While this year overall has been weird to say the least, these last few weeks have been a little harder than most with my anxiety feeling sky high of late. Without going into too much detail, a lot has been going on in my personal and professional life so when I was reminded about the benefits of essential oils, I knew this was something I look into.
Ben Phillips, Brand Manager of Buckley and Phillips explains, “many essential oils are renowned for their ability to lift your mood and improve your outlook on life. Some common feelings that people may be experiencing during this period of isolation and uncertainty are anxiety, frustration, lethargy, lack of focus, melancholy and loneliness. Additionally, essential oils are a terrific companion to a good sleep preparation routine.”
But how you ask? Ben says: “On a physiological level, when an aroma is inhaled the molecules enter the nose and are registered by olfactory nerve cells. These pass the information to the limbic brain. And it is the limbic system deals with emotions, memories and stimulation. This explains why certain scents have the ability to trigger memories and influence our moods.”
I know for a fact that I am a much more ‘together’ and alert person when I sleep well, and when I’m anxious the first thing to go is sleep quality, to which Ben shares that by foregoing stimulants like sugar, caffeine, late eating and device use before bed improve your chances of falling asleep more effectively.
“There are several essential oils that are ideal for calming the mind and relaxing the body before bed. They are perfect for vaporizing in the bedroom or for a really relaxing treat – can be added to a carrier oil and massaged into the back, chest wrists or temples. The best oils for sleep are Lavender combined with other oils like Sweet Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Marjoram, Clary Sage and others. For those who have never tried aromatherapy before and are bit daunted by the choice, I recommend started with a ready-made blend. Our pulse point roll-ons are a great way to incorporate essential oils into your sleep routine, reduce the impact of stress and headaches or balance your mood.
Please see below some other effective ways that essential oils can be employed:
- Adding a few drops of lavender oil to your pillow before sleep making your own diluted pulse point blend and applying with a roller. Try uplifting grapefruit, lime and mandarin or grounding sandalwood, patchouli and frankincense.
- Make your next bath a decadent one – add a few drops of rose, jasmine and chamomile oils to a tablespoon of full fat milk and then disperse in the hot water. You could even sprinkle on some rose petals. Alternatively you could try adding a few drops of your favorite oils into ½ a cup of Epsom salts, stirring to disperse, then sprinkling into the bath.
- For sore muscles and joints try a hot compress. Add 3-4 drops of Ginger, Cypress, and Juniper to a shallow bowl of hot water and disperse well. Soak a flannel, wring out well and apply to relevant part of the body. Repeat 3 times after the compress reaches body temperature.
- As the cold season continues to linger you might consider diffusing Buckley and Phillips’ Immunity blend at work or in your home. For sinus congestion Eucalyptus and tea tree oils are ideal for steam inhalation. Add 3-5 drops to a large bowl of boiled water, cover head with a towel and breathe through the nose.
Ben explains, “I recommend anyone interested in learning more, pick themselves up any book by Valerie Ann Worwood or Julia Lawless. There’s also a really terrific book for beginners titled Neal’s Yard Remedies – Essential Oils.”
What is your tried and true method for reducing stress and anxiety? Share with me in the comments!