Many moons ago I was that girl who wore long flowing skirts, went to Grateful Dead shows, played hacky sack, and washed her clothes with Patchouli oil. Ever since then, whenever I smell Patchouli oil – even if it’s just a hint mixed in with other smells – I feel immediately transported to rooms filled with pot smoke and Widespread Panic background music.
Fast-forward to me looking at an Essential Oil catalog last night and while I was supposed to be reading about remedies and solutions for anxiety (Nikki) and leg cramps (Wesley) my first thought was still: Hmmm…I should totally buy a bottle of Patchouli Oil…
Nikki has take a turn from levels of anxiety I can counsel and manage, down a road of anxiety-induced depression that has been peppered with self harm and thoughts of the peace that death would bring.
Any of us that suffer from anxiety knows exactly that feeling: I am so stressed right now that death would be much better of an alternative to living. We also know how the depression that is triggered by anxiety can feel: Will I ever be able to enjoy life without being anxious? If not…there is no light ahead, only darkness. Eventually you find solutions like cbd (Click here to read more) which help to calm the chemical reactions going on in your brain, therefore allowing you to see more clearly and find the strength to work through some of the root causes. But it’s a long journey and it’s not easy.
Feeling it yourself and knowing what to do is very different from seeing your child feel it, knowing they have to figure things out themselves. VERY DIFFERENT. I will never look at my own mental health the same again, now that I’ve seen my daughter suffer from the same extremes that I have.
Obviously, since getting a therapist to help us with Wesley’s anger made SUCH a difference, that was my first step. And even though Nikki was very nervous, it went very well and I feel much better about things.
We talked with the therapist about possibly starting to introduce some essential oils or aromatherapy into some of our nightly routines. Most essential oils are widely available, for example you can buy Rosehip oil online. The therapist spoke very fondly of the calming effects of some scents and encouraged me to try different things like pillow sprays or frankincense oil massages. She even suggested a stuffed animal with a pocket to put a little cotton ball inside of to cuddle with when Nikki started feeling really stressed. So, the last week we’ve been talking to family and friends who can help us out in this area and last night I got to hang out with my friend who uses essential oils and she sent me home with loads of samples and catalogs and reading materials AND I AM SO EXCITED.
I’ll tell you without a doubt that they do work in one definite way: Designated Quality Time. I spent time last night before bed with both kids, giving them oil massages. I rubbed one oil meant for aches/pains into Wes’s feet and a calming one onto his head and while I was doing it we talked about the day a little and it just made it so that when I said, “Good night!” we ended on such a lovely note that I immediately thought: I have no idea if the aromatherapy or oils have any physiological benefits, but just something that forces us to have that quality time is a treasure.
I did a little more with Nikki as the book I was reading talked about things like pressure points and key trigger zones for certain ailments…like palms for headaches and feet for stress/anxiety. And that was really nice because – like with Wes – we had a lot of time to have some positive talking time.
Her doctor was very insistent that we stop the “Let’s Talk About The Bad Stuff That Happened Today” habit we have fallen into before bedtime. She thinks that is what is causing her separation anxiety at bedtime and keeping her from sleeping well. (Nikki’s worst breakdowns always happen during that time of night.) She asks that we try to find other times (a walk after dinner) to do the negative rehashing, but we try to focus on joy and calming at night before bed. We don’t have any spare time in a day for a walk after dinner, but we’re trying to keep from having anxiety-filled talks before bed. The calming massage was a nice silly time for us to kinda smile and laugh about things from the day. She even said, as I was rubbing her temples, “I think my Coach is going to be okay after all.” Which is huge because he’s a yeller and intense and we’ve had a hard adjustment this season.
Long story short? The essential oils definitely work as a mechanism for peaceful communication and affection. It forces us to have one-on-one time so they get me all to themselves for a bit. It’s a joyful experience so it makes the final moments of our day peaceful and happy.
And they smell amazing.
So…I’m already sold…mainly on the ritual and the quality time the oils brought along with them. But I’ll report more specifics as the experiments continue!