Working towards Gratitude…

With the New Year, there are lots of blogs about releasing negative patterns and feeling canstockphoto19853169Gratitude all over the internet.  Everywhere you look on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook, there are well-meaning yogis, life or fitness coaches who #hashtag about gratitude. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but what if all of this gratitude stuff isn’t resonating with you right now?  Before you dismiss me as being all negative, let me explain…

If you have been going thru a transition, whether by your own choice or not, it can bring up a lot of different feelings and some of these may be the ones that No One Wants to Talk About…THE NEGATIVE ONES!!!! (Cue the music here). Read More

Blue Christmas & Essential Oils

canstockphoto4430859With the Holiday Season fast approaching, it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of getting everything done; Being so busy, that you haven’t even thought about how you are feeling.
Some people really enjoy the holidays, while others find that the season isn’t so “Merry” and they are just trying to Make it thru December. It is important to be kind to yourself, allow yourself to feel your emotions, and most of all, not to judge them.

Self-care is essential at this busy time of year.
You may need a few strategies as you navigate this special, but sometimes stressful holiday season. A few things to try are:

  • lighten or create some flexibility in your schedule to allow for some down or alone time, so you can relax, unwind & breathe…
  • Only do things that are meaningful to you
  • Saying No when you need to
  • find yourself a support system, someone you can talk to, like a friend, a family member or maybe a qualified counselor or therapist
  • find small ways to make yourself feel nurtured, take a nap, light a candle, put on some music (Or not)
  •  maybe diffuse some essential oils.

Essential Oils have many different properties. Some are uplifting while other essential oils are more calming. Try diffusing some of the following essential oils if you are feeling:

Anger: try Clary Sage, Cedarwood, Lemon, Lavender, Patchouli, Rosemary or Spruce.

Anxiety: try  Cedarwood, Frankincense, Fir, Geranium, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Pine or Sweet Basil.

Depression: try Bergamot, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Frankincense, Grapefruit,  Juniper Berry or Lavender.

Grief: try Bergamot, Cypress, Frankincense, Hyssop, Lemon, Neroli, Rose or Tangerine.

Irritability: try Clary Sage, Chamomile (Roman), Frankincense, Lemongrass or Sweet Orange.

Sadness: try Bergamot, Cypress, Geranium, Jasmine, Sweet Marjoram, or Rose.

This year I am taking my own advice, and I am adjusting my schedule to make time for some things that I “WANT” to do. I am:

  • making time for friends (There is always time for tea or lunch).
  • limiting extra shifts at work, (Sounds simple, right? Not if you are a recovering people pleaser).
  • Getting some extra rest.
  • Taking some time off from Aromatherapy. (My nose needs a break)

And I’ll be snuggling with my cat, Gambitt, on the couch, drinking Chai Tea and watching 12321547_10153772217379346_4659375759824016249_nsome of my favorite Christmas shows, like  “Elf” or “The 12 days of Krampas”  from Season 3 of Grimm or maybe “Pageantry” from Season 1 of Picket Fences.

But mostly, I will continue to try to find the balance & keep making the small changes as I move forward. It is the small changes that we make, that can make the most difference in how we are feeling…

Wishing you many moments of Self-Care & an Aromatic Holiday Season…   

 

My Blog is for information only & is not meant to diagnose or replace medical advice.

If you are wanting to diffuse Hyssop, try the decumbens variety

If you think that you are suffering from depression or anxiety, please consider seeing a medical professional

References:

  • Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition,  The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
  • http://www.westcoastaromatherapy.com

Blue Christmas tree:   canstockphoto.com/marish

Balance or Burnout?

Balance is not Something you Find, It’s something that you Create
– Jana Kingsford

life bal 2To improve our well-being, we need to nurture the whole person: the physical, the emotional, as well as the spiritual body.

As we navigate our busy lives, we need to pay attention to the messages that our bodies are trying to tell us. Those headaches, upset stomachs or sleepless nights may be a clue that our lives are out of balance. If you are chronically stressed, whether from work, family commitments or school, the constant grind can wear you down, and it could lead to burnout.

The Symptoms of Burnout are:

  • Chronic tiredness or fatigue (Not feeling rested after a nights sleep).
  • Emotional Exhaustion
  • Attitude Changes
  • Lacking Motivation

I know that I have said it before, but making time in your day self-care will go a long way to helping with chronic stress and burnout. Some things that you may want to try:

  • Slow down! Rest & relax as much as you can. Try to make adjustments in your schedule that allow you some flexibility as well as some free time in your day. If you just finished a big project at work or at school, take the time you need to regroup.
  • Take a moment & take Breath…
  • Set boundaries. When it comes to your health, sometimes you need to say No.
  • Get the support “you” need from your friends and family. Now is not the time to isolate yourself.
  • Do something for fun, get in touch with your inner child. (There is a reason that adult coloring books are so popular)

And of course, you can use essential oils. Simply put, the sense of smell is the only one of the five senses that is linked directly to the limbic portion of the brain, which controls our emotions, as well as how our body responds to stress.

Ways to Use Essential Oils:
Inhalation is an easy way to use essential oil. Try a personal inhaler or put 1- 2 drops of essential oil on a tissue or a scent stick. Try Bergamot, Geranium, Grapefruit or Lemon…

Aromatherapy Massage:  Adding essential oils to your massage oil is a soothing way to canstockphoto1080634improves circulation, helps with any pain or discomfort, as well as any stress that you are holding in your body. Because you are applying massage oil to a large area of your body it is best to use a  1% dilution. or 6 drops of your choice of essential oils to 30 ml of carrier oil.

Diffusing: Add some uplifting & balancing essential oils to your diffuser, try Bergamot, Basil, Cedarwood, Lemon, Orange, Palmarosa, Rosemary and/or Spruce to name a few.

Take the time for some self-examination. Look at your habits, what is your schedule like? Try to make time for a walk, or maybe disconnect from the internet after dinner a few times this week. Disconnecting, in this case, is a good thing.  But I think the best thing that we can do for ourselves is to let go of the need to be perfect. Having such high standards for ourselves adds to our daily stress. Remember to be as kind to yourself as you are to everyone else in your life. And as always take baby steps…

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.

References

  • Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd ed. Brisbane: International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, 2004. Print.
  • Davis, Patricia,  Aromatherapy: An A-Z. London: Vermilion, 2005. Print.
  •  Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health & Well-being. London: Thorsons, 2002. Print. 
  •  Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood, and Emotion. Novato, CA: New World Library, 1996. Print. 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201311/the-tell-tale-signs-burnout-do-you-have-them
http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/aromatherapy_for_burn_out
http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/preventing-burnout.htm
http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/aromatherapy-reduced-burnout-and-stress
http://altmedicine.about.com/od/massage/a/aromatherapy.htm
http://www.suzannebovenizer.com/aromatherapy-essential-oils/the-limbic-system

Stress & Self-Care…

If nothing in the world ever changed, there wouldn’t be Butterflies – Unknown

butterflyChange is a part of life & how well we handle the stress of these transitions can affect our overall well-being. Stress in small doses can be a good motivator, whether you are applying for a new job or position at work, planning a wedding or maybe you are moving to a new home. But if your stress is from constant worrying & it continues to build unchecked, stress can impact your physical health, such as:

  • your respiration & heart rate increases, which can affect your relaxation & sleep patterns.
  • digestive juices stop flowing with can lead to stomach upsets.
  • your immune system shuts down which may lead to an increase in colds, flu symptoms, etc…

When you are feeling stressed it is important to take time for self-care. Be aware of what is going on in your body & what you are feeling. You may be realizing that you need to try some different techniques to manage your stress better. You may want to try:

  • Meditation: Take a moment, stretch your body, slow your breath & to go inward.
  • Keep a Journal: Get your thoughts out of your head, & onto paper so you can stop thinking about them & focus more your day. Author Julia Cameron writes about doing Morning Pages… An everyday journaling ritual to clarify & prioritize both your positive & negative thoughts. Ms Cameron says” Think of it in Yang & Yin terms…Of meeting your shadow self & taking them out for a cup of coffee”. Most people want to only focus on their “positive” self & deny the darker or shadow parts of their personality. I think that we need to acknowledge & have compassion for all aspects of ourselves, especially when we are doing the best that we can. Until we learn to have compassion for ourselves, we won’t be able to have compassion for other people.
  • Set Healthy Boundaries with everyone in your life, (and maybe say No sometimes).
  • Do “YOUR” Best… you don’t have to be perfect.
  • Learn the difference between Worrying & Caring: Clinical psychologist Chad LeJeune, Ph.D.  says “Worrying is an attempt to exert control over the future by thinking about it; whereas caring is taking action.”
  • Pay attention to your physical needs: Maybe get a massage to relax tense muscles or try reflexology on your feet, it feels amazing. Eating better or changing your diet, especially if stress is affecting your digestion. And of course, the big one is the amount & the quality of your sleep.
  • Drink  Tea Daily: try an herbal tea, like Lemon Balm or maybe some Black Tea.
    Practice Self-Care Daily.  It is important to take moments for yourself throughout the day, take a breath, take a bath to help yourself to relax & unwind.
  • Diffuse Essential Oils

Essential Oils that you may want to consider for De-Stressing:

Lavender2Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)  is probably the most popular & well known of all of the essential oils.It is good for stress-related issues as well as insomnia.

Black Spruce ( Picea mariana) has a  sweeter and softer scent than most of the other tree essential oils. Diffuse it to get grounded or if you are feeling tension, stress or anxiety.

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) is a sweet, floral, base note that has anti-depressant and sedative properties.

Frankincense ( Boswellia carterii or thurifera )  is a wonderful essential oil that is known for its sedative properties, so diffuse it for stress or if you are feeling anxious. Read More