First Posted November 2015
At this time of year, the days are getting shorter, and the world is getting a little greyer. With Samhain just a few days past and Remembrance Day quickly approaching, you may find yourself thinking of loved ones that had passed away. You may be surprised by a huge feeling of loss once again. Or this year, there may be a quieter sense of melancholy, that you’re missing them. I find that my grief changes and evolves, and like my memories, are a part of me every day.
Self-care is essential for your well-being, but it is especially important if you have experienced a loss. Diffusing or using essential oils for inhalation can be extremely comforting if you are grieving. Our sense of smell is directly linked to the olfactory bulb, the amygdala & other parts of our limbic brain which are considered to be “our emotional control centre.” This is why the inhalation of essential oils is helpful when dealing with feelings of sadness, anxiety & loss…
(A simple way to use essential oils at this time would be to put a few drops on a tissue & then inhale the scent as needed. You can also dilute 2 drops essential oil in 1 TSP carrier oil, & use this blend to massage on your chest to ease stress & anxiety. Try:
Neroli: the essential oil from the blossoms of the Bitter Orange tree. This sweet floral scent is both calming & uplifting. It is helpful for sadness, anxiety, depression & insomnia.
Frankincense: long used in churches due to its calming and meditative qualities. It quiets the mind & calms anxiety by helping you breathe easier.
Lavender: a calming & comforting oil that has long been used for stress, anxiety & insomnia.
Bergamot: a citrus oil that gives Earl Grey tea its lovely scent. Bergamot, like Neroli, is both calming & uplifting so it is helpful to ease sadness & anxiety.
Myrrh: a spicy, warm scent & like Frankincense, it can help to calm your anxious mind & is helpful for insomnia.
Melissa: a fresh, essential oil that is also known “Lemon Balm”. This oil is soothing for the body, mind & spirit, it is helpful for sad, anxious & depressive feelings.
Geranium: a balancing essential oil that lifts your spirits.
Cedarwood: an earthy scented oil that helps to relieve stress, depression & ease anxiety.
You may also want to consider: Vetiver, Rose, Sweet Marjoram, Jasmine, or Clary Sage essential oils. Always check contraindications before using essential oils topically, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, for young children or if you have a medical condition.
When you are grieving, you can experience many different feelings; sadness, despair, anger, loneliness. At times like this, it is important to get the support that you need. Talk to your family & friends, find a support group, and if need be, talk to your healthcare professional. It is also important that you feel whatever it is that you are feeling and not judge it. While I think that self-help books can be beneficial, it is best to use them as a guide only and don’t worry because you are not at the”right stage” yet. There is no specific timeline to follow as everyone grieves differently. Take the time that you need to honor your feelings & to honor your loved one(s)…
In loving memory of JM, RC, BP, DT, & RP…
My Blog is for information only & is not meant to replace medical advice. Essential Oils are not for ingestion & should always be diluted before topical use.
- Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition, The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
- Davis, Patricia. Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition, Vermilion, an imprint of Edbury Publishing, a Random House Company, 2005
- Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002