Self-Care and Chaos

I am surrounded by chaos. The school year just ended, and it is time for me to move back home for the summer. Things are strewn about my apartment, and several moving boxes are tipped onto their sides, waiting to be filled. I need a break from the mess, and pour myself a cup of tea.

Tea is my happy place. It provides a quick ten minutes of relief, and reminds me that I am at peace with the universe. I am water, transformed, just like the tea in my cup. Nothing is impossible with a cup of tea in my hands, and harmony in my soul.

Yoga gives me the same feeling as tea, but lately, I haven’t been as faithful with my practice. School and life have both gotten in the way, and I’ve failed to take care of myself as fully as I should. Tea, on the other hand, is not something I will neglect so easily. One does not forget an absolute necessity of life.

I’m starting to realize that self-care, like tea, is an absolute necessity of life. Law school does not offer me much time to take care of myself, and it often feels like a battle between self-care and schoolwork. Unfortunately, schoolwork almost always wins. However, the more self-care I engage in, the better I feel about all aspects of my life. This reminds me of Audre Lorde, who once said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Because of what I’ve experienced in life, and the field I’ve chosen as my career, I need to take time to care for myself. People are expecting me to fail or give up, and those are simply not options.

Tea is an important part that I didn’t realize I had incorporated into my self-care ritual. For me, just taking the time to slow down and live in the moment is enough to realign and reassert my priorities. Sometimes, just repeating to myself “I am enough” over a quick cuppa is sufficient to satisfy my restless mind. Taking the time to breathe, relax, and inhale the fumes of the tea reminds me that my troubles and worries are temporary, and I am powerful beyond measure.

The warm mug is very still, except for the spirals of heat coming off the tea. I am at peace, and I am happy. For this moment, life is not as daunting as it seems.

Cilantro Margarita

Oh my god, finals week is killing me.  Technically, I take finals for two weeks because it would be cruel and unusual punishment to make law students take 4 hour finals every single day for one week.  I come home exhausted every time I take a final and, let’s be honest, all I want is a drink.  Here’s a perfect drink for Cinco de Mayo, or for any time after taking a four hour final.


Ingredients

  • salt
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 sprigs cilantro
  • 2 lime wedges

Directions

  • Throw some salt on a plate. Dip the rim of your glass in water and dip in the salt to create a salt rim
  • Slightly bruise the cilantro to bring out the flavor
  • Put the tequila, triple sec, sugar and cilantro in a margarita shaker
  • Add in ice, top the shaker, and shake for about a minute until sugar is dissolved
  • When ready, pour into the glass, and garnish with lime wedge and more cilantro

Mint Julep

Happy Derby Day!  I’m gonna make this a quick post because I’ve got more studying to do (yay, Constitutional Law), but know that I will be taking time out of my day to make a Mint Julep.


Ingredients

  • For mint simple syrup
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 bunch mint
  • For actual drink
    • 2 cups crushed ice
    • 2 ounces bourbon (sorry Jack, but actual bourbon. Not the rye or blend whiskey)
    • Fresh mint sprig, for garnish

Preparation
  • For mint simple syrup
    • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine water and sugar and stir together until sugar dissolves.
    • Let mixture simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally
    • Take the pan off heat, and add mint leaves.  Let it steep for five minutes
    •  Strain, and refrigerate until cold. Usually takes about three hours
  • For actual drink
    • In a highball glass or silver Julep cup (which are awesome, by the way), add mint simple syrup, 1 cup crushed ice, bourbon and a splash of water. Just a splash because you don’t want to ruin your alcohol with water
    • Add enough of the remaining ice to almost fill up the glass
    • Stir and garnish with mint spring.

Happy horse racing!

Whiskey Tea

Two of my favorite things in the world are tea and whiskey.  Especially since I just finished a horrendous four hour Criminal Law final, I might need a little bit of both to get me through the rest of the day.

Here’s a perfect recipe for those useless hours between “coffee” and “wine.”


Ingredients

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tea bag (best with a black tea)
  • 2 shots of whiskey (or more, if you feel like it. No judgment here!)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar

Directions

  1. Boil some water. Pour it in a fancy pants mug.
  2. Throw in the tea bag to steep for as long as the tea needs. Usually around 3-5 minutes. Remove and discard.
  3. Put one shot of whiskey in the tea.  Take the other one because you deserve it.
  4. Add milk and sugar to your pleasing.
  5. Stir, drink, forget your problems.