Our modern world is full of daily stressors: traffic, long hours at work, caring for ailing parents or ones own children, etc. Unfortunately, many people are overworked and under rested in general. Further, only 31% of Americans say that they get enough sleep at night. Everyone else attempts to function on a less-than-adequate 5-7 hours of rest.
When mild to moderate sleep deprivation is combined with ongoing stress (and little or no exercise), the body cannot relax. Eventually, the build up of stress hormones – adrenaline & cortisol – causes damage to the body in the forms of a weakened immune system, heart disease, etc.
Scheduling 10-15 minutes every day for self care is a really nice way to undo some of the stress we all face in our hectic lives. Recently I read about creating a bed time ritual to promote relaxation and allow adequate time for the mind & body to wind down at night. One way to carve out some ‘me’ time is give yourself a foot massage before you go to sleep. Of course, having someone else do it doesn’t hurt either.
Below is a recipe for a relaxing lotion specifically designed for this purpose. It contains several gently sedating and calming essential oils to relax your mind and muscles. (It’s a good hand lotion too!) Focus on taking slow, deep breaths and inhale the soothing aroma of this blend as you rub the tension away…
The blend can work just as well as a massage oil by using Sweet Almond or Grapeseed as carrier oils. It’ll work nicely in a diffuser too - just combine the essential oils without a carrier or cream base.
Therapeutic properties of the ingredients:
Frankincense is ideal for meditation as it aids in calming & centering the mind, ceasing mental chatter. Frankincense supports emotional healing and offers clarity when one is distracted and overwhelmed; the earthy, warm, resinous aroma can be very soothing after a long day. It’s very helpful for treating headaches or tension in the neck muscles.
It has traditionally been used to treat asthma and bronchitis as well, for it can be quite helpful for someone with an asthmatic condition associated with nervousness – it deepens the breath.
Lavender is easily the most versatile and widely used essential oil in aromatherapy. The sweet, floral aroma seems forever linked to the words ‘stress relief’ and ‘relaxation’ in my mind. It boasts quite a broad range of therapeutic uses which include the treatment of menstrual cramps, insomnia, and digestive issues. Lavender essential oil has an overall balancing effect on the nervous system.
The rosy, herbaceous scent of this oil is fresh and uplifting yet soothing due to it’s cool, moist energy. Many sources state that Geranium essential oil has the ability to regulate and balance fluctuating hormones so it’s helpful for mood swings associated with PMS and menopause.
Palmarosa has a fresh, green, slightly rosy scent and has a calming yet uplifting effect on the nervous system. It reduces anxiety, calms the mind and encourages a sense of free-flowing adaptability and security.
Sweet Marjoram is sedative yet tonifying and it’s sweet, herbaceous, warm smell has an immediate calming effect every time I smell it. This oil is a really wonderful choice for a massage blend or in the bathtub at night as it’s an excellent cure for insomnia. It’s soothing, warming, fortifying vibe will make your worries melt away. It helps reduce obsessive thinking and supports self care. :-)
Cedarwood essential oil increases feelings of strength and endurance during difficult times. It’s deep, rich, woody odor is very emotionally grounding, which encourages the ability to stay confident and persevere under challenging circumstances. The oil has a sedating effect on the Central Nervous System.
Roman Chamomile is in the top three of my list of ~calming~ oils! It’s soft, herbaceous, almost fruity scent has a very soothing, sedative quality to it and it therefore it’s a great choice for reducing worry & over-thinking. It’s also a great anti-spasmodic so it’s wonderful in massage oil blends. I can attest to it’s frequent use in aromatherapy blends for PMS-related symptoms, including mood swings.
Vetiver is steam distilled from the roots of a perennial grass grown in Sri Lanka and it’s aroma is very unique! Energetically, Vetiver is cool and moist; it’s a deeply grounding, centering oil that can really stabilize ones emotions, and must be experienced first hand to be truly understood. You’ll only need 2 drops of Vetiver, which can be obtained from a sample vial.
NOTE: For most folks, Vetiver is a ‘Love it!’ or ‘Hate it’ kind of oil. If you really like deep, smoky, earthy aromas, you’ll probably enjoy Vetiver.
“Unwind the Mind” RECIPE:
Blend the indicated number of drops for each oil listed below in a 4 oz jar of our Organic Coconut/Jojoba Cream Base. (This blend is formulated at a 2% dilution, appropriate for daily, ongoing use.) This blend works well as a foot cream, massage cream or hand lotion.
Frankincense – 11 drops
Lavender – 9 drops
Rose Geranium – 7 drops
Palmarosa – 7 drops
Sweet Marjoram – 4 drops
Virginia Cedarwood – 4 drops
Roman Chamomile – 3 drops
Vetiver – 2 drops
Let us know your thoughts/comments on this calming blend and please feel free to adjust it to your personal taste by switching up the formula. (Just be sure to use only a maximum of 48 drops for a 4 oz jar of cream or lotion.)