“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.” – Lin Yutang
One of the many things that anxiety took from me was the ability to sleep. And there have been tough seasons when I have hardly slept at all (my record for counting sheep is 1,998,741). My anxiety pokes me, keeping me awake, like the nagging Kool-Aid kid from the neighborhood wanting to pick a fight. I end up spending the night on the uncomfortable fringe of consciousness mulling over anxious thoughts. I wonder sometimes if I should just give up trying to get any shut-eye. Maybe I’ll embrace my role as the zombie, table for one, at IHOP.
You can’t order a beer at IHOP. No one besides a frat boy wants a Bud with his flapjacks and that’s because every drink has a time and a place. I make my daily cup of coffee when I wake up. I enjoy a craft beer or a glass of red wine in the evenings with my wife or other company. But the best is when the house is darkened by the black of night and the family waits peacefully upstairs. Standing alone, I watch the light under the microwave illuminate the stovetop in the kitchen, casting harsh shadows over the simmering pot. When the kettle’s whistle breaks the silence, I pour the water over my tea. The chamomile aroma teases my nose as it guides me to bed like a child comforted by his blanket. Alcohol is no remedy for the anxious and neither is the buzz of caffeine but Chamomile tea warms the soul.
Making and sipping tea are both intentional processes encouraging tranquility in the moment. Chamomile slows my mind and calms my nerves, easing anxiety and offering a needed moment of peace. Because of this, sipping it every night in bed has improved my sleep noticeably. It has become for me my liquid lullaby, my steamy bedtime story, and warmth for my night. Certainly, it is not the single remedy for sleeplessness or anxiety. But it sure beats a zombie, table for one, at IHOP.
P.S. If you are able to try a vanilla chamomile tea, all your dreams just might come true. It’s delicious.
P.P.S. Chamomile tea pairs deliciously with a good crossword puzzle…at least for me.
Don’t like chamomile? Have a similar strategy for better sleep? Tweet me @DaddingDepressd or comment below!