meditate at least 3 or 4 times a week. I’m doing a simple bullet journal to notice and name any stress and emotions. And in general I’m adjusting my controlling mindset to let go and relinquish some much loved control.
Have you dealt with similar issues? Have you decided to restructure your habits for your health and wellness? I would love to know your story in the comments below.
In the meantime, these were my favorites teas this August.
Daily Nourish Herbal Tea by Ginger Tonic Botanicals
I found this tea back in February when I was just beginning to restructure different aspects of my life. I kept getting sick and I wanted something to support my immune system.
This Daily Nourish Herbal Tea is blended by Lindsay Kluge who is an herbal medicine and nutrition expert. This specific blend is super nutrient and mineral rich. It’s her go-to daily tea and brings six different herbs together into this complex medley.
This specific blend uses nettles, hawthorne, astragalus, yarrow, alfalfa, and ashwagandha. Each one has unique properties to boost health and wellness. If you’re curious to read more in depth about each of the ingredients, Lindsay has a full post about this tea on her site.
When combined, the herbs are earthy and rich. I can’t say the flavor is my favorite; it’s fairly herbal since it’s designed for wellness, not for peak flavor. But I still enjoy this tea regularly. Having the ritual of sipping for wellness keeps me in the mindset to continue my other health and wellness goals.
Brigita’s Daylight by Lauku Tea
Before I can talk about this specific tea I have to talk about the company. Lauku tea is hand-crafted in Latvia! I love their story. They grow every berry, petal and leaf organically and sustainably on a women-run, single-family farm 👊 #ladyboss
They offer three different blends for morning, afternoon and evening. Brigita’s Daylight is the morning blend with apple leaves, black currant leaves, dried apple, meadow clover flowers, lemon balm and mountain ash berries.
The thing I love about this tea is that it tastes authentic. There’s nothing artificial or contrived about the flavor. I sip it and I’m suddenly apple picking through rustic woods. I’m pulling carrots in the garden. I’m picking wildflowers to stash behind my ear.
It may not be as bold and loud as many of the teas I try. But it just tastes real. Maybe I’m a sucker for a good story, but I love sipping on a tea that transports me from my urban landscape to a land of meadow flowers and apple leaves.
Strawberry Lavender Mint by Teahaus
Even though this tea is called “Strawberry Lavender Mint”, it’s actually a black tea. I personally love flavored black teas. You still get the caffeine and traditional black tea flavor, but you also get that unique punch of something special.
The strawberry and mint in this tea are perfectly balanced for my palette. They have a lot of flavor and aren’t masked by the black tea. The lavender is more of a nuanced flavor but that’s the way I would prefer it anyway.
Teahaus actually makes at least 8 different strawberry teas. I’ve only tried their Strawberry Cream tea and this Strawberry Lavender Mint tea but both are absolutely delicious. I highly recommend them.
Lovely little things
- In case you missed my Instagram post and endless stories, I got awesome embroidered Rifle Paper Co Keds sneakers from Chris for my birthday! All the other sneaker options are printed but these are actually embroidered which is awesome.
- I love Coffitivity when I’m trying to actually get some work done at home. For me, it’s impossible to write when the tv is on and people are talking. Coffitivity is a collection of ambient cafe sounds that help me actually work when Chris just wants to watch The Simpsons.
- Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert