Sometimes the actual process is the best part of something. The process is what actually relaxes us.
For us that “something” is our tea ceremony.
Getting the teapot and mugs out. Picking a tea flavor. Table set. Breathe.
I don’t actually love the taste of tea that much, but I do love how it makes me feel. I also love what it distracts me from: red wine.
Kevin and I enjoy wine, and over the last few years we have learned how to reserve wine for special occasions.
But the temptation is always there.
Kids bring a base level of stress to the household each day. They could be perfect all day and there is still residual stress from their presence.
Our go-to stress response used to be a glass (or two) of red wine. Then we realized what started as an end-of-week habit had crept into the rest of our week.
So in 2017 we had zero alcohol. Not one drop. We mastered sparkling water, kombucha, and tea.
We bought every flavor of herbal tea imaginable and found a few favorites. (MVP: Chai Rooibos).
Just drinking the tea failed to provide the stress relief wine did. We had to rethink our strategy and turn the act of drinking tea into a ceremony.
Candles, music, and sitting low to the ground all helped.
Steeping the tea in a pot instead of individual cups made the experience more communal and romantic.
And each night we chose our tea ceremony over wine we felt a sense of victory.
Our ability to manage stress improved, our minds were clearer, and we learned how to face our thoughts and stress head on.
Our stress did not go away, but once we accepted what tea couldn’t do we embraced what tea could do.
Tea couldn’t numb our stress like wine, but it could relax us.
Tea couldn’t instantly calm, but it could sustain the calm.
Tea taught us to accept things as they are and not run away from life.
Tonight the mugs and teapot will be out. We will choose a tea bag. The tea will taste okay, but its warmth and the ceremony will not disappoint.