Aromatherapy advice for January blues
So, the joys of the Christmas holidays are over! After every high, there comes a low and for some people this means the January blues!
The Christmas hype and preparations seem to start earlier each year and after weeks of planning for it and enjoying the festive celebrations, the days and weeks that follow can seem very empty. The pace of life slows down, the dark evenings and cold weather make us feel even more gloomy and many of us will be worrying about how much money we spent or how much weight we put on! It’s no wonder, that statistically, we are more likely to feel depressed in January than any other month of the year.
With the magic of Christmas over, it’s easy to feel down in the dumps and fall into a lull. The festivities can leave us both physically and emotionally exhausted, causing our stress response to kick in, which drains us further and lowers our mood. Fewer daylight hours also takes its toll on our body, affecting a variety of neurochemicals inside the brain! We tend not to notice this as much during the busy Christmas period but when we return to the daily grind it can hit us quite hard and the January blues are born!
What is the January blues?
The January blues is a situational depression associated with how we think and feel and tends to last only a few weeks. Symptoms can include low mood, sadness, anxiety, lack of motivation, low energy and low libido.
Similar to the seasons, our mood naturally experiences highs and lows, so it is perfectly normal for us to feel down and a bit lethargic when the holidays are over. This is a time of year after all when we should be hibernating and recharging ourselves – giving our bodies time to recover from the drama of Christmas! A quiet period of ‘down-time’, reflection and even a little sadness can actually be good for us, as long as it doesn’t descend into deep depression. If there are any indications that you may be suffering from clinical depression, then professional help should be sought.
Tips for overcoming the January blues
In most cases you’ll find that your mood will naturally readjust and improve within a couple of weeks, as your normal routine resumes. In the meantime, the following tips can help…
- Don’t put pressure on yourself by setting New Year’s resolutions that you’re unlikely to achieve. Remember you don’t need to change yourself just because it’s the start of a new year. #NewYearSameMe
- Be kind to yourself, focus on your strengths and loving yourself just the way you are.
- Celebrate achievements from the past year and focus on positive things that are happening in the year ahead.
- Try and get outside more to soak up more natural, mood-enhancing daylight.
- Do more exercise to get the blood pumping and boost those happy hormones. Restorative yoga to calm the adrenals is helpful and a good compliment to more vigorous forms of exercise.
- There is evidence that being more active – physically and mentally – connecting with other people and doing interesting and challenging activities can really help you to feel better.
- Eat a good, healthy, varied diet including fruit, veg, dairy, fish (particulary oily fish), nuts, seeds pulses and grains. Don’t be tempted by sugary food and junk food – which we’re often drawn to when feeling down!
- Try using essential oils that have naturally uplifting effect on the psyche! Some of our favourites are Elemi (a super-effective stress reliever), May Chang (the oil of tranquillity), Geranium (to lift and balance the emotions), Bergamot (nature’s prozac), Frankincense (which is nurturing for the soul) and Orange (an endlessly bright, cheerful oil).
Blitz the Blues Aromatherapy Blend
To make your own anti-depressant aromatherapy blend, mix the following essential oils into 100ml of your chosen base product:
Suitable bases for your essential oil blend:
- SLS Free Shower & Bath Gel (use as a bubble bath or body wash)
- Bath Oil
- Moisturising Cream
- Moisturising Lotion
- Sweet Almond Oil or a carrier oil of your choice to make a soothing massage blend or moisturising body oil
- 1 cup of Ultra Fine Dead Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt. Add half the quantity of the above mentioned oils and add to a warm bath for a relaxing soak. Alternatively use the full amount of oils with 2 cups of salt and keep half in an airtight jar for another night
- 1 cup of Ultra Fine Dead Sea Salt and 1/3 cup of Sweet Almond Oil with half the quantity of the listed oils. Use as a delicious, skin smoothing body scrub. If the salt is too coarse you could gently grind in a pestle and mortar.
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