Guest blogger Lorie Sheffer: Simple Solutions

Child's bedroom converted to vintage sitting room
Time for tea surrounded by vintage treasures (photo: Lorie Sheffer)


One day my friend, who happens to be a psychiatrist, and I were discussing stresses in everyday life. He shared with me that on more than one occasion he has heard the complaint how every time we turn on the television, we are bombarded with bad news and horrible images. His suggestion? “Turn off the television.” For only $175 an hour, that is some pretty simple advice. Why, then, can we not seem to figure out the obvious? Why do we feel increasingly unable to disengage?

I absolutely feel it is necessary to educate ourselves as to what is happening in the world around us and to form our own opinions and views based upon facts and not hearsay. With the information we all have at our disposal, it is inexcusable not to do so.  But where do we draw the line? At what point do we stop and realize that we have the story and all we are doing is bombarding our emotions with the details? If we can in some way help, then we need to continue gathering information. If simply drawn to events in some strange voyeuristic way, then maybe it would be best to take a break. At the very least, we may need to step back and take a breath.

Ridiculous as it may sound, afternoon tea is a wonderful way to refresh our mind and recharge our soul.  It’s quite different from guzzling a grande coffee with a triple shot of espresso from a paper cup. It’s totally unlike sipping from a stained old mug, tea bag tag hanging from the side. What I’m talking about is brewing a pot of real tea and then drinking it from an old vintage cup or at the very least a clean, unstained mug. Savoring it with a small sweet treat only adds to the joy of it. If the weather is hot, iced tea or lemonade, not the instant kind but the fresh made variety, seems almost decadent when it’s sipped from a tall frosty glass. Sit by a window and watch the snow fall, or the birds fly or the rain splash on the pane…… but sit and look outside, away from the television, computer and iPad. In the good old days, this was known as break. It was thought to help relieve stress, give some fresh perspective and allow us to mentally escape for a few moments. And the last time I checked an afternoon break cost quite a bit less than $175 an hour.

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.