Autumnal essential oils for embracing change
Autumn is a great time of year. For me, it can symbolise new beginnings, with trees shedding their beautiful autumn-coloured leaves - cleansing, and preparing themselves for a fresh start the following Spring. A new school year has started, warmer wardrobes come out, and there is a definite feeling of moving forward into a different time of year, very separate from Summer. There is change all around.
We can learn a lot from nature. Lao Tzu said that “nature never hurries, yet everything is accomplished.” He’s right, isn’t he? Autumn rolls in, year after year, just like it knows and accepts where it is meant to be, ready for the changes it brings, and working in its own time to get us towards the next season. Nature doesn’t hurry, nor worry; it just ‘is’.
As humans, though, we can struggle with change. It can be hard to let go of difficult emotions, to adjust to new things, and so Autumn can be a struggle of adjustment, or even just a metaphor for challenges we can face in our personal lives, or even feeling stuck. All of us experience change in this season – some of us hate it because it brings darker, shorter days and long winter nights, we can start to experience illness – coughs, colds and other bugs – and imbalance, perhaps seasonal affective disorder (SAD) due to lack of day light, or issues with our bones due to less sunshine and Vitamin D. It gets colder and, perhaps even feels quite miserable. Christmas makes it busier – and we, unlike nature, are in a always hurry. It can be challenging.
It is however possible to love Autumnal changes and embrace this season, which itself can keep a healthy and positive mind, influencing your body and soul too! We can be reminded by this time of year that there is more joy to come, that life is ever evolving, in its own time! So, how can we be more mindful of this? What can we take from nature to help us stay positive during this often turbulent time?
Autumnal essential oils for embracing change
Essential oils are natural, therapeutic extracts from plants. Coming directly from nature itself, we can use them during Autumn to help us embrace change!
Essential oils associated with this season are:
Our sense of smell is linked, in the brain, to our emotions. Certain scents remind us of certain memories, and these are typical aromas that our brains associate with this time of year.
So, when we are struggling with the mental and emotional challenges that change can bring, which essential oil blends can we use to embrace nature’s accepting, no hurry approach? How can we embody the more positive Autumnal themes into our lives?
Letting go of emotions
Firstly, we can use essential oils to let go of emotions that are holding us back and preventing us moving forwards, those that are keeping us stuck in a place where we don’t want to move on into Autumn (whether actually seasonal, or metaphorical).
Try an inhalation treatment with 3-5 drops of each Bergamot, Chamomile and Frankincense to release any built up emotion. Mix these into steaming hot water in the sink (or a bowl), lean over the sink and hold a towel over your head, taking deep inhales and exhales for a few minutes at a time (keep your eyes closed).
Pop a few drops of Rose and Patchouli essential oil on a cotton pad. Lie back, breathe in the scent, and just let yourself feel your emotion before allowing yourself to let it go. Visualise yourself happy in Autumn, as a child, playing in the coloured leaves, and just breathe. Remember there is joy in this season too! As well as releasing emotions, Rose is so nurturing and Patchouli is great for confidence.
There are essential oils that can help us accept the changes that are happening in our lives too:
Create a fragrant ‘Change’ room spritz. Add up to 40 drops of your own preference of Cypress, Melissa and Rosewood essential oils in 100ml Orange Flower Hydrolat. These comforting, yet uplifting oils reassure us that we have much more happiness ahead of us. Cypress, particularly, helps stagnant energy flow, allowing more focus.
We’re always in a rush to get to the next place. We’re already looking forward (whether happily or with anxiety) to Christmas, and in doing so, we miss the beauty of Autumn. Use the following essential oils to ground you in the now, so you don’t miss the beauty of this moment:
Sit on a cushion on the floor, connecting to the ground. Try diffusing up to 15 drops (total) of Frankincense, Myrrh and Sweet Orange essential oils, in water, in either an electrical aromatherapy diffuser or candle burner. This is a great meditative blend, so try and just become focused on the now. What can you hear around you? What thoughts can you observe and send away? Just notice the present and embrace it.
We want to relax into this season; into this change. Let’s stop hurrying and take from Autumn (and Lao Tzu!) that it will all eventually get done – nature will just happen - without us stressing about it!
To wind down, try a relaxing bath. Mix 2 drops of each Sandalwood, Rose and Lavender essential oil in full-fat milk and add this to your tub. Close all the windows and sit in the bath, focusing on some slow deep breathing. Allow yourself some ‘me-time’ to quieten your mind from all the Autumnal stresses and strains.
Warming up & easing joints
To warm up if you’re really feeling the cold, try a massage blend:
Mix 2 drops Ginger essential oil, 2 drops Clove and 1 Cinnamon in 10ml of carrier oil. This stimulating aromatherapy massage blend will really warm up your muscles, helping with stiff, aching joints and arthritic pains which can be exacerbated by the colder weather.
It is always useful in Autumn to have essential oils on hand to help combat bugs.
Inhale Eucalyptus for any blocked nose symptoms, coughs or colds, using the ‘over-the-sink’ inhalation method mentioned earlier.
For chesty bugs, try Benzoin to relieve symptoms (it also helps change a negative mental state to positive!)
Sweet Orange and Lemon are cheery and uplifting and stimulate the immune system too!
Stay joyful – scent your home
Overall, we want to remember to stay joyful during this ever-evolving time of year. Why not try these top tips to make your home smell more seasonal? Embracing Autumn itself will help you to remember to embrace change in general - and what a beautiful way to remind yourself!
Try making a room spray using 100ml water (or Orange Flower Hydrolat) and a mixture of up to 40 drops of any of the seasonal scents in the list above – a personal favourite is Ginger, Cinnamon and Sweet Orange! Spritz your room – or even take it out and about with you and spritz yourself as a cleansing reminder of what this time represents.
Burn a beautiful candle – drop a few drops of your favourite essential oils into the melted wax of an unscented candle to remind yourself of the romance of this season: with warm open fires and cosy clothes.
Read other articles by Nicole Barton