Unwinding from the stresses and strains of our busy lives can be hard. We carry so much baggage through our lives, and the knock-on effects often lead to a vicious circle of yet more stress. Worrying about our families, work or paying the bills can leave us mentally and physically drained and tense, always feeling as though we can never catch the break we so badly need and deserve.
Stress can lead to so many problems. It can affect sleep, cause low mood, a lack of energy, anxiety, and headaches amongst many other symptoms. Stress can create tensions within our relationships, which in itself can exacerbate matters. Statistics suggest that the majority of us will feel the impact of stress upon us at some point.
Unmanaged, stress can lead to long term health problems such a depression. It is crucial to spot the signs of stress early and to practice self-care. Setting yourself a self-care schedule is vital, and a meditation routine can act as a significant cornerstone here.
Meditation can also be coupled to great effect with aromatherapy. Using essential oils, you can target the symptoms of your stress and help relieve them.
Essential oils are plant extracts, often taken using steam. The essence of fragrance and flavour; terpenes, are found in many plant species, each with a different health benefit.
Oils can be blended with a carrier oil and used for massage or applied topically. They can be burned using an oil burner, or dispersed in the air using a diffuser. To help you unwind in the bath, you might want to add a few drops into your bathwater.
In their concentrated state, essential oils can be very potent so, to avoid irritation, it is important to dilute using carrier oils such as almond oil, avocado, or grapeseed when applying to your skin.
If you are pregnant, careful research should be taken before using any essential oils. It is recommended to avoid all essential oils throughout the first trimester, and then only use recommended oils during the second and third trimester.
If the worries of your life turn over in your mind for a long time after you’ve switched the light off at night, then there are many essential oils which can help ease you into a deep slumber. These can be sprinkled lightly onto your pillow before you climb into bed, or, diluted with water and diffused. Obviously, for safety reasons, it is recommended that you don’t burn oils when your end goal is to fall asleep.
Using essential oils as part of your nighttime routine means that not only will you get to enjoy beautiful, relaxing fragrances every night, your brain will soon learn to associate these with sleep, helping you drift off that bit quicker in subsequent uses.
Lavender use promotes deeper slow-wave sleep; it helps relax muscles and reduces your heart rate. When splashed onto a pillow, effects can be enough to maintain a sleep that lasts throughout the night.
Chamomile drunk as tea has historically been known as the perfect drink before bed. However, roman chamomile oil, mixed with a carrier oil and applied to your temples, can be another helpful way to relax at bedtime. Another option is to add a few drops along with Epsom salts to a hot bath. Have a soak and breathe in the relaxation, the Epsom salts will relax your muscles, while the chamomile will help your mind.
Other essential oils which may be of help when it comes to sleep include ylang-ylang, patchouli, sandalwood, and marjoram.
What if getting to sleep isn’t your biggest problem? If you are someone who finds they are woken by nightmares, rub a little diluted frankincense oil to the arteries on your neck before you go to sleep.
Lack of Energy
If you find yourself constantly in the grips of lethargy, again stress might be a major cause. It might be linked to having a miserable night’s sleep, so following some of the night time tips will help you here.
However, it is worthwhile adding a routine in at the start of your day too. Rising each day with positivity will give you the motivation to be productive and meet your potential. This feeling will help you cope better when you face challenges in your day.
Using oils such as peppermint improves cognitive abilities. You’ll feel sharp and focused and ready for the day.
Wild orange is a great oil to use as a refreshing pick up. It’s vibrant and stimulating.
There can be many causes of headaches. They can be brought on by stress, or they might be a byproduct of some of the other side effects of stress such as lack of sleep or tense muscles.
Peppermint can again be used for relieving headaches while Eucalyptus oil is beneficial to keep around for headaches brought on by cold and flu by cleaning your sinuses and helping you breathe again.
Anxiety can be consuming and at times, terrifying. Left to grow, it can leave us feeling uncomfortable, drained, and possibly even quite ill. Again, many of the oils we have looked at can help here. You might choose to use these at specific points in the day to proactively meet your anxiety headlong, or, use as and when you feel the need.
The ‘oil of tranquility,’ vetiver oil helps relieve anxiety and can be useful in fighting panic attacks, helping with nerves. Rub a couple of drops on your wrist or neck when you feel anxious.
Jasmine calms your nervous system while lifting your mood. While many other oils may help with anxiety and stress, jasmine does so without causing sleepiness. Its beautiful floral scents are a natural aphrodisiac and can also be used to treat low libido.
High cortisol levels cause stress and anxiety; these can be brought down by inhaling clary sage oil during times of particular stress or worry.
Other oils which help anxiety include lemon balm, fennel oil, and patchouli.
While incorporating aromatherapy into your daily routine has excellent benefits, if your symptoms are severe or persistent, speak to a doctor or a mental health professional.