The past year has changed our lives: living through a pandemic, a restrictive social life, working from home, home-schooling, loss of income - the list is endless. It comes as no surprise that more people are struggling with their mental health than ever before. A study in the U.S. showed that since March 2020 about 4 in 10 adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, up from 1 in 10 pre-pandemic.
What can we do to combat the symptoms of the pandemic and the effect it has on our mental health? Often, the best first step to take is to improve our quality of sleep, which will give your body the recharge it needs to function better.How do I improve my sleep?
Many people are keen to explore the myriad natural ways to improve sleep before trying a medical route (although this is not to be discounted - we’re all about what works for you as an individual).
A proven natural helper is Lavender, which is proven to have calming effects and reduce anxiety and stress. Try out the Moonstone Sleep Spray by Palms of Feronia. Shake and spray it onto your pillow and relax into a good night’s sleep. This spray contains a blend of Lavender oil, a natural sedative that promotes relaxation, thyme oil, historically used to ward off nightmares and organic chamomile water – used as far back as Ancient Egypt to aid sleep. It is blended with petitgrain, clary sage, and bergamot essential oils which help relax the mind and body, aiding a restful night’s sleep.
Another way to effectively combat stress and improve your sleep is to have a bath. Warm water aids circulation, and helps oxygenate the blood by allowing you to breathe deeper and slower, especially when taking in steam. Why not try out Perfect Chaos “And Relax” bath salts? The himalayan salts are blended with Lavender, Rosewood and Jasmine. Lavender and Jasmine are proven to be calming and Rosewood is your skin’s best friend, regenerating tissue and softening the skin. It can also help remove stretch marks, wrinkles, eczema and improve acne.
How can I use essential oils to manage stress?
Naomi, founder of Heka Aromatherapy and an aromatherapist trained by Neal’s Yard Remedies, says “Essential oils have both a chemical and emotional effect on your body and mind. By breathing in oils, you're absorbing them directly into your limbic system and hypothalamus; areas of the brain responsible for 'primitive' and emotional responses which control things like our heart rate, breathing and digestive activity; areas which can be affected when you're stressed.”
We love Naomi’s SOS Balm which can be used all over the body and features jojoba and rosehip to calm and soothe the skin. Her own personal favourite (and one of our bestsellers at Seekology!) is the Neteru Yoga mist. Naomi says:
“Frankincense is one of my all time favourite oils for managing stress as it deepens and slows the breathing down. That's why I've included it in my Neteru Yoga mist because it helps you to set up a calm, meditative environment to practise in.”
How can I use essential oils every day?
We’ve got lots more ideas as to how you can use essential oils - from aromatherapy jewellery to rollerballs - and we also spoke to Kirstie, founder of ebo beauty and an aromatherapy expert.
She says that: “Mental health research findings demonstrate that a routine can be hugely beneficial to those struggling with anxiety, creating a moment for reconnection with the self, and bringing back a sense of calm and focus.”
Ebo’s trio of mood oil rollerballs is the perfect set to include aromatherapy into your day to day. The trio features three different oil blends: Clarity, Immunity and Serenity.
Clarity is concentration in a bottle. The wake up and focus blend is made of lemon, basil and rosemary essential oils. All three are proven to improve concentration and combat fatigue.
Immunity is your best friend if your defense is low - cinnamon, rosemary, lemon and clove bud oils are combined to boost your immunity as well as reinforce and calm your body and mind.
Serenity is relaxation in a bottle - perfect for insomniacs, restless sleepers and anyone who needs help to switch off and unwind. Featuring chamomile, bergamot, geranium and lavender oil, this is a “hug in a bottle” according to founder Kirstie from ebo beauty.
How does Aromatherapy work?
Inhaling aromas is one of the quickest ways to change your mood. Kirstie is a licensed aromatherapist and says: “As an aromatherapist, I have read many clinical trials on how aromas in products can directly affect your mood. Odorant molecules bind to olfactory receptors in the middle part of the nasal cavity, they initiate a cascade of neurological processes that activate different parts of the brain and finally lead to the conscious experience of smell. The perception of smell then feeds back to the neurophysiological processes to modulate mood, emotions, cognition, and behaviour.”Aromatherapy jewellery - a new way to bring your essential oils with you
We were very excited last year to discover a beautiful - and unusual - way to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy and essential oils in the form of Oyl’e diffuser jewelry. Beautiful handmade necklaces and bracelets feature a diffuser locket that holds a reusable wool bead, ready to be infused by your choice of essential oil. All Oyl’e jewlery is made of 925 Sterling Silver, and available plated in gorgeous rose and 18k gold tones.
Thank you for reading our aromatherapy blogpost - discover more with our Aromatherapy Collection or visit our shop in Richmond where you can come and smell some of these wonderful natural aromatherapy oils for yourself!