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I try to be very open about my struggle with depression. I’ve been on medicine for it most of the time since I was 20 years old – more than a third of my life. If you want to read a little background, here is My History Part 1 and 2. I wouldn’t try to hide it if I had cancer or a broken arm, and I won’t try to hide that depression is a major medical issue for me.
I go in and out of phases where it is worse and then better. When it’s worse, I have trouble making it through whole days. I cry a lot. I do a lot of contemplating what’s wrong with me and why God even gave me children when I am obviously the worst mom in the world.
And I can tell you in completely honesty that I feel better emotionally, more stable, than I have in YEARS. As long as I stick to this regimen, that is – just like with any medicine, if I stop doing it, the results taper off. Essential oils, while not being medicine, are medicinal – they work with your body chemistry to detoxify and change things. So if I don’t use all the oils or I skip a day, I regret it.
Here is my regimen.
- Valor :: I use one drop of Valor, undiluted, on my wrists and rub them together. Valor helps with courage (as well as snoring, but that’s a whole other issue).
- Frankincense :: I use Sacred Frankincense, just because it’s what came in my kit when I ordered it (a short-lived replacement they did). I rub one drop, neat, at the top of my neck.
- Stress Away :: Oh, we all know how I feel about Stress Away. Ahhhh. I rub Stress Away on the bottom of my neck and also anywhere I have tense muscles and knots on my shoulders.
- Lemon :: I rub one drop of undiluted Lemon somewhere it won’t be exposed to sunlight, since it’s photosensitive – usually on my stomach stretch marks, since it can help fade them. You can substitute Grapefruit or Orange if you wish.
- Joy :: I rub one drop of Joy (neat) over my heart and breathe it in deeply. The smell of it often turns people off at first, but the more I use it the more I love the scent of geranium in it. This blend also has rose, bergamot, and ylang ylang, among other oils.
- Peace & Calming :: I rub one to two drops of Peace & Calming on the right side of my chest.
I’ve sometimes thought Peace & Calming wasn’t really doing much for my depression. Then I stopped using it. WHOAH. I recently realized when I started using it again how much it helps to calm my heart and my mind. I snap at the kids a lot less and am able to stay calm more when they drive me bonkers. And since it also helps me get to sleep at night, P&C is one of my very favorite oils.
art source: Erwin Fisser via Flickr Creative Commons
Usually those six oils will keep me upbeat and out of that pit of depression I tend to fall into. This is on top of taking my antidepressant. I am not ready to try to taper off it, but I can see myself doing that in the future if I can keep the depression at bay with essential oils.
Sometimes I will also add White Angelica, one drop rubbed onto the top of each of my shoulders. White Angelica is a blend said to help combat negativity. It shares some of the same oils with Joy while adding sandalwood, spruce, melissa, myrhh, and others. It feels soothing on my shoulders and really does seem to affect my mood in a positive way.
I’ve honestly put off writing this post for months, wanting to make sure it really was going to keep working. And I can attest that yes, these oils are seriously helping my depression and anxiety, too. I’ve had friends tell me that I seem more centered and that I appear to have found my way in parenting. The oils have definitely had a place in this. I thank God for His gift of the amazing properties of these plants! (I am sure finally finding my exercise mojo hasn’t hurt, either!)
Four of the six oils come in the Premium Starter Kit: Joy, Lemon, Stress Away, and Frankincense. Thankfully, Valor and Peace & Calming aren’t too expensive as far as essential oils go. If you’re interested in learning more about the oils or have any questions, leave me a comment or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you just need to talk to someone about depression and staying sane as a mom – I’m your girl.