I’ve been making a lot of time for tea. English Breakfast Tea with its sharp bite and over-the-top astringency and Vanilla Rooibos with its nerve-soothing qualities have been my go-tos. I’ve needed the astringency of the blacks to help my respiratory system stay balanced. Winter’s cold damp conditions have my respiratory system unbalanced. My sinuses are a trifle damp and congested every morning. Black Tea helps dry the excessive dampness considerably. More than that, though, the simplicity and comfort of a good cup of black tea have helped me feel present.

Tea is a Comfort Amid Chaos

Presence is tough during transitional times. It’s hard to keep my mind focused on where I am and what I’m doing when the change is in progress. Change rattles my nerves, wrangles my emotions, and introduces newness that’s often painful and unpleasant or at least uncomfortable at first. It unbalances the old system enough the structures that aren’t working so well can be removed and new ones installed. Once the newness has worn off, maybe those new structures will feel wonderful, but getting there is a bit of a challenge on the best of days. Making space for a daily tea time can offer a beautiful and simple point of balance when everything else is in upheaval.

Black Tea Soothes and Stimulates

Black Tea has long been a British standard for dealing with unpleasant situations. Black tea calms the nerves while offering the whole system a little energy boost. Some folks barely notice the stimulating properties in Black tea while others can be nearly blown over by a single cup…much as is the case for coffee. Coffee, though, has a well-deserved reputation for its strongly stimulating effect. The stimulating effect of Black Tea is real, but for most, the effect is far milder than that of coffee. Black Tea has the added bonus of being generally soothing and rejuvenating to the nerves as it stimulates them. That’s part of why British folk have reached for it when times go wrong. Black Tea offers emotional soothing that leaves you with the energy needed to keep moving.

Rooibos Soothes the Nerves

Rooibos and vanilla keep me sane when life is changing about me. As I face all the conflicting emotions, including those of my family members or community, rooibos and vanilla give my over-stimulated nervous system a break. Rooibos is relaxing to the soul. It digs down below the stress and soothes the underlying ground, making it feel less like the earth is shaking and more like maybe this is just a wee-spring zephyr that’ll pass, leaving only the stuff we actually need and want in our lives still standing. Rooibos helps me recognize that this transition, while maybe coming earlier than I’d expected, is perfectly timed and absolutely the best bridge to the life we all want. In the quiet of a cup of Rooibos, I have the capacity to reflect on the changes ahead, to see the losses and gains with a calm perspective, and to let the emotional tides flow just as they will without feeling quite so tossed about by them.

Daily Tea Offers a Balancing Point

The little rituals I practice, like morning and afternoon tea, help make transitions easier. Instability is somehow lessened by the simplicity of brewing and imbibing a cup of tea. The next few months are going to be exciting. We’ll see a lot of changes in all aspects of life. With a bit of luck and a lot of support, we’ll all get through the rough bits sooner. While I cannot guarantee that black tea or rooibos tea will ensure you an easy transition into whatever is next in your life, I can tell you that they’re two of the best supporters I know for times of Transition.

Tea Recipes to Try

Learn to blend your own tea, make The Best Herbal Infusions, and find new recipes by searching Tea on The Practical Herbalist.