Self-care can be tricky during eating disorder recovery. It can be hard to find an activity that is truly self-caring and helpful. Sometimes obvious things can be useful, other times more unusual self-care activities might be more appropriate. One idea to try is aromatherapy.
As well as being pretty to smell, essential oils can be potent and significant in helping you feel grounded, focused, calm and kind to yourself. Today our Nutritional Therapist, Marrissa is sharing what she knows about essential oils and aromatherapy for recovery…
Essential Oils For Anxiety And A Deep Sense of Calm
Lavender is the ideal essential oil for sleep – something we talked about the importance of in our last post. It’s no secret that eating disorders and other mental illnesses can leave you feeling exhausted or restless. Feeling fidgety, becoming panicky, experiencing insomnia and having digestive issues related to anxiety can all be aided by lavender. Lavender oil works by eliminating tension, relieving pain, enhancing circulation and increasing the mobility of food in the body too.
Rose is wonderful at helping you to feel calmer and more at peace, alleviating low mood also, particularly when experiencing shock and other anxiety symptoms. It is commonly used to help people with depression to boost their self-esteem and confidence, giving them more strength to find positivity in their lives. Rose oil is also useful for easing period pain and balancing hormones which can both impact how we see and cope with ourselves and the world around us.
Geranium does a great job at helping anxiety fade away – especially for those who are a perfectionist. It is also useful for depression and anger – something which is often uncovered during the recovery process. Geranium blends well with both lavender oil and rose oil to combine the benefits of these essential oils for anxiety and a deep sense of calm.
Essential Oils For Spiritual Grounding
Cypress works beautifully for those not feeling like they are connecting to the world or not spiritually grounded, something that in a busy world can be hard to do/be. It can also be used when feeling fearful, when letting perfectionism hold you back or become overwhelmed – unable to escape feeling the need to control everything. Cypress aids deeper breathing, bringing you back to being truly present – the core principle of mindfulness and meditation.
Cinnamon helps you to connect to the floor and the world around you. This makes you feel more at ease within your own body and able to focus on what matters to you. Empowering you to let go of what you cannot control and be more prepared to recognise signs in the moment. This is something that helps eating disorder sufferers navigate recovery in the long-term.
Essential Oils For Mental Clarity, Energy And Focus
All of the above can be super useful for letting go of stress, feeling connected, grounded and clear minded once more. Yet vanilla oil has a unique property for bringing mental clarity, energy and focus to the mind. The unique sweetness is soothing and kind, helping to dispel worry, stress and anxiety.
How To Use Essential Oils And Aromatherapy For Recovery
Essential oils can be added to your bath or you can add a few additional drops to hand creams or onto your pillow. Sometimes it is nice just to gently inhale from the bottle or you might want to invest in a diffuser. My favourite way to use essential oils is to add some to coconut/almond oil and massage into your skin. This act combines the wonderful scents with pressure which can release tension and restore inner harmony.