5 Steps to Calm After a Storm by Dr. Michelle

Michelle Clay anxiety self-care anxious calm destress Dr. Michelle Dr. Michelle Clay herbal tea meditation New Orleans stress management stress release stress relief tea

Greetings Tea Lovers! It’s Dr. Michelle here. Your Sister Super Wonder Woman and Tea Alchemist.

What a time we are living in. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Sometimes things in life come at us hard and fast and we don’t have time to breathe and process in between. That’s how I feel about Hurricane Ida. For the last 11 years of my life, I have lived in the "Big Easy", New Orleans.

I have prepared for tropical storms, hurricanes, boil water advisories, power outages, and floods that come out of nowhere when no hurricane was in sight.

Watching the reports and receiving calls checking on me since New Orleans has been my home for the last 11 years of my life, I was triggered. Seriously! Tightness in my chest, wringing my hands, and the whole nine!

And though right now I am hundreds of miles away in Indiana, I still felt that tense and frenzied feeling triggering past traumas and fears. I immediately clicked into "storm prep mode". I went to the store, bought candles, non-perishable food, and was getting ready to fill up on gas when I said, "Wait a minute! Girl, where are you going. You're in Indiana, not New Orleans. The storm isn't coming here!"

As you can tell, I was definitely triggered! After seeing water flood my house 3 times in five years with a rowboat going down my street, my body still gets tense when it rains!

How many of you have seen someone on the other side of your world going through something that triggers feelings as if you were living in your past moment?

As I watched the local New Orleans newscast ALL day, seeing the winds of Hurricane Ida whip the palm trees and branches around, so many feelings rose to the surface that I thought I had buried long ago.

Feelings of fear, uncertainty, doubt, anxiety etc. How can I heal these feelings? Every time it rains or I see heavy rain in New Orleans, my chest tightens and my breathing gets a tad shallow.  I can't feel fearful and anxious every time it rains. I need to do something!

This week I'm being very intentional about releasing and healing anxiety. I often feel anxious about what is going to happen next and sometimes miss the NOW!

Is there something you have fear and anxiety about that is holding you back or delaying your next? Are you ready to let it go and heal?


OK, let's do this together!


Step One: Set the Intention and Be Clear

What exactly do you want to release your anxious feelings about? Don’t say something like, “Things from my childhood.” Choose one thing so the task seems doable and not daunting.

Today I release anxious feelings about ______________________________________.


I’ll go first, “Today I release anxious feelings about my preparedness and resources for my next move.”

Yes, I have had anxious feelings worried if I have enough and if I am enough to move to the next phase of “more please”.


Step Two: Ease Stress & Anxiety

When I really need to calm down and have my soul eased, I turn to Release Recharge tea. All of the FREEaliTEA blends except Release ReNEW Detox tea have at least one evidence-based ingredient that is helpful for stress management and/or anxiety. But there is something special about Release Recharge. Maybe it’s the rosemary which has a positive clinical effect on anxiety, mood, and sleep. Or the subtle flavor of cinnamon which improves symptoms of anxiety and depression when used with medications. Served hot, it feels like my grandmother putting her afghan around my shoulders to give me warmth and comfort.

Step Three: Affirm Who You Are

I LOVE affirmations! They instantly shift negative energy and remind me of who I am and my power.

Choose three go-to affirmations for various feelings and situations. Repeat them in between sips of tea and watch how your thoughts start to slow down.

To release my anxiety about a future I haven’t reached yet here are mine:


"I am calm and enjoy the here and now."
“I am more than enough. I am living in abundance.”
“With each breath, I inhale calm and release anxiety.”

Step Four: Sit Down Somewhere and Rest Your Nerves

Growing up when you were doing too much, did the older people tell you, “Go set down somewhere and rest your nerves!”

Maybe that was just me. We still need to do that as adults. And we can do that via meditation. Meditation is just about being still and in the present moment. Not worrying about what happened yesterday or fear of the future. If you find it difficult to shut off racing thoughts, just focus on your breath. Do breathing exercises and/or use a guided meditation that guides you through the process with a calm and soothing voice like what is included in FREEaliTEA’s Relaxation Bundle. 


Step Five: Learn From a Palm Tree

When you see palm trees blowing in a breeze, it conjures up feelings of vacation and relaxation. During a storm there are different lessons. With hurricane-force winds, a palm tree may lose its fronds and fruit but it rarely snaps in half. With Hurricane Ida, some palm trees were uprooted due to the ground already being saturated with daily rain the past few weeks (normal Louisiana summer weather), but others still stood tall even if they were a little naked.

What we can learn from that is, when storms come, no matter how strong the winds or stressful the situation, we will not break! We will bend and learn how flexible and strong we really are. We may lose some of the fluff, but not anything we can’t replace that will be better and sweeter. Whatever is uprooted, served its lifespan and we didn’t need it anymore.

For the next few days, I will be sipping tea, reciting my affirmations, and resting my nerves.

We have a bright and beautiful future ahead of us. But right now is pretty cool.


Be well!



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