Is your life stressful? Probably! Most of us have a certain level of stress in our lives. The best way to combat stress is to set aside time for self care. This buzzy concept is all over right now, and can take on many forms.
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Self care means taking care of your body and your mind. It isn’t only about exercising and eating right, It’s also about finding ways to relax and de-stress at the end of a busy day. If you work from home growing your own business, then you probably put in odd hours at your computer. Maybe you change hats when the kids come home from school, or shift into bill-paying, grocery shopping and scheduling mode at some point during the day. All of this constantly working and juggling roles and responsibilities is stressful.
Could self-care be as simple as sitting down with a cup of herbal tea? Certainly, especially if it’s tea made with herbs that have gentle, sedative effects to help quiet the mind and calm the nerves.
Below are some great, herbal teas for relaxation to try when it’s time to shut down your laptop, put away the to-do list, and have some me-time.
Many people use lavender diffused in essential oil form, but did you know that lavender can also be brewed into a soothing and relaxing tea? You can probably find lavender tea on the shelf beside all of your other favorite herbal teas at the grocery store. If not, try a specialty tea or health food store, or just check out Amazon! Lavender has gentle sedative effects which makes it a great relaxing option and in some cases an excellent alternative to sleep aids and pharmaceutical relaxants.
While not exactly an herbal tea, green tea is known for being both antioxidant and calming due to the presence of L-theanine, an amino acid that affects brain wave activity. According to this article from Psychology Today, “The anti-anxiety effect of L-theanine is achieved through enhanced alpha brain wave activity and increased synthesis of GABA (Juneja 1999; Kakuda 2000). Increased GABA, in turn, increases brain levels of dopamine and reduces serotonin, resulting in general feelings of calm and well-being (Mason 2001).” You can read the article for much more details on the science behind this, but just know that green tea offers the benefit of reducing anxiety, but it doesn’t cause drowsiness because it is caffeinated. Try green tea in the morning or early afternoon.
We all know that chamomile tea is a natural insomnia reliever, right? Did you also know that it has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties? Chamomile tea is known to ease anxiety, relieve menstrual cramps, ease irritable bowel syndrome and generally promote relaxation. If you’ve never tried chamomile tea to wind down at night, there are many yummy blends to choose from, right in the tea aisle of your favorite store. Celestial Seasoning’s popular Sleepytime Tea contains chamomile and peppermint. It’s one of my favorites! This HeyGirl tea sounds yummy too, with added Valerian Root and Lemon Balm (2 other calming herbs).
Another popular tea made by Celestial Seasonings is called Tension Tamer. It contains the herb eleuthero, as well as chamomile and other herbs. Eleuthero is also known as Siberian Ginseng, which has been used by humans for thousands of years to help the body manage stress more effectively. This herb has a positive effect on the adrenal glands, which produce both stress and reproductive hormones.
This herb is a mild sedative, used to calm both the body and the mind. Studies have shown passionflower tea to have a positive effect on insomnia and the herb has been used for centuries to treat anxiety and nervousness.
*disclaimer: Please consult with a doctor prior to adding any herbal remedies to your body. I’m not a doctor!