Time for tea!

OH HOW I love tea!
I’ve never been a coffee drinker and while until recently my morning beverage of choice was a Red Bull, I’ve always enjoyed a cuppa throughout the day, especially in the cooler weather.
But as I’ve been making the switch to finally having less caffeine (like I’ve been saying I would for years), tea has become an even better friend so I wanted to share my favourite brews with you.

Time for tea - my favourite blends | Extraordinary Days blog

Time for a cuppa!

T2 Melbourne Breakfast:

This English breakfast-type tea is my favourite to have with milk. It’s got hints of vanilla which gives it a really sweet taste. Predictably, it’s much better than T2’s Perth Breakfast, which is more like an earl grey. Perfect with morning or afternoon tea or after dinner if you’re not up to dessert. At the moment I’m using loose leaves with a T2 mesh ball.


Red Seal Relaxing Tea:

Red seal relaxing tea | Extraordinary Days blog

Great for nerves.

This caffeine-free herbal tea has been a massive lifesaver in recent times. I found it in a health food store while I was looking for something to help me de-stress! (For other excellent ways to calm down when things get rough, check out this other post I wrote.)

The tea has passion flower, strawberry leaf, valerian and, my personal favourite, catnip. I know valerian root tablets work for me when I’m having trouble sleeping so I think that’s the ingredient that has the biggest impact for me, but not so much that it makes me drowsy at work. I’d definitely recommend this one!


Twinings Herbal Infusions Pure Peppermint:

Twinings peppermint tea | Extraordinary Days blog

Fresh breath is a plus.

Lately I’ve been turning to peppermint tea after big meals as it’s supposed to help with digestion. This light Twinings blend also leaves me with a tingly mouth and fresh breath, bonus! No milk needed for this one.

 

Planet Organic Female Balance Herbal Tea:

Planet Organic Female Balance Tea | Extraordinary Days blog

Worth a try!

I picked up this tea when I was searching for something to help out with my skin, which was completely breaking out! I’m not sure of how much a difference this one makes but it’s worth a try if you’re searching for another way to help your skin. It has liquorice root, sage leaf, nettle leaf, chamomile flowers and lemongrass.

And with all this tea, you’re going to need some cute things to drink it out of!
This lovely Kikki K set was a birthday gift from two even lovelier friends of mine, Helen and Kerrie. (But you can get a similar set of your own here and here!)

Kikki K teapot and cup set | Extraordinary Days blog

Such a cute little set!

Kikki K tea cup set | Extraordinary Days blog

Live bright. Be you.

Sammy | Extraordinary Days blog

My little photoshoot helper, Sammy.

Are you a tea fan? What are your favourite types?

 

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What to do when you’re completely stressed out!

What to do when you're completely stressed out | Extraordinary Days blog

STRESS. It comes and goes but some times are worse than others.
When I mentioned that April had been a really crazy month for me in this post,  I was describing it lightly.
There were some intense problems at work and I took on some extra freelance writing as well and it was way too much!
Why I thought I could fit in hours of extra work on top of my full-time job, commuting for almost three hours each day and keeping this blog going, I have no idea.
I was exhausted, more stressed than I’ve ever been, irritable, unable to enjoy anything and I couldn’t make any headway in my work.
Luckily, things have calmed down a lot more now. At the very least it was a great learning experience and I am now more familiar with what my limits are.
But how do you know when you’re at that point?

I’m not an expert but these are some of the things I picked up on:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Constant worrying
  • Feeling tense, or having lots of pent-up energy
  • Feeling guilty about time spend relaxing or not working
  • Irritability or feeling constantly close to tears


How to fix it:

  • Make a list of what’s bothering you and possible solutions. This may help you figure out what problems you can tackle first and which ones will require more work to solve.
  • Sleep more. You’re never your best self when you’re tired so getting some shut eye might help you keep calm.
  • Eat healthy meals and eat enough. Look, I’m not the healthiest person but I know I get agitated when I’m hungry so making sure you eat is important. Making it something healthy is going to help because you need good fuel to run that body of yours.
  • Up your vitamin intake. To help counteract all the stress you’re is dealing with, vitamin B can be a great stress-reliever and echinacea, garlic, zinc and vitamin C will increase your immune system’s ability to cope with any bugs.

    What to do when you're completely stressed out | Extraordinary Days blog

    Vitamin B and echinacea, garlic, zinc and vitamin C.

  • Talk it over with someone you trust. Sharing what you’re going through with someone you can rely on can help you get your head around what’s bothering you and they may be able to help you brainstorm ideas for ways to help. At the very least, it will get it off your chest. A problem shared is a problem halved, right?
  • Get moving. I absolutely cannot recommend this more. When I’m feeling wound up and anxious, getting rid of that excess adrenaline makes a huge difference. It can be as simple as a brisk walk around the block. I’ve also started walking regularly  and I feel so much better for it.
  • Try a herbal remedy. Okay, part of me doesn’t want to believe that herbs and flowers can help calm you down, but it’s worked for me. Valerian root can help you sleep (but may cause nightmares in some people, just as a heads up) and I found it in a tea that really helped calm me down. Rescue Remedy has been a staple in my purse for years and lately I’ve also been using Brauer Calm tablets (a homeopathic remedy for stress) and Tinderbox lavender balm (which is a calming, soothing scent and Tinderbox is a Western Australian-made brand, too!). Whether the placebo effect has made a difference in my case remains to be seen, but I figured that if it could help, I was going to give it as try.
Natural stress relievers | Extraordinary Days blog

Rescue Remedy spray, Brauer Calm tablets and Tinderbox Lavender Balm.

  • Try yoga, meditation and breathing exercises. Focussing on your breath can assist in calming the mind and stretching can get rid of any tension you’ve built up in your muscle. I wrote another post about how yoga apps are totally awesome!
  • Get colouring. It’s not just for kids any more! Heaps of adults are now spending their down-time colouring in. My lovely friend Lisha gave me Creative Therapy – an anti-stress colouring book for my birthday and it’s great! The monotonous activity is surprisingly soothing.

    Colouring books for adults | Extraordinary Days

    This is a great way to spend some time out!

  • Allow yourself some time every day, even if it’s just 10 minutes, to do something you enjoy. This can be as easy as reading a book, looking at cat videos or painting your nails.
  • Take regular breaks. I wrote another post about why it’s so important to take your lunch break. You deserve it!
  • Get some help from the experts. If you’re in a rough spot and really struggling, talking to your GP or another mental health professional about what you’re going through, or getting some more information from places like beyondblue or Lifeline should be your next step.

Hopefully with these tips you can help get rid of some of the tension in your life.
What are your go-to ways to relieve stress? Let me know in the comments!

Getting flexible with a yoga app

YOGA is incredible! Unfortunately, going to classes doesn’t always fit into your schedule or budget.
That’s where the Yoga Studio App comes in.
I discovered this app a few months ago when I was looking for a way to get more active and because I wanted a way to stretch, relax and strengthen my muscles.

Yoga has never been more accessible! Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

This app is seriously awesome!

I have trouble with a lot of tense and weak spots – my neck, shoulders and back are usually tight from my desk job and long commute and my weak glutes (yes, my physio told me I have a weak butt) have caused me a fair amount of knee pain.
I’ve been to a proper yoga class before and it was one of the most intense experiences of my life – my arms and legs have never shaken so much!
But, not wanting to spend much money or buy anything special, I downloaded the Yoga Studio app for about $4, picked a class and got started.
Using the app at home meant I could start slow and, if I’m honest, do a class in my pajamas.

Yoga has never been more accessible! Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

You can choose from a range of beginner, intermediate and advanced classes.

The classes are easy to follow, have relaxing background music and a calming instructor’s voice and the video shows you every move and the beginner’s classes weren’t too overwhelming.
You can choose between beginner, intermediate and advanced classes and whether you want to focus on flexibility, strength or a combination of the two.

Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

The ‘boat’ pose really works out your core muscles!

After only a couple of classes I remembered all of the poses and felt like I was moving through them more fluidly.
The thing I love most about this app is the different class lengths: 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 60 minutes.
When I’m short on time, 15 minutes is easy to squeeze in and I like having the option of the hour-long class when I want a more intense workout.

Yoga has never been more accessible! Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

The app shows you every move, making it really easy to follow.

I invested in a yoga mat after a few weeks but before that I was practicing on a fluffy rug and felt that was sufficient.
The mat does help with trying to get the positioning of my feet right, though.
The app lets you study each of the poses before or after a class and you can create your own classes too.
I really like that you don’t have to use the internet after you download a class – it’s yours to play as many times as you like without running up a huge bill.

Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

Warrior is my favourite pose!

I tried to think of some downsides for this app, I really did. But I honestly couldn’t think of anything I wanted to change about it!
I’m still on the beginner’s classes but I really want to step it up over the next couple of months.
It was also really calming and it helped me wind down at the end of the day.
If you want to try yoga or want to get away from structured classes, this is the app to do it with!
Check out Yoga Studio here and happy stretching!