Worrying is inevitable during the COVID19 pandemic with uncertainty about the future, our health, our finances, fear of contracting the virus and job security. Chronic worry can take its toll on our mental health and certainly on our physical health as well. What can we do to help us cope with worry and anxiety during this stressful extraordinary times? Can essential oils assist in dealing with anxiety, worry and stress?
Is there any benefit in worrying at all?
Worry is sometimes helpful because it leads to problem solving behavior or solution for the problem. Avoiding things like watching the news so that you won’t have to worry about anything is actually not helpful at all and just keep you in denial about reality.
Some worriers as well as experts believe there are benefits such as :
- Motivation to do something about it such as getting informed and staying informed, to wash my hands regularly and avoid touching my face.
- Helps to prepare for the worst – this is probably where the stock piling started when people wanted to be prepared for being stuck at home.
- It helps me to avoid bad things. So if I am worried about contracting the Coronavirus it will cause me to adhere to social distancing and motivate me to stay at home.
The dangers of worrying too much
Chronic worrying starts impacting your mental health, your physical health and your sleep.
It can actually affect our immune system and that is not a good thing at all at the present time when we all rely on our immune system during this COVID 19 pandemic.
Helpful tips from experts to help us cope
Acknowledge your worry or anxiety
- If you can name it you can tame it. Acknowledging to yourself and others that you are feeling worried or anxious is much more helpful to you than avoiding it or staying in denial and pretend that it is not affecting you at all.
Allow yourself some worry time
Cognitive Behavior Therapist actually recommend to have a set time in the day to allow yourself to get real about your worries. That might be watching the news and updates, reading or watching a trusted and true article about the Coronavirus. Or doing your budget or looking for a job online if that applies to you .This method helps to set boundaries around your worries and it doesn’t consume the majority of your day and keep you in the hamster wheel of panic.
Exercise is good for your physical and mental health and has been proven to reduce anxiety. That exercise can be anything from kicking a ball with your child in the backyard, grabbing the jump rope, doing some YouTube exercise or yoga sessions. If you are allowed to go outside your house for exercise during the day , then do that – go for a nice brisk walk early in the morning or an afternoon jog. Once you realized that you have a lot of choices it actually makes you feel more empowered.
Have something to look forward to
Having rituals or routines can be super helpful and especially having something to look forward to. With our world being turned
upside down and for the most of us not having our regular commute and routine it is really important to create new routines.
Go for an early morning walk, having a special cup of tea or coffee whilst you sit down and phone a friend or perhaps start your day with prayer and meditation. Winding down your day with a soothing cup of tea or having special sweet treat after dinner or a glass of wine with your meal. Having a nice bath with some Lavender essential oils in.
Learn to be happy in the moment and content with the little things.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change
Instead of seeing this uncertain times that we are stuck inside during lock down as a negative how about you start getting to that project that you have been procrastinating for years. Making use of your time in a productive and efficient way organizing your cupboards or tackling a new project can actually be so good for your mental health because you feel that you accomplish something. It is perhaps better to start with something small like organizing your sock drawer today and tomorrow you sort your pantry. Having a purpose for the day can mean a lot for your mental health.
Deep breathing not only allows for more oxygen but it also influences your nervous system and can get you out of the fight and flight mode and into the rest and digest mode. Staying in that fight and flight mode can be detrimental for your health.
As an aromatherapist I have seen firsthand the connection between the olfactory system and the limbic system.
Diffusing some essential oils that can help us calm our nervous system is another option to deal with worry and anxiety.
Castor oil packs
Castor oil packs can be very effective to calm your nervous system and put you in the rest and digest state. It stimulates the sensory receptors of your skin which sends a message to the organs and that can cause the switch in your nervous system from fight and flight to rest and digest. You can either make your own or order here.
Tea to calm your mind
Various teas have been trusted over centuries to be calming the nervous system. Chamomile tea for instance have many benefits and many anxiety sufferers drink a cup of Chamomile tea before bedtime. It is not only the compounds in the tea but also the ritual of having a cuppa at a certain time during the day that can have significant benefits in itself. Have a look at some herbal teas for anxiety and stress here.
Using essentials oils to support the body and the mind to deal with anxiety and worry is a very effective complimentary treatment that you can do yourself.
Essential oils can be applied either topically when it is diluted with a carrier oil or diffused in a diffuser. For a quick and easy option you can just open the bottle of oil and breath in the aroma straight from the bottle.
The most effective oils for worry and anxiety are:
- Lavender essential oil
- Bergamot essential oil
- Sandalwood essential oil
- Lemon essential oil
- Patchouli essential oil
- Rose essential oil
For a thorough look at how essential oils can help us to deal with anxiety you can have a closer look here.
These tips can help you to cope with your anxiety and worry but I want to encourage yo to do see a medical practitioner if you feel that your worries and anxieties are getting out of control. Help is available 24/7 via helplines. Even though we might be social distancing from each other it does not mean that you have to be social disconnecting . Reach out to helping hands. I know often our pride gets in the way of us acknowledging that we need help.
Take care of you so that you can take care of those you love