Self Care: How To Use Essential Oils to Manage Stress
There is just something about going to the beach that pulls the stress out of my body. I really need to research that experience. Do you have a special place you like to go and when you get there, tension seems to melt away? When I sit on the beach even for a few minutes, I can actually feel the tension leave and am very relaxed and feel emotionally balanced.
You can't always go to the beach or to your favorite place. You can create this memory during times of stress and imbalance and go there in your mind. It's called guided imagery. Guided imagery directs your imagination. As little as 10 seconds focused can help relax your mind and bring you back into a placed where you feel more balanced and in control during stressful events or situations.
How To Use Essential Oils to Manage Stress and Increase Relaxation
Using essential oils will help in times of stress and when you need to bring relaxation and mental balance into your life. I'm going to discuss these three areas and give examples of what oils work well in each situation.
My favorite oils for stress are the citrus oils — Bergamot, grapefruit, and lemon are some of my favorites. I use a blend called Citrus Bliss that combines many of the citrus oils and then tops it off with a vanilla absolute for the incredible experience of a dreamy luscious creamsicle. Diffusing lemon or a combination of citrus oils is very uplifting. I use these oils topically as well. One word of caution: Don't lather up in citrus oils and then go out into the sun. They are photosensitive and you will burn.
For relaxation, hands down, lavender essential oil usually wins. According to a definition, "Relaxation is a state of rest and tranquility, free from tension and anxiety." (Modern Essentials)
Various oils to experience include lavender, ylang-ylang, roman chamomile, and geranium. Creating a bath salt by adding any of these oils or a combination of these oils and soaking in a warm water bathtub for at least 15 min (you know sometimes 15 minutes is all it takes), and feel your body and muscles start to relax. You can also diffuse these oils to permeate the room to help with relaxation and even before trying to sleep. Place lavender on a cotton ball and place by your pillow.
The balancing oils may be some of my most favorite. These are grounding oils. I love these oils because they are deep and earthy. Oils like sandalwood, patchouli, ylang ylang, and roman chamomile. These oils are really nice to diffuse. You can combine sandalwood, patchouli, and lavender for a really nice bath salt or oil mixture. Remember these oils are very concentrated so you don't need more than 10 drops total in a bath. Placing the oils in a carrier like epsom salts or unscented shampoo will help mix the oils so you don't have an oil spill situation floating on top of your water.
Setting aside regular time for your self-care will improve how you face your day. Remember, it's not selfish to take care of yourself. When you are relaxed and balanced, you will be in a better position to handle stressful situations. Your children will also notice the difference. They may even want to try it. Hum, now that's an idea.
How do you manage stress on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?
Joyce Harrell, RN, OCN is a holistic nurse who provides natural solutions for health and home. Joyce utilizes the art of nursing by implementing essential oils, enzyme therapy, vision boards, wellness coaching, and nutritional therapy to help you create an environment for your body to best heal.
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