Tag Archives: Tea

Ways to Unwind #TuesdayTen

Yesterday, my psychologist, the staff and I had a meeting to discuss how we could better cooperate. It was a good meeting, but still I was a bit anxious beforehand. We discussed ways in which we could keep the lines of communication open instead of getting stuck on negativity, and how the staff could help me prevent piling up stress. I do have a crisis prevention plan, but it is pretty useless once I’m already in the dark orange or red state. So preventing me from getting this stressed is key.

Today’s Tuesday Ten theme comes in a timely manner. It is Nationnal Hammock Day (in the U.S.). Having lay in a hammock a handful times on vacation, I can totally attest to its relaxing effects. Then again, we don’t have one ready here to lie in when I’m stressed, so I have to come up with other ways to relax. Here are ten:


  1. Writing. Writing has always been an activity I used to unwind. I was an avid storywriter in my teens, but unfortunately lost that skill. Since I got an Internet connection, I started writing for a wider audience. It can be stressful when I “have to” write a blog post, but it can be deeply relaxing when I write from my muse. I also continued writing for just me until I few years back, and really need to start the offline journal again.

  2. Some crafts. Like with writing, crafting can be frustrating. However, crafts that I find easy such as stringing beads on a wire or basic looming are quite a good way to focus my attention on something else while not needing so much concentration that it becomes frustrating.

  3. Fidgeting. I used to be reprimanded a lot for playing with my hair or fidgeting in other ways. I’ve basically stopped caring and my parents are not here to dictate that I cannot fidget anyway. I love playing with my handmde jewelry.

  4. Coffee. Okay, I know that caffeine isn’t supposed to be good when you want to relax, but I consider drinking a nice cuppa quite relaxing.

  5. Herbal tea. For a bit of balance when I’ve drunk too much coffee. Particularly chamomile tea has relaxing properties, but I usually blend different herbs because the act of brewing my own tea is relaxing in itself.

  6. Music. I don’t tend to listen to music while doing other things, such as writing. When I do listen to music, I usually “dance” to it as I listen to the lyrics. I find this quite a help in thinking without getting stressed.

  7. Talking it out. I find that talking about what makes me stressed helps when I worry a lot. I also find that a chat about something that interests me also helps me refocus my attention.

  8. Taking a shower or bath. I love bathing, and can’t fathom that I’ve never used the bathtub on my ward in over a year of being here. A hot shower (except when it’s hot outside like now) usually does the trick too.

  9. The Internet. I love to unwind online. I’m not sure whether it’s a blessing or a curse that most online games are not accessible to my screen reader. I however like playing mindless word games on Internet forums, too.

  10. Spending time outside. I practically cannot take walks outside on my own, but the nurses sometimes take me on walks. We also have a nice garden that I like to sit in when the weather is nice.


The Golden Spoons

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Herbal Teas: My First Five Herbs

I promised already a while ago that I’d write a post on herbal teas. I bought a number of different herbs online and have been trying various blends. The herbs I’ve tried out so far are bladderwrack, raspberry leaf, lavender, chamomile and ginkgo biloba.

Bladderwrack has laxative properties and is therefore used for constipation. It is also recommended for weight loss, but I doubt its effectiveness for this, as laxatives don’t tend to work for that. When searching the web, actually looking for recipes to use bladderwrack in, I found some warnings about potential health risks. I only drink one cup every couple of days. I started by using the bladderwrack on its own, because I figured its salty taste would not go well with any other herb. Then, when I accidentally had some raspberry leaf left in my infuser, I liked the additional flavor. As I write this, I’m drinking bladderwrack tea with raspberry leaf and ginkgo biloba.

Raspberry leaf is well-known for its benefits on pregnant women, but can really be great for all women. It is high in magnesium, potassium, iron and B vitamins. It is claimed that this combination makes raspberry leaf good for the reproductive system. The store I bought my herbs at recommends raspberry leaf for cleansing the bloodstream and as an astringent. This means it is soothing and could help with diarrhea, nausea and such. Raspberry leaf is my favorite herb so far. Its taste is similar to regular black tea but smoother. It tastes well mixed with lavender, chamomile or as I just discovered bladderwrack.

Ginkgo biloba is another herb with quite a bland taste. It is said to be good for blood circulation and is useful for memory and thought disorders. When reading about ginkgo online, I found out that it interacts with many medications though. It tastes good mixed with lavender, chamomile or raspberry leaf.

Lavender was the most well-known herb I bought. I’ve used lavender oil as a calming scent in my essential oil diffuser for a long time, and wanted to see if it worked in a herbal tea too. Well, it did. Lavender has a spicy taste and it leaves a warm feeling down my body after I drink it. It is said to help soothe the respiratory tract and help against cough. Lavender is also said to have antidepressant properties. Due to its spicy taste, I do not recommend mixing it with other herbs which have a distinct taste, such as chamomile or bladderwrack. Instead, mix it with raspberry leaf or ginkgo biloba.

Lastly, chamomile. I had already tasted this several times before and didn’t like it then. On its own, I still don’t really like it, but mixed with ginkgo biloba or raspberry leaf, it’s quite nice. Chamomile is another calming herb, which helps with anxiety and sleep. I still need to try mixing it with lavender to gain optimal effectiveness.

Smoothies

For my birthday in 2012, I got a blender from my parents. I wanted one, because I wanted to make smoothies. Well, I did this a number of times during the summer (my birthday is in June) and then gave up. Until last Friday that is, when the idea popped into my head again. I bought some ingredients and on Saturday, made quite a delicious smoothie. Well, a nurse ended up doing most of the work, even the things I could do myself. Then yesterday, I made another smoothie myself. Both of these recipes are really easy. I noticed most people say prep time is only five minutes for smoothies, but I took a bit longer.

Banan-orange-kiwifruit smoothie

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 1 banana

  • 2 kiwi fruits

  • 1/2 orange

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 cup yoghurt


Throw all ingredients into the blender and blend till smooth.

Pear-kiwifruit smoothie with fresh mint

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 2 kiwi fruits

  • 2 pears

  • A bit of fresh mint (I used only 3 leaves)

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 cup yoghurt


Again, put everything into the blender and blend till smooth.

Being that I still have a lot of fresh mint left, I think I’m going to make tea out of this. Speaking of which, the idea of making my own herbal teas popped into my mind. I haven’t tried this yet, but when I have, will sure share a recipe.