I don’t know about you, but I always find that it’s hard to get going at the start of the year. I’m sure I’m not the only one who begins January feeling a bit sluggish after the excess of Christmas. Throw a few seasonal bugs - not to mention Covid - into the mix, and it’s tricky to muster the energy to look after yourself and get things done.
The winter months can feel like a long, hard slog, but it’s not the only time of year when we might feel our energy dip. Personally, I tend to feel out of sorts in June for some reason, and I often want to slow down in September. You might love those months and struggle with others; everyone is different.
Whatever the time of year, it doesn’t take much to zap our energy levels in the stressful, overworked culture of toxic productivity in which we now live.
In my menopause focus group, we have been talking about oils that help you feel focused and revitalised, so I thought this would be a good time to share what helps me feel energised and invigorated.
Need a bit of a pick me up? Then reach for a citrus oil!
Aromatherapists use citrus oils to lift your mood because their zesty scents help invigorate both the mind and body. We all know the sensation we get when we cut into a fresh lemon. Just imagine it now; that refreshing aroma that sharpens your senses and takes you right back to warm summer days, which makes citrus a particularly good choice for the winter months.
Some citrus oils, like Grapefruit, are great for their detoxing properties. Others, like Lemon or Lime, are good for supporting the immune system when you’re ill (which is exactly why you generally find them in cold remedies). Last, but not least, there’s my “happy oil” Bergamot, which is the oil Aromatherapists often use to help improve mood.
Let’s mix some invigorating herbs!
Citrus oils aren’t the only ones that can wake up the senses. How do you feel when you smell Spearmint, Peppermint or Rosemary? I bet it feels like you’re clearing your head, and that’s because many of the oils I’ve already mentioned contain a substance called cineole (1.8 cineole to be more precise). According to aromatherapy experts Tisserand and Young, there are over 200 oils containing cineole, and there is research to show that sniffing Rosemary, for example, increases physical activity.
I recently discovered Saro essential oil, which is described by one of my teachers (Helen Nagel-Smith, in her book ‘Working with Unusual Oils’) as having a “fresh, pleasant lemony-clearing, sharp, yet cleansing aroma”. Just reading that description, you’ll appreciate why it might be the oil for you if you’d like to put a bit of pep in your step!
Saro certainly helped me while I was recovering from Covid, which had left me feeling weary, deflated, lacking in energy, and a bit like I had been winded, both physically and emotionally. Once I was well enough to return to work, I was sending some tester sticks to a client and picked up some Saro. The moment I sniffed it, I knew it was the oil I needed; I just had to find the right thing to mix it with. Lemon? Bergamot? One of the mints? I finally settled on a blend of Lime, Cajuput and Saro in an aromatic inhaler stick that I carry around with me to give me that extra pick-me-up when I need it.
This leads me nicely to medicinal oils, which also tend to have a high cineole content.
You’re probably most aware of Tea Tree and Eucalyptus because they are in so many over-the-counter remedies, particularly for cold and flu. They are often excellent decongestants and there is a lot of research into how they benefit the respiratory system.
I like these oils because of the benefits they bring to the nervous system. I find them very grounding and they are great for dealing with conditions like anxiety and stress, both of which rob the body of energy. I mentioned that I put Cajuput in my inhaler stick blend after I had Covid, but I also love Ravensara which is featured in my Winter Blend.
There is one set of oils that I use all year round: Eucalyptus. I currently have five different varieties of this incredible oil in my aromatherapy box; some to uplift, some for working on tight muscles and, of course, some for fighting colds.
Remember that essential oils are not a “cure all” remedy. If you have been suffering from severe exhaustion, see your GP as soon as possible. I would also advise enlisting the help of a Nutritionist, as diet is very important when it comes to energy levels. Last but not least, make sure you are getting enough sleep. Have a look at my sleep series if you’re struggling to sleep at night.
In my next blog I’ll share some of my favourite ways to use the wonderful oils I’ve introduced you to. In the meantime, I wish you more energy!