The next six weeks of winter are the challenging ones with the flu, colds, and general challenges for all of us until those first green shoots of spring brighten the day.
A vital question for all of us, and especially women in business who tend to be caretakers and pleasers is “What do you do to renew your spirit?” I’d love to hear responses that can give all of us some new ideas or even underline what we already know. Some I’ve asked say a long soak in a tub at night helps, others are runners and bikers, still others put on hot music, close the door and dance till they fall in a heap on the floor.
The New England Journal of Medicine found that those who engaged in social dancing at least several times a week had a 76 percent lower risk of dementia than those who did not. So, find a partner and get to it!
For me a cup of tea is a powerful stress reliever. A recent study in Britain had groups either drink water or tea and then were measured on stress related tests. Those who had a warm cup of tea were less prone to give in to anxiety than those who merely drank a glass of water.
The research indicated that drinking tea was less about the nutritional value and more about being part of a long standing ritual, thousands of years old. Interesting thought; I know when I take a cup of tea in my hands the first sip makes me feel calm and surprisingly content.
Years ago my husband and I were fortunate enough to travel to China with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn who was being permitted to bring his Buddhist teachings to the people in Beijing and various outer monasteries. One of the most endearing memories I harbor was sitting on the floor of the airport waiting for a flight between cities. We were all tired and the tendency was to be crabby and complain.
Instead, we all sat in small groups, all 180 of us and sipped tea. We cradled the cups like precious bowls, modeling the way this beautiful Zen Master sat; calm and still. The Vietnamese name for teacher is Thay, and that moment of having “Tea with Thay” is still comforting when the business of the day begins to overtake me.
Leadership is about being a model of behaving in ways that create cooperation and collaboration. Please share some of your best practices for reducing stress and renewing your spirit. We can all learn from each other while waiting for spring.
Kathy Breitenbucher says
This sounds silly, but I love to color in a complicated coloring book. When I get stressed, changing my thinking from what I’m stressed about to “should this be yellow or blue” and staying inside the lines helps me get everything back in perspective. My daughter likes to hang them on the frig, too.