Is it just me or is everyone in need of a little bit of time out at the moment? I mean, it's not even December yet and most people seem to be hitting their pre-Christmas meltdown already.
Before you reach for the gin, sit down and take a deep breath (remember to let it go afterwards). Then put the kettle on and brew yourself a cup of soothing lemon balm tea.
The calming properties of lemon balm (melissa officinalis) have been recognised since the Middle Ages. Lemon balm is a member of the mint family (and grows just as voraciously). Its leaves have an intense lemony scent that is both reviving and soothing. Our new house has a tiny bush of it growing in the tangled weeds edging the vegetable patch, but I know it won't be long before it becomes a thriving monster.
To make lemon balm tea, I just shove a few handfuls of leaves and stems in a teapot and add freshly boiled water, then let it steep for a while. If that sounds too wholesome, Choclette has a recipe for lemon balm ganache which sounds like heaven. After all, lemon balm may help you calm down, but nothing is quite as soothing as chocolate.