and I’m sure you are feeling as trapped and claustrophobic as I am. Here is
what I’ve been doing to feel productive, take care of myself, and create an
herbal routine to keep me going.
What I’ve been steeping
I know London fogs are not really considered an herbal tea but I do find it is
a great alternative to coffee and helps me break up my routine. I use regular
earl gray tea with a little vanilla extract and a bit of half and half or oat
milk. I usually steep the tea in my French press as well. That way there is
plenty of room for each tea leaf. It makes me feel a little fancier than my
usual cup of black coffee. If I want to feel extra fancy I’ll steep my earl gray
with a pinch of lavender buds.
Again, I know coffee is not necessarily an herbal tea but I do sort of see it
as one. Just like any other tea there are benefits to drinking it. However,
drinking 25 ounces every day (my former routine) probably didn’t really help
matters. I do find drinking black tea every other day has helped the jitters.
But back to coffee. With coffee I’ll mix in a little Ceylon cinnamon to my
beans as the water boils. Then I pour the boiling water over the beans in my
French press (by the end of this you’ll realize my intense love for my French press)
and let it steep for about four minutes. It’s a nice beginning to the morning
and carries me into work.
So I drink both the fogs and coffee hot or cold but I enjoy my hibiscus and
ginger tea as an iced drink. For this I take three healthy pinches of hibiscus
tea, two to four slices of crystallized ginger (depending on the size), and let
it cold-steep over night in, you guessed it, my French press. Then I either
bring it with me to work or bottle it and put it in the fridge. I enjoy doing
all of these because I still feel like I’m able to have a decent range of drink
choices, I still feel a little fancy, and I get to save money.
Getting through this has been pretty tough. I’m an essential worker nowadays at
a credit union and I’m required to wear a homemade mask every day to work. The
amount of heat and moisture that my mask creates has really wreaked havoc on my
already sensitive skin. I’ve had to change my skin routine a little just to
help it out.
I’ve started doing masks a couple times a week. I use a chemical peel mask once
every two weeks to gently exfoliate. I only leave it on for about 3 minutes so
I don’t get any redness and it leaves my skin feeling refreshed and less
flaky. The rest of the week I use gentle mud masques or sheet masks to
I also use a healthy amount of hydrolauronic acid to help
keep moisture in. Now that I live in Colorado my skin has become pretty dry and
reactive. The hydrolauronic acid has seriously helped regulate the moisture in
Getting my green thumb going
To be honest, I’ve never been amazing at growing plants. I
am a big fan of plants that I say good luck to after I put them in the ground.
When you live in a tiny condo with little light, it’s kinda hard to keep that
philosophy. So I only have two little plants, lemon balm and peppermint. Caring
for them, watching them grow in their containers, and soak up what they can of
the sun has been a real positive aspect in my life.
If you have a nursery near by call in and see if they’re
open. Support a local grower while uplifting your spirits all at once.
Hiking and staring at wildflowers
I have been hiking a lot to stay sane. I wear a mask on the
trails and luckily there aren’t too many people when I hike. I have been able
to see some amazing plants and views along the way. If you have hiking trails
near you I would seriously suggest going. It makes you realize there is still
more to the world than Covid.
If you can, support small, local herb shops and businesses
trying to support my favorite herb businesses when I can. When this began I
re-upped on some of my favorite skincare products from Colorado Aromatics and
splurged on some things I have missed from The Rosemary House. You can also
cheer up your loved ones by sending them a gift certificate or a surprise
package. If you can, spread some love. It can really help out.
Finally, read, read, read
Dive into a new (or old) herbal book and see what you can
learn. I finished a First-aid herbal book and learned so much (good and bad).
Now I’m moving on in my massive herbal book queue. Now that we
are mostly just staying at home I think it is a great opportunity to learn more
about herbalism, try some new recipes, and maybe find a new favorite herb.
This is rough and I know we could all use some help. I hope
that if you try any of my recipes or rituals they help you get through this.
Stay well and stay safe.