The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our lives. It has fundamentally changed the way we live, dress, work and interact with each other.
It has also forced us to hit the reset button and question what makes us truly happy.
To get a better picture of how the pandemic has shifted the South African psyche, the SA Rooibos Council (SARC) recently conducted a survey among close to 700 people of various ages and backgrounds across the country.
According to the poll, the top five pursuits that bring South Africans the most joy in 2021 are:
visiting with close friends and family (65%),
sipping a soothing cup of tea (56%),
being in nature (53%),
lending a helping hand to someone in need (39%),
a good night’s rest and laughing out loud (tied at 29%).
Others cited exercise (23%), reading a good book (22%), spending time with a furry friend (20%) and indulging in a sweet treat (18%) as their “happy place”.
Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SARC says that based on the results from the poll, it is evident that the disruption of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has changed how people talk about and conceptualise happiness.
“In many ways the pandemic has forced us to take a step back and reconsider the value we place on the simpler, more meaningful things in life.”
For those who find contentment in a cup of tea, 84% claimed Rooibos tea as their “happy tea”.
Seven in ten said drinking tea helps them to relax, while more than a third remarked that the daily ritual helps them to reflect and be happy in the moment.
Du Toit says mindfulness and tea go hand-in-hand.
“For many, a morning or evening cup of tea is their form of meditation. It sets the tone for the day ahead or helps them to unwind after a stressful day.”
Tea meditations are an ancient practice, which have been used over millennia to achieve mindful appreciation. Du Toit explains how it is practised: