According to experts (there are a lot, everywhere), relaxation is essential to our mental, emotional and physical well-being. Even five minutes of relaxation can be the difference between a productive day and one filled with too much stress. Stress isn't all bad. It actually helps us cope with difficult situations, but it's not all good either.
I don't need to be one of the millions of people already telling you what a mess the world is facing right now, and how it should be fixed, or who is to blame. The fact is, we've faced worse, and will face worse again at some point in the future (hopefully not anytime soon). History is filled with incidences far more dire than what we are going through now. However, when you already know what works for you and what doesn't in terms of finding a few minutes of peace and quiet, you will be ready for when the next crisis—big or small—hits.
Yes, you know where this is going. I recommend tea and books. Treats help, too, but mostly tea and books.
Tea is full of potential health benefits, but I find it is it more the act of preparing and quietly consuming the tea to be most relaxing and rejuvenating. Add in a book and you can give yourself a delightful (and affordable) break that will leave you physically satiated, mentally refreshed, and emotionally recharged.
“Oh, you truly are scared.” Emsley poured a cup of tea from the service a maid delivered while Rhona had wandered. “Drink this, you’ll feel better. You must marry sometime. He’s a handsome man and rich, too. You’ll never—”
“Please, not now.” She drank her tea and set the cup aside. “Thank you, for . . . thank you. He is all of what you say and more.” The words caused Rhona’s stomach to clench.
“You’ll not refuse him?”
Rhona laughed, but to her, the shallow vibration sounded like acceptance for what she what must do. “I will not refuse.”
This was not a pleasant scene for Rhona, but Emsley was correct. The tea helped. Whether at her home in the Scottish Highlands or at Charles's estate in England's Lake District, Rhona had many occasions to find comfort in a soothing pot of tea.
Did you know that "Scotland's relationship with tea started in the early 1600s, when it was formally introduced to the country. Later, many Scots went to India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to start and run tea estates. Scotsman James Taylor is known as the father of Ceylon tea." (teadog.com)
I hope today, and every day hence, you take a few minutes for yourself with a restorative cup of tea and an escape into a good book. We all need a little time to relax in our busy lives.
The Tea: Bramble Berry from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Scones: Walkers Shortbread Cookies (because it's been too hot to bake)
Excerpt from Blackwood Crossing copyright © MK McClintock