In our world of constant doing, our stress response is constantly switched on and our body doesn’t get a chance to properly rest and recover. This causes the stress hormones which should peak in the morning and decline during the day to be constantly circulating in our blood, sending many of our physiological systems into overload. This contributes to fatigue, mood swings, high blood pressure, excess weight particularly around the belly, headaches, brain fog, feelings of overwhelm and the inability to make decisions and take decisive action.
Scientific studies now conclude that not managing stress for a prolonged period of time is a contributing factor to many of our lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety and even the degenerative diseases such as dementia.
The thing is you can use self-care techniques and consciously manage the way you relate to the stressors in your life to support your body and wake up with your cup full. In the mornings you are refreshed with your body and mind ready to support you through your day. Over the course of the day your body can rebalance so that you can get a restful night of quality sleep where the body can replenish, leaving you feeling revitalised and rejuvenated to do it all again the next day.
So what might a your morning aromatherapeutic self-care routine look like?
The great thing I discovered on my self-care journey is that it isn’t even that difficult; small regular amounts of energy and effort into activities which improve wellbeing becomes the easiest most enjoyable time in your day. Often a few simple tweaks to the activities you already do to survive is the difference you need to thrive.
Following is a self-care protocol you can set up and start running with tomorrow to set your day up for more energy and vitality so you can flourish rather than simply function.
Aromatherapeutic Self-Care Morning Routine
The first step in daily self-care is to have a really kick ass morning routine. This is going to set you up with so much more inspiration and energy to take on everything you need to accomplish during your day.
Whatever you do in your morning routine has to incorporate getting more oxygen, getting more water, getting some great nutrition, doing some gentle exercise, minimising your exposure to environmental toxins and getting in a good headspace.
Oxygenate/invigorate – breathing into wakefulness and experiencing an invigorating daily skincare regime
Increased levels of oxygen in the blood are so important for reenergising and stress management. This really helps to centre and ground you in the present moment, invigorate you and improves your focus and clarity. It’s a great way to start your day. When you first awake in the morning, that sacred space between sleep and wake is a great time to take a pause and gently re-oxygenate your body to wakefulness.
Roll onto your side and take a slow gentle deep breath, as you breathe in for six counts focus your intention and draw your breath into your back where the adrenal glands are located at the top of the kidneys. Breathe out slowly for the count of six and focus your attention on pouring any di-stress into the earth, repeat this slow deep gentle breath in and out for six breaths.
When you get out of bed go to your bathroom and wash your face. If you have a daily skincare routine this is another opportunity to incorporate the breath. Use a natural skincare range incorporating essential oils. As you complete your morning cleanse, tone and moisturise breathe in the aroma of the essential oils and take advantage of the calming and uplifting effects. Give yourself permission to stop and smell the roses. You could use a rose hydrosol as a toner or spritzer.
It is important when we are talking about increasing energy and vitality that you are mindful of eliminating toxins; the skin is our largest organ and everything you apply topically is absorbed into your body. This has potential benefits when you use natural products that improve wellbeing but adversely if the products you put on our skin contain chemical cocktails you are adding to your “issues in your tissues”.
Rehydrate – drink your water
The next morning essential is rehydrating the body by drinking 1 – 2 glasses of filtered water. It is important to help the body with the detoxification process naturally. To help add minerals back into your system you could add ½ tsp of Himalayan rock salt solution to your water; to alkalise the body add a teaspoon of alkalising greens, or squeeze juice of ½ lemon.
Essential oil safety tip; do not put a drop of essential oil into your morning water. Essential oils are not water soluble so if you put a drop in your water the concentrated oil can come in contact with sensitive mucous membranes and cause irritation and sensitization. Essential oils do not have any nutritional value and are not vitamins or supplements. There are much safer and more effective ways to use essential oils for health and wellbeing. For more information see my blog on essential oil safety.
Do some Gentle exercise and Aromatic anchoring
Build on improving your oxygen levels as a stress relieving tool and incorporate the breath with some aromatic anchoring. This will help you identify and focus on activities in your day which are truly aligned with your purpose and passion. This reduces stress and anxiety because being more grounded and calm promotes clear thinking and focus.
Spend ten minutes or so in quiet time and breathe in the aroma of an essential oil blend. You can put your blend in a diffuser and combine the aroma with some gentle yoga, stretching, meditation, or even in the shower, just add three drops of your favorite blend to the shower floor. How I choose the blend depends on what I feel I need for the day, it could be focus and clarity, stress relief, clearing the sinuses, relieving a headache, or shifting an emotional state.
To gain more focus and clarity you could use a blend of lemon, petitgrain and rosemary in a diffuser. Breathe in the aroma for the count of six; a slow deep breath in and breathe out for the count of six; a slow deep breath out. Really focus on how you feel in your body; is there any tension? That’s ok, just be aware and see if you can soften that area with the breath, releasing any resistance. Scan your whole body starting from your head to your toes and consciously breath into each area. At the end of your scan direct your attention back to your heart space and enjoy the presence of your being and your own beautiful heart. After just a few minutes you may notice a lovely shift of spaciousness within your being. You should now be ready to take on the highs and lows we all experience in our day with ease and grace. For more information about Aromatherapeutic Self-Care techniques for relieving acute tension during the day and prevention techniques see my blog Aromatherapeutic Self-Care – Stress Relief.
Yours in Living Well