Every night, I boil the kettle and wait. I choose a black cup and a glass. I smell a couple of the loose leaves, and go with the one that helps to end the day. I carry the glass filled with cold crisp water and the cup holding my precious brewing tea, place a book under my arm and head to bed.

I drink the water, while the tea brews. The glass then holds my tea strainer when my tea is ready. It’s such a simple act, but it is mine. It’s not a process or a habit. It’s a ritual.

Bed is my solace. A safe place. Most nights are spent stealing blankets back from my husband or staring at my son while he sleeps between us, as my sleep is lost. And yet, this moment drinking tea on my own, in my bed, is sacred. The day is over. I can rest. I can breathe. I can cry. I can come down.

For many years I felt winding down meant watching TV, or drinking a bottle of wine. But I do that out of boredom. I’m not relaxed. I’m tired. I felt like reading was a chore, even though I enjoyed it, I had to will myself to do it.

Not anymore. I don’t want to go out and get shit-faced on a Friday night. I don’t want to host a party with as many people as possible and get stuck cleaning up all the next day (hello 20’s).

I want to go within, I want to be alone with my thoughts and process my feelings. I don’t want to suppress them, I don’t want to feel guilty for having them in the first place. Our feelings are often confronted over a cup of tea between our tribe, when tears fall so heavily on our sister’s shoulders, the next question is usually “Shall I boil the jug?”.

Its not just tea. It’s an offering. A ritual of peace.

Drink more tea. Be alone with your thoughts. Process. Brew. Devour. Rest. Repeat.