Gently Moving Forward
With all the upheaval in the world, moving through the day and getting excited about things can be challenging. Many of my naturopathic and functional medicine clients are reporting lack of motivation and overall lethargy. This is to be expected. We are in the middle of a traumatic world event!
Living with uncertainty and coping with the chronic and major disruptions from our everyday routines requires a high capacity for both cognitive and physical resiliency. Due to this chronic stress on society, the increase in the prevalence of mental health conditions, rising evidence of racial injustices, and the long-standing socioeconomic disparities, many don’t have access to the large reserves required.
As the world enters the process of re-emerging, making decisions on how to move forward is both a struggle and an opportunity. This temporary abnormal could be viewed as a time to reset and re-establish our purpose and our priorities on an individual and national level. This includes taking personal responsibility for the importance of being mindful of the current social contexts, stigmas, biases, and socioeconomics aspects of health.
As we do all of this recalibrating, let’s be gentle with ourselves.
One thing I suggest to my clients is to embrace with kindness and compassion the state of their current emotions and mental health. With my background in psychology and as a naturopathic doctor, I have seen how the mind effects the body. Emotional stress not only perpetuates many illnesses, but can also instigate them. (source, source, source, source, source, source) In fact, mental health has been found to be directly associated with chronic, physical diseases.
Ignoring trauma and not allowing oneself the space to process past and current painful events can lead to negative long-term health outcomes. (source, source) We’ve seen this with the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) study. It demonstrated how childhood trauma can linger into adulthood and impact risk for all forms of chronic diseases.
So, use gentleness my friends. Yes, gentleness.
Self-judgement and being hard on oneself only makes the negative impact of stress on the mind-body worse. This is especially true for those with mental health issues. (If you want help with this, here’s previous post on how to un-tox the mind and a podcast on releasing self-criticism.)
There are two techniques that I find especially powerful, yet gentle, for supporting emotional resiliency.
Essential Oils and EFT for Emotional Support
Thankfully, there are tools available to use to remind us to prioritize self-care and ease distress. Of the ten I listed here, most are free and many can access at least one. Out of all the mentioned lifestyle hacks, the two interventions I most recommend are Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and essential oils.
EFT is accessible to all. It uses acupuncture meridians and a tapping technique that has been shown in clinical trials to relieve anxiety and PTSD.
Essential oils have many properties that make them my go-to holistic modality to use for mind-body medicine in my practice. Their synergistic and versatile properties complement most personalized functional and naturopathic protocols, including hormonal imbalances, digestion issues, emotional struggles, and/or autoimmunity.
In fact, in a previous post, Five Reasons Why Essential Oils & Naturopathic Medicine Are a Perfect Duo, I discussed how essential oils align with all the naturopathic principles. Last month, I discussed five of my favorite essential oils for self-care, mental health, and wellness.
Now, I will review some of my favorite essential oil blends that can help one achieve a more cheerful mood. During this time, I feel we need to do all that we can to embrace where we are, while still remaining hopeful and looking for joy. I’ve selected specific essential oils and blends of oils to help one achieve a mindset and mood to allow for a more enjoyable summer.
In a follow-up post, I will continue with some other favorites to optimize more fun in the sunshine month.
If you are in need of additional support for your mental state, please take advantage of the hotlines and free services available at this time. Not everyone has the same advantages and privileges so resources and support will look different for each individual.
Using Essential Oils to Accentuate the Cheerful Promise of Sunshine and Summer
One thing that does not change is the movement of time. The official start of summer is just around the corner in the Northern hemisphere.
The month of June symbolizes fun in the sun, more leisure time, and longer days and nights. With all of these factors, and the healing power of being outdoors, many may naturally feel their mood uplift.
Below are three of my favorite essential oils and blends for emotional balance and to support a happier outlook. Before we “dive in,” there’s two things to mention:
- Due to the fact that blending can be complex, I suggest you use your favorite manufacturer to find similar combinations in which the ratios and blending is already done for you.
- Be aware that with the summer sun also comes photosensitivity for oils’ lovers! Therefore, be mindful of avoiding using blends and oils with citrus oils before heading out to the beach. These can all be used for diffusing and inhaling, but should not be applied to the skin just before heading out in the heat. Learn more here.
Three Essential Oils to Promote Abundance, Joy, and Hope
Abundance Oil Blend
This blend is probably one of my favorite oils combinations. I find it helpful to release feelings of lack, scarcity, or creative blocks. I often sniff it when I’m writing blogs or reading research articles. I find it inspires me and allows me to give back to the world with humility.
Beyond its emotional benefits, it has potent physical properties that support many body systems.
I suggest rubbing a few drops on your wrist (out of the sun) and diffusing it in the home, especially when one is looking for more willingness to receive the good in life.
This link provides the oils found in this blend.
Joyful Oil Blend
The blend of essential oils in this mixture I’ve found to be very potent for those struggling with low mood and motivation. I use it for my naturopathic medicine clients to enhance feelings of self-love, self-care, and to promote more human connection in one’s life.
It has oils that are beneficial to the nervous, cardiovascular, and overall body systems and is also balancing to the hormones and digestion. It also is powerful for alleviating stress.
This link provides the oils found in this blend.
A Blend of Hope
During these times, many may feel hopeless. I find this blend of oils very uplifting and have used it for clients who are struggling with feelings of overwhelming grief.
Click here for the oils’ recipe.
I hope you find this post helpful. For those who may not have access to specific blends of oils, even just reading about a few single oils or the self-care tips can be helpful.
Next week, I’ll continue with my favorite essential oils for June with a few more emotional support oils and some to support an annoyance free outdoor event. In other words, making critters unwelcome guest.
Everyone, please share your thoughts and insights here and on my social media. I would love to hear your ideas and uses of essential oils to support you during this time!
*Safety reminder: Please be extra sure to check with your doctor if you have a seizure disorder. The Epilepsy Society of the UK lists certain essential oils implicated for their antiseizure effect as well as those that have stimulating properties.
For additional safety and medical information, please be sure to visit my essential oils database. This includes a full category on how to use essential oils safely and potential drug interactions that can occur.
If you and/or your physician are interested in consulting with me to assist with supporting the integration of essential oils safely into a therapeutic protocol, essential oils consultations are available.
Disclaimer: This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
According to experts and the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no approved standard of care treatment, cure, or preventative for COVID-19. Supportive measures and containment are in full force as a result. Please see the CDC website and your state’s website for more information and updates. They also state when to contact your physician related to symptoms and travel history, exposures. Please read my more detailed article on this subject here.
This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.