To mark April as ‘Stress awareness month’, we caught up with Clinical Aromatherapist Shelley Baker who shares our passion for peppermint essential oil. She strongly believes that sleep and relaxation are key to wellbeing. She is a big advocate of doing little things consistently to get great results and shares her top tips for keeping your stress at bay.
Peppermint can be an excellent choice of essential oil for stress. It helps a sense of focus and clarity enabling you to make decisions and get through your daily tasks/ to-do list more easily. It also has some wonderful pain relieving properties and is great to help tension headaches, especially when it’s combined with lavender essential oil.
Why is sleep so important?
Sleep is essential to let the mind and body repair each night and lack of sleep has a real impact on our health. Make sure you wind down and relax each evening, with a bedtime routine. Try a screen amnesty for at least an hour before going to bed. Stay off social media. Instead, read a good book or pour yourself a warm bath with our lemongrass & mint bath soak – sure to relax your muscles and take away the strains of a busy day.
Prioritise self – care
Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated and it definitely isn’t selfish or a luxury – it’s essential. Even just 10 minutes, with your favourite cup of tea can set you up for a productive day ahead. In these modern times we’re so busy at work or looking after young children or relatives, we often forget about making sure we’re healthy and have enough energy. Remember the saying ‘serve from a full cup’! Take some time out, even if it’s only mindfully applying your body lotion after a shower. Really feel your skin being nourished by the shea butter and macadamia oil in our body lotion and notice the unique uplifting scent of the lemongrass and peppermint as you breathe in. Peppermint is a fantastic essential oil to inhale for clearing your mind and giving you space to focus.
You don’t need to be a gym bunny or in training for the marathon, research has shown time and time again the benefits of exercising for mind and body as it releases endorphins – good mood hormones. It can be as simple as getting outside for a walk in the fresh air or joining a dance class with a friend. Keep a bottle of indulgent and invigorating shower gel in your gym bag and appreciate that post workout shower all the more!
Learn to say No
Do you ever have the feeling that you’re just too busy and on a bit of a rollercoaster? I read once that the cure to overwhelm is action, sometimes the best course of action is to look in your diary and say no. There’s something very empowering about freeing up some time and having a date with yourself.
Think about what you’re eating and drinking
We’ve heard it all before, but we really are what we eat and it’s important to eat a balanced diet, with everything in moderation. Caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar are all natural stimulants so can’t calm us down. Avoid them when you’re feeling stressed and definitely after 2pm to ensure a good night’s sleep. The benefits of mint for digestion are well known, switch to a cup of spearmint and camomile tea after a meal, both digestive herbs rather than coffee*. We like the idea of eating a rainbow coloured plate of food; this ensures that you’re getting a good balance of nutrients. B vitamins, zinc and magnesium in particular are good for keeping stress at bay.
*Please do not swallow essential oils, they do not mix with water. The safest way to enjoy their huge benefits for digestion is by drinking good quality herbal teas.