When do women look their worst? What is the most stressful day of the week? What is the most stressful time of the year? How does stress affect the body? How do you relieve stress?

stress_screamA British survey has concluded that Tuesday at 11:45 AM is when stress hits the hardest – many Americans agree. And a British company launching an anti-aging cream found that women look their worst on Wednesdays at 3:30 PM.

In America, Monday was perceived to be the most stressful day of the week, but upon delving into that, it was also the day most people dawdled (my word). The things they put off on Monday hit home hard on Tuesday, causing a great deal of stress.  For many, Wednesday was the most stressful day of the week and the day most people reported working through their lunch hours. Another survey reported that Thursday is a common night for people to have sex – contributing to the fact that Fridays seem to be the least stressful day for many. They believed there was a direct tie-in.

Holidays can also be the most stressful time for folks, but they can also be the happiest time for many. Traffic is stressful, co-workers are stressful, bosses are stressful, family problems are stressful, responsibilities are stressful, and deadlines are stressful. A lack of sleep makes us easily stressed.

According to WebMD.com:

“43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
* 75% to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
* Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
* The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.”

A great deal of information is out there about stress – some contradictory, some startling, and some subjective. But stress is stress, so wherever it comes from, we must learn to deal with it, relieve it, and release it.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

“Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the culprit.
*  Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
*  Of course, if you’re not sure if stress is the cause or if you’ve taken steps to control your stress but your symptoms continue, see your doctor. Your doctor may want to check for other potential causes.”

When I asked what FOODS help to relieve stress – guess what came up several times?
Yes, TEA!

black_crackle_potOf course, you knew I was going there! Sadly though, most Americans are not aware that tea can help them relax, and therefore, relieve their stress.  According to EatingWell.com,
“‘Drinking caffeinated black, green or oolong tea varieties may elicit a more alert state of mind,’ says a study in The Journal of Nutrition. Researchers think theanine – an amino acid present in these tea varieties – may work synergistically with caffeine to improve attention and focus. To reap the benefits, the study’s results suggest drinking five to six (8-ounce) cups of tea daily.”

This is not news to those of us in the world of tea, but I truly believe that this is also part of a very valuable message we can impart to those purchasing our teas or questioning the need for tea: “Stress drags us down – tea lifts us up.”

Keep the message plain and simple and send your customers away with hope and appreciation. Let them know that in the time it takes to mindfully sip a cup of tea they can enhance their lives and take better take care of their mind, body, and soul.

Ladies, take a teapot to work, put a stash of tea in a drawer, plug in your kettles, and sip the stress away. Especially before 3:00 PM on Wednesday, steep your tea and get a jump on the Wednesday 3:30 PM doldrums because it is showing up on our faces. And yes, used teabags on closed eye lids are still a tried-and-true remedy that works!

Photo “an unwitting victim…” is copyright under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic License to the photographer “bark” and is being posted unaltered (source)
Photo “zen and the art of grain” is copyright under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic License to the photographer David Singleton and is being posted unaltered (source)