I am a mum who has struggled with my own mental health. I have had postnatal depression (twice) and have struggled quite a lot with anxiety since becoming a mother. I think this experience is more common than we mothers realise — so often when we’re in it we feel very alone. I’ve tried talk therapy, medication, meditation, exercise, and rest. All of those things do help tremendously, but they aren’t always possible or readily available, especially to busy mums with small children. But one other tool in my mental health arsenal has helped me when I feel my anxiety increasing or a dip in my mood: essential oils. When I feel that shift and find myself becoming more irritable or low, I know it is time to improve my self-care. One way I do this is adding essential oils in to my routine. By no means am I an advocate of using essential oils alone, especially if you are really struggling. You should always see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. But until you are able, and in conjunction with a treatment plan, essential oils can definitely be a help.
Essential oils are derived from parts of certain plants like leaves, herbs, barks, and rinds. Makers use different methods to concentrate them into oils. Their use can promote feelings of joy, energy and freshness by enhancing blood circulation. They can help the mind relax and sleep. Bergamot Oil, Lavender Oil, Chamomile, Ylang Ylang and Sage Oil are some of the best oils for stress relief and mental health. I use oils in different ways to aid mental health, but usually I’ll combine a few in a roller and apply them topically to my inner wrists or back of my neck, or just inhale them, or I’ll diffuse them in a diffuser. Some of my favourite oils to aid mental health are Lavender, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Chamomile, Frankincense, or a combination. Sometimes I’ll even put a few drops into epsom salt and and them in to make for a nice bath.
Diffusing oils is also a great way to both start and end the day and can help the whole family. I like to diffuse one called Happy Joy in the morning help lift our moods. If I’m working from home I sometimes need Energy Boost instead of that afternoon cup of coffee. And Peace and Quiet or Tranquility in the evening during dinner or bath time gets everyone calmed down. I also like to diffuse Sleepy in our bedrooms to help promote restful sleep.
I really do find them to be helpful, but I know many people are skeptical about alternative treatments in general and essential oils specifically. My theory is, even if the improvement is a placebo effect, there is still improvement. From uplifting our moods to calming our minds, helping with focus and grounding to helping with relaxation — essential oils have been a huge help to me and my family. As long as used
My Essential Oil “Essentials” To Aid in Mental Health
If you are interested in trying to incorporate essential oils into your home here are some good things to have on hand to start:
- A good diffuser: my favourite two are this one (I have it on my bedside table) and this one for a smaller space or shorter diffusing periods.
- A bottle of carrier oil with a pump (you can get these cheap at the discount shop or on amazon if your bottle doesn’t come with a pump). You mix the carrier oil with a few drops of essential oil in a roller bottle for topical application.
- Roller bottles for making your own rollers.
- Some basic essential oils like the ones I mentioned above, to help promote calm, relaxation, and mood.
Have you tried essential oils before? If so, do you use them as a mental health aid already? If not, give it a try! You might just find that some simple essential oil blends can really raise your spirits.