Taking Time – Tea & Self-Care

I’ve been talking kind of a lot about taking good care of yourself – like here, and here – as you may have noticed. And that’s because I’m a big believer in self-care. Self-care is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, taking care of yourself. But it’s a deliberate, conscious thing. If you want to take good care of yourself, you have to do it on purpose. I like to think I can provide an occasional reminder, so I thought I’d let you in on one of my fave self-care rituals, and it’s the oldest one in the book: making a mug of tea.

Taking Time – Tea & Self-Care

taking time for yourself

Taking care of yourself is pretty subjective. You need to cater to your own needs and tastes. If you live a super fast-paced life, slowing down might help. If your work is slow going, and you feel stuck, you’re going to want to shake things up. So always start by sitting down and taking stock of what you need, instead of listening to someone else’s advice on what will help. Makes a world of difference, I promise.

Now me? I’m a college student. I’m always running in sixteen different directions, multitasking on four different things for as many classes, and trying to keep up with my friends – all on four or five hours of sleep. I do a lot of things in my life for other people, whether they’re friends, teammates, or instructors. So for me, self care is sitting down somewhere still and quiet, and focusing on just one thing, just for myself. A lot of times, that ends up being a mug of tea. In anticipation of this post, I paired up with Lipton to try a few teas from their new and improved lines, and as a picky tea drinker, I promise they’re good.

The photo op for this blog post smelled amazing, by the way.

The photo op for this blog post smelled amazing, by the way.

I tried the Lady Lipton black tea (perfect for a morning pick-me-up) and the Cinnamon Apple herbal blend (good and comforting for study breaks on busy nights), but I think my fave was the Purple Açai Blueberry green tea. Don’t get me wrong, all these teas are good – super tasty, and they smell amazing – but the green tea is so light and refreshing, even warm. I have a few days with two-hour gaps between classes, and I use those to catch up on work. They’re usually pretty frantic. Adding a light, fruity mug of tea, like Purple Açai Blueberry, is the perfect way to stay centered. (Not feeling any of those flavors? Here are your other options.)

Why tea?

Tea is so often recommended when talking about self-care that it’s sometimes lost just why you should be treating yourself with it – let me break it down.

Tea is tasty. It smells awesome. It’s warm. It’s a multisensory experience that helps keep you grounded and in the moment, and so does the process of making it. I can’t tell you how many late nights I’ve spent, padding into the kitchen to choose a mug, pick a tea, boil water, and steep it just long enough that it’s strong but not bitter. I have to be fully present in that moment. Making tea isn’t hard but it demands your attention and care, and rewards you when you’re through.

Tea + teacup succulent, in case you couldn't tell I'm obsessed.

Tea + teacup succulent, in case you couldn’t tell I’m obsessed.

When I’m stressed beyond belief with three essays and two tests and a debate tournament on my plate, I need to do something that grounds me, keeps me calm, keeps me focused. For me, tea is the perfect form of self-care, complete with a reward at the end. So when you’re stressed, take a second to sit and think about what would be best for you in that moment, and don’t be afraid to do it – you’re worth it.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.