In April, mental wellness is an important focus, and since tea is a well-recognised ritual for problem-solving, Phoebe has taken the time to document her personal journey of how can tea help manage stress.
Since 1992 every April has been recognised as Stress Awareness Month. It’s important that we are always
aware of stress, but this month is the perfect opportunity to talk about it, be open about how it affects us, and those around us, in our day-to-day lives.
It’s a natural reaction to being under pressure, and it’s really common – 74% of people in the UK have felt so stressed they feel overwhelmed (Mental Health Statistics). And recent research from stress.org has shown that 65% of people in the UK have been feeling more stressed since the first COVID-19 restrictions began in March 2020. The effects of stress can be characterised in a number of ways, but stress.org are challenging a few of these with their 30-day challenge: Regaining Connectivity, Certainty and Control.
I have poor mental health; it’s taken me a while, but I’m okay with admitting it. I don’t know about you, but I both strive and struggle during stressful situations and I think finding the balance between these can be one of the most challenging things in my day. Stress can help me keep motivated, but as soon as that balance is weighted too heavily on one side, I get overwhelmed. When I get overwhelmed it’s like a tsunami of pressure, I just feel crushed under the weight. But, there is hope. After lots of practice, and plenty of training courses, I have found some techniques that help me manage my stress. One of these things is tea. Odd, I know, you’d never think something as simple as tea would help manage stress. But it does, and it works.
The Two Ways Tea Improves Mental Wellbeing
I find that tea helps me in two ways. It helps me focus and get energised, but it also helps me relax and
1. Certain ingredients have been scientifically proven to lift mood and improve concentration, which is why to get focus and energised, you need a good quality, rich, caffeinated tea. You need to boil that kettle, let the tea steep and take that time to recentre yourself. Reground yourself, take some strong and deep breaths, relax those shoulders and prepare yourself for the next task. Take it a step at a time too, don’t overload yourself, you’ll often find me saying “this is a three-cup problem”, I do this process as many times as I need to. Not only does it help me break down what I need to do into manageable chunks, but it also means I get lots of yummy tea – which is never a bad thing!
Recommended SaChasi infusions for this would be, "Soft Peach Gingerbread" as this green tea also contains ginger, which is packed with powerful antioxidants, and "Fresh & Fruity Sorbet" that is blended with the energy-boosting herb, nettle. Other recommendations would be our white teas, as they contain the most antioxidants, or black teas, for their higher caffeine levels.
2. To relax and unwind, grab your favourite, delicious, decaffeinated blend. Brew it, find a comfy place to sit and enjoy that tea. This is a process I love. Sitting and enjoying the experience of tea is one of the few joys in life. When your tea is brewing, have a look at the leaves, at the shape, the colour, the beautiful sheen they have in the water – if the tea is a blend, try and identify the ingredients! When it is steeping, watch the colour of the tea bleed into the water, watch it swirl and shift throughout the process. Once you’re all settled in your comfy chair, before you pick up your favourite book or pop the telly on, just take 5 minutes to really appreciate your tea. Appreciate the smell, the warmth in your hands, the taste. Note the different layers of flavour, see if you can still identify the ingredients you saw in the tea earlier. This is a wonderful way to clear your head, relax, unwind, enjoy your cup of tea to the fullest and ultimately to help you start looking after yourself and combat your stress.
Recommended SaChasi infusions for this would be, "Maple Acai Waffles" as the acai berry in this red rooibos contains potassium, which is good for the muscles, and "Mint Cacao Crème", a green rooibos handcrafted with peppermint to aid digestion. Explore the whole range of rooibos and herbal teas here.
If you are struggling with stress, please don’t do it alone. Please go to the NHS website
(https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/feelings-and-symptoms/stress/) or the Mind website (https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/stress/what-is-stress/) and use some of their guides.
Also available are a number of mental health charity helplines, for example, you can call Samaritans at 116 123 (for free!).
For more information, please find more contacts for helplines here: (https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-
problems/stress/useful-contacts/), on the Mind website.