Carving Positive Daily Routines through Aromatherapy
By Dr. Tara Swart
As the world evolves in unimaginable ways and we continue to adapt to our new normal, our daily routines have been uprooted. Commutes have been replaced with walks to the living room, parents have taken up roles of educators and day-long entertainers, and the hours in our day - from our morning coffees to our evening wind-downs - have felt as if they’re blurring together.
As our homes become our everything, many of us are experiencing difficulty ‘segmenting’ the day and creating those all-important boundaries to make time for ourselves. We speak with neuroscientist and Aromatherapy Associates brand ambassador, Dr. Tara Swart, on how we can use aromatherapy to signal times in our day so we can naturally transition our mind, body & spirit from AM to PM.
I know that from the brain science perspective, I wouldn’t be coping with isolation in the way that I am if I hadn’t incorporated aromatherapy products and the accompanying rituals into my routine at this time.
I’ve long been a fan of good-quality essential oils and the ancient wisdom of aromatherapy, and now I use that, coupled with my scientific knowledge, to create natural boundaries within days that can feel so unstructured and surrounded by so much uncertainty.
This routine is one that I am incorporating into my day most regularly at the moment…
In the Morning
I start my day with Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil, which I massage a capful directly onto the skin over my major organs (heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys) and take three deep breaths from what is left on my hands. I then jump into the shower, where you get the double benefits of the heat allowing the oils to absorb into your skin and the release of micro-particles for more inhalation benefits.
I use the uplifting effects of the grapefruit, juniper berry and neroli, coupled with the invigorating effect of the shower, to get me going in the morning, whilst doing some gratitude lists and positive affirmations.
Throughout the Day
Support Breathe Essence combines essential oils of Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, and Pine. Eucalyptus is known to have anti-viral properties. Tea tree has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
You can inhale it directly from a tissue or use the Aromatherapy Associates Home Fragrancer, but I’m focusing on steam inhalation to really get it through my lungs. I’m doing this whenever I feel stuffy, but also before any Zoom presentations or IG Live videos to oxygenate my brain with ten deep breaths and to give me the clarity I need for the hours ahead.
In the Evening
If it’s going to be an evening bath day instead of a morning shower, then I massage a capful of Revive Evening Bath and Shower Oil as above and soak in the tub, inhaling aromas of Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, and Neroli, to signal to my brain that working from home and household chores are over.
Though life is operating differently, in some ways I feel busier than ever, and it’s tricky to separate work, home and me-time. To help with this, I’ve created a neural connection associated with these scents to help me switch off and change mode. The sense of smell (olfaction) is so closely related to emotions and memories, and that’s the power of using aromatherapy to take a break from the news, and instill the mental and physical energy to enjoy the evenings, plus to go on to sleep better without too many vivid dreams, as we process the unprecedented emotions we are currently experiencing!
If you’ve felt like you are losing structure within your day in this new life of self-isolation, you are not alone. Try incorporating your favorite essential oil blends throughout the day, to help create a natural, organic routine that your mind and body can sync with for a happier, motivated, and more positive you.