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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.

Fear and Essential Oils

Fear and essential oils header

Fear is faith that it won’t work out.
Sister Mary Tricky

Businessman Clasping His Face in HorrorSomeone once said that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real but I think the quote above is also true. How many times do you not even attempt do something because you’re convinced it won’t work out and you don’t want to face your fear of failure?

Essential oils are very useful to help you deal with your fears and you will find a list of oils to help you below.

Fear is a form of self-preservation that can present as simple consternation, apprehension, dread, panic or terror. When you are feeling panicked your heart races and you breathe more quickly and shallowly. You may feel like running away or conversely be unable to move.

If it is a more chronic form of fear you may feel the above in a milder form or just have a general sense of unease. You may also feel anxious, frustrated and angry.

Fear can show up as perfectionism, procrastination, lack of self-confidence, feeling insecure and fear of failure, losing control, change or being hurt in love. You may forget the words to a speech or turn down invitations to social events due to your fear.

Fear can alert you to real danger but often it is based on emotion rather than fact. For example you may procrastinate because you fear that you will not do something correctly or others may judge you on the results. Perfectionism is also a form of fear based on feeling vulnerable.

Fear can also paralyse your personal growth when it is a reaction to change and transformation. You cannot know how each change will affect you. The mind sees the death of old patterns and beliefs as a mini death and wants to protect you.

Oils that can help with the issues associated with fear include:
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) – Needing to be in control regardless of the consequences, low self-esteem and self-worth.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) – Courage to move forward and stand firm in the face of crisis.

Chamomile German (Matricaria recutita) – Helps to let go of fixed expectations, old ideas and beliefs.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) – Cope with and accept difficult change.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) – Perfectionists and those who deny their feelings, panic attacks.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) – Procrastination, self-doubt, restores initiative and determination.

Juniper (Juniperus communis) – Fear of failure, support in challenging situations, strengthens will-power.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) – Feels oppressed and suffocated by situations or other people.

Rose (Rosa damascena) – Can’t bear to be left alone due to fears of being abandoned, fear of losing control, insecurity.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) – Instils courage and self-confidence, strengthens your resolve to overcome obstacles.

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) – Face challenges, feels threatened by need to change, calm strength, panic attacks.

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) – Fear of intimacy, helps you to recognise whether or not the fear is appropriate and deal with it, anger, sense of peace.

The oils can be used singly or in a blend in the bath, vaporiser, in massage or as an anointing oil. Use on the solar plexus and/or wherever else feels appropriate. For details on diluting the oils click here.

You may need to seek professional help for your fear if it is strongly affecting the way you live your life. The oils will help you to change on a soul level if you so desire.