Winter warmers from Mother Nature
Try these sumptuously scented ideas from Michelle Marie McGrath to reboot your mind, body, and spirit during the colder months.
The days are shorter, meaning less exposure to sunlight and natural Vitamin D. We hear talk of the 'winter blues' and, as pure essential oils have immuno-stimulant properties, aromatherapy is a supportive modality to give ourselves an aromatic reboot. Aromatherapy applications that can support us at this time include baths, warming body oils, chest rubs, massages, diffusers, and room sprays. This is a wonderful time of the year to have hot stone massage, combined with complementary essential oils, depending on your specific healing intention.
There are many common seasonal complaints, such as colds, flu, viruses, coughs, tired immune system, aches, dry skin, lethargy, poor circulation, and depression. Essential oils with uplifting and antidepressant qualities can be a positive influence, especially in winter. Ylang ylang, lemongrass, bergamot and sweet orange essentials oils immediately boost our mental and emotional state and bring lightness into the atmosphere. Cold and flu symptoms are typical at this time of the year. Essential oils with antiviral properties, such as eucalyptus, tea tree, pine, manuka, lavender, cedarwood, lemon myrtle and citrus oils, are supportive.
Diffuser: Add a combination of 6-8 drops of these antiviral essential oils to your diffuser. It’s a good idea to have one in your bedroom, especially if you are suffering from a bad cough or chest infection.
Antiviral room spray: Fill a 100ml glass atomiser bottle with filtered water or grapefruit hydrosol. Add 10 drops each of eucalyptus, manuka, and grapefruit essential oils. Shake the bottle well before use to disperse the oils. Optional: add a clear quartz tumble stone and Crab Apple Bach Flower Remedy to assist with an intention of cleansing and releasing.
Chest rub and body oil: Fill a 100ml glass bottle with a vegetable base such as jojoba or sweet almond. Choose 2-3 of the essential oils above and add 25-30 drops to the base oil. Experiment with different combinations and notice which ones you prefer. Shake well and massage a couple of tablespoons into your chest and neck. Apply this immediately after bathing before bedtime and make it part of your nightly ritual. You can also pour a couple of capfuls into your bath water.
After being out at work all day it can be disheartening to come home to a dark, cold house or apartment, especially if you live alone. Drop some warming essential oils into your diffuser and create a cosy and welcoming ambience. Put 6-8 drops of a mixture of cinnamon, clove, geranium, and mandarin essential oils into your diffuser or vaporiser and notice the difference within minutes of arriving home.
Winter is also a time for dry and chapped skin, particularly if we spend time outdoors, braving the elements. Moisturising body butters such as cocoa and shea butter are emollient and bring that much-needed extra support. Pay special attention to areas such as knees, elbows and hands.
Rosehip and avocado oils are perfect to use as enriching and supportive bases in a night-time skin treatment for the face, neck and chest. Organic virgin coconut oil is also popular, although that has more of cooling quality. Jojoba oil is particularly loved by the face and body as it has a similar consistency to the skin’s sebum. Argan oil is nurturing and soothing for the skin and hair.
Sacred skin saviour
Take 2 tablespoons of your chosen base oil as per the suggestions above in a small glass or cup. Add the following essential oils:
4 drops of rose otto
2 drops of frankincense
2 drops of lavender
2 drops of carrotseed oil
Stir gently with a cotton bud and apply with fingertips to your face, neck and decolletage. The best time to do this is straight after a bath or shower when your skin is clean and pores are open. Rose otto is usually already in a 3 percent dilution in jojoba oil, so if you are feeling particularly indulgent you can also add a few drops of this directly to your heart area before going to sleep. Take a few deep breaths, exhaling the stresses of the day while you apply.
Consider how you can layer aromas and flavours in different formats during your day to support yourself on multiple layers. Try a cup of Earl Grey tea which contains bergamot flavouring, fresh organic lemongrass with hot water for a refreshing change or a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Spiced chai is always a comforting drink. If you suffer from cold hands and feet, give your circulation a boost with a natural sliced ginger tea, with lemon and teaspoon of manuka honey and cinnamon. It’s the perfect time of the year to spoil yourself.
Michelle Marie McGrath is a self-love mentor for childfree women committed to birthing their most empowered selves. Michelle creates Sacred Self’s alchemical oils and organic perfume collection at www.michellemariemcgrath.com