How to Create a Calming Environment with Essential Oils [Guest Post]

How to Create a Calming Environment with Essential Oils [Guest Post]

Internal and External Environments have been the focus on The Conscious Adventurer. To round the month off, it’s my great pleasure to share a guest post about creating a calming environment by Chantal Bernard.

Chantal has a passion for spreading awareness and sharing information about essential oils, mental health and chronic illness on her blog Painted Teacup! When she isn’t blogging Chantal enjoys spending time with her husband and their fur-baby, working as a social worker and helping her husband with the family virtual assistant business! Check out Painted Teacup and take a minute to follow Chantal on Pinterest & Facebook! Over to Chantal:

There are SO many ways to use essential oils however one of my favourite it to use essential oils to help create a calming and relaxing atmosphere! My favourite way to use essential oils for calming & relaxation is to use them aromatically in my diffuser (as opposed to topical application on your skin).

Today I want to share some of my favourite essential oils to use to create a calming environment and explain how to use them in a diffuser.


My 3 Favourite Essential Oils for Relaxation:

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender has wonderful calming and relaxing properties! If you are just getting started with essential oils, lavender is a great one to start out with as it is also helpful in soothing upset stomachs, soothing skin irritations, promoting a restful night’s sleep and of course helping with relaxation!

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

The scent of eucalyptus is often associated with spas because of its relaxing properties! In addition to helping with relaxation, eucalyptus also helps to promote clear breathing which is an awesome combination after a long and stressful day! Check out all the ways to use eucalyptus essential oil here!

Cedarwood Essential Oil

I absolutely love cedarwood and it is an oil I often use on a daily basis to help promote a restful night’s sleep! Today I want to share a diffuser blend from my ebook called Essential Oils Made Easy: DIY Diffuser & Roller Bottle Recipes. This blend is perfect to use before bed as it creates a calming environment and promotes a restful night’s sleep!

Sleep Like a Log Diffuser Blend:

  • 3 drops of cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 100ml of water
  • Diffuser

Please note that diffusers hold different amounts of water depending on their size so you may need to adjust this blend for your diffuser.

How to Make This Blend:

First, remove the top of the diffuser and add water up to the fill line (or 100ml). It is usually recommended that you use room temperature water but be sure to read the directions specific to your diffuser. Next add 3 drops of cedarwood and 3 drops of lavender. Put the top back on the diffuser and turn it on! Now you can sit back & relax… and drift off into dreamland!

How to Use Essential Oils for Relaxation

Although you can apply essential oils to your skin, I prefer to use them aromatically (in a diffuser) for calming & relaxation! There are so many benefits of using an essential oil diffuser! The first benefit is that you only need a few drops of essential oil (usually 3-4) at a time. Using a diffuser means that anyone in the area/room will also benefit from the calming properties (or other feelings depending on the oil used) of the essential oil! If you are just starting out, you can find helpful tips for shopping for the right diffuser here. When using individual essential oils for relaxation simply follow the same directions I provided above for the diffuser blend!

I hope this post helped you to get started using essential oils to create a calming environment in your home!

To learn more about how to use essential oils, sign up to join my FREE 5 day email course which will teach you how to start using essential oils in 5 days! JOIN HERE!



What’s feeding your Psychological Soil?

What’s feeding your Psychological Soil?

This month, on The Conscious Adventurer Radio Show, we’re talking about internal and external environments and choosing these with awareness so that they can be more conducive to wellbeing.

This Tuesday, I had an interview with Dennis Enright and Vermis the Worm, which I had taped a few months ago. Dennis and Vermis had important tips about soil health and looking after the worms.


Vermis the Worm

I talked about the psychological soil that goes into developing us. If we think about our beliefs as a tree with the beliefs as tree trunks, the soil that grows those beliefs is our experiences. We learn not only from what was told to us, but also what we felt and observed.  So, when we observed how important women in our lives were spoken to or treated, that gives us a template for how women are treated. We also learn by what wasn’t done as well as what was done. When we were hurt or scolded for being a particular way, we learn a rule “it’s bad to be that way”. When praise is omitted or affection withheld, we learn another rule – I am not worthy of love. These experiences are incredibly powerful.

Our current experiences also matter though – like a tree, we are constantly growing. Those in our environment now can really nourish the soil of our growth or not. So, my invitation to you is to consider your beliefs about yourself and where they come from. Looking at those beliefs that no longer serve you, where did those come from? Also, are there people in your current environment who nourish you or who aid in these negative beliefs?

The visualisation I did on the show was about tuning into that younger hurting part of ourselves and sending messages of love and affection; holding that part in gentleness.

What experiences do you find, enrich your psychological soil?


Image courtesy of Tusita Studio via Pixabay

Getting through a Struggle

Getting through a Struggle

Sometimes things are a struggle, sometimes a challenge, and sometimes an adventure.

“How long can a baby continue screaming like this?” I wondered, as I held Ant and tried to get him to sleep. We were both not well and I was eagerly waiting to go to bed. Nothing was working…time seemed treacle-like. I was achy, feverish, and exhausted. My throat was painful.

Unfortunately, tiredness and lack of sleep are two perfect conditions for cultivating overthinking.

I started focussing on getting through each moment, using my “Jedi Stance”, my soles of the feet mindfulness exercise (where I focus attention on my feet and the ground and keep re-directing my attention back there) and deliberating trying to focus on generating gratitude. I was so grateful, for example, that the boys’ father was taking care of Bear so I could focus on Ant.

Two hours later, after trying various things,  I was so relieved to get into bed and was initially excited about feeling that sensation that happens as you enter sleep (do you know the one?) happening so fast. I quickly realised though that I was fainting and I immediately worried about what would happen to Ant if he woke and I was still unconscious. I hurled myself out of bed and grabbed my phone. The motion combined with everything else made me vomit repeatedly and I tried to get through to someone who could help. I didn’t feel I knew what to do except that I was worried about fainting and not looking after Ant. I phoned the hospital who put the call through to our national Healthline service. It was very difficult to speak and the person on the other end of the phone kept asking me so many questions. I wanted to drive to the ED but worried that I might faint en route. She wasn’t able to tell me what the cost of an ambulance would be so I ended up bundling up Ant and taking a taxi dressed in my dressing gown. Later, when less delirious, I remembered there were others I could have rung – I just knew I didn’t have much time and needed to get seen as soon as possible.

The hospital staff were utterly amazing, as usual, and kept me and Ant overnight. Ant fed almost continuously from about 9pm to 3am then he slept for 1.5 hours. He then woke and fed again for an hour before sleeping for an hour. Even though I wasn’t sure that I had any milk left the hospital staff were amazing and supportive. They came in and checked on me frequently. It was a busy ED on a friday night and yet one consultant calmly rocked Ant while I went to the bathroom. Another nurse aide took him for a 15 minute walk of the ward so that I could have a nap. No one suggested that Ant was unusual or that I was not capable.

Back home the next day though, Ant continued to feed and feed and I was so exhausted and still feverish. I used the same three strategies I had used before to get through. I deliberated – should I try to give Ant a small amount of formula? Ant’s weight has recently been dropping and I had been hoping to just get to 6 months of exclusively breastfeeding. Friends rallied and were supportive of doing what I needed to do to care for Ant. I was so tired and I could feel myself getting more and more into my head so I stopped and simply held my little boy and felt how hungry he was. How tired he was. How he wanted to rest but wasn’t getting enough milk.

I remembered I had some frozen breast milk! Aha! I hadn’t been able to keep building up my frozen supply with being ill but there was one packet. Ant drank it thirstily and still wanted more. The choice was then easy – I had to look after him and after a small amount of formula and breastfeeding, he finally, exhaustedly, fell asleep, and so did I.

So today, after having had some sleep, the world looks different. I feel better although still feverish and slowed down. Things feel like more of a challenge and even an adventure. I’m over 3.5 hours into trying to help Ant fall asleep and stay asleep. Tonight, however, I’ve had a lot of cups of tea (which I really enjoy), we’ve listened to music from my university days in the background, and Ant has allowed me to type this in my darkened study while feeding, being held, and rocked. He even contributed by waving his hands and deleting a line of text! And today, I’m even more grateful – that I was able to just focus on Ant and I because Bear was taken care of by their father, for medical staff, for friends, for living in a world where there is a something that I can do for my child when I’m struggling to feed him.

Even in winter though, in Dunedin, when there is snow on the mountains, there are jonquils emerging in my backyard. There is a brighter day ahead!

IMG_0315 (1)




Juggling Curve Balls

It’s tricky being the sole income earner while also trying to have Bear in minimum daycare and Ant at home while he breastfeeds so frequently. I’ve taken a leap and hired a lovely nanny to be with us some of the time to help me do some work. It’s a leap because, as those of you who are self-employed and with very young babies know, it’s hard to predict income.

I was very grateful to have our nanny with us while I recorded last week’s show. Bear was unexpectedly with us because he was sick. He wanted to be in the studio though and that’s why you can hear his voice in the background. at one point he wanted to take his shoes off (and I had a little conversation with him). I didn’t edit this out because this is how life is at the moment and if parents/breastfeeding mothers are to be visible in professional settings, then we have to accept that they will be with their children! Although I pre-record, I try to record all of my show at once, as  if we were on air. It does make it tricky though…At one point, Bear was on my lap, trying on my headphones as I recorded the meditation. At another point, he moved my timer button so I wasn’t sure how long Lucas Deschamps of NaturAlley and I had been talking for! Lucas coped like a champ though and gave a magnificent interview. I learnt so much! Do you know, for example, that inorganic celery may actually be toxic?

Now, speaking of juggling, my guest on today’s show can literally (and figuratively) juggle!!  Very excited that Nicola Brown, of NIBL (Nature’s Ingredients Brought to Life) is on my show today. Listen online:

The Mental Hooks that Snag our Productivity

The Mental Hooks that Snag our Productivity


OpenClipartVectors via Pixabay

This week, on my first radio show, my guest, Lucas Deschamps talked about doing research when it came to food and what we are eating. I loved Lucas’s comment “Don’t just eat something because it sounds good”. I commented that the advice about keeping an open mind and doing research sounded like what we try and do when we are mindful – are become curious scientists in our experiences. We step back rather than just accepting what our mind tells us.

So, having said that, and with #FocussedFriday in mind, I thought I’d suggest stepping back and noticing thoughts – mental hooks – that might get in the way of us doing the things that are most important to us. These are, I suggest, thoughts that trip us up and have us watching several episodes of Buffy (*cough* – you know who you are) rather than doing what might be more important.

Do any of these sound familiar or trip you up?

  • I’ll do that later – a common hook. My suggestion is to pin a time to it or discard it as a task. One productivity tip I read this week was about discarding one thing from your to do list before even doing it.
  • I’ll do that when I feel….(better, clearer, more sorted, etc) – tricky. Does that really need to happen? I see this in students who are avoiding writing research up because perfectionist thoughts intervene and the associated thought is unless I’m completely confident/sorted/organised, there is no point starting. My suggestion is to set a timer and do a burst of focussed activity on part of it.
  • It will just take 5 minutes – somehow, distraction tasks never take just five minutes. It’s also easy to get caught up in other people’s agendas.
  • There’s no point starting it right now…I’ll just….(check my email, go and have lunch, walk the dog, do…) – start small.
  • This is too hard/complicated/big– Things may seem very big and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Notice your reaction and perhaps your urge to avoid. Deep breath. Is it important to do this task? Can you ask for help, search for an answer, delegate it, or break it up into smaller tasks?

Did any of these mental hooks ring true for you? Any other hooks that you hear?

I have a workshop coming up in Dunedin where I’ll be talking about those mental hooks that keep overthinking in place. 

Conscious Food July – The Conscious Adventurer

Conscious Food July – The Conscious Adventurer

I believe living more consciously includes becoming kinder to ourselves, each other, and our world. I’m so excited about my new radio show The Conscious Adventurer on Otago Access Radio, 105.4FM and 1573 AM, Tuesdays at noon. You can listen in from or download the podcasts from Itunes. Each month has a theme and for each show, I’ll do a short talk with psychological tips, then guide you through a mediation or visualisation related to the theme, then interview someone connected with the theme.

On The Conscious Adventurer, In July,  we’ll be looking at our relationship with Food and we’ll be bringing more awareness to our food choices. I’ll be interviewing Lucas Deschamps of Natureally – an organic cafe with loads of vegan fare, one of our favourite places to eat in Dunedin; Nicola Brown, a clinical psychologist and creator of NIBL, Tracey Loughran, a naturopath of Flourish and the Taste of Success Weight loss programme and Pip Wood of FoodShare.

That’s The Conscious Adventurer, Tuesdays at noon on Otago Access Radio, 105.4FM, 1573AM and podcast from and Itunes.

My first guest, on Tuesday, 5th of July is Lucas Dechamps of Naturealley. Lucas is pretty passionate about organic food and food packaging, amongst other things.How many disposable coffee cups do you think we, in NZ, dispose of every year? Do you know that the vast majority of these are not biodegradable? What questions would you like to put to Lucas?

Food Conscious July

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