Keep your cool

Take a time out with tea.

Image: Nicola Holtkamp

Maybe it’s the ritual of putting a kettle on, preparing your teapot and cups just so, and the anticipation as the water begins to roil and rumble. Maybe it’s the warmth of the cup cradled in your hands. Maybe it’s the momentary pause that comes before every sip, an act that means taking your mind — however briefly — off whatever task is at hand.

Maybe it’s the numerous scientific studies that have confirmed that drinking tea of many varieties can lead to reduced stress. A 2010 study at University College London, for example, found that participants who drank four cups of black tea daily had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol after being exposed to stressful situations.

Whatever it is, tea is the ultimate relaxation indulgence. One of our favorites is Gabacha, a buttery smooth Taiwanese oolong with extra-high levels of GABA amino acid, a soothing relaxant that naturally occurs in the brain.

And because studies have also shown having a pet is another powerful form of stress relief, this is how we roll in the P & T offices: