Aromatherapy and Mental Health
We always love to hear how Aromatherapy Associates has helped improve your wellbeing. Last Summer we came across a BBC article by a mental health advocate, Remi, expressing how our Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil had helped her through difficult times. We reached out to Remi and sat down for a chat. She told us about how our products have helped her to manage and control her own mental health struggles.
This year, I was featured in a BBC article for Mental Health Awareness Week. I had to choose an item that had a personal ‘calming touch’ and the first wellness product that came to mind was Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil.
It was my interest in mental health, which stems from personal experience with OCD and depression, that brought my attention to the BBC.
Fast forward a week, the article was live and I received an email from the BBC photographer letting me know that Aromatherapy Associates wanted to get in contact with me. They had been trying to find me using the hashtag #helpusfindremi. Needless to say, I was surprised at the response and got in contact with the team. It felt important because during the summer of 2016 their Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil had got me through a tough time. Their oils are always my go to product whenever I feel overwhelmed, stressed and full of anxiety.
A few weeks later, I found myself opening a huge box of delights as a thank you and I also received a candle which I had never tried before. I had breakfast with the lovely and inspiring CEO, Tracey Woodward. I then visited the office headquarters for a meditative session, received a body treatment and had a tour of the in-house lab. I was grateful to witness the love and care that went into creating the products and was equally fascinated by the different ways in which team members used the oils.
I could not believe that it was being open about mental health that got me here. A few years ago, I decided that I would no longer hold on to the shame that had kept me from speaking about what had kept me from answering phone calls from friends, locked up in the dark, obsessively ruminating, becoming irritable and drifting in and out of bulimia for years. The shame of having the illness and hiding most of it from family and friends had brought me nothing but pain and done nothing constructive.
There were plenty of conversations going on within the world of social media but this wasn't translating to real life on the same level. It was for this reason, coupled with the fact that I was hiding behind social media to write about mental health, that led me to “out” myself on my blog and then again on the Time to Change Campaigns blog page. I began to disclose to family and friends during conversations in a very matter of fact way that I had depression and OCD which helped to nip some of the shame I held in the bud.
Speaking about poor mental health made me feel free and I recognised its importance. The importance of giving people the tools to understand how to cope with poor mental health, improving understanding of how mental illness can affect mood, behaviour and reality was also a significant part of the conversation we needed to be having regarding mental health.
We need to become a society that places importance on maintaining good mental health so that it does not escalate into severe mental health illness and support those who are one step, or sometimes ten, on the spectrum of poor mental health.
I sincerely hope and wish to be part of a community that is more action orientated and more compassionate about mental health. It is only when we understand how trauma, stress and other life experiences manifest and how they can impact the way we think, feel and behave that we begin to take it seriously and approach it with the kindness and caring, that we can really have the deep and meaningful conversations, however frightening, that need to be had. For “it is in the shelter of each other that the people live.”
If your life has been touched by Aromatherapy Associates or one of our products has managed to help you in any way, please get in touch and tell us about your own personal experience at firstname.lastname@example.org