Rita Karavias is on a one-woman mission to help as many people as possible live a happy, stress-free life.

Rita Karavias knows what it feels like to live with stress.

“It’s something I personally struggle with on a regular basis, and I know that leads to high anxiety and can put me in depressive moods,” she says. “I wanted to make a conscious effort to avoid those times and help others do the same.

“I think, in a way, I made this tea for myself.”

Rita is referring to her very own, handmade, loose leaf tea brand, Stressfree tea co, which she runs alongside her personal training studio, a full-time role in Workplace Health & Safety in Agriculture, and while studying a diploma in Agribusiness Management. She blends each individual tube by hand at home, in what has become known as her ‘tea room’ – so she knows exactly what goes into every single product.

“I have all the calculations and do all the blending myself – it means I can control not only the quantities of individual herbs, but the quality too.”

It’s an artform Rita mastered while undertaking a certificate in herbal remedies, where she learnt how to blend the herbs, what to store them in and how to target specific ailments with various ingredients. The result is Stressfree tea co’s four beautiful blends – including ‘Wake up easy’, ‘Afternoon wind-down’, ‘Hormonal cravings’ and ‘Digestion aid’ – all of which are bursting with the highest quality herbs sourced through reputable Australian companies.

“I wanted to target different areas of our lives where stress can strike, such as first thing in the morning, during hormonal stages or while tackling digestion issues,” says Rita. “I then created the perfect herbal blend to help support our mental and physical wellbeing during those particular times.”

Eye on the prize

Wanting to help people is at the core of everything Rita does – it’s a characteristic that runs deep, embedded since childhood.

“I come from a big family and we were always on-hand to help each other,” she says. “My grandmother was sick for 13 years before she passed, so I spent a lot of time at hospital and even took on homeschooling while at her bedside.”

Later on, in highschool, Rita can remember desperately wanting to help her team to win during a PE training session. At the end of the class, the instructor turned to her and said – ‘You should be a PT’. At the time, Rita had no idea what a PT was, but by the following year she’d done her research and left school after year 10 to pursue her career in the health and fitness industry.

“I was 15 years old at the time. I studied for 12 months to complete my Certificate 3 and 4 in Fitness and became a qualified personal trainer. At the age of 17 I started my first business, RK fitness,” she says.

“Looking back on it now, I can see I started out with that cookie cutter mindset that everything’s about the physical. But less than a year into my career I came to realise there is so much more to why people are the way they are.

“There’s more to why people eat a lot of food. There’s more to why people don’t eat enough. There’s more to why people are the way they are. And the one thing all those reasons come back to is stress, whether that’s family stress, work stress or trauma stress, it’s often the trigger for people developing these habits – and that’s what I wanted to help them to overcome.”

So Rita asked herself, what’s one thing everyone can do, that won’t cost an arm and a leg, where you don’t have to go to the gym, but that will ultimately help you alleviate stress?

“They can have a cup of tea,” she says.

“Knowing that you can sit on the couch, have a sip of tea and know that you’re taking steps to help your mental and physical health, that’s what it all comes back to for me. My goal is for Stressfree tea co to help as many people as possible live a stress-free life.”

You can find Stressfree tea co blends online at:

Or stocked locally in Orange NSW at The CosMedic Collective and The Agrestic Grocer.

{words: Steph Wanlessphotography: Rosie Long}