Summer is here and that means beach days, holidays and spending as much time outdoors as the weather will allow. Summer does of course come with its own health and wellbeing concerns, including sunburn, insect bites, hay fever, travel anxiety/sickness, fatigue and the usual stress that comes with preparing for a holiday, job stress or managing work and home life. Thankfully, essential oils can help to boost your wellbeing and manage all of these summer health problems.
Sunburn is usually easily prevented with a good natural sun cream and by staying out of the sun during the middle of the day when it is at its strongest. However, if you do end up getting a little burned, you can help to soothe your skin with lavender essential oil.
Blend 2-3 drops of lavender per 5ml of carrier (grapeseed, sweet almond, sunflower or coconut) oil and massage into your body, or add a little of the blend to a cool bath. If you have an unscented body lotion or some aloe vera gel, you can also mix the lavender into that (using the same dilution as before) instead of the carrier oil.
To help prevent insect bites and stings this summer, Quinessence's Hydrating Insect Repellent lotion is a must have. It contains citronella, lemon eucalyptus, clove and cedarwood, which research has found to be among the best essential oils for repelling insects. It also contains aloe vera, kukui seed oil and cocoa butter to hydrate the skin and protect against environmental damage.
If you battle with seasonal allergies, using a blend of eucalyptus radiata, lemon, chamomile Roman and lavender can help to prevent and bring relief from your symptoms. Inhalation is the best method of using this blend, and there are several easy ways in which to do this:
If you get anxious about travelling or have a phobia of flying, using mandarin, chamomile, sweet orange, lavender, petitgrain or geranium essential oils can help to calm your nerves. Use one oil on its own or pick two or three to create your own personalised blend. The oils can be added to an inhaler tube or used in a piece of aromatherapy diffuser jewellery. Alternatively, you can add 4-6 drops in total of essential oil and 10ml jojoba oil to a glass rollerball bottle to create a calming pulse-point perfume blend (I can also make these up for you).
If you are prone to travel sickness, using lavender, ginger or chamomile essential oils can help to reduce feelings of nausea and settle the stomach. As before, use a single oil or mix two or three depending on which ones you like best (the oils you are drawn to are often the best ones for your individual needs). These oils can be used in a personal inhaler or inhaled from a tissue, added to a piece of diffuser jewellery or diluted in jojoba oil to make a rollerball blend.
Although we generally feel more energised during the summer, the heat can sometimes leave us feeling tired and drained. If you've had a few late nights or have been doing a lot of travelling, fatigue can often creep up on you during the day. Using invigorating essential oils such as rosemary (not to be used if you are pregnant of suffer from epilepsy), ginger, lime, may chang or lemongrass can help to wake you up and refresh your mind and body.
A great way to feel energised first thing in the morning is to sprinkle a few drops of one or two of any of the above essential oils onto the shower floor and then turn on the water. As you stand in the shower you will feel energised and uplifted as the aromas fill the air. You can also use these oils in an oil burner/diffuser, an inhaler/tissue, a rollerball blend or a piece of diffuser jewellery.
If stress is getting the better of you this summer, you can use essential oils to help you feel more relaxed and calm. There are so many de-stressing essential oils out there, but some of the ones I find to be most effective include lavender, mandarin, petitgrain, chamomile, bergamot, geranium, may chang, sweet orange and lemongrass. Any of the previously mentioned methods are excellent ways to use essential oils for helping to reduce stress levels - in an oil burner/diffuser, a bath/body oil, an inhaler, diffuser jewellery, a shower blend or rollerball perfume.
As always, if you have any questions about using essential oils please get in touch!
Although Christmas is an exciting time of year for many, it’s easy to get caught up in a mad rush trying to get everything done in time for the big day. This panic of needing to tick off everything on your to-do list, combined with parties, visiting family and friends, meal planning, gift wrapping and much more, can easily lead to a build-up of stress.
At such a busy time of the year, it’s more important than ever to make sure you look after yourself especially well to help stay healthy, get enough sleep and be able to truly enjoy the festive season.
Here are some easy ways to deal with Christmas stress.
Write it down
Write a list of everything you need to do. Putting things down on paper helps to reduce the mental chatter in your head that can make you feel panicked about how much you think you have to do. Put tasks in order of importance, and try to work out which ones need to be done now and which ones can wait until later. For example, you won’t need to stress about prepping your sprouts two weeks before Christmas! If you have work or other deadlines, make sure you plan your other things around them so there are no disruptions.
Don’t take on more than you can manage; accept that you cannot do everything. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help. Can your partner sort presents for their side of the family instead of you having to do it as usual? Can someone else help to cook Christmas dinner? Would doing the Christmas food shop online make your life a little easier? If there’s a task you hate doing and it’s stressing you out because you feel you don’t have time to do it, could you ask someone to do it for you? Whether that’s wrapping presents, writing cards or cleaning the house, ask a friend, family member or even a professional to help you out so you have more free time.
When you are extremely busy and running on adrenaline it is easy to get a quick energy fix from sugary drinks, snacks, and processed foods, but this is often followed by a dip which can make you feel exhausted and irritable. This is especially true at Christmas, when there are boxes of chocolates and mince pies being handed out left, right and centre. Although festive treats are part of the joy of Christmas, make sure you keep the rest of your diet balanced to ensure you stay feeling your best. Choose complex carbohydrates (wholegrains) to slowly release energy, and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, pulses, nuts and seeds.
Get More Sleep
Aim for at least eight hours a night to help you recharge. An hour before you go to bed, do something relaxing such as reading, meditation, or having a bath. Write down any worries or tasks you need to do tomorrow and try to forget about them. Relax each muscle group in your body and breathe slowly and gently.
Get Some Me Time
Make sure you schedule some me time during the festive season – it will help you to relax and feel refreshed. A brisk walk will burn off excess adrenaline, and the clean country/beach air will make you feel revitalised. Listen to soothing music to help calm your mind and body, or book a massage, reflexology or spa treatment to rebalance and ground you.
Most importantly, try not to focus on making sure everything is perfect; relax, have fun and enjoy the magic of Christmas!
time spent relaxing on one's own as opposed to working or doing things for others, seen as an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy.
When did you last schedule some me time? Chances are, you've been so busy that you've barely had time to stop and take a proper break to re-balance your mind, body and spirit.
For most of us, life has never been so hectic. Long working days, household chores, looking after children or maybe elderly relatives, appointments and meeting up with friends mean our days are packed with various activities, leaving little time to focus on ourselves. And even if we do find a small window of opportunity to do something to relax and recharge, how many of us feel guilty for doing so?
The Guilt Factor
Never feel guilty for enjoying me time; health is paramount. Being constantly on the go can result in a build up of stress, which can lead to health problems if not dealt with. Doing something regularly for yourself will help to reduce stress levels and prevent them from building up again.
If you aren't used to having me time, it may feel strange at first, but once you get rid of the notion that you should be doing something else instead, you will wonder how you ever lived without it!
Ways to Enjoy Me Time
We all have our own ideas of what me time means. For some, it could be a whole day out including shopping, lunch and a manicure; for others, it could be something as simple as curling up with a cup of tea. There are so many ways to enjoy me time - why not try a few and see what relaxes you the most? You could even do something different every day!
How to Find Me Time
If you are wondering how you are going to find time in your day to take a proper break, the answer is you are going to make time! If time really is short, even setting aside just a few minutes a day to do something you enjoy will help to make a difference. Whatever it is you enjoy doing, here are some easy ways to incorporate me time into your daily routine. With practice, you should be able to fit in some me time several times a day!
Starting the day off by doing something you love is the best way to set you up for the day ahead. Mornings can be the busiest time of day for many people as the rush to get everyone ready for work and school begins. The secret to enjoying me time in the morning? Get up a little earlier.
Rising just half an hour earlier will allow you to do something to relax and invigorate your mind and body. Exercising or yoga is a great way to start the day and get you motivated. Try switching your morning shower for a bath - it will feel incredibly indulgent! If you feel like it's too early to get out of bed, why not take the opportunity to relax and read a book or magazine?
The journey to work is a great opportunity to listen to some music and put you in a positive mood. If you drive, make a CD of your favourite songs and play it in the car, or if you walk, cycle or use public transport you could listen to your iPod.
Instead of spending your lunch break in your work environment, get outside and spend some time in nature. We are extremely lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country, and we are never far from a beach, park or woodland.
Enjoying a holistic therapy treatment is the perfect way to melt away any stresses that have built up during the morning and leave you feeling refreshed, revitalised and ready to face the afternoon. Shorter treatments, such as a 30 minute massage, an express foot ritual, a Sea of Tranquillity stress-busting treatment or some mini taster treatments can easily be incorporated into your lunch hour.
If you aren't able to get out, use your break to do something fun such as a spot of online shopping or playing a game on your computer.
Enjoying me time in the evening is the ideal way to unwind after a busy day and set you up for a great night's sleep. Make cooking fun by trying something new, or go out for dinner instead. Read, write or paint, or curl up and watch your favourite film whilst painting your nails. Have a relaxing bath with candles and essential oils, or spend time meditating before you go to bed.
If you aren't able to fit a treatment into your lunch break, book one for after work to help relieve tension and restore balance. Longer treatments, such as massage, reflexology, facials or holistic back rituals will all help to promote feelings of deep relaxation and boost your wellbeing.
Finish your day by relaxing with a cup of herbal tea and thinking of all the positive things that have happened since you woke up. Even if you think you haven't had the best day, you will probably surprise yourself by finding little things that you are grateful for. Go to bed feeling calm and happy, and ready to do it all again tomorrow.