If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I joke a lot about “forgetting that I’m pregnant.” Sometimes it amazes me how I can forget to focus on the simplest things to help support my own health and that of my growing family’s. It’s all common sense, but sometimes we just forget! I think we live in a culture that feeds off of a quick fix and we have lost sight of the importance of investing in our health in easy but simple ways. Maybe it’s that we don’t have to wait for seasons; we don’t have to prep the ground for planting, sow seed, water, and WAIT for food to grow. We just run to the nearest grocery store and pick up what we need. We can buy produce that’s out of season and not think anything of it.
We’re always in this mindset of “go, go, go!” and I think that’s part of the problem. We’ve forgotten that our bodies need rest in order to repair and grow stronger. I fall into this way of thinking so easily! I frequently bite off more than I can chew and then when I’m beat, run down & exhausted, I wonder at what happened. I’m trying to work on that, but it’s definitely hard to go against the grain of what our culture places priority on (such as productivity). I’m trying to make a mental shift and do less as I begin to prepare for birth. And it will be especially important to remember after Teddy is born!
There are so many way to support our families’ health by doing simple but often forgotten or neglected things, such as 1) increasing our water intake, 2) staying away from sugar during times of stress/illness, and 3) getting more sleep. These basics help our own body’s natural defenses work in the way they’re meant to work best. In addition to these simple and yet extremely effective steps, I’ve added some tools that I fall back on any time we feel like we’re fighting something off. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of it!
Essential oils. They can seem odd and weird or too “Eastern” to many, but they’re incredibly powerful tools to help support your mind, body and soul! Aromatherapy isn’t new, by any means, but there’s been a revival of sorts over the last few years. I’ve been using them for about 4-5 years now and I’m so thankful for the way they’ve supported our family’s health.
Some things to consider when looking into essential oils:
- Quality. Just like in our cosmetic industry, there aren’t many regulations in manufacturing essential oils. Do your own research and just know that pure, unadulterated essential oils will be pricier. Don’t buy the cheap stuff and put your health at risk. Two trusted brands are Young Living and DoTerra.
- Potency. These things are powerful! It truly only takes a couple drops to see benefits from them. Just like we don’t take any and every homeopathic remedy out there without consulting someone first, we should be careful with essential oils and find a trusted source to help guide us, especially in the beginning. There are some oils I’m avoiding right now due to being pregnant, although most of them can be safely used during pregnancy!
- Support. As I mentioned, it can feel a bit intimidating when you’re first delving into the wonderful world of essential oils! It’s amazing, but can feel like a lot and you’ll have so many questions! This is where you want to have a community of people who have been using oils for awhile and can help answer your questions and guide you to trusted sources.
Personally, I use Young Living essential oils, but as I said, DoTerra is another trusted brand. I’m not currently selling or working the business, but I still have my membership (that gets you wholesale pricing on oils) and am enrolled in the monthly order program (gives you discounted shipping & you earn points, which you an redeem for free products!). I wouldn’t be the best source for business-related questions (Angela from birdieandjack.com would be your gal!), but as you can tell from this already lengthy post, I LOVE to talk about essential oils and health and wellness! I would be happy to answer any questions you have or if I don’t know, I’ll find out for you!
In an effort to wrap up with post, I’ll share my favorite ways of using essential oils with you. I love applying oils topically and breathing them in after application by cupping my hands around my mouth and nose. It’s always helpful to take some deep breaths! Sometimes I just put a couple drops on my wrists and rub them on my neck (where you would apply perfume). Other times I apply them to the bottoms of my feet; there are reference points on the bottoms of our feet that correlate to different parts of our bodies (just google it and you’ll find some great visuals!). I think that is just so awesome how our bodies are connected and intertwined. We tend to think of body parts being separate from one another, but everything is connected. I also love to apply oils to my chest. It’s a great location to place oils because I feel like I can smell them throughout the day!
I’ve just started making my own blends because I’m all about saving time – and having a blend you can easily reach for is much easier than opening up three different oils and applying them individually. I haven’t made a ton of blends yet, but here are the three I’ve mixed up to help make application super quick and easy. When mixing up a blend, first put in your desired essential oils. Say you’re making an “Immune” blend. Put in 10 drops of Thieves, 10 drops of R.C. and 10 drops of Lemon; fill the rest of the roller bottle with a carrier oil and gently mix. A carrier oil is anything that will help disperse the essential oils – common carrier oils include grapeseed oil, avocado oil, or fractionated coconut oil. You can customize the carrier oil to whatever you like best! Jojoba oil and apricot kernel oil are other good options. **Quick note: it’s generally advised to use diluted versions of essential oils and essential oil blends on children. I’d suggest using 3-4 drops of an essential oil in a roller bottle if you’re making one to use on children; then fill the rest with your carrier oil of choice.**
- Immune (Thieves, R.C., Lemon) – This blend is a powerhouse for your immune system! The “Thieves” blend from Young Living is a powerful blend of oils that helps support your immunity. It’s one of our staples around our house and we’ve found it really cuts down on the severity of sickness and has even helped us bypass colds altogether. R.C. is another blend from Young Living that helps support your immune system, specifically your respiratory system. Lemon is already in Thieves but I find that extra lemon is always helpful during times of illness! If you’re congested, lemon is your friend. It’s excellent at breaking up congestion; think of it as nature’s Mucinex!
- Sleep (Cedarwood & Lavender) – Cedarwood is a very calming oil and known for its ability to support healthy sleep. Before making this blend, I would put a drop on both of my big toes and it helps my mind calm down and aids sleep! Lavender is extremely relaxing, too. My massage therapist has been using this one on me a lot lately and it’s absolutely heavenly! I figured I might as well whip this blend up to simplify my nighttime routine. I’ll probably need to make an extra one for my husband! 😉
- Seasonal (Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon) – This is your allergy blend! This trio is great at helping combat allergy symptoms like congestion, runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, postnasal drip, etc. Remember how amazing Lemon is for congestion? That’s why it’s such a great tool for allergies. Peppermint is amazing at clearing up sinus pressure and relieving headaches. Lavender is calming and this blend is an excellent one for carrying around in your purse. Living in Oklahoma has made me realize I have mild allergies, so this trio will be super helpful come spring! (Side note: I’m avoiding peppermint right now, as instructed by my midwife. Check with your healthcare provider if you’re unsure. It’s more so just erring on the side of caution, but it can have stimulating effects on the uterus, so I’m avoiding it just to be safe!)
I was graciously gifted these 10 ml roller bottles and vinyl labels by Got Oil Supplies. They have a lot of affordable options of products for helping you in your essential oil journey and I think the labels are SO cute. I’ve wanted some for awhile but I don’t own a Cricut and am not that “DIY” anyway, so this was perfect! They’ve been so kind as to offer one of you some 10 ml roller bottles and vinyl labels, too. Just head to my Instagram page, click follow, like this photo, and leave a quick comment (could even just be “entered” or your favorite emoji) to enter! For an extra entry, leave a comment below with your favorite essential oil (OR if you’re new to oils, what’s your favorite way to support your family’s health?).
Giveaway ends February 6, 2018 at 11:59 pm CST.