Grief & Loss is a topic near and dear to my heart after having struggled with personal loss with the passing of my first husband in 2009. Today marks the 8th Annivesary of his death. Some years I pass by and don’t even realize what day it is. Other years, I’m crippled with grief. While I am grateful that I have been blessed with meeting and falling in love with someone who knew my late husband, who has been incredibly supportive and allowed me everything I needed to move forward after such a loss, very few days go by that I don’t think of my dear Rob at least once. He may be gone but he will never be forgotten and I’m thankful of the short time we had together.
Today is one of those years that I struggle. I didn’t sleep well, it’s rainy and dreary outside and there’s not enough coffee in the world to give me the get up and go I need to feel motivated. I know several other friends and family members who have struggled with grief and loss of loved ones and thought maybe I would use this pain today as a way to reach out and share some of what I’ve learned with others. So I’m taking a snippet of my class I taught last year on Mental Wellness and Emotional Support with Essential Oils to share with you today. I hope you find something of value in this post.
The class I taught back in May of 2016 referenced Dr. Carolyn Mein’s Releasing Emotional Patterns book and techniques. I will not be reviewing her technique in detail so I highly encourage you to check out her book. It is a must-have for any oily reference library, especially if you struggle with mental health issues. As a licensed mental health counselor, I can tell you it has been an invaluable reference for helping to start to bring essential oils into my practice with clients.
Unfortunately, my go-to reference guide for all things oily, the Essential Oils Pocket Reference by Life Science Publishing, doesn’t really list oils specifically for grief. They do have a section on emotional trauma but that was pretty vague. So, I’ve included the graphic above from an online class I attended last year on Essential Oils and Emotions taught by Rosy Crescitelli. I do not know the source of the image with oils added, but the original “Five Stages of Grief” image source credit belongs to Journey to Genius. You can use the oils listed aromatically, topically on VitaFlex emotional points on the ear (see picture below), or use in conjunction with Dr. Mein’s Releasing Emotional Patterns techniques.
For Denial – use Transformation to help start to accept your loss and move forward
For Bargaining – use Peppermint to help uplift and cleanse/purify your soul
For Depression – use Joy to bring peace to your heart
For Acceptance – use Acceptance to help move towards acceptance of your loss
Another of my favorite oily resources, the Reference Guide for Essential Oils app (on iTunes and Google Play for Android), which I love for the convenience of having right in my phone at all times, did have a few suggestions for using essential oils for grief and loss. Here is what it suggested:
- Single Oils – Bergamot (turns grief into joy), Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lavender, Roman Chamomile
- Blends – Forgiveness, Gentle Baby (massage whole body), Hope, Joy (over the heart), Present Time, Release, Sacred Mountain (back of the neck), 3 Wise Men (rub on crown), Transformation, Valor* (on the feet), White Angelica (on the forehead or shoulders)
Usage Instructions from the Reference Guide for Essential Oils app:
- Aromatic – diffuse into the air, inhale directly or apply to tissue
- Topical – apply to auricular emotional points (see picture below). Dilute with V-6 or other carrier to create a massage oil and massage onto the skin.
Emotional Ear Chart from Essential Oils Pocket Reference Guide
I also found a really useful blog written by Mary Hyatt on how to help move through grief with essential oils. She has a lot of great recipes for help dealing with the different stages of grief so I wanted to include it in addition to the oils and blends listed above. She uses a different oil company so I have modified the recipes slightly to reflect the corresponding Young Living blends where appropriate. Here is a link to her original blog if you would like to read it: http://marycrimmins.com/releasing-grief-with-essentials-oils/
To release – 25 drops of Bergamot + 15 drops of Roman Chamomile + 7 drops Cypress + 6 drops Marjoram. Mix up in a glass vial or empty glass bottle. Add 5-7 drops to a diffuser and run for 15 minutes per hour while home.
For sadness – 6 drops of Cypress + 4 drops of Frankincense + 4 drops of Joy. Mix up in a glass vial or empty glass bottle. Diffuse for 15 minutes every hour. Apply a few drops to the forearms, rub together, and inhale often.
If you are stuck in old grief – 4 drops Valor* + 4 drops Orange + 2 drops Lavender + 2 drops Melissa. Mix up in a glass vial or empty glass bottle. Diffuse for 15 minutes every hour. Apply a few drops to the forearms, rub together, and inhale often.
And here’s another great blog with suggestions and experiences from other essential oil users on how essential oils and blends have helped them cope with their grief: http://transformwithessentialoils.com.au/essential-oils-support-grieving/
And lastly, I thought it might be useful to include my notes from the Grief Seminar I attended as part of my grief process group in 2009. This doesn’t include any oily information but it would be easy to incorporate the oils discussed above during a discussion of the following topics. If you are not my friend on Facebook you will need to send me a friend request to view the notes (please send me a Private Message first so I know who you are and why you are requesting to be my friend so I don’t ignore the request): https://www.facebook.com/notes/celia-helen-mckechnie/grief-seminar/140769630453
So there it is. Today I’m diffusing Joy and Orange in my office and wearing Peace & Calming on my wrists to help find some peace and get through the day. I hope that you too find peace today if you are struggling with grief and loss or any other emotional difficulty.
Love and Light to you my friend,
* Because of Young Living’s Seed to Seal Guarantee and commitment to sustainable farming practices, Valor and Peace & Calming essential oil blends are often out of stock. You can substitute Valor II and Peace & Calming II for these oil blends when not available. While slightly different oils go into these blends, they were designed by Gary Young to have similar energetic properties and to be used for the same purposes. Just another reason why I love Young Living!
Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor. Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.
Welcome back to Part 3 of my Health & Fitness blog series: Oily Tips & Tricks to Help You Reach Your Goals! I’ve enjoyed sharing my journey with you and have really appreciated all the supportive feedback I have gotten from family and friends. It’s such a wonderful feeling to know that my journey has helped inspire so many others and I can only hope to continue to motivate and inspire as I move into 2017 with bigger and better fitness goals in mind. But today I want to share with you a little bit about how my oily obsession has helped me meet my goals this year! So read on!
For the Athlete on the Go: Active & Fit Kit
Perfect to throw in your gym bag or for the student athlete, the Active & Fit Kit was created by Young Living ambassadors and athletes to help you rev up your workout by combining the power of Cool Azul Sports Gel, plus Deep Relief, Peppermint Vitality, Copaiba, R.C., and Thieves essential oil blends. This kit is designed with convenience in mind with a carabiner for easy attachment to any gym bag, an exterior pocket that perfectly fits a Slique Bar, and an interior pocket sized just right for a tube of NingXia NITRO. As an added bonus, this kit will include three roller fitments to complement each topical essential oil. The Active & Fit Kit supports every fitness regimen, from elite competition to daily workouts.
This was on my wishlist for several months after it was released in 2016 and I’m super excited to have it as part of my on-the-go gym bag! I use this kit several times a week. I’ve added and changed a few things so below I’ll tell you how and why I use each of the oils in my Active & Fit Kit!
Copaiba (with roller fitment) – Copaiba is one of those oils that I tend to forget about because its less commonly used or talked about but it has so many awesome uses! Copaiba is distilled from resin harvested from the tree that grows native in South America. In addition to all it’s amazing oral and digestive health benefits, Copaiba also helps support the body’s natural response to injury and irritation. It is a key ingredient in Young Living’s best-selling roll-on blends Breathe Again and Deep Relief. I mentioned in Part 2 of my blog series about my knees showing signs of wear and tear from my increased physical activity this year, hence why I take a Glucosamin Chondroitin supplement each morning. But for added benefit, I like to roll on a little Copaiba essential oil on and around my knee joints to help give them a little support before I start my exercise routine. I find this especially beneficial before I go for a run!
R.C. (with roller fitment) – R.C. is a powerhouse blend of 10 essential oils, including Cypress, Spruce, Myrtle, Marjoram, Pine, Lavender, Peppermint and three species of Eucalyptus designed to support healthy respiratory function. I like to apply R.C. to my chest before physical activity, especially running, to help open the airways and ensure that my respiratory system operating at its best during exercise! I’ve noticed a big difference when running with R.C. vs the days I forget to apply it. Especially during transitional months when the sniffles are so common!
Thieves – Thieves is probably Young Living’s best known blend, so named after the Legend of the 4 Thieves who used to rob from plague victims during the 5th century but never got sick. Thieves is a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils. I apply Thieves to the bottoms of my feet before I exercise or go run. Not only does this help support my immune system it also keeps my sweaty feet from stinking up my gym shoes! lol I chose not to put my roller fitment attachment on my Thieves because I tend to diffuse this a lot at work to keep the germs away when I have clients in and out of my office all day. I have to refill my Thieves for the diffuser so often that I have had to resort to pulling it out of my Active & Fit kit at times so it’s easier to keep it off so I can use it both ways.
Peppermint Vitality – Did you know there is actually a ton of research suggesting that Peppermint essential oil can enhance athletic performance by supporting your respiratory and circulatory systems so you can go faster and farther? Just cracking open and smelling that bottle of peppermint oil can reduce perceived effort, improve your mood and boost your brainpower!!! A recent study by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that adding Peppermint essential oil to athlete’s drinks improved their performance, blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory functioning. In addition, the test subjects were able to increase their performance by 51% as well as increased their time until exhaustion by 25%!!! Young Living’s Active & Fit Kit comes with a bottle of Peppermint Vitality for just this reason! Same high quality, therapeutic grade essential oils but labeled as a dietary supplement! I love adding a drop or two of Peppermint Vitality to my water before exercise to give me a little extra pep in my step!
Deep Relief – The ONLY way you can get a 5 ml bottle of Deep Relief is with the Active & Fit Kit. It’s the same amazing blend of Peppermint, Lemon, Balsam Canada, Clove, Copaiba, Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Vetiver and Dorado Azul in a coconut oil carrier that you get in the 10 ml Deep Relief roll-on but in a dropper bottle. I actually find it easier to use the roll-on for my purposes, which is for targeted relief on sore muscles or aching joints after workouts so I replaced my 5 ml bottle with the 10 ml roll-on for daily use. However, I’m hoarding my 5 ml bottle for other purposes like making my own DIY Bath Salts or Massage Lotion!
Cool Azul Sports Gel – Cool Azul Sports Gel is an aloe based gel with a cooling blend of Peppermint, Wintergreen, Sage, Copaiba, Oregano, Niaouli, Lavender, Blue Cypress, Elemi, Willow, Caraway, Dorado Azul and Vetiver essential oils with Menthol and Camphor as well as Arnica and Chamomile flower extracts making it the perfect choice to use before or after physical activity. Rub and massage generously onto skin targeting sore or overworked muscles. I’ve actually pulled muscles in my back a couple times over the last several months (picking up my toddler and washing the dogs, not exercising, believe it or not) and I applied Cool Azul to my lower back before bed! By morning it always feels so much better! But make sure to wash hands after use, especially my gentleman readers, if you catch my drift!
Fitness, Inspired by Oola
Another of my favorite oils that I’ve actually added to my Active & Fit Kit so I have it on-the-go with me at all times is the Fitness, Inspired by Oola blend. Young Living teamed up with the Oola Guys, creators of Oola to develop 7 essential oil blends inspired by the 7 F’s of Oola (fitness, finance, family, field, faith, friends, and fun). I could do a whole class on Oola and essential oils but today I want to share with you the Fitness essential oil blend. Fitness, Inspired by Oola is a blend of Cypress, Copaiba, Basil, Cistus, Marjoram, Peppermint, Clary Sage, Idaho Blue Spruce, Balsam Canada, Nutmeg and Black Pepper in a Coconut oil carrier designed to help uplift, energize and give you the inspiration to take your workout to the next level! I like to apply a couple drops to my Solar Plexus and repeat the Oola Fitness Affirmation “I am fit, healthy, disciplined and strong” before my workout. It’s also lovely to diffuse in your home gym or living room while you work up a sweat!
Learn more about the 7 F’s and Oola Balance here from the Oola Guys http://www.oolalife.com
Runner’s Magic Recipe
This little gem has been a life saver!!! It’s a recipe I’ll be sharing during my 2017 New Year New You: Essential Oils for New Years Fitness Resolutions class but I’ll give you a little sneak peak! Shin Splints, often thought of as a runner’s injury plague more than just the marathon racer. Nearly every athlete will get shin splints at some point in their career and also quite common among dancers. But even just running to catch the bus or increasing your activity level as you try to get in shape can lead to shin splints. But what are they? Shin Splints can actually be caused by several things from flat feet to inflammation and irritation in the mucles surrounding the shin bones from being overworked to stress fractures in the tibia or fibula! I added this roller bottle to my Active & Fit Kit and use it after running or plyometric (think jump training) workouts when my shins and calves tend to ache the most!
Roll directly onto affected area for relief from shin splints or other discomfort from overactive workouts.
Sore muscles? There’s an oil (well several actually!) for that! The Active & Fit Kit comes with both Cool Azul Sports Gel as well as Deep Relief (see above) both of which are awesome at targeted relief. But one of my all time favorite ways to soothe my muscles after a strenuous workout is to take a relaxing bath! PanAway is one of my favorite oils to add to my post-workout bath. It is a cooling blend of Peppermint, Wintergreen, Clove, and Helichrysum designed to provide relief from normal aches and pains. You can also add to Young Living’s Ortho Sport or Ortho Ease massage oils to soothe sore muscles after a workout! Here is one of my favorite, simple DIY post-workout bath salts recipes!
Simple DIY Post-Workout Bath Salts Recipe
Mix ingredients and store in 8 oz glass jar. Throw handful in tub before sinking in and relaxing! Trust me, your muscles will thank you!
Make sure to check out my 2017 New Year New You online essential oils for fitness class for a DIY Massage Lotion recipe and even more ideas for post-workout relief!
So there you have it. The 3rd and final installment of my 2016 Health & Fitness blog series: Oily Tips & Tricks to Help You Reach Your Goals! Be on the look out for an invite to my 2017: New Year New You online class about using essential oils to help meet your health and fitness goals! In the class I will be covering a holistic approach to meeting weight management and fitness goals using Young Living essential oils and supplements. This post was just a precursor to all the information I will be sharing in that class! So if you have health and fitness resolutions for the New Year you don’t want to miss it!!! If you’re not my friend on Facebook, or aren’t one of my usual suspects, and want an invite, comment below with your email and/or Facebook name or PM me on Facebook and I’ll be sure to add you to the guest list!
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my journey! In case you missed it, make sure to check out the other installments of my 2016 Health & Fitness blog series Part 1: Intro to my Diet and Exercise Routine and Part 2: My Supplement and Protein Shake Reviews.
Disclaimer: I am not a health professional, certified trainer or nutritionist. I am merely an average girl just like you who got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I have been asked about what I’ve been doing to have the results I have been blessed with so wanted to share the love! Please consult with your medical professional to ensure that you are healthy enough for increased activity levels and/or a nutritionist to ensure that any dietary needs you may have are being met by whatever nutritional program you choose.
I know y’all have heard me say it a thousand times but I seriously use Thieves Household Cleaner to clean everything in my house! Kitchen counters? Glass stovetops? Leftover food grime in fridges and microwaves? No problem! Bathroom tile? Toilet bowls? Mirrors and windows? Sure thing! Even caked on food in the baby’s high chair ain’t got nothing on my Thieves Cleaner!!! During my recent “New Year New You (and how Essential Oils and oil infused products can help!)” online class I mentioned that I even use my Thieves Cleaner to make my own hardwood Swiffer WetJet alternative and was asked to share my recipe. So I figured I’d share with you all as well!
As much as it kills my inner hippy to continue to use disposable Swiffer WetJet pads
I haven’t found a good reusable alternative (see Update at bottom of post!). With an old dog whose bladder sadly isn’t what it used to be I’m ashamed to admit how often I have to clean up accidents on my hardwood floors so I’m still on the hunt for a good, absorbent, washable mop and pad system that won’t break the bank (If anyone wants to gift me one of those fancy Norwex mops to review I wouldn’t say no!). Until then, I’ll keep using my trusty Swiffer. Until a couple months ago I just turned a blind eye and tried to pretend that what I didn’t know didn’t hurt me. But we all know that’s faulty logic. So when my Swiffer Wood Floor Cleaner Refill ran out of juice I decided that I couldn’t ignore it any longer and went on over to Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning and gave it a search. I’d like to say that I was shocked but sadly I wasn’t. It just confirmed what I already suspected. The cleaner I’d been using to clean my hardwood floors for the last several years got an overall score of D! The biggest concern is a cleaning agent called Lauryl Pyrrolidone which has been shown to be toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects but an also cause severe skin burns and eye damage and/or allergic reactions! In addition, synthetic fragrance also warrants concern for skin irritation, allergies, asthma, and possible neurological or respiratory effects. Other ingredients of moderate concern are Benzisothiazolinone, for skin irritation and allergies, as well as Acrylic Copolymer and Dimethyl Siloxanes and Silicones, for persistence in the environment and a lack of data on health effects. And to think, I’d been cleaning my floors that my dogs and infant were rolling around on with this stuff???
So after joining Young Living and trying out their Thieves Cleaner for the first time I started researching all the different ways I could use it. Naturally, replacing my hardwood floor cleaner was at the top of that list! Young Living took the guess work out of a lot of uses for their Household Cleaner with their DIY Cleaning Recipes (see image below). They suggest mixing together 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 10 drops Pine essential oil and 1 cup of Olive Oil and applying to hardwood floors using a damp (not wet) mop. While this sounds divine and would likely be an amazing alternative to popular pine scented floor cleaners, I was hoping for something I could use in my Swiffer WetJet for ease of application. So my search continued…
That’s when i stumbled upon Don’t Mess With Mama’s 20 Ways to Clean Your Home with Thieves Household Cleaner. Her floor cleaner recipe seemed much more likely to approximate the consistency that I was looking for since I wanted it to be sprayable. Check out her recipe below:
Thieves Cleaner Hardwood Floor Recipe:
- 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner
- 4 cups of water
- 2-3 drops Lemon essential oil for a fresh scent (although I bet you could add or substitute with Pine for a delightful fragrance!)
- 1 tsp Distilled White Vinegar (DWV) for a streak-free shine to your floors
You can also use this same recipe to clean windows, sills, mirrors, sticky residue and grime from nearly any surface!
So armed with a new recipe I was excited to try out I pulled out my empty Swiffer WetJet Wood Floor Cleaner container and got set to refill it with my new non-toxic alternative only to discover that it is damn near impossible to get that screw cap off!!!! Initially I was a bit deflated but thought surely I couldn’t let a common household cleaner defeat me so I set out to google a solution. Turns out, it’s actually pretty easy to get these screw caps off! Here’s how:
- Bring approximately 2″ of water to boil in a small saucepan.
- Hold the Swiffer cleaner container with the cap submerged in the boiling water for 20-30 seconds.
- Carefully, using a towel or rubber gripper, turn cap to remove. If it doesn’t come off easily, submerge again for another 30 seconds or so.
- You can carefully clip the little prongs on the inside of the cap to make the cap easier to remove if you so desire. Or you can just repeat this simple procedure when it’s time to refill.
Once I got the cap off I simply poured my mixture in the container and recapped it, making sure to secure the cap so it doesn’t leak. The recipe will fill your container approximately 2/3 of the way full. Then you can use as normal. I have been using this recipe now for several months and it cleans every bit as well as the brand-name cleaner and I haven’t had any problems with it spraying at all!
So there you have it, a non-toxic way to use your trusty Swiffer! Now to find a reusable cloth for it to alleviate my guilt over throwing away expensive disposable pads… Have you used this recipe, or another non-toxic wood floor cleaner? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below!
**Updated March 18, 2016:
After I wrote this blog post back in January, I started my hunt for a reusable option to alleviate my landfill guilt that I had by still continuing to throw away those WetJet pads every time I used my mop. Now those who know me well know I absolutely love Amazon Prime (I’m too cheap to pay too much for shipping and Free is definitely my kind of price range) so naturally I headed on over to try to find a solution. These Orowix Spray Mop Pads are what I found and ordered for only $8.99 for 6 reusable mop pads. I’ve been using them now for a couple months and am overall pretty pleased with them. You add the included Velcro strips to your Swiffer WetJet and the pads attach easily. I was worried they might not stay on but I have yet to have one come off while mopping. I’ve mopped my bathroom tile, the hardwood floors in my large open floor plan living/dining/kitchen area and cleaned up accidents that my old pooch hasn’t been able to hold in and so far there hasn’t been a job these can’t tackle! So if you’re like me and not ready to give up your old Swiffer WetJet add these to your Amazon shopping cart to get you by until it’s time to invest in that amazing Norwex mop system!
Here’s the link to the Orowix Reusable Mop Pads on Amazon:
Want a chance to win a FREE Premium Starter Kit!?!
Of course you do! For limited time, order your Premium Starter Kit between now and midnight on Thursday, December 10th and receive $20 cash back from me! Plus, you get exclusive access to an online event that will teach you all about how to use your new kit when it arrives to get started on your Naturally Oily Adventures, survive the holidays, and more! At this event you will be entered for a chance to win the full reimbursement of the cost of your kit! I know they are giving away the value of at least TWO Premium Starter Kits plus a chance to win other FREE oils!!! Contact me for more information or order your Premium Starter Kit today here! Once your order is confirmed, I’ll send you the link to the exclusive online event! Hope to see you there!
Give the gift that keeps on giving!
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