As I drifted off to sleep, I couldn’t get over how relaxed I felt, and how the relaxed state of my body allowed my mind to also relax, which was such a stark contrast to the feelings of anxiety I’d recorded just a couple of days prior.
I’m just so distracted by life…my Dad and his slow recovery from the massive stroke he suffered…holding out hope and praying for a full recovery, wondering how long to hope and pray, missing the man he was… constant college talk as my daughter makes plans for next year. She’s our only child and wants to move to California not only for college but to live. Hoping this is the year Matt’s counseling practice takes off and also hoping I not only regain but surpass the income I lost when I changed direction on revenue streams through the blog. Still trying to navigate a new way of eating since finally being diagnosed with food sensitivities and IBS. There’s just always something on my mind and I’m tired from it.
In my search to calm the chaos, I thought making tea the “old fashioned” way would be a simple way to slow down and be more present.
Filling the pot with water, setting it on the stove, turning on the gas burner and waiting for the steam, then pouring the hot water over my tea bag.
Stirring in milk and sugar…
Each step of the process awakened my senses and welcomed me back into quiet. The kind of quiet I crave as a lifestyle.
The simple act of having tea invited me to sit, feel, sip, savor; to slow down.
After tea, I practiced Yoga, stretching all those tense, tight muscles in my neck, shoulders, chest and back. It was almost as good as getting a massage. I felt so relaxed afterward that my plan to run errands that day gave way to taking care of myself, listening to my body, and getting rest.
And it was pure Quietude.
Quietude: a state of stillness, calmness and quiet in a person or place.
It describes the quality of life I want for myself and is the overarching theme for all of my goals this year. I believe many of us struggle to reconcile everyday chaos with a simpler, calmer lifestyle.
3 Simple Ways to Calm the Chaos in Your Life
- Pay attention to your body. The nap and yoga exercises were so restorative. Our bodies are wonderful communicators, letting us know when we’re hungry, tired, stressed or overworked, so take heed and rest, eat, play and relax. It’s just as important to schedule these activities (like afternoon tea) into your day as it is appointments, to-do’s and events. If you’re looking for some good beginner Yoga routines, I’ve created a playlist of my favorite YouTube instructors for you to check out.
- Write it down. Writing down your thoughts, planning your day, using trackers and keeping lists and memos is a great practice for clearing, and therefore quieting, your mind. Watch my process and resources on Facebook Live.
- Declutter your environment. Clutter contributes to mental chaos and is a stressor we can easily control. I have proven that fact in my life over and over again. Actually, I’m in the final stages of reorganizing my master closet and as I caught a glimpse of my closet earlier today, I realized two things:
- Seeing inside my closet used to be a source of displeasure.
- Seeing my newly organized closet is as source of contentment and satisfaction.
For decluttering help, get your free step-by-step guide: Cluttered Mess to Cozy Nest.
And, just in case a warm cup of tea sounds good, here’s how to make my favorite hot tea drink, the London Fog.
How to Make a London Fog ( An Earl Grey Latte)
- earl grey tea leaves or tea bag (I’m not sophisticated so I use a tea bag.)
- almond milk or your milk of choice
- vanilla extract
- sweetener of your choice ( I use maple syrup.)
- Heat water in a tea kettle. (I use an old fashioned, non electric kettle.) Then, pour hot water over tea bag or tea leaves to steep for about five minutes. (For dietary reasons, I only steep mine for a couple of minutes.)
- While the tea is steeping, pour small amount of milk into a sauce pan, heat over medium heat and stir with a whisk to create milk froth.
- Pour the milk into your tea.
- Add a dash of vanilla and/or sweetener
- Stir and enjoy.
I base the measurements on the size of my tea cup. For example, if I’m drinking from a 6 oz. cup, I allow one to two ounces for the milk, vanilla and sweetener.
See you in class,