20 Deep Breaths
Here’s a simple way to revive yourself when you’re extraordinarily tired, overwhelmed or excited. It’s simple to do and costs nothing at all!
- Find a place to sit where you won’t be interrupted.
- Sit with your back straight and your feet on the ground.
- Take a moment to notice your back against the chair and your feet on the floor.
- If you feel comfortable, close your eyes. If that doesn’t feel comfortable, lower your eyelids and soften your gaze. Place your hands on your belly and take a breath in.
- Breathing in through the nose, bring the breath down to the belly; notice if you feel the belly expanding into your hands. If not:
- Imagine a flat red balloon in your belly. As you breath in, imagine the balloon filling up with air.
- Hold for a few seconds then release the breath fully.
- Take another breath, as slowly and deeply as you can.
- Do this 20 times.
By the end of this exercise, you will feel renewed and relaxed.
These aromatic oils are self-care gems! You can sprinkle them into your bath water or washcloth, use directly on your skin, pillows or clothing, put a few drops in a spritz bottle as a room/office freshener or body spray. Use specific oils for specific purposes. Here are a few descriptions from Aura Cacia of commonly used essential oils:
Bergamot — Bergamot oil is cold-pressed from the peel of the nearly ripe fruit. The aroma of bergamot oil is fresh, lively, fruity and sweet. It is an excellent deodorizer. It contains a constituent called bergaptene that increases the skin's sensitivity to sunlight. Bergamot BF means "bergaptene free." Most of the sensitizing bergaptene constituent has been distilled out of this product but traces may still remain. Aromatherapy benefits: uplifting, inspiring, confidence-building.
Cedarwood, Red - Red cedarwood essential oil actually comes from a type of juniper known as Juniperus virginiana, whose common name is eastern red cedar. The balsamic-woody aroma of cedarwood oil evokes a feeling of inner strength and centeredness. It is quite useful in times of emotional stress and anxiety to overcome feelings of powerlessness. (Also good to clear sinuses).
Eucalyptus - Of the 300 species of eucalyptus trees in the world, Eucalyptus globulus is the best known. Eucalyptus has long been used in topical preparations such as liniments and salves. Cineole is the major constituent. Aromatherapy benefits: purifying, invigorating.
Geranium (Bourbon) - This oil is one of the most important perfumery oils and is an important ingredient in all types of fragrances. It has a powerful, leafy-rose aroma with fruity, mint undertones. Bourbon oil, from the island of Reunion, is considered the finest grade, and has the best staying power. It is used in skin care products for both its fragrance and its toning, cleansing properties. Aromatherapy benefits: soothing, mood-lifting, balancing.
Grapefruit - Our oil is cold-pressed from the peel of the common grapefruit. It has a fresh, sweet, bitter, citrus aroma. It is used to scent citrus perfumes and colognes, soaps, creams and lotions. Aromatherapy benefits: refreshing, cheering.
Lavender - Lavender oil is used in baths, room sprays, toilet waters, perfumes, colognes, massage oils, sachets, salves, skin lotions and oils. It has a sweet, balsamic, floral aroma which combines well with many oils including citrus, clove, patchouli, rosemary, clary sage and pine. Aromatherapy benefits: balancing, soothing, normalizing, calming, relaxing, healing.
Orange, Mandarin - Although the botanical differences between mandarin and tangerine are slight, the oils expressed from each differ in aroma and are not considered interchangeable in aromatherapy. The floral, neroli-like undertones of mandarin are evocative and sensual. Mandarin is used in combination with other citrus oils in colognes and fantasy-type perfumes. (See Tangerine.) Aromatherapy benefits: uplifting, cheering, sensual.
Orange, Sweet - More sweet orange oil is produced than any other citrus oil. Two kinds of sweet orange oil are available: distilled or expressed. Distilled oil is a byproduct of juice making and has an inferior aroma. It is often used as an adulterant in expressed or pressed oil. Our oil is pressed from the peels of ripe, sweet oranges. It has a lively, fruity, sweet aroma. It is used to scent fruity and eau de cologne fragrances. All citrus oils are quick to deteriorate and should be stored in a cool, dry, dark area in full containers. Aromatherapy benefits: cheering, refreshing, uplifting.
Peppermint - Peppermint has a powerful, sweet, menthol aroma which, when inhaled undiluted, can make the eyes water and the sinuses tingle. Aromatherapy benefits: vitalizing, refreshing, cooling. (Also good to restore tired feet!).
Ylang Ylang Extra - Ylang ylang oil is distilled from the early morning, fresh-picked flowers of the cananga tree. The distillation process is interrupted at various points and the oil accumulates is removed. The first oil to be drawn off is the highest quality and is graded "extra." Ylang ylang extra has an intense floral, sweet, jasmine-like, almost narcotic aroma. Aromatherapy benefits: sensual, euphoric.
Young Living sells exceptional essential oils with blends for very specific purposes including: emotional wellness, mental health, spiritual health, sleep solutions.
You’ve hit a slump. You’re inside your home or office and the day’s gotten you down.
One way to easily shift that low-energy feeling is to take a walk. Go outside. Look at the trees, flowers, landscapes that are all around you. Check out your neighborhood. Go into your garden—or a garden—and sit. Take a hike; get into the canyons or the parks—anything to give you a chance to be in a natural setting. Then watch what happens.
Conventional wisdom often asks us to set aside anywhere from 20-60 minutes per day to sit quietly with ourselves. But, suppose you can’t sit for that long? You don’t have to.
Consider taking regularly scheduled 3-5 minute “time-outs” throughout the day where you can sit in uninterrupted silence while breathing deeply. When you notice your mind wandering, acknowledge the drift and gently bring your attention back to the breath. This takes practice! So, go at your own pace. Your intention is as important (if not more) as “doing it right”. Here are a few apps you can download onto your phone, tablet or laptops to give you a jumpstart: Stop, Breath & Think or Smiling Mind.
Of course, nothing is better than a 90-minute full-body massage! But when time or money don’t permit, here are a few things you can do for yourself:
Reflexology-Foot massage! The chart below can aid you in seeing where to focus your attention based on the specific areas where you’d like some relief.
Neck-How to give yourself a neck and shoulder massage
This simple self-massage exercise gets right to the core of the tension and eases it gently and effortlessly; you can try it almost anywhere and at any time. Try to focus on the areas that feel most tense, and work slowly, deeply, and methodically.
This article includes photos and step by step instructions.
May peace be with you.