Tips from The Kitchn

The Nighttime Routine That Sets Me Up for a Better Morning

Image Credit: Federico Paul

I've always wanted to be that person who has a morning or nighttime ritual — who sits with the newspaper every morning when sipping their coffee or meditates for 10 minutes before bed. Sadly, rituals are usually lost on me. I get bored or just forget to partake. That's slowly starting to change, however, as I've begun to practice a little more self-care.

It started as an effort to keep my cool and feel my best through the busy holiday season, and since then it's stuck — I have a real, true ritual! It's an herbal tea habit that not only helps me wind down at night, but also lets me practice a little mindfulness and connect with my husband at the same time.

Why I Love My Nightly Herbal Tea Wind-Down

At fancy restaurants, one of my favorite things to do is order a pot of tisane — aka herbal tea — with dessert. They usually have fancy teas served in pretty pots and I always like the way it both extends the meal and helps settle my stomach after eating lots of things and, sometimes, drinking lots of things. Yet it's something I just reserved for those special-occasion dinners.

As I began to think about ways to slow down and practice a little more self care, I was reminded of this simple pleasure and how ridiculously easy it is to recreate it at home. So I splurged on a few nice herbal loose-leaf teas, dusted off my teapot, and soon enough, made it a habit.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

After dinner, when everything's cleaned up and my husband and I are unwinding on the couch, one of us heats up the kettle and makes a pot of herbal tea. I never thought he'd really be that into it, since it sort of makes us sound like we're 85 years old, but he enjoys the ritual as much as I do. We'll sip a cup while reading or simply while we chat about our day — it's an extra way to connect with him regardless of if we're actually talking or not. It also mentally sets us up for bed and I've found it helps me fall asleep faster and feel a bit more rested come morning.

While it's not revolutionary by any means, this new ritual is making cold, dark winter much more manageable and, heck, even enjoyable. It's a little dose of self-care that makes a big difference.

Image Credit: Lauren Volo

3 Herbal Teas I Love

Do you have any nighttime rituals you love?

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