Self-care for most people includes the basic practices of grooming, eating and sleeping. However, there are ways to make those basic daily needs a little more nurturing and enjoyable.
It may be surprising to see how fruitful a little scent can invigorate the spirit!
We are all facing challenges from the global changes and pandemic that we are witnessing. Even within daily tasks we may find a challenge that was not there before. Each experience offers us an opportunity to see how we might support ourselves. We are facing new challenges that require keeping a distance from each other with all forms of remotely working, going to school or visiting loved ones via technology.
The aspect of being physically distanced as social beings, has created a new type of collective stress. This is likely to build as we begin to come into the change of seasons. This collective burden of global changes and unpredictability can be released through awareness of ourselves. One by one, we can each shift into peace and receptivity.
One of the best ways to quickly shift moods is through the power of scent. Using essential oils is a great way to encourage a positive response to mitigate stress. There are some scents that we are naturally attracted too. These scents might remind us of our childhood, a favorite memory, or person.
Aromatherapy has been applied to most of the products we find in the market. And it is common to find all sorts of atomizers, candles or incenses to help fill our spaces with smells we enjoy. However, when we use essential oils more mindfully. We discover a pathway that can instantly release stress, encourage mental alertness or encourage sleep.
As we look at what we respond best too, keep in mind that this might change from one day to the next. We may feel differently depending on what kind of day we’re experiencing. There are many different essential oils to choose and each has a specific profile for healing uses. This information can be useful in determining where to begin.
Remember to trust your nose when choosing. It maybe be a different essential oil than expected that helps to shift our emotions or mental attachments. Be a detective and discover which is best. It may be helpful to have a few different oils to choose from to allow for greater support.
Here’s a quick list of the best essential oils for self-care.
1. Lavender/Lavandin – This is a wonderful and widely used essential oil. It is great for calming down and releasing stress. It acts like a cleanser with antiseptic properties and can be helpful to induce sleep.
2. Frankincense – This is a sacred oil that is used to lift spiritual energy. It is very powerful to use during meditations allowing for greater access to higher level forces. It is useful in consecration rites and practices to honor the sacred within, or during prayer work.
3. Rose --- This special essential oil has traditionally been associated with the divine feminine. It is like a powerful energetic hug. Rose helps to heal, honor and reflect our inner beauty. It speaks of love and gentleness. Rose is often used in heart healing work as it offers a gentle resilience and comforting supporting energy.
4. Orange/Neroli -- These bright citrus oils help to invigorate and brighten the spirit. They are typically used to boost moods, lift spirits and clear away fussiness. These scents can be very encouraging to the appetite. It can also be used to stimulate a go-getter attitude, or lift a mood on a lazy afternoon.
5. Sandalwood – This is another sacred oil that has tremendous power when used during meditation. It is most helpful to place a small dot of oil on the third during meditation. This is known to have a cooling effect on the psyche. It is often recommended when meditation becomes too agitated or fiery. It is helpful when creating a strong solid energetic foundation to perform prayer work. It also has a strong centering effect.
6. Khus Khus – This is not a typical oil that is found in a general health food store, but rather found within merchants from India or within ashrams. This is a cooling oil that has an earthly refreshing effect similar to meadow of fresh grasses. It is helpful within meditation to focus mental clarity. It is traditional used to help lift the soul toward enlightenment.
7. Eucalyptus – This is a strong scented oil that is especially good for clearing the sinus and stimulating clear breathing and alerting the senses. It has a strong aroma that is good for cleansing energy, often used with steam.
8. Tea Tree – This oil is excellent for cleansing surfaces, cleaning wounds and killing germs. It is very strong and potent. It is an excellent oil to use cleaning and preventing infections.
9. Peppermint – This oil is wonderful for centering the mind, instill mental focus and bring our senses to state of alertness. It is strong oil that is useful for clearing mental fog and encouraging our sense to wake-up. There are different types of mint that differ slightly. Peppermint is typically easy to find and be added in a variety of ways.
The best way to incorporate essential oils is to first learn what attracts, supports and encourages happiness for ourselves. This first step is powerful, just follow your nose. It will tell you the most important thing to know. What attracts and make you feel better. It is amazing when we allow ourselves to be directly informed by our senses.
As with anything that is new to us, please follow prescribe instructions for proper uses of all essential oils. They are very potent and some may be too strong to be applied directly to the skin. Most can be added to a carrier oils, such as almond, castor, or grape-seed oil that can then be applied to the body. Alternatively, oils can be placed into bath salts, salves or lotions.
I encourage you to take time today to treat yourself to a generous amount of self-care. Maybe it’s that little extra love that’s offered that will make the whole day feel better. Remember, we are all worthy of love and nurturing. Let today include the time to care for ourselves. We are deserving of our self-love and gentle self-care.