Mummy Madness – De-stress with Essential Oils

By Kristy Wiggins-Gilbraith

Life can be a real bear at times, and the pep talks from your best friends don’t always take the edge off of the stress you may be experiencing as a busy mum. Let’s face it, when you are in the middle of diaper duty, pumping milk, and feedings, the stress of being mom, as well as wife or girlfriend may feel a bit overwhelming. Stress and anxiety can cause mental and physical effects. According to WebMD stress can cause headaches, upset stomach, and low energy, as well as the inability to focus and poor judgment.
There are several healthy ways to handle stress including exercise, getting adequate sleep, massage, and eating healthy. However, if the aforementioned remedies are easier stated than done, there is still one more option, and that is aromatherapy. The use of essential oils is great for minimizing stress and anxiety because they tap into our parasympathetic nervous system, also known as “rest and digest”. Essential oils trigger our nervous system to relax, and move into a calmer state of being.

Essential Oils for Stress
There are many essential oils used in aromatherapy to address stress, and what you select is determined by how you ultimately want to feel, such as energized and alert or more relaxed. Essential oils can be used alone or mixed with other essential oils to create a synergistic blend. The following are the most popular essential oils for addressing anxiety according AltMD.com:

  • Bergamot: Assists in relieving stress and depression accompanied by anxiety.
  • Clary Sage: Relieves stress and exhaustion, which are typically accompanied by anxiety.
  • Lavender: Relieves stress, assists in relaxing and getting to sleep.
  • Patchouli: Assists in relieving fatigue which is associated with stress and anxiety.

As a licensed massage therapist, my personal favorites to use are Neroli, Osmanthus, Lavender, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Rosemary, Rose, Basil, Chamomile and Geranium. I have found these oils to be the best in aiding in relaxation and relieving anxiety.
Using Essential Oils

Essential oils can be placed in a diffuser, on a cotton ball or napkin without diluting. In the case of the cotton ball or napkin you would simply breathe in the essence of the oil through your nose. As with any medication including herbs and essential oils, you should check with your physician if you have any conditions that require medical care including pregnancy before using essential oils directly on your skin.