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.


  • 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.

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

Say “No” Sometimes…

canstockphoto31977632With the start of a New Year, we all tend to reflect on the past year, with all of its lessons and gifts. Again this year, I’m not doing any structured resolutions. I’m still just putting one foot in front of the other, taking it one step at a time. To consider my own needs before automatically saying yes.

Saying “NO” is not easy, especially for a recovering people-pleaser and an over-doer. Doing the inner work is the on-going process of setting up healthy boundaries and ignoring your inner critic. When you are doing inner work it is important to find tools that will help you with the process. Some people use self-help books or meditation; Others may want to work with a life coach. For me, (you know what I’m going to say here) I like to use essential oils, because of how they make me feel. When I started to write this blog, the one oil that came to mind was Lemon…

Lemon, botanical name Citrus Limonum (or Limon), is thought to be native to India & canstockphoto8353462Southeast China.  The fruit reached Europe by way of  Persia and the Middle East sometime around the twelfth century (Although some say Lemons were found in the ruins of Pompeii). In 1493, Columbus brought lemon with him to the West Indies, which introduced them to the new world. The main growers of lemons today are Italy, the USA, Spain & Argentina. The scent of Lemon essential oil is almost indescribable. To say that it is fresh and crisp doesn’t do it justice. It is also very versatile:

  • useful to diffuse during cold and flu season due to it’s antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties.
  • good to use when cleaning your house or doing your laundry.

Lemon is an uplifting, yet calming essential oil  that is said to “open your heart and alleviate the fear of emotional involvement”; it helps with:

  • stress, anxiety, depression
  • insomnia.
  •  focus
  • may help with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

At the end of the day, you have to be true to yourself. So say yes to the things that are important to you.  But pay attention to how you are feeling. If you are feeling exhausted or resentful, it may be because you are running yourself ragged doing things for everyone else. Our bodies give us clues when we are not paying enough attention or taking very good care of ourselves. It is important to say “NO” sometimes, and take time for yourself. In the end, it all comes back to having balance and healthy boundaries in your life.

Contraindications: Cold pressed”Lemon” Essential Oil is photosensitive so care should be taken not to expose the skin to sun or UV rays for 12 -24 hours after use.”
May cause irritation to sensitive skin. Always dilute before topical use.
*** Don’t add  Lemon Essential oil to your drinking water. Check out this website for more info 

My Blog is for information only & 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
  • Zeck, Robbi. The Blossoming Heart: Aromatherapy for healing and transformation
    East Ivanhoe, Victoria: Aroma Tours.pp. 80 – 81). East Ivanhoe, Victoria: Aroma Tours. (2004)
  • Mojay, Gabriel, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, Healing Arts Press, One Park Street, Rochester, Vermont A division of Inner Traditions International.(1997)

Diffusing with an “Open Heart”


500_aromasens14K__33346.1429820271.1280.1280 (1)While I love the ambiance of a candle diffuser, my favorite way to diffuse essential oils is with an ultrasonic diffuser. In the water bowl of these diffusers, there is a small metal disc that vibrates by “ultrasonic frequencies,” which break up the essential oil and water into tiny particles, which form a fine, cool mist, that is then dispersed into the air.

It is also important not to run your diffuser for long periods of time because:

  • The molecules of essential oils diffuse through the air fairly quickly and you are still getting the effects. even though you’ve gotten used to the scent and you can’t smell it anymore. If you diffuse all day long you may be exposing yourself to too much essential oil. It is also important to change it up and not use the same blends all of the time.
  • The first few times that you use your diffuser, use 3-6 drops of your blend and diffuse for 15 – 30 min, to see how you like the scent, but more importantly, to see how you feel. When using your diffuser, Author Robert Tisserand (2014) says,  “Don’t diffuse for long periods of time, 30 – 60 minutes is good, or 30 minutes on and 60 minutes off”. Check the timer setting on your diffuser to find the best one for you and your environment.
  • If you have a baby or small children in your home, please use caution when deciding which essential oil to use in your diffuser (check the chem. type). You will also have to adjust the number of drops that you use in your diffuser & adjust the time, 15 – 30 min depending on the age and health of your child. With aromatherapy, less is always more.

I prefer to diffuse essential oils for about 20 – 30 min, 2 -3 times throughout the day. This way I can use an uplifting blend in the morning, and a more relaxing blend later in the day to help me unwind…

One of my favorite blends that I like to diffuse later in the day is called “Open Heart”. I 100_6389discovered Fragonia essential oil a few months ago, and I knew right away what I wanted to blend it with. Open Heart is a blend of Fragonia, Clary Sage, as well as Rosemary, Cypress, Tangerine, Lemon & Ylang Ylang essential oils. And while I love the blend, it’s the Fragonia essential oil that I want to rhapsodize about:

Fragonia is relatively new essential oil from Western Australia. It is actually trademarked by  “Paperbark Oils”, a small family run company. Early studies were done by Dr Daniel Penoel, a well-known French physician who studies the therapeutic uses of essential oils. He believed that Fragonia was able to release emotional blockages and bring balance to the emotional and physical body.
In her clinical study ‘Agonis fragrans and the Female Menstrual Cycle’, Aromatherapist Karen Wallwork found that Fragonia’s balancing effect is helpful for regulating hormones. And even after learning all these interesting facts about Fragonia, the thing that inspires me the most about this lovely oil is how it heals your spirit. Robbi Zeck N.D. said it best:
“Fragonia carries a unique energy pattern bringing the gift of the power of love. In each of us, love is already in place. Perhaps you can simply, let love, love you.” Now that to me is the best form of Self-Care…

My Blog is for information only &  replace medical advice.
Essential Oils are not for ingestion & should always be diluted before topical use.

If you are using a candle diffuser, never leave it unattended.  “Open Heart” diffuser blend is for ages 5 & up.

Zeck, R. (2004). The Blossoming Heart: Aromatherapy for healing and transformation
(pp. 80 – 81). East Ivanhoe, Victoria: Aroma Tours.pp. 80 – 81). East Ivanhoe, Victoria: Aroma Tours.

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