Breathe in, breathe out…ideally something delicious. I sometimes forget the breathe out part. And other times I forget the breathe in part. Smelling something delicious helps remind me to do both.
When my ex and I first split there were some days where getting out of bed seemed impossible. But it wasn’t. I did what all the SMs I know do and put one foot in front of the other. I got up out of bed, made breakfast for my two favourite beings, I got them dressed, out the door, got my work day done, dinner on the table and all the other essential things that needed to happen. Where things got tricky was when I didn’t have the kids. There was no shortage of things to do but the adjustment phase of being a full time parent to a part time parent had a really solid sting to it. The pain the first few weekends without the kids was palpable. So under the advice of a really great therapist I started going to yoga. Instead of being home alone crying or partaking in the wallet busting practice of retail therapy I could go spend an hour in a very warm and quiet room trying to contort myself into whatever positions were described to get me to zen. I could listen to a soft spoken yoga instructor remind me not to be constrained by the current context of my life or mind. That whatever problems were going on in every other moment of my life could simply be left outside. It was down to just me and my mat. And some really bendy things I didn’t know I could do.
I went to yoga almost every day for an entire year. It was life altering in so many ways and kept my brain, heart and soul in order during a time it was pretty hard to keep them together otherwise. One of the most important lessons it taught me was how important all the little things are when life knocks you down. They are just as important when things are going well (they actually help keep things going well) but when you are really down, a few small acts of kindness to yourself can really change the game.
Outside of the many obvious ways yoga helped I found another self care life preserver that is a game changer in so many ways. Essential oils. In many of the yoga classes if you put your palms up early in the class the instructor would put some essential oils in your hands and would guide your class according to smell. This fired up so many different feelings and emotions… you could feel a shift in energy. I couldn’t get enough as I worked my way through the different scents.
At first it was the obvious – lavendar to relax, eucalyptus for a winter day when cold season had hit, peppermint for a headache. But then things got a little crazy and I learned about essential oil blends, diffusers, and cosmetic uses. Ok, these things may not be crazy by real world standards but for this newly minted SM new essential oils and any kind of spirit upift was kind of a big deal. The citrus blends brought on a mental clarity and calmness I needed, some lavendar combinations made everything smell less like an antique store with old pot pourri and more like getting a foot rub in a cigar lounge. Relaxing, dark, moody, exclusive. And then…the impact of essential oils on stretch marks and ways to get rid of them FINALLY. I was converted. You had me at smells nice.
If you haven’t delved into this world it’s time. There is no shortage of ways to get your hands on essential oils these days. What does matter is the quality of scent, the custom blends, the information from the company to help you figure out if and how to use it for cosmetic reasons. A couple of my favourites?
Treat yourself. Take some time to read through the descriptions on these sites or take a wander into a store and start smelling some things. Some of the ways I like to enjoy them? A tissue with esssential oils on it tucked under my pillow. Some rubbed into my temples to help with migraines or sleep issues. Citrus blends on my hands to help calm me down before an important work meeting. Diffusers are an amazing way to get the aroma through your home. Homemade reed diffusers are another way to enjoy the scents.
Happy breathing friends.