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Ease Winter Blues with Essential Oils

Ease Winter Blues with Essential Oils

“One kind word can warm three winter months.” – Japanese Proverb

In winter there are stretches where the rainy days seem endless, the cold more penetrating and you long for some sun and warmth. This is the time to diffuse your mood lifting essential oils and massage those cold hands and feet to bring back warmth and improve your circulation.

Mood lifting essential oils
WinterThe citrus oils are fabulous for lifting your mood and bringing some sunshine into your life on even the darkest days. Put 5 or 6 drops in your diffuser for an instant lift. The aroma will not last long so combine with a warming oil such as cinnamon or ginger to make the aroma last longer but remember even if you can no longer smell the oil it is still in the atmosphere affecting your mood.

Citrus oils to try in your diffuser are:
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) brings cheerfulness and helps release anger
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) helps remove heavy, negative feelings and encourages optimism
Lemon (Citrus limonum) uplifts you emotionally, mentally and spiritually
Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) helps to ease stress and calm you
Mandarin or Tangerine (Citrus reticulata) brings a sense of childlike happiness
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) helps you lighten up and find your sense of humour

Warming oils
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) eases arthritis by warming aches and pains.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) relieves arthritic aches and pains and helps alleviates coughs and colds.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) warms and soothes arthritic aches and pains.
Nutmeg (Myristica fragans) soothes arthritis and promotes relaxation.

Recipes
Tropical Island
Lemon 2 drops, lime 2 drops, mandarin 2 drops, cinnamon 1 drop in vaporiser

Sunny day
Sweet orange 2 drops, grapefruit 2 drops, black pepper 2 drops in vaporiser

Nourish
Bergamot 2 drops, lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) 2 drops, nutmeg 1 drop in vaporiser

Warming massage blend
Black pepper 2 drops, ginger 2 drops, lavender 1 drop in 10 mls cold pressed vegetable oil. Massage into cold hands and feet or double amount for a warming full body massage.

Ginger Infusion/Tea
Ginger teaYou may also like to try drinking warm ginger tea
Cut very thin slivers from the ginger root, and simmer them for 10 minutes using about 6 thin slivers from a root of average thickness, to each cupful of water. Add a little honey to make a drink to quell travel and morning sickness, stomach cramps and for colds and flu. (Recipe from Patricia Davis)

Essential Oils and Overwhelm

essential oils and overwhelm

Many people today are in a state of overwhelm. How many times do you hear someone say, “I have so much to do, I don’t know where to start.” or “I’m so overwhelmed, I can’t cope.” and perhaps burst into tears?

OverwhelmOverwhelm occurs when you are stressed, stuck and afraid to tackle something that is unknown, difficult or scares you. It is the fear that you have too much to do, too little time or energy, don’t know where to start and will never get it all done. It is a form of procrastination especially for the perfectionist and those who feel responsible for everything and everyone. For those who have poor self-esteem and lack personal boundaries, the inability to say no can result in overwhelm when they realize they can’t fulfil all their commitments.

Overwhelm manifests on both physical and emotional levels and can show up as tight neck and shoulders, a knot in your stomach, tiredness, stress, confusion, anxiety, helplessness, lack of motivation, short-temper and panic attacks. Each person is unique and so your way of manifesting overwhelm will be unique to you.

Burnout occurs when overwhelm has been present for an extended period of time without being addressed.

Here are a few tips and essential oils to help you get out of overwhelm and back on track.
1. Admit you are overwhelmed and ask for help.

2. Make a to-do list of all that needs to be done. Choose 3 to 5 tasks to do each day. These may be the most pressing, or will help you breathe easier and give you a sense of accomplishment once they are completed. Also consider choosing tasks that once done will eliminate the need to do other tasks on your list. Only plan to finish these tasks so they can be crossed off your list. Should you finish these quickly you then have the choice to add another 3 to 5 tasks or give yourself time for you and your own self-nourishment.

3. Learn to say no. This can be difficult when you have low self-esteem or difficulty setting boundaries. Pine essential oil (along with an affirmation or mantra such as I am worthy and I can say no) used on your solar plexus can be helpful here.

4. Delegate and let others help you. You don’t have to do it all. If you feel responsible for everyone and everything try using black pepper essential oil in your diffuser or on your solar plexus or sacral chakras.

5. If there seem to be too many tasks and you don’t know which to choose first try meditating with neroli or sandalwood. Meditation can be as simple as taking 5 minutes to inhale the oil and savouring the aroma or of going into the garden and really seeing a flower or looking out the window and really concentrating on an object. After taking this time out look at your list again and choose.

6. Get grounded. When you are overwhelmed your energy is scattered. Try grounding yourself by going outside, taking off your shoes and socks and putting your feet on the grass or some other natural surface. Take a barefoot walk, lie on the grass and look at the clouds, sit on the ground and do some deep breathing. Breathe in vetiver, a very grounding oil, if you don’t have access to the outdoors.

7. Consider what you are avoiding and what the fear is behind it. Once you are clear about what’s stopping you, face the fear and go and do the task. Use nutmeg to help you over that feeling that it’s all too hard, ginger to help stop procrastinating, geranium to bring balance and grapefruit to remove those heavy negative feelings.

8. Use sweet fennel in your diffuser to help you complete your tasks.

9. Once you have completed the 3-5 tasks you set yourself for the day, take some time out to nourish yourself. Have a fragrant bath, eat a nourishing meal, spend a little time outdoors, have a massage or do something you really enjoy.

Before you know it you will have completed your to-do list and have a sense of accomplishment. Continue to use the tips and essential oils above to stop you getting into overwhelm and possible burnout again.

Essential Oils For Winter

Essential Oils for Winter

Winter has arrived and although the days are relatively warm and sunny there will be days when it seems spring will never come. You will be exposed to people with coughs and colds on the bus, train, in shops and at work or perhaps in your own family. During this time I use essential oils to help lessen the chances of me catching a cold and if I should catch one to get over it very quickly.

The oils below can be used for many of the minor and not so minor inconveniences of winter.
Black Pepper(Piper nigrum)
Black pepper A very warming oil ideal for massaging sore, tight muscles and warming cold hands and feet. On a spiritual level she is about taking responsibility for your own actions and loosening blockages that maybe holding you back from following your path in life. Use 2-6 drops in a bath or footbath to warm cold feet and get your circulation moving.

Ginger(Zingiber officinale)
Sliced Ginger Root 1Ginger is another very warming oil but she also helps you to get going if you have been procrastinating as well as rebuilding your stamina and energy after illness. The Chinese believe that drinking hot ginger tea at the first sign of a cold prevents you from getting one.

Ravensara(Ravensara aromatica)
ravensaraRavensara is a very powerful antiviral oil that I put in my clients blend when they have a cold. She helps them fight the cold and protects me from getting their cold. On a spiritual, emotional level she helps you set boundaries. In the case of a cold or flu your boundaries are set as most people will keep their distance for fear of catching your cold. Ravensara is also very good for cold sores. Use a cotton bud to apply to the cold sore 4 or 5 times a day.

Eucalyptus(Eucalyptus radiata or Smithii)
eucalyptus-treesEucalyptus Smithii is considered gentler to use with young children. Put 2 drops in some bubble bath or full cream milk and add to a warm or tepid bath to help bring down a fever. Make a blend of eucalyptus, teatree and ravensara to help ease the symptoms of cold and flu. Add black pepper or rosemary if their neck, shoulders or chest is tight from coughing. You can use a combination of any of the above. Add 15 drops to 20mls of vegetable oil and rub into neck, back and chest 3 or 4 times a day. Use eucalyptus in a vaporiser to help kill bacteria in the air and in steam inhalations to ease a tight chest.

Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)
Teatree 5Although it tastes terrible you may want to try gargling with teatree to help ease a sore throat. You may even be able to avoid the symptoms of cold or flu if you gargle at the first sign of a sore or ticklish throat. Add 2 drops of teatree essential oil to a cup or glass of water. Gargle, spit out and don’t swallow. Use with eucalyptus in a vaporiser to help kill any bacteria in the atmosphere.

Rosemary(Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary flowers and leavesRosemary is excellent for sore, tight muscles and works well in a chest blend. Along with eucalyptus she can help open congested nasal passages. Try placing 1 or 2 drops on a tissue or if you are in public you can put a few cotton balls in a small bottle such as an empty essential oil bottle, add 3 or 4 drops of rosemary, eucalyptus, ravensara, teatree or any combination of these and close the lid. Open the bottle and sniff whenever your nose is feeling blocked. You could also take deep breaths from your tissue or bottle whenever someone with a cold has coughed on or near you to lessen your chances of catching a cold. Another alternative is to use a personal inhaler.

Sweet Orange(Citrus sinensis)
Orange treeSweet orange is perfect for those dark dull days of winter when you think the sun will never shine again. She helps lift the spirits of those sick with cold and flu. Use in the vaporiser to bring some cheer or combine with eucalyptus or teatree to lighten the aroma.
You could also use lemon or mandarin for this purpose.

Finally remember to rest in bed for a few days to help you get over your cold or flu quickly. To prevent getting a cold in the first place keep active, eat nourishing, warming food, use your essential oils and take time out for yourself.

Essential Oils for the New Year

essential_oils_for_the_new_yearOften at this time of year people make New Year resolutions with the intention of keeping them but by the end of the month many are forgotten. Perhaps they were too difficult to keep and you are now feeling bad about that.

May I suggest that you either make resolutions that make you feel good and are very easy to keep or that you choose a word that will be your guiding light for 2015.

Woman having an aromatherapy massageSome examples of New Year’s resolutions that may feel good could be to have some chocolate or other food you fancy once a week but really take the time to enjoy it and how it makes you feel good rather than feeling bad because you perceive that it is bad for you. Another could be that you will give yourself time for you once a week. This could be as simple as having a regular massage, vaporising some oils, going for a walk or sitting in the garden for five minutes. It really doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is something you enjoy. Give yourself the gift of you. You give so much to family, friends and work so why not give something to yourself?

If you choose a word that will be your guiding light for the year choose one that feels right for you. It may be a word you hear or see several times or you can meditate and see what comes. Know why you are choosing the word and put the power of intention behind it.

You may choose the words release or letting go as a guide to help you clear the clutter in your life whether physical, mental, emotional or releasing unwanted kilos.
You may choose beauty or gratitude so that even in the darkest of times you can see or find the beauty around you or feel a sense of gratitude for something in your life. You may even choose a word like progress or innovative. It doesn’t really matter what the word or phrase is as long as it feels right for you and can act as guiding light to help you through the coming year.

Some oils that you may like to use to help with your potential are
Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) – can help you find and stay focussed on your direction in life and take responsibility for your actions.

CedarwoodCedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) – can give you the courage to move forward and follow your dreams.

 

German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) – can help you let go of old ideas, beliefs, emotions, and habits that you no longer need.

Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) can bring clarity when you are feeling overwhelmed and not sure what you should be doing.

Geranium 7Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is another oil to choose if you are beginning something. She can bring a sense of renewal and is also the perfect oil for bringing balance to all aspects of your life, physical, mental, spiritual and emotional.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) – motivates you to move past any restrictions or limitations you have put in place.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – helps you reconnect with your purpose and passion in life.

Fennel 5Sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare dulce) – is helpful if you feel that there are aspects of the past year that you need to bring to a close so that you can begin afresh.