Who doesn’t need a little extra help managing their holiday stress? I don’t see any hands. We all need love, support and reminders to help take care of ourselves, as we take care of others in our life. And wouldn’t it be great to add in some nice, pleasing scents to activate our mind, make us feel better and more motivated?
Meditation is a practice to calm and quiet the mind, bringing it to a greater consciousness of awareness and being. Having a profound effect on our health of the body, mind, heart and gut. When the body gets too stressed, we have trouble controlling and managing our thoughts, which can drive us to make irrational, uneducated and emotional decisions. Coupling aromatics during your meditation sessions can increase your overall connectedness and awareness. Scents such as frankincense, myrrh, cedar and lavender can bring you deeper into a calmed state where you can allow your mind and body to rest.
If you are meditating through a tough situation, ask yourself, “what emotions am I feeling, that I am attaching to this situation?” Then reference the essential oils that are known to best manage those emotions. Make you up an aromatic spray, or diffuse those scents during your meditation. I recently was reminded by a dear friend, to also light a small candle as you mediate through a situation. You can burn the small candle all the way down, or if you have a larger candle, you can burn it, say for 1 hour. During that time, you hold that situation in the light of the candle, surrounded by your custom aromatherapy scent and feed it with love, understanding, wisdom and acceptance.
Here are some examples of Emotional Release Meditation Scents:
- Fear: frankincense, pine, grapefruit and juniper
- Anger: lemon, rose and lavender
- Grief: ravintsara, sandalwood and bergamot
- Loneliness: orange, thyme, lemongrass, bay laurel
- Focus & Concentration: rosemary, lemon, cinnamon and peppermint
Journaling is a way to express your feelings and thoughts. It helps to get them out of your head and heart, onto paper, where you can then see them, accept them and then release them. Unwanted and unhealthy feelings and thoughts can own you, suffocate you and smother you. They can bog you down, be counterproductive and a down right nuisance. When you journal, it can be either verbal or non-verbal. You can “verbal journal” in the shower and watch all of those worries wash down the drain. Yelling or talking in the mirror, venting to a friend (plants, animals or objects count too), writing, painting what you are feeling,
Forms of writing journaling:
- Standard pen to paper – punctuation and comprehension are not required. Writing either a list of your feelings in a bullet point style; as a blog entry (you never know, this might turn out to be a New York Times best seller or movie one day), run-on sentences or topic headings, all count.
- You can convert what you are feeling into a song or poem
- Paint or draw what you are feeling
- Cut out pictures from a magazine that represent how you feel, or want to feel
Now, let’s add in a layer of scents to diffuse while you are journaling. What is the mood? Serious, dark and heavy? If so, and you want to continue to channel and release that heaviness, diffuse some heavy scents, middle and base notes to help you connect on a deeper level. Scents like frankincense, patchouli (my #1 oil to help you release and let go), cypress, cedar, vetiver and myrrh. If you need to lighten the mood, or at least take the edge off a little, add in citrus scents, and those that are top notes or light middle notes such as bergamot, grapefruit, geranium, petitgrain and myrtle. You can adjust your formula to match your mood. Add in either a little citrus to the heavy scents to not be so heavy, or add in a lot of citrus with a hint of base notes to allow you to be open and invigorated while being grounded.
Better Sleep Scents
Ahhh, sleepytime. Numerous studies have shown the link between healthy sleep habits (in bed on time with 8-9 hours of rest a night) and improved stress management, cardiovascular health, cognitive and brain strength, optimal digestion and elimination of toxins, better immunity and overall happiness with your quality of life. When we are sleep deprived, the body’s systems and functions operate more sluggish, misfiring and sending incorrect messages or not working at all. There is more congestion, physically with the lymphatic and circulatory systems, in addition to cognitively, with lack of concentration, poor memory, inability to solve problems and manage stress.
Sleep enhancing scents include:
- Roman Chamomile quiets mental chatter, makes you feel nurtured, reduces and anxiety, inflammation and pain.
- Mandarin orange is like an adaptogen oil. It automatically balances out just the right amount energy and relaxation to help you fall asleep and stay asleep with ease. It is an “adrenal oil”, along with pine, vetiver and blue tansy.
- Of course, lavender, as this is a jack of trades, master of everything oil. great for relaxation, calming and soothing for the mind and body.
- Patchouli is great, especially of you have trouble getting to sleep.
- Helichrysum or one drop of rose on your pillow, before you go to bed can help you stay asleep through the 1:00-3:00am stretch, as well as calm and night sweats.
- If you tend to wake up from 3:00-5:00am, spray your pillow before bed with eucalyptus and frankincense.
Dealing with the Family Scents
Family (blood-related or not), is the backbone of who you are. They are your biggest cheerleaders and worse critics, one reason we love them so much. They will always keep you true to yourself and love you for who you are. It can be an overwhelming experience though, to have everyone in the same room. Similar or contrasting personalities and strong-willed, stubborn points of view. What can you diffuse throughout the entire house to bridge gaps, strengthen connections, instill peace, love and joy with everyone? My combination will be cinnamon (hug in a bottle that signifies comfort and joy), along with lavender (the “universal harmonizer”) and orange (well, just because it smells soooo yummy!). You can choose to add in a splash of pine and/or spruce for holiday cheer and grounding, and some peppermint or spearmint to keep everyone invigorated and awake.
Time to double check your holiday stress management checklist. Essentials oils…check. Ultrasonic Diffuser…check. Positive attitude…check. Meditation time scheduled…check. Special journal…check. Sleep schedule…check. Family invites…check. Well, it’s official. You now you are ready for the holidays.
Merry Christmas and happy, healthy new year from our family to yours. May you be continuously blessed throughout the holiday season and upcoming year.
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