I collaborated with my friend Lily of Kale and Caramel to make this recipe, so head on over to her blog to see her version and read all about her #30screenlessnights experience!
LAVENDER MOON MILK
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup raw walnuts
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 2 pinches sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon dried edible lavender buds
- 2 teaspoons honey, plus more to taste
Blend water, walnuts, hemp seeds, salt, and vanilla until completely smooth and creamy.
Heat in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles begin to form and steam rises. Remove from heat.
Place dried lavender in a tea sachet or disposable tea bag and seal, then immerse in milk and cover saucepan. (You can also simply add the dried lavender straight to the pot and strain out the buds using a fine mesh strainer after steeping.) Steep for ten minutes, then remove sachet and squeeze to release all lavender oils. Stir in honey to taste.
Serve immediately, or blend again for higher foam factor. (I highly recommend blending again.)
A little over a month ago Lily and I embarked on a project we called #30screenlessnights. (Read my initial post about it here.) Basically I had found that having my phone by my bed at night and in the morning made me feel icky, so I wanted to challenge myself to a month where I cut back on the time I used my phone at night and in the morning. The next day I went out and bought an alarm clock, and we set these ground rules:
No phone for at least xx before bed and at least xx after waking. You decide what’s right for you.
Create the right environment (books, oils, candles, nourishing objects).
Notice your habits.
Create new routines.
Get into functional self-care.
I decided that my ground rule would be to try to go screenless from 9pm to 9am to give myself a full 12 hours of being a human without a device. This didn’t always happen, especially when I traveled – but I’ll get into more of that later. However when I was home it was one of the best things. I loved being away from my phone for that whole time. I know that the 9 to 9 thing isn’t do-able for everyone, there are life things to deal with (kids, work, school, etc.) but if you can make it work I promise you it will rock your world.
When it came to creating the right environment – I bought a cute alarm clock from target. I pulled out my oil diffuser, and I would diffuse lavender and tea tree oil as I fell asleep. I got a really good book called Women Who Run with the Wolves (read more about why I love it here.) I took baths more often. And I started to make cozy bedtime drinks for myself. Sometimes I made chamomile tea, but now I’m on a full Lavender Moon Milk bender. It’s just so warm, and frothy, and delicious. It fills me up just enough before bed and the lavender signals to my system that it’s time for bed. I’m sort of obsessed with it.
Noticing my habits was frustrating. Old habits die hard, and I was astounded and disgusted by how much I craved scrolling on my phone (especially at night.) Sometimes I gave into that, and woke up in a weird haze or with a mind spinning in an endless circle. The side effects were REAL. It was crazy. And yet, I still craved giving into that old habit. I hate that I’m that addicted. It makes me sad.
While I love reading my book and sipping some Lavender Moon Milk at night, it was my morning routine that I looked forward to most. I would get out of bed, immediately make my bed, make my coffee, take that coffee and my book to the porch and sit and read until my coffee was done. After that I would start my day. But I found those 20-30 minutes were my favorite of the whole day. I got to be a human, I got to look inward – ground myself, before looking up and out on the world. It’s a routine change that I would HIGHLY recommend if you can swing it. I tried yoga and meditation and journaling first thing, but none of those stuck with me or felt right. I much preferred sitting outside with my coffee and book.
To me this whole process was a big journey in functional self care. I had no idea how unkind I was being to myself by going onto my phone first thing in the morning (more on that in a minute.) I found that there was a world of self kindness and self awareness waiting for me on the other side of my screen. It allowed me to ground even deeper within my humanity, and connect back to the things I really care about. And to me self kindness, well, that’s the ultimate functional self-care.
So, what did I learn?
- Screentime effects my self-worth. I found that the days when I immediately reached for my phone after waking up, scrolling through social media, were days that my mood was down. I played the comparison game. I devalued my worth. And that mood stuck with me all.day.long. It was inescapable. And the more often I checked my phone mindlessly during the day, the more this feeling grew. So I have learned that there is a strong correlation between my screentime and my mental health. It’s a scary but sobering lesson to learn.
- I am more productive when I am screenless. While it may feel like I am being more “productive” by sitting in bed creating a to do list in my phone for the next day – I have learned that I am not. I get so much more accomplished in a day when I simply allow my brain the time to recharge. And it goes without saying that the less mindless scrolling I do during the day the more emails I can churn out. It’s a win-win.
- It’s REALLY HARD to be screenless when traveling. Logistics. Friends. Plans. Late nights. Routine breaks. These are some of the many reasons I found it extremely challenging to be screenless at night and in the morning while I was traveling. I didn’t have my alarm clock, and I needed to contact people more often. It just made it super difficult. I don’t have an answer on how to fix this problem, but I can say that it absolutely started to effect my mood and my self worth. I was really ready to be back home and in my old routine again.
- Being on my phone deadened my desire to read. I have always been a reader. As a kid I devoured novels, and I have continued that habit until about a year ago. I just thought that I was going through a phase, I thought that it would come back. But I found out that by limiting the amount of mindless reading I did on my phone during the day, I had an appetite to read something that mattered again. I started digging into a novel with a ferociousness I hadn’t had in a long time. I felt way more connected with that part of my brain. I was honestly shocked by how much this shifted during this time.
Will I continue my screenless nights?
YES. Emphatically. I will do my best. I know that it won’t be easy with all of the traveling I have going on, but I want to keep coming back to this. Keep reminding myself of the humanity I have outside of my phone. Keep coming back to myself. This project was truly a game changer.
Did you try #30screenlessnights? What was your experience?
I want to hear from YOU! Did you go screenless? Did you love it as much as I did? Did you hate it? Was it awful? Tell me all about it. And if you are just now reading about this and thinking, DANGIT I missed it! No. You didn’t. I will be continuing this for a long time, and you are always welcome to join me. I am here as your screenless support group. I got your back. xoxo.