Kava Tea, A Tea For The Anxious!
This probably won’t surprise any of you, but I happen to be one of those cool girls you see on television or on the Urban Outfitters website. I can drink beer as long as you don’t mind me using your bathroom a lot, I can show you my weathered copy of nearly any JD Salinger book out there, and I am afraid of anything that comes my way. Name something. Anything. Cool party trick--I’ve probably been nervous about that thing you just named! My mother delicately advised me to not see the movie Sully because even Tom Hanks as an American hero can’t make me relax about the plane thing. I appreciated that, considering I was afraid of bees for ten years because of a movie about killer bees. It's not just bees, though. I don’t like doorbells. I get nervous about cancelling plans with friends, I worry about my Keurig spontaneously combusting when I leave on a Saturday afternoon, and I’ve Web MD’d ingrown toenails only to discover that I’m dying.
So I spend a lot of time trying to better my anxiety, to calm it down and make it close to becoming a fat feral cat that can be manageable sometimes, as long as you don’t have to carry it around all day. I wake up thinking “what kind of anxious day will this be?” and if a truck loudly honks and I don’t scream, I think “all right.”
I have found some interesting solutions that aren’t the most beneficial to me---drinking 800 glasses of wine because I’m nervous about my future hasn’t worked since I was 22 and I didn’t feel like a giant puddle of human jelly during every resveratrol-fueled hangover. Avoidance is almost never good. Neither is letting it win, although sometimes it does and that is okay, too. Alas, I've got a lot of things to say about anxiety, and I will continue to do so.
But I get the most excited when I find a solution that works. Mostly because every time I say “I can be pretty anxious, sometimes” people start screaming and clapping and talking about how they are terrified, too. We are all just terrified lunatics, after all, nervous about real things and fake things all at once.
The solution I give you today is Kava Tea.
I read about Kava Tea somewhere I can’t remember, in an article that said it felt like Xanax and drinking it has gotten somebody at least one DUI. Well, I walk around in the city (which makes me nervous because murder!) so that seemed like the way to go for me. I had high hopes. I steeped two tea bags in just-before-the-boiling-point hot water, let it sit for 10 minutes (which is what the instructions say), and went at it.
It is not like Xanax, but it is close and it is not a pill! I would equate it to what I suspect cats feel like when they are on catnip. Can I also eat catnip? I wonder this often. What would happen if I eat catnip? Stay tuned to my blog.
The best thing about the Kava tea, on first taste, is that it kind of tastes like licorice, but with a slightly more spicy zing. A cinnamon bite, if you will. I love licorice, like a freak or an old person. I order Sambuca at restaurants, which produces a veritable chorus of disgust from people I considered to be my friends. However, it is not SO licorice-y that you will vomit if you are one of the many people who refuse to enjoy it. I don't know if every Kava tea brand is licorice-y, but this is the only brand I can find in NYC. There are also Kava tea bars, which I will probably go to at some point.
The worst thing about Kava tea, on first taste, is that it slightly numbs your lips and tongue. That startled me. I find it insane that a tea that helps anxiety also produces a feeling that anxious people would freak out about.
The other thing I noticed is that it immediately relaxed me. If you are worried about things in life, but don’t necessarily want to drink or take something for it, this could be the tea for you. It feels like a small wave of relaxation, on a very small and tiny beach. It gives you that que sera sera feeling that people like me have literally never experienced in their life. I have never, ever thought, “whatever happens, happens.” That is not me. I have thought, “what could happen is total annihilation and chaos.” But this gives me a rare moment of "eh." I do not personally feel different, necessarily, just more peaceful in that way you might get right before Nyquil actually makes you tired. Like a calm moment before it wears off and your life still makes you nervous. I wouldn’t drink a cup of it and then go out partying. I wouldn’t have a cup and go on a job interview. But I do drink a cup of this when my brain feels like a little too much for me, which is at least 2 times a week. My brain just feels the need to chime in on things, constantly, in a way that makes me feel like everything in my house is on fire. And this puts it out. So I have a cup, sit on thecouch and zen a bit and watch something on Netflix like Parenthood, which is kind of like the television version of Xanax but with more crying. I would recommend all you nervous nellies out there to have a go at it.
It'll be fine! Really! Don't even worry about it!*
*another thing I have never said or felt