This may not be the ideal day for me to write about relaxation because we are getting our roof redone, so there are some twenty men walking on top of my head right now with hammers. It sounds like it’s raining rocks! Not to mention, my dad’s lunch just caught fire in the kitchen!
But despite any stress (roof- or fire-related, or otherwise) in your life, always remember to take a few moments every day for rest and relaxation. It could be a handful of minutes you set aside to clear your mind and meditate in a quiet place. Or perhaps it’s those ten minutes you spend stretching before you exercise. For me, my special moment of relaxation is when I’m drinking chai in the afternoon with my mom.
Busy as she is, mom always sets aside whatever she is doing to relax and enjoy her daily chai. I make hot garam masala chai (hot spiced tea) just the way she likes it and we sit on the couch together, talking about anything and everything. Those special moments, when distractions and stressors fall away, make chai-time my favorite part of the day.
Reducing stress and encouraging relaxation are vital to beauty. Stress hormones and even just holding tension in your face can lead to poor health, a weakened immune system, and premature wrinkles. So take a deep breath, smile, and find time in your schedule to just chill!
Here’s how I make my mom’s favorite chai:
- Boil water. I like to use an electronic kettle; it boils water in less than a minute!
- Place a black tea bag (we prefer Tetley tea bags) at the bottom of your tea cup/mug. Lay it flat so that the leaves are evenly dispersed.
- Add masala (spices). We use a blend (Nirav Tea Masala) from our local Indian grocer, but if you want to make your spice blend at home, combine ground dried ginger, cinnamon, green cardamom, nutmeg, and clove and store in an air-tight container. Use just a pinch of masala for a cup of tea. If you want to kick up the spiciness, you can add some shredded fresh ginger at the bottom of your mug.
- Pour the boiling water slowly over the tea bag and spices. Cover with a lid and let sit for five minutes.
- Remove the tea bag with two spoons and squeeze the bag to get all of that yummy tea concentrate water back in your mug.
- Pour milk to taste.
- Add sugar to taste; I always drank with two spoons but recently reduced it to one and still love it!
- Re-heat in the microwave (35 seconds or so) if desired.