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
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!
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
“Whooshoo…whoo…” said Bear earnestly, his eyes wide, standing at the back door. I was changing Ant’s nappy. “What’s that, little one?” I asked. “Whoo shoo…come!” he insisted. With Ant in tow, I went to the garden, not suspecting a single thing. And there it was…
I didn’t have my camera with me, so I will just have to describe Exhibit A. One container that had housed microgreen seeds and soil. Now, it housed mainly water. Bear had very carefully watered it and the seeds had overflowed into the garden. There was little choice but to laugh and hope that perhaps this unusually warm weather might see some of the seeds grow.
Several weeks later, here there are:
Growing microgreens has been part of trying to grow more of what we (could) eat. Doing that has been part of more consciously and mindfully eating and being a more conscious and mindful consumer. I also feel that this is related to self-care and care for my boys – I’d been thinking quite a bit about self-care as I’ve been sick for some time.
I’ve been looking at various things Self-Care related and this blog post by Bruce Thao popped up in my newsfeed, titled “Self-Care is a Lie”. Bruce Thao makes some thought provoking points including that (1) we are not taught how to self care, (2) that we are praised and programmed to care for others above ourselves and (3) that after we have worked long hours at work and home, it is expected that we should care for ourselves. He says “we are set up to fail” and talks about the systems that are operating that are not helpful. He also talks about switching from thinking about our Sole Gain to our Soul’s Gain.
And this Gardening with a Toddler endeavour? Hopefully this is part of how Bear and Ant will learn to grow their own food and be aware of what they eat.
Any tips on gardening with a toddler? On growing your own? On self-care?
Some weeks ago, I had the amazing fortune to attend a workshop by Kate Mead (“The Nappy Lady”). It was completely life-changing. I had been doing a number of environmentally conscious things, but her talk was a complete catalyst. It really hit me: It starts with me.
We are still a long way off where I would like us to be, but here are some highlights of things that have been working in the pursuit of trying to be a more conscious consumer:
- becoming aware of packaging and trying to buy things without packaging (ideally), or packaging that can be recycled. Our city council only recycles certain plastics, for example.
- taking our own packaging or bags
- having keepcups for the occasional take out coffee (or going without)
- switching to cloth nappies. I’ll own up now and say that the bulk of that rubbish bag is made up of nappies. I’ve been trying to find ones that work for the boys.
- using a Bokashi composting system in addition to our usual composting bin. This allows us to compost meat (ideally we’d eat less meat), small bones, and citrus
- trying to use handkerchiefs instead of tissues (at least some of the time)
- growing microgreens so that there are some handy greens and so I don’t buy them in packaging
- trying to make more of our meals from scratch rather than buying products which are more prepared and have more packaging
Why the picture? This is two weeks worth of rubbish. I was putting out a rubbish bag weekly. I’d like to see if I can stretch out to three weeks and then longer. I also need to look into a waste pick up service so we don’t use black plastic bags. Small small steps, but #itStartsWithMe
I’ve planted the garlic out late. Last year, I bought far too many bulbs and planted them too closely, resulting in a good harvest, but small cloves. This year, I’ve only bought two bulbs (so far) and have increased the space around them and also mulched with pea straw. Although I don’t use garlic as much these days, in an effort to keep my son’s tummy as settled as possible, I do believe that it’s good for wellbeing.
Speaking of wellbeing, I am so excited about my latest project: recording two albums of mindfulness-based exercises to promote wellbeing and relieve distress. I started making sound recordings on my trusty dictaphone for clients some while ago, finding that it was helpful if people had an actual guide through the exercise, away from the session. I’ve recently invested in a mixer/microphone and am learning the ropes!
Here are some sample visualisations/meditations. You don’t need to sign up for soundcloud to access them. Each is shorter than five minutes, as I appreciate how time poor people are.
Morning Tonic – want to start the day afresh? Let go of the hold of yesterday? Start the day with more focus and an awareness of your values? Try my morning tonic!
Bubble of Protection – facing criticism or negativity? I recorded this for adults, especially after thinking about how much criticism mothers (including myself!) receive.
Thoughts as leaves – trying to get unstuck from thoughts or feeling overwhelmed? This is a mindfulness exercise to practice detachment.
Recorded for younger people and people with an intellectual disability (although I also think these work for adults who need something more concrete or playful)
Stretch like a Cat – a brief, playful progressive muscle relaxation, which is useful for aiding sleep, tension reduction, anxiety, and stress.
Inviting a Superhero to Help Us – we all need extra help sometimes! This exercise helps us practice taking a different perspective and increasing our coping.
Please share these tracks and let me know if you find them useful! It’s brightened up my days to hear that people are using these and having great conversations with their children as a result of doing the exercises with them.
Interested in hearing about upcoming albums, discounted/free tracks, and other resources? Please sign up to my newsletter.
I don’t know much about Junk Free June, but it sounds like a fabulous idea. To jump aboard the bandwagon, I’ve decided to write a series of posts about food and related psychological aspects. Although some of my clinical work has been with those with an eating disorder, I have also worked with people who are trying to lose weight. Some of you will know that I’ve been trying to get to a normal BMI. Well, actually, initially, I just wanted to get from obese to overweight! I lost the initial 20 kg in 15 weeks and have written my account of how I did it, using the Harcombe way of eating, here. Although I have been talking about weight loss because that’s what people typically focus on, initially, I really want to emphasise that weight is only one aspect of health. Rather than losing weight, I really believe that a useful focus is on what can be gained through the process – e.g., health, vitality, eating without craving foods, etc.
Speaking of eating, I have been watching these Queensland Blue pumpkins for ages. They took over part of the yard and it was exciting counting all the emerging pumpkins beneath the beautiful full leaves. The first frosts (and snow) killed most of the vines so there was no choice but to harvest the pumpkins. I was apprehensive about what they would be like and whether they would be ripe enough, as it is hard to tell from the outside and we haven’t eaten this variety before. This morning I cut into one to find the most delicious, buttery, golden coloured centre (photo to come) and made it into a soup with home grown carrots, swedes, parsnips, and herbs. It astonishes me that even in winter, there is so much from the garden which, even further to my astonishment, I grew while holding Bear. Not sure how that happened, but huge thanks to Past Me for doing that.