Have you recently found a shoe in the fridge? Stepped out of the car and realised you haven't switched the engine off? Found your morning cup of tea in the microwave at 5pm?
You may be in love. What a blessed thought for 2020.
Alternatively, you may be juggling more than an alley of clowns at the Moscow Circus on Ice.
If you're in love, I have no idea why you're reading this. Your state of mind is fine. There's nothing to see here.
If you're not, it's time to recognise stress and kick it in the butt.
Memory problems? Inability to concentrate? Feeling overwhelmed?
We'd like to share 3 practical ways to vanquish stress.
Note: if stress is getting the better of you, make sure you seek professional medical advice. With the advent of Zoom, it's never been easier to virtually step out and get help.
1. Move. Move. Move.
No, you don't have to throw on your full gym kit and pump iron. Or go for a 10km run. It's 2020, for goodness' sake.
Want to keep those stress and anxiety symptoms at bay? Go for a short walk. 20 minutes is all it takes. Keep the experience outside your head (more on that later) rather than arguing with your least favourite Facebook friend in your head about plan-sham-demics, 5G or vaccinations.
Moving your body improves your body's ability to use oxygen and improves blood flow. It also produces endorphins. This has a direct effect on your brain that creates a sense of well-being and even euphoria. (Note: moving also supports peaceful sleep and sweet dreams, which also reduces stress and promotes good mental health.)
2. Look at a Human Being (and make sure they look back)
I'm not talking about pictures of human beings on Facebook or Instagram here. Just find another human being who has a face that moves in real-time in response to you. It's not hard, unless, you know, botox. Even in lockdown we still have Zoom, supermarket runs etc where you can always find a stray human being.
Talking face-to-face can trigger hormones that give stress relief when you're feeling stressed or insecure. Go on. Catch someone's eye. Give them a smile. Let a few words out. You don't have to marry them. Give them a chance to return the favour. It will support their mental health too.
3. Play Outside Your Head
Imagine you use your right arm all day, non-stop, lifting heavy bricks. Imagine the muscle ache that would follow. Now imagine your poor brain as it copes with non-stop flow of thoughts, replaying the same worry tape from the moment you wake till you (try) and go to sleep. It's no wonder your head is a fertile ground for stress and good sleep quality flies out the window.
Want to throw out that worry tape? Look at what's in front of you. What colours do you see? What is the light doing? Is it shining on the dust on your kitchen bench? Forget that. Look up. Are the clouds moving? What shapes do you see? Can you hear any wind? Your 9-year-old son telling Google to make fart noises? Name the sounds. Can you see your fingers? What are they touching? Is it soft, smooth, rough, chocolatey? Can you smell anything? Fresh leaves? Orange blossoms? Your neighbour's delicious lunch?
Playing outside your head by paying attention to what your senses are experiencing has a positive effect on your nervous system and is a surprisingly effective way to de-stress, no side-effects! No meditative state required!
Three Calming Teas
This list would not be complete without mentioning 3 calming teas full of soothing properties to support your stress vanquishing efforts and improve overall relaxation. Here they are:
The important anti-stress ingredient: Bergamot oil
According to a 2015 study, both human and animal trials have found that bergamot oil helps relieve anxiety and improve mood.
For a quiet mind, Tielka's Earl Royale (earl grey) is an excellent choice. It is a beautiful blend of black tea, sweet orange peel, cornflower petals, and the most delicious essential oil full of soothing properties: natural bergamot oil.
It tastes delicious, and that's important because, you know, isn't it nice when something is healthy, has a calming effect, improves your state of mind, gives anxiety relief and it tastes good too?
Available in loose leaf or pyramid eco tea bags.
The important anti-stress ingredient: all of it, really.
We've talked about that amino acid, theanine before, right? And how theanine sends you to a happy place, yes? Has a relaxing effect? Improves brain activity? And you remember that white tea (and green tea) is full of theanine, right? And you're not a fan of green tea, yes? (Of course, if you like green tea, that's always a good option too.)
Try adding a little mood-enhancing jasmine blossom and lemon myrtle to theanine-rich white tea, and watch the amazing effects unfold! Goodbye stress! Goodbye mood disorders! Hello, good cognitive function!
And as for the taste? Oh honey, your taste buds haven't lived until you've tried proper white tea.
Available in loose leaf.
We also have some beautiful green tea options for those with high green tea consumption needs.
The important anti-stress ingredient: lemon myrtle (this relaxing blend also has organic herbs lemongrass, lemon myrtle, and rose petals)
Amongst its thousands of other benefits of this Australian superfood herbal medicine, lemon myrtle has a grounding effect, and combined with the relaxing properties of rose petals, it will give you calm focus when you're feeling stressed or anxious. It will also give you an energy boost.
The refreshing taste of this herbal tea is divine. It's a nutrient drink with a mild soothing effect. Forget peppermint tea or chamomile flowers to help get through a stressful task. The gentle aromatics of rose petals are the perfect finishing touch to this herbal remedy. We think this soothing drink was sent straight from heaven so people could de-stress in a perfectly pleasant way.
Available in loose leaf or pyramid eco tea bags.