23 Apr Being nosey is good for stress relief!
How are you feeling today?
I hope you are feeling good but there are some days when just mustering the energy to move is a big deal and doing the simplest of tasks seems to warrant too much effort. Your never ending to do list, the computer screen freezing when you need to get that email sent, or trying to resolve a problem but you just can’t think straight often leave you feeling stressed.
April is Stress Awareness Month, highlighting situations which lead to stress and great ideas as to how to deal with them. Talking to someone else is always good therapy, getting fresh air and exercise helps to clear the mind and taking time out to relax.
Mindfulness and meditation are great ways to notice our surroundings whether that is by being acutely aware of sounds and taking the time to look at what is around us. And mindful eating, savouring taste, rather than grabbing a sandwich and mindlessly devouring the same in a matter of seconds.
Another sense is that of smell. Use your nose!
Aromatherapy is the use of plant-derived essential oils, all of which have different properties and which help relieve some stress symptoms either by aiding relaxation, helping you sleep or even those that can be invigorating.
We asked aromatherapist, Ruthie-Ann Moriarty for her expert advice about the effects of different oils and the safe way of using them to aid stress relief. Aromatherapy is a skill which is learned over many years and so you do need to be careful when using essential oils.
Here, Ruth sets out some of her favourite oils and how to use them:
Getting a good night’s sleep
Lavender (lavendula augustifolia) is one of the top oils for helping with sleep, although some people find it is rather too sweet and can be overpowering.
I also love Cedarwood (chamaecyparis lawsoniana), a deep, woody and herbal aroma. The biggest knock out drops come from Sweet Marjoram (origanum marjorama), another herby and woody aroma.
Finding it difficult to relax?
All the above oils help with relaxation, but you could try Jasmin (jasmimum grandiflorum) if you are feeling rich – it’s an expensive oil…
Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata), which is very sweet, floral and exotic.
Bergamot (citrus bergamia), a lovely light, fruity oil, which is uplifting and yet soothing/balancing.
Feelings of overwhelm/ stress?
Top of my list here is the glorious Sweet Orange (citrus simensis), one of my go-to oils for people who are highly stressed/feel burnt out.
Ginger (zingiber officinale), warming and useful for fatigue/nervous exhaustion (use very sparingly – it has a very strong aroma).
Patchouli (pogostermon cablin), the “hippy” oil, warming, soothing and calming.
Helping you to breathe more deeply
Galbanum (ferula galbaniflua), green and woody aroma, very calming.
Black Spruce (picea mariana), fresh woody and earthy.
Roman Chamomile (anthemis nobilis), sweet apple-like aroma, very soothing and calming.
The trick with any of these oils is not to blend (for example) all the sleep ones together and hope they will knock you out. Try one or blend with a different oil, one you love the aroma of. This is part of the skill and art of the aromatherapist.
Try this Relaxation Blend.
You’ll need a 50 ml spray bottle
Sweet Orange 6 drops
Lavender 3 drops
Cedarwood. 2 drops
Drop oils carefully into the bottle and top up to about half with still mineral water or filtered water.
Shake well and either
- Spray into the air in front of you, walk into the mist and breathe in
- Or spray onto your pillow/bed linens before you get into bed
- Or close your eyes, spray onto your face and breathe in
If you feel it is too intense, add more water. If you feel it is not strong enough, add one drop more of each oil. But remember – less is more.
Do not use essential oils if you have epilepsy, are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Please consult an aromatherapist.
Don’t use essential oils undiluted, they should always be mixed with a base oil/cream or water and less is more.
The oils are highly concentrated, so always start small and use the best quality oils you can afford.
Look for the Latin name on the bottle to be sure you are getting what you think you are getting, it is also a good indicator of quality, especially if there is a batch number as well).”
If you would like to know more about aromatherapy contact us on 07989 367669 or email firstname.lastname@example.org