*Thank you to Tamarin of Better Tea Co for allowing us to share this piece. You can see more here.*
Trigger warning: this piece discusses themes of anxiety.
Life in our twenties can be a rollercoaster ride filled with exciting highs and challenging lows. We're often told it's the time to seize opportunities, chase dreams, and build our futures. But let's be real; it's not always smooth sailing. Many of us find ourselves juggling demanding work, navigating uncertainty, and wrestling with stress and anxiety.
At 27, I was caught in the whirlwind of life's pressures. Little did I know that my journey to wellness would take an unexpected turn, ultimately leading me to discover the incredible power of hope, the significance of self-care rituals, and the strength in seeking help.
I was working in a corporate organisation that was undergoing massive layoffs, and the looming spectre of redundancy hung over us like a dark cloud. The weight of these circumstances began to take its toll on both my mental and physical health. I started experiencing symptoms that I couldn't quite make sense of at the time. My heart would race, a persistent knot seemed to tighten in my throat, and nausea became my constant companion. Desperate for a solution, I attributed these sensations to my caffeine intake and tried to find relief in herbal teas, all while oblivious to the brewing storm within me.
One day, while riding the bus, I had a terrifying experience. My hands suddenly went numb, leaving me paralysed with fear. Seeking medical help, I received a diagnosis I initially resisted: anxiety. It was a challenging journey to come to terms with this diagnosis, one that required me to practice self-acceptance and understanding.
Looking back, I realised that anxiety had been a silent companion throughout my life, from my childhood through college, and into adulthood. But it wasn't until my late twenties that I finally connected the dots between my experiences.
In the midst of the chaos and uncertainty of redundancy, my colleagues and I found solace in one another's company. We began connecting over cups of tea, where we shared our experiences and offered each other support during these trying times. This simple act of coming together, which we fondly referred to as our ‘anxie-tea breaks,’ became a lifeline during those trying days.
Our anxie-tea breaks birthed a deeply personal and professional journey for me. I recognised the importance of rituals in self-care, and these tea breaks became a cherished part of our daily routines. They gave us something to look forward to, a moment of respite from the chaos around us, and a reminder that we were in this together.
Acknowledging my anxiety and depression was one of the most daunting yet liberating steps I've taken in my life. It required courage to confront these invisible adversaries and seek help, but it was a pivotal moment in my journey to wellness. I learned that there is no shame in reaching out to professionals, friends, or family when you need support. In fact, it is a sign of strength to ask for help, and it can be a lifeline on the path to healing.
As we continue this incredible journey called life, keep in mind that even a simple cup of tea can be a source of hope. Find comfort in the little rituals and routines that bring joy and healing to your world.
Voices of Hope wants you to know that you do not have to do this alone. Click here to 'find help' - it's not weak to speak!