Routinized Ritual: A V-Day Self-Love Recipe

By Bex, Events Director

Happy Valentine’s Day, folks! For a “holiday” that conjures up cliché after cliché (I love you to the moon and back. You are my heart’s desire. A rose by any other name...), Hallmark card after Hallmark card upon which you may find those clichés glorified, and box after box of those flavorless food-coloring infused heart candies rife with ”LOVE ME” neediness, we don’t focus as much on going inwards and asking: “How can I love myself more deeply?”

Here’s a more fitting self-love cliché in my opinion: “Time is of the essence.” Honestly. Is being an adult this hard for everyone? Why is it so hard to take care of myself?! Part of it has to do with time allocation. I thrive when I load my schedule with waaaay too much to possibly accomplish on any given day. While I want to do everything to take care of myself, self-care becomes yet another area of stress if don’t leave room for anything.

As someone who relishes new experiences, adventures, and spontaneity, “routine” has always been a word that I’ve felt best applied to what I want to do on the dance floor rather than, well, what I “should” do to my bed everyday: make it. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve embraced what I call: Routinized Ritual. Every morning and night, I set aside just a little bit of time for a few tools that help me enter and exit the day. They don’t require a luxury lifestyle or excessive amounts of time. The best part? It turns out that these daily acts of self-love help me remember to prioritize my own well-being and fit other acts of self-care into my day when extra time presents itself. An unexpected victory? I’ve made my bed every day this week!

Bex is feeling the self-love this season

Bex is feeling the self-love this season


  1. Pick an amount of time that you can commit to and for yourself each and every day.

  2. Morning? Night? Both? The important thing is that you are carving out just a little bit of time to remind yourself that you are worth it! Consider planning larger chunks of time (weekends, vacation, a random 3-hour chunk when you need it) for deeper self-care fests.

  3. Choose 3 acts of self-care to gift yourself with today! These can rotate, or they can stay consistent. Give yourself the leeway to switch it up. You might find that these changes are weekly, monthly, seasonal, or completely random. “Go with the flow” would be the fitting cliché here.

Here are my current routinized rituals, completely subject to change:


  1. I scrape my tongue and oil pull (let us know if you have questions about the details of those rituals,) which has somehow also made me love flossing. What?!

  2. I drink one large glass of water followed by a large dose of L-theanine laden green tea during which I plot out the day ahead and set myself up for success

  3. I dry brush my skin and oil it up before I shower--and butter it up again afterwards if it is a particularly dry time of year (like right now…)


  1. A daily dose of exercise followed by a short stretch and self-massage

  2. My gratitude practice: at the end of the day I like to write down at least three things that I’m grateful for

  3. Grab-bag (because I still like to leave room for switching it up.) Tonight this will likely be a face mask. Last night, it was a long reading from the Mystic Mondays Tarot Deck. Tomorrow it might be an epsom salt bath.

More Acts of Self Love:

  • Burning incense, lighting a candle, or diffusing essential oils

  • Write your dreams down in a dream journal

  • Sweat! Go find an infrared sauna or a steam

  • Buy yourself flowers!

  • Talk yourself up in the mirror. It may feel awkward, but telling yourself how wonderful, beautiful, and accomplished you are has been proven in studies to support confidence and wellbeing.

  • Deep clean an area of your home with music blasting!

  • DANCE!

  • Take a yoga class, or just stretch a bit

  • Listen to good music and journal

  • Calling your parent, sibling, best friend

  • Garden! Buy a plant, water your plant, look at your plant

  • Sing or play an instrument

  • Read a book!

  • Take a meandering walk

  • Draw, paint, or color in a coloring book (Guess what? Finger painting is still fun when you’re an adult)

  • Find a swing-set and go for it! (Seriously… Also still fun when you’re an adult)

  • Meditate for a few minutes or longer, even if you think you don’t know how to meditate

  • Make yourself a special elixir, smoothie, tonic, or meal. Soup is my personal favorite.

  • Sleep in!!!

Ritual: Take a deep breath this holiday season

By Heather, Lifestyle Buyer + The Naturalist Contributor

I have come to understand that breath is one our most powerful tools - to soothe, to decompress, to process, to shift. When my full capacity to breathe is deeply compromised, I feel disarmed; my musical career and my role here at the store (great customer service means lots of conversations!) both depend on my lungs being in tip-top shape.

Below is a tea blend, a playlist to listen to while sipping, and a simple ritual to support the hard work your lungs do every day. Many of the herbs in this blend are gently sedating or relaxing, making this a great tea to drink before bed, especially if you find that a cough is keeping you awake at night.


Deep Breath Tea Blend



  • Mullein - an expectorant with an affinity for the upper respiratory system

  • Thyme - Agatha Noveille, Associate Educator at the Herbal Academy writes, thyme “...is useful for acute or chronic respiratory problems including coughs and bronchitis.” Thyme is also a nervine (an herb that aids the nervous system) and has a warming effect.

  • Honey Gardens’ Wild Cherry Bark Honey Syrup - a wonderful, tasty blend of several different herbs that are supportive of respiratory health. The blend includes:

    • Wild Cherry Bark - a bronchodilator (an herb that assists in widening of the bronchi, which opens the airways of the lungs) that can help ease the cough reflex, calm irritation, and assist in healing of the respiratory system. Because it is naturally astringent, it assists the body in drying out mucus.

    • Elecampagne - an expectorant traditionally used to combat coughs, chest mucus, and phlegm

    • Raw honey - besides being delicious, honey is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic (preventing growth of harmful microorganisms)

Mix equal parts of each herb (I estimate about 2-3 teaspoons of dried leaf per 8 oz of hot water), cover and steep for 10-20 minutes. Strain the herbs and add the Wild Cherry Bark Honey Syrup, stirring to combine, and enjoy your elixir!


Ritual: Burning Frankincense Resin

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Steph Zabel, MSc, local herbalist and botanical educator explains the magic of frankincense: “The astringent action of this plant can also help eliminate phlegm and congestion in the lungs. For mucous-y situations that seem to hang around in the respiratory system or sinuses, try frankincense as it will not only help to dry up mucous but will also act as an anti-inflammatory in the nasal passages, making breathing easier.” You can find frankincense resin in our bulk section!






CN Late Autumn TEA Ritual Playlist


This blog series — Rituals — is for general health information only. This Web site is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. Users of this Web site should not rely on information provided on this Web site for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician or other healthcare provider.

Ritual: Tea, Breath, and Song for the Autumn Transition

By Heather, CN Lifestyle Buyer + The Naturalist Contributor

As late September ushers in the Autumn season, our bodies’ ancestral instincts kick into gear, slowing us down as we prepare for colder months. Paradoxically, our schedules speed up: school beginning, work goals and projects, change-of-season shifts, different routines... in my experience, it can feel overwhelming to have such opposing actions occurring in our internal and external environments. The answer? Tea. When in doubt, always begin with tea.

I have learned that for my personal well-being, I need to make sure I have time to slow down in the face of the momentum and frenzy. Whether it be at the beginning or the end of the day (or better yet, both!), I find that taking even just 5 minutes to breathe, drink tea, and have my own little ritual is monumentally helpful for my peace of mind.

Below I have listed a tea to sip, a simple calming ritual, and a Cambridge Naturals Autumn Tea Ritual playlist. If you can, take an hour to yourself to brew this tea, sit and sip, and enjoy the relaxing music. Focus on letting go of the daily and global stressors that surround us all and build up in our bodies. This blend is naturally cooling, and put together with the aim to aid in relief of physical tension. I find it to helpful to sip during my busy day when I crave quiet moments. It can be put on ice or kept hot; a delicious, nutritive drink no matter what temperature fluctuations that September’s transitional weather brings.

Tea blend:

  • Tulsi (Holy Basil) - an adaptogen supportive for the body's response to stress
  • Lemon Balm - uplifting and aromatic
  • Milky Oat Tops - nourishing and trophorestorative (aid nervous tissue function and vitality)
  • Skullcap - comforting and tension-relieving
  • Red Raspberry Leaf - Steph Zabel, MSc, local herbalist and botanical educator says: "Beyond being a gentle, nourishing herb raspberry has been used for centuries to support respiratory, digestive and reproductive health. In Ayurvedic medicine raspberry leaves are considered to be a cooling herb that is good for reducing heat and inflammation in the body, especially throughout the digestive tract.”

Equal parts of each herb, but follow your intuition - if one herb feels particularly helpful or smells wonderful to you, add more of it!

Short steep: Steep 2-3 teaspoons of dried leaf per cup of hot water for 10-20 minutes.

Long steep: To make a more nutritive infusion with a high content of minerals, steep 4 tablespoons dried herb in a quart of hot water for 6 to 8 hours.

Note: If you’re crunched for time, you can always put water on to boil as soon as you get home so that it is ready for you by the time you settle in and pick your herbs!


Nadi Shodhan pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Here is an approachable video for this technique, taught by Adriene Louise, curator of the wonderful Yoga With Adriene YouTube channel. Adriene says, “This breath technique has so many benefits! It is a great way to calm the nervous system and relieve tension and anxiety. It is great for concentration, cleansing, and is a fantastic headache cure!”

CN Autumn Tea Ritual Playlist:


This blog series — Ritual — is for general health information only. This website is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. Users of this Web site should not rely on information provided on this Web site for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician or other healthcare provider.