Stress at a Glance I find that most people have adrenal fatigue due to the constant adrenal rush that comes with anything from aggravating facebook posts, driving in traffic, being late for appointments, jobs we don't like, and finding time to fit everything into a day. It's a fight/flight system coupled with a rest/digest system. The same hormones that are released when we see a Grizzly Bear are the same when we drive through traffic, and our body suffers the chemical and neurological damage from being in this constant state. We are not participating in activities that are 'slow release' in endorphins such as laying quietly under a tree, sitting by the lake, or enjoying a sunset. These quiet moments are sustaining for our nervous systems and very much for our whole selves.
When blending for anxiety it is helpful to look at essential oils that may be acting as stimulants that would be ideal to avoid, especially if you are taking medication or are preparing blends that are sedating in nature. Just as caffeine and nicotine act as powerful stimulants, so do certain chemical constituents in essential oils such as Rosemary, Clove, Eucalyptus and Peppermint. These essential oils, as with all oils, are absorbed into the bloodstream and act on target organs and organ systems. Some oils have a sedating effect on the nervous system while others increase nervous system activity. It is very difficult to treat anxiety when we continue to add stimulants to our systems regardless of the form the stimulant is in. Individuals taking stimulants often find that when they can decrease the stimulants and give their body adequate time for deep rest, they are provided with more energy then they initially thought possible.
Troubles with sleep can come from an over active nervous system among other things. I am not a counsellor, however, I do pose questions to my clients to 'plant seeds'. They don't need to answer, but they can reflect on the questions and perhaps gain some awareness to how it is they are waking up feeling tired. I refer to qualified therapists when needed.
Questions may look like;
Do you have troubles going to sleep or staying asleep?
-When going to sleep are you awake from 'productive thinking', such as putting together grocery lists or the next days tasks? Or are you awake from 'unproductive thinking' such as worry and guilt? It may be helpful to set time aside before going to bed to reorganize before even stepping into the bedroom. If it's 'unproductive thinking', then talking to a therapist or journalling may be appropriate. (I will be posting journalling activities in the near future to the website).
Do you have a regular bedtime routine?
-Are you able to go to bed 15minutes earlier?
-Do you have a quiet hobby such a reading, painting, photography, nature walks, or gardening?
-Are you getting 20minutes of exercise everyday?
-How much caffeine do you consume?
Using a Diffuser
It can be really helpful to have an electric diffuser with a timer on it. You can start the diffuser a half hour before bed, and half it run another half hour while you are settling for the night.
Essential oils that are useful for your diffuser would include;Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Bergamot, Sweet Marjoram, Virginian Cedarwood, Clary Sage, and Petitgrain.
Mandarin has been found useful for children who experience nightmares.
Some combinations might include:
Lavender 3 drops
Rose 2 drops
Frankincense 1 drops
Sweet Marjoram 3 drops
Clary Sage 1 drop
Grapefruit 1 drop
Neroli 3 drops
Sweet Orange 2 drops
Petitgrain 1 drop (optional)
Palmarosa 2 drops
Lavender 2 drops
Ho Wood 2 drops
Clary Sage 1 drops
Bergamot 3 drops
Lavender 1-2 drop
Roman Chamomile 3 drops
Sandalwood 1 drop (optional)
Ylang Ylang 2 drops
Patchouli 2 drops
Sweet Orange 4 drops
(useful for sleep concerns related to hormones and hotflushes)
Geranium 1 drop
Sweet Marjoram 2 drops
Clary Sage 1 drop
Preparing an oil blend to be applied to the shoulders or wrists before bed is also a beautiful way to settle for the night. You can use lotion or oil as your carrier. I have a little container of unscented lotion and stir in the appropriate number of drops. Please avoid the dilution rates for adults and children.
*5ml=1 teaspoon 15ml=1 Tablespoon
For children 1-2% dilution
10ml of carrier oil/lotion 2-3 drops
15ml of carrier oil/lotion 4-5 drops
20ml of carrier oil/lotion 5-6 drops
For healthy adults 3% dilution
10ml of carrier oil/lotion 6 drops
15ml of carrier oil/lotion 9 drops
20ml of carrier oil/lotion 12 drops
For Children (you may double for adults)
Examples of using 10ml of Carrier
Lavender 2 drops
Lavender 1 drop + Sweet Marjoram 1 drop
Neroli 2 drops + Sweet Orange 1 dro
**This page does not take the place of working with a qualified counsellor, therapist, doctor, aromatherapist or other other health care professional.