So far, 2019 has been a busy year of making moves! Juggling planning a wedding and buying a house has been so exciting, but has also been a little bit stressful. I realized that I needed to pack some extra punch in my self care and stat.
Using essential oils for self care has been gaining popularity, and I was getting curious! I was reading about their natural health benefits everywhere, from pain relief to stress management. So after some dedicated research and a Christmas gift from mom, I gave them a try for a few weeks.
And I was surprised how effective they were in minimizing my morning headaches, helping me sleep better, and de-stressing before my busy work day!
Learn about the basics of safely and effectively gaining the benefits of essential oils in your self care routine!
Essential Oils 101
Essential oils are a part of an ancient practice called aromatherapy. If you aren’t familiar, there is real evidence that shows that inhaling and applying scents topically can help you de-stress, relax, and medicate naturally.
They provide energizing, calming, and antimicrobial benefits that will help create an extra line of defense to take control of health issues before they take root.
How Essential Oils Work
Concentrated oils are extracted from plants such as lavender, lemongrass, and mint, that when inhaled or used on the skin can help stimulate the parts of your brain responsible for your behaviors and emotions.
So that relaxing feeling you get when you smell those familiar spa fragrances?
Or your memories of your childhood flooding back when you catch a whiff of fresh, baked cookies?
That’s nostalgia, thanks to your limbic system. But the benefits of essential oils don’t stop there!
Benefits of Essential Oils
Peppermint and Eucalyptus Oil
These oils contain certain chemicals such as ketones and known for killing bacteria to improve your immune health.
Need some relief from a stuffy nose and allergies? Eucalyptus oil helps to clear your sinuses, breathe easier and relieve sinus pressure. And it works best for me in the mornings and before bed, when I need some relief.
By improving circulation, rubbing lavender oil on your temples can help relieve painful headaches. I use it most mornings when my allergies create facial pressure and tension headaches.
Peppermint oil is loaded with menthol, which helps to relax muscles and reduce pain with a cooling effect.
Energize and Focus
Another added bonus to using eucalyptus oil is its ability to increase your energy level and focus by improving oxygen flow to your brain.
The high concentration of menthol in this oil is also responsible for improving circulation that will sharpen your focus and give you the after lunch pick-me-up you need!
Stress & Anxiety Relief
Ylang Ylang, Lavender, and Orange Oil
The calming aroma of these oils have sedative properties that get you feeling relaxed and more clear-headed when you’re feeling anxious. They have even shown to be effective in lowering your blood pressure.
Having trouble sleeping? The sedative properties in lavender, bergamot and ylang ylang oils also help with combating insomnia, especially if anxious mental chatter keeps you up at night.
I use Nature’s Truth Good Nite oil, loaded with Lavender and bergamot) scent to clear my sinuses to help me breathe and sleep better.
Digestion and Skin Benefits
Lemongrass and Peppermint Oil
These powerful essential oils have the ability to stimulate and improve your gut health by assisting your digestive enzymes. And those enzymes are important because they aid in breaking down your food so your gut doesn’t have to work as hard to process the nutrients.
The chemical compounds found in ylang ylang oil is a natural remedy for cuts, abrasions and even rashes and inflammation. Just a small drop can stop bacterial growth, reduce pain, and quicken the healing process.
If you’re suffering from a dry hair and breakage, rosemary oil works to increase circulation to your scalp, which promotes a healthy hair and scalp. And as a natural, I can say that it has helped me strengthen and save my edges!
Other Creative & Easy Uses for Essential Oils
As if essential oils couldn’t get any better, they are even safe to use in your home and body. From creating a luxurious, aromatic bath, to purifying the body, essential oils are safe for everyday use.
I recently got my hands on an inexpensive aromatic diffuser, which turns any room into my own personal spa oasis with just water and a few drops of oil!
And if you’re a natural, adding a few drops of rosemary, tee tree, and lavender oils to your wash day routine can help to accelerate hair growth and promote strong curls.
Picking Quality Essential Oils
Do your Research: Even though essential oils are derived from nature, there are still some possible side effects due to their potency. So it’s best to find out which oils work best for you.
Quality: 100% pure, natural therapeutic grade oils are best. Anything less can be mixed with perfumes and chemical additives that can be irritating to your skin and cause headaches.
Skin Test: Essential oils are pure extracts so they can be very concentrated. Test with a drop on the inside of your wrist and watch out for any irritations or rashes, especially if you have sensitive skin. Make sure to always dilute first, with a carrier oil or water, for best use.
Essential oils are inexpensive, long-lasting, and best of all…NATURAL.
So when you live a busy lifestyle, actively seeking ways to benefit your self care will always keep you focused on you. And that’s the key, whether you’re going through a stressful rough patch or working on your confidence. The main ingredient is you!
So by continuing to invest in yourself in different ways, you’re maintaining your personal happiness as a priority. And adding essential oils to your routine is a really powerful and natural way to show your mind and body even more love!
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