“It’s just one of those days that a girl goes through
When I’m angry inside,
Don’t wanna take it out on you.
Just one of them things.
Don’t take it personal.”

Monica was what, 14 when she sang that song? But homegirl spoke for me then, and even now as a grown woman. All of us have “one of those days” every now and then. Mine are always precipitated by the arrival of good ol’ Aunt Flo.

On those days, I often find myself in a glass case of emotion. Overwhelmed by the littlest things, prone to unexpected and inexplicable crying jags, and likely to be snippy and/or irritable and depressed. I become the kind of person I’m easily annoyed by.

I’ve tried many different PMS remedies, various pills and liquids administered with little droppers from the health food store. Feh. They taste awful and they don’t work. Right now, here’s one thing that does.

1. I pull myself away from whatever has been the source of my stress — whether that’s a specific person, the phone, the TV, the computer… whatever’s getting to me.

2. I take some time to regulate my breathing. Just closing my eyes and taking some slow, cleansing, deep breaths that fill my stomach and lungs with fresh energy makes the world of difference.

3. I reach for the get a grip.

The Republic of Tea is all about delicious blends, and their Be Well Red Teas serve specific purposes. Get a grip is a caffeine-free, high-antioxidant, organic rooibos blend that also includes soothing chaste berry and black cohosh, “which encourages hormonal harmony and can assist in reducing premenstrual and menopausal annoyances.”

That’s what they’re saying, and it sounds good to me.

To be honest, sometimes get a grip on its own isn’t tasty enough, so I make a special iced happytime blend of various teas that all have special healing properties. Sipping it makes me feel calm, cool, and collected once more. I made it yesterday and YUM! It’s a refreshing way to sweeten my mood. Here’s my recipe, complete with links so you can buy the bags:

Afrobella’s Bad Day Begone Brew

Celestial Seasonings tea — 2 bags of Tropic of Strawberry , 2 bags of Black Cherry Berry.

1 bag of Get a Grip by the Republic of Tea

1 bag of Traditional Medicinals St. John’s Good Mood

1 bag of Yogi Tea’s Green Tea Kombucha.

I mix it in a big pitcher, let it all steep for like 20 minutes. I don’t have exact measurements, but this is great in a big pitcher and should work out to 6-8 servings. Sweeten and serve over ice. Feel those cares leave you behind.

The St. John’s Good Mood is made of St. John’s Wort which combats depression, and if you’re pregnant or lactating you should educate yourself about it before drinking this stuff. The Green Tea Kombucha enhances my immune system, fights fatigue, and gives the tea a complicated flavor and a hint of mint that I enjoy, to undercut the berry sweetness. This tea’s a delicious as sno cone syrup, but with myriad benefits. It’s my bad-day essential, and helps make “one of those days” so yesterday!

Do you ever blend your own ice tea, bellas? Any favorite blends of choice?

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Ericka says:
May 5, 2009, 3:45 pm
i love teas and i need to explore more blends! I recently did this blend of cocoa chai: http://tinyurl.com/dxqu22 I like mixing fresh fruit purees in with iced teas and fresh peppermint sticks & mint leaves...mango, raspberry,strawberries, blueberries, orange, lemon, and pineapples make great flavors. Ok, now I want some tea! LOL
Shawnta` says:
May 5, 2009, 3:47 pm
Tea definitely helps during this time. I like The Republic of Tea but I've never had Get a Grip. My favorite Republic of Tea flavor is the decaf Ginger Peach. Your Bad Day Begone Brew sounds like it would do the trick. You're right, "Just One of Those Days" still applies even today...and anything to help it be yesterday is alright with me.
Moni says:
May 5, 2009, 3:58 pm
I am also a big tea drinker, since I grew up in Bermuda. Rooibos is my current favorite. I have a Pomegranate Rooibos blend from Celestial Seasonings that is delicious. I'm also a big fan of chai and blackcurrent tea. Just a quick caution about St. John's Wort. It can interfere with certain medications, so if you're on medication (including birth control) you should check with your doctor before taking it. Actually, you should check with your doctor before taking any herbal supplement, because they're still chemicals even though they're natural and may interact with other medications.
b. says:
May 5, 2009, 4:13 pm
Have you ever tried Celestial Seasonings "Tension Tamer" tea? It's also a great soother, emotionally and physically (for the times when Aunt Flo attempts her tae-bo impersonations). Thanks for the reminder about the St. John's, Moni!
Laquita says:
May 5, 2009, 4:29 pm
Great post - I also love teas :o)
Tdotcurlie says:
May 5, 2009, 4:35 pm
Your tea blend sounds awesome. For my bad days i usually just drink cinnamon or pimento tea sweetened with honey and that usually does the trick. Like Ericka, my mom and I also like to do tea blends with fruit. Makes lovely weekend drinks!!! Cock up yuh foot and relax with it man...mmmm!!!
kaliber says:
May 5, 2009, 5:34 pm
slightly off track here but--was that a shoutout to the movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy? LOVE that movie lol
Davina says:
May 5, 2009, 6:41 pm
I love tea and my gave is. Celestial Seasonings true blueberry. Definitely gonna try out your recipe!
shan says:
May 5, 2009, 6:43 pm
Wow! That sounds delicious! Aunt Flo isn't here but my kids are, so I would love some of that "get a grip" tea. Using that many tea bags, how much water are using, and how much tea does it yield? I have two kids under four, and a teenage stepson, so mama needs a lot!
heyhey says:
May 5, 2009, 8:28 pm
I'm sorry if this is obvious to everyone else, but does "get a grip" and their ilk soothe and relax, because unfortch when Auntie Flo drops on by I'm either snapping at people OR more often than not sleepy/emotionally sensitive, so a calming tea could only exacerbate the problem in the latter case?
Sumatra77 says:
May 5, 2009, 9:31 pm
Camomile tea is great for cramps.
Aisha says:
May 6, 2009, 7:49 am
For PMS/menstrual regulation I use an herbal tincture called Mystic Moon Tonic. It is made by a company called Jade & Pearl (they can be googled). It contains chaste tree, raspberry leaf, etc. I love it. They have plenty of other remedies as well.
ChocolateOrchid says:
May 6, 2009, 9:17 am
This tea sounds wonderful! I can't wait to try it!
Felecia says:
May 6, 2009, 11:44 am
I'm not so much into teas but I have a pantry full of them. I'm interested in testing the effects tea has on me versus other beverages for relaxation (wink). Thanks for sharing.
Menolly says:
May 6, 2009, 12:12 pm
Thanks for the tip! My cousin recommended Yogi Tea's Organic Women's Raspberry Leaf. Her 14 yr-old daughter drinks it every month and it eliminates her cramps. I finally gave it a test run (just a 2 wks ago, LOL) and while it didn't completely eliminate my cramps (mine can be horrible and affect my lower back as well), it definitely reduced the pain, and the pain in my back was very minor. And I did notice that I wasn't as big of a water bucket as I usually am; my emotions were on a much more even keel. I definitely have to try the Mystic Moon Tonic and fruit purees!
OrangeStar616 says:
May 6, 2009, 12:40 pm
Boy my PMS is horrible with the sadness and crying jags, fatigue, irritability etc....but I try to combat it thru lots of cardio and strength training and plenty of water intake and this water pill my gyn gave me for bloat/water retention..all of this helps plus being outside in the sunlight is really soothing as well as a nice warm almost hot bath/shower. That tea sounds delish tho!!!
musicandwine says:
May 6, 2009, 1:12 pm
It tastes awful, but Yogi Tea's Women Moon Cycle Tea has been a lifesaver for me during my PMS/time of the month. To lessen the flavor, I pair it with a fruity tea, honey, and vanilla soymilk. I will definitely try the bad day begone once summer comes.
Kandeezie says:
May 6, 2009, 2:17 pm
Did you see the brick-sized cell phone that dude was holding?!?! LOLz!
bella says:
May 6, 2009, 9:09 pm
#3 - Moni - great head's up about St. John's Wort. I don't mean to offer this as any kind of prescription, it just works for me. I recommend everyone do their research before experimenting with herbal remedies. #4 b - I have tried tension tamer! Don't love it as a hot tea - I prefer my hot tea served British style with milk, is why. I need to figure out a melt-away-stress ice tea recipe that involves Tension Tamer. Hmmmm. #10 - heyhey - I think get a grip does help me to relax. Most importantly it helps me tone down my attitude. I tend to be very quick to the boil when Aunt Flo's in town, and sipping some sweet iced tea helps me get my mind right.
Kiara says:
May 7, 2009, 9:18 am
Thanks for the info Afrobella because I sure needed this.I can't stand taking pills,and I wanted to try some natural remedies.
Niki says:
May 7, 2009, 10:03 am
This post is right up my alley! I am a tea fanatic (coffee drinkers look at me like I'm crazy for not wanting to down cups of java). I buy loose teas and use either a tea infuser or infuser bags. This makes it easier to "blend" teas for your own special mix. I like Chamomile for cramps and when I have trouble sleeping. I like the bit of hot Ginger tea for aiding with digestion and to keep me perky during the day.
Kindred Smiel says:
May 7, 2009, 4:29 pm
I only drink tea occasionally, but you have def piqued my interest, bella! Thanks!
This Time Now says:
May 7, 2009, 4:49 pm
My monthly cycle is cured of any and all cramps or irritability with PMS Tea by Traditional Medicinals. A girlfriend's daughter introduced it to me and it really is a miracle worker. When I have long stints abroad, I make sure it's in my carry-on. This Time Now
MoniMoni says:
May 7, 2009, 10:21 pm
Not only do I suffer from cramps, I also have fibroids and ovarian cysts. I was losing it month after month...I mean I couldn't stand to go to work and sit up let alone talk to anyone. The older I got the worse it gets. Salvation? Cranberry Pills, Dandelion Tea and Green Tea. Read about these in Queen Afua's Sacred Woman and in another book written by Christine Northrup. I stopped eating red meat (well cut back to once a month) and even chicken. Even limited dairy. Two weeks before I'm due, I go strictly vegan. I'm telling you, the past 2 months were HEAVEN!!!! Not one cramp and I'm more pleasant to everyone. I'm sold on this remedy.
Mahoganydymond says:
May 8, 2009, 11:46 pm
I have never tried blending teas but it looks like it will not hurt to do so. I have noticed the older I get, the more I am getting the PMS. Just this week, I was experiencing hot flashes. I could not cool down for anything. I don't do the crying stuff but I have been ready to bite people heads off.
Jeanine says:
May 11, 2009, 4:33 pm
I drink hot green tea every day, well...just because I do....it wasn't any plan or anything...it's just what the office provides. I find that I'm not as prone to illnesses nor is my time...( we call it the office time..because...well...being around each other 40 hours a week just does that...) I'm not nearly as crabby as some of my co-workers. I love tea though, I want to try one of the blooming varieties.


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