Most people I know went back to work on Monday. Most people I know felt like they hadn’t been away by the back end of Tuesday. For myself, because I don’t work in an office environment, I have spent the first week of 2015 attempting to get myself organised. I am not sure if it has worked, but I do feel as if I have been chasing my tail all week. In fact, I have that feeling that I might meet myself on the way back, if you know what I mean?
Don’t get me wrong, everything I have been doing has been important and necessary work. But goodness me, there is so much of it. As soon as I organise one bit… I need to rush off and organise another bit. If this is the way the year is going to go… I can imagine myself being something of a stress bunny by the end of March, let alone December!
And add into the mix the chance that I might actually be heading back to the world of work (I have an interview next Friday!). Hello stratospheric work stress levels. I am going to need some herbal assistance methinks. So, I headed off to my new herbal bible to see what Rosemary Gladstar has to say on the matter.
Ms Gladstar is very sensible actually. She points out that a lot of people get depressed after going through long periods of stress, and that if you treat the symptoms of the depression, rather than the root cause of the stress, then you are not going to get to the bottom of the problem. She points out that relaxation is the best way of getting rid of stress, so whatever your favourite method is, use it. It could be hot soaky baths. It could be praying to your deity of choice, or for us Catholics, spending time at Adoration. It could be drinking a cup of herbal tea. It could be knitting, sewing or crocheting something. It could be reading a book. It could be digging a border or bed in the garden. It could be planting seeds. Whatever that makes your shoulders come down from around your ears, do it.
There are some herbs which can help though, some of which are known as nerve tonics. Really what they do is to help rebalance the nervous system, and of course stress is one of those things which makes the nervous system get all whacked out of line anyway. That “fight or flight response” doncha know. One of the recipes in this section is a Valerian tea blend. I am all for a tea blend without chamomile in it. Chamomile and I do not really mix – the last time I had it in a tea form I was ill for HOURS afterwards. I would rather my relaxation herbal tea didn’t have that kind of violent emetic effect.
So the recipe here contains a half part liquorice root, 2 parts lemon balm and 1 part valerian root. All these things can be sourced online or at a good Herbal supplier. Now, the liquorice root is kind of hard, so you first need to make a decoction of it. So, place the root in a small saucepan and cover it with cold water. Heat it slowly and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, add the lemon balm and valerian root and infuse for 45 minutes. Strain and then you can drink as much of it as you want, as often as you want. I would be cautious though, the liquorice root can have a laxative effect. You have been warned.
Have a relaxing weekend! I am starting on the next house renovation project – painting the hallway. Hopefully I will find that a relaxing activity!