Thursday February 25, 2010 | 6 comments
In the past month, I’ve had two major events happen in my life – I was laid off from a job I’d had for only four months and my mom came to stay with me as she continues to recover from a broken hip. I love my mom very much, but we haven’t lived together in close to 20 years. And between trying to adjust to my unexpected free time, and trying to strike a balance between caring for my mom and letting her do some things for herself, I’ve become a total ball of stress.
Usually in these situations, I would turn to tea to calm me down and give myself a break from the world. And usually, it works. This time, however, I’ve continued to turn to tea, but I haven’t yet found the right one to help me fully relax and think of ways to cope with my stress. I find myself gulping down the tea while it is still too hot and burning my mouth, or forgetting about it and letting it get cold, then trying to reheat it (which is never good).
I‘ve even found myself absent-mindedly spilling tea on my desk and lap as I try to take a sip. Clearly my mind is occupied with way too many thoughts. I usually find that oolongs help me focus and soothe my mind when it’s roiling away like a pot at full boil, but now they don’t seem to be having any effect. I also turn to Darjeeling teas to induce a more contemplative state – maybe trying to imagine myself at a lovely and relaxing English tea.
At the moment, though, I feel like I need something more potent. I’m just not sure what tea that would be. Many of the traditional tisanes – St. John’s Wort in particular – seem to have the opposite effect on me – first I get keyed up, then I crash. My sister has recommended a floral remedy (she uses Bach Flower Remedies), but I’m not too sure about them, either.
In any case, I think the key is that I need to practice a more mindful, meditative way of preparing my tea to heighten the sense of taking a break. Instead of putting on the pot of water to boil, then rushing off to do something else, I should take a few minutes to breathe and meditate. And instead of sitting at my computer, typing and clicking away while I drink my tea, I need to find a soothing, relaxing spot to take a moment to myself.
I know that tea can help me get through these stressful events; I just need to give it the proper time and attention to do its job.