Ask the Aromatherapist:
5 ways to stay well during self-isolation
By Christina Salcedas, Global Director of Education & Wellbeing for Aromatherapy Associates
In this time of uncertainty, it is perfectly normal to feel worried and anxious. You will be happy to know you aren’t alone, everyone will have these feelings at some stage and it is important we acknowledge them, but also have a few tricks up our sleeves to manage them.
Our Global Director of Education and Wellbeing has been a holistic therapist for over 15 years and has had the privilege of working with various wellbeing experts and healthcare workers who have imparted their expertise on how to keep well.
Here are a few tips to beat anxiety and ensure you are keeping well indoors.
1. Create the perfect environment
Whether you are self-isolating or working from home create an environment you are happy with. It may be a good time to declutter, make room for yourself and others to work, play and rest. Grab a pot plant next time you go for your shop or order online, get the candle out of the cupboard your were saving for a special occasion and set them out somewhere you can see it throughout the day, push back those curtains, let the sun in and open the windows to fill your rooms with fresh air.
Using fragrance can really help set your mind into a routine too. Use an oil burner to diffuse different blends at different times of the day to set your brain to the stages of your day… for example, use De-Stress Frankincense Pure Essential oil in a diffuser to get you focussed for the day. After lunch pop on the beautifully citrusy Revive Morning to get you through the afternoon. And when work is over switch to a Relax Room Fragrance with gorgeous West Indian Bay and Myrrh to signal to your brain that it is wind downtime.
2. Routine is key
It is proven that keeping to as normal a routine as possible can help keep us upbeat. So waking up at our normal time, taking a shower and changing out of our sleepwear is a signal to the brain that things are as they should be and the day is beginning.
You may need to create a new routine, and that is also fine, so make the most of it. As I have a little more time in the morning I am completely indulging in body brushing in preparation for sunning my legs on the balcony in the future. I am religiously using a capful of De-Stress Mind in the shower and not forgetting to take the time to cup my hands over my face and take 3 deep breaths of the calming Camomile, focusing Frankincense and mind-clearing Petitgrain… bringing comfort to my mind and body.
3. Stay informed and connected
It is important and natural that you will want to keep informed however if you are finding anxiety kicking in trying to minimize your news intake to one session where you are suitably informed with what you need to know and not overwhelmed. I have switched off news notifications on my phone, as well as avoiding scrolling too much through social media as it can naturally lead to misinformation and panic.
Instead, I am focusing my social media scroll through time to keeping in touch with friends and family, we are social beings therefore it is important to keep in touch and not feel alone. Technology has dealt us a helping hand from phone calls to video calls and messages to e-mails we have the power to make it happen. Organize coffee breaks with work colleagues, a cheeky virtual lunch date or a Sunday Roast with family over video. The options are endless!
4. Take notice
This is all about being mindful, and no there is no chanting or tree-hugging involved unless that works for you. If you feel yourself getting antsy or your mind wandering bring yourself back to center with an easy breathing exercise. Breathing exercises are great to just take your mind off whatever it is that is causing you stress and anxiety, stimulating your Vagus Nerve to bring you to a place of calm.
I love using a rollerball to help boost breath work, not only does it physically allow the essential oils to work their magic, but it will also stimulate the brain to recall the calmness of a the time you last used that scent (which hopefully was in your morning shower). Simply roll onto wrists, behind ears and to the chest, bring your wrists to your nose and inhale deeply for 4 seconds, hold the breath in for four seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and hold the breath out for four seconds. This technique is called Box Breathing and is one of the easiest techniques suitable for anyone and everyone.
5. Stay active
We all know that movement is key to keeping well. So ensure you are allowing yourself screen breaks to step away from the computer or box set breaks to move away from the TV. Short high-intensity workouts or stretching routines can be done in the comfort of your living room. Star jumps, squats, knee hugs, back taps, and shoulder circles are easy for all the household to do so make your active breaks social ones. Maybe even organize a group call with work colleagues or friends for a quick catch up.
Great pre and post “workouts” keep your De-Stress Muscle Gel at hand to spot apply as and when you need it. You can apply it up to four times a day and it is packed full of Lavender, Rosemary, Black Pepper and Ginger that are known for their analgesic and warming properties. This can be used instead of your normal body cream or lotion to hydrate your skin, as well as help, keep circulation going and aches and pains at bay.