This coming week we are featuring several authors and venders who sell through AromaTools.com. If you are interested in their books or products, order quickly and take advantage of the discounts and specials we are offering this week!
To start off the week, today’s post is from Dr. Mariza Snyder, author of Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils.
As stress threatens our health on a daily basis, we all owe it to ourselves to practice some self-care rituals for mind, body, and soul. But if you are like me, your on-the-go lifestyle often doesn’t allow you to take the time that you need to really center and find a pause in your life. When I was struggling with my health, I realized how necessary it was to put myself first at moments throughout the day to keep my sanity and to be able to put my best effort into my patients, my clients, my colleagues, and my friends and family. It’s all about finding those little windows of time and maximizing the opportunity!
1. Reduce Stress
Do yourself a huge favor and reduce your stress levels today. Awareness is the first step.
Don’t assume that you function well on stress. This is a lie that many of us tell ourselves.
Though society has conditioned us to think that stress can properly fuel a productive day, in reality, we are doing more damage than good to our bodies by allowing ourselves to become stressed.
While short-term stress helps protect you from danger, prolonged stress wreaks havoc on your hormones and your bodily systems. An overabundance of cortisol (the stress hormone) causes our bodies to shift to survival mode and shut down what they deem unnecessary—reproductive and digestive systems—in favor of a fight-or-flight response.
Your body may be exhibiting symptoms of stress that you have learned to live with as simply “weird cycles” or tummy troubles. Minimizing stress in your life could help treat these physical problems.
RITUAL: Breathe on the Hour
Set your alarm to buzz every hour, on the hour, throughout the day. Each time the alarm buzzes, simply inhale deeply through your nose, hang in that calming pause for a count of 3, and then exhale slowly through your mouth.
Breathing this way sends signals to your brain that all is well in the world. You are in control (even if you feel like you’re not!).
You will be amazed at the power of simple breaths.
EO BOOST: Lavender
To enhance the moment even more and calm your mind and body, try inhaling from a dram of high-quality lavender essential oil. The calming esters will soothe your soul and keep you in a sustained sense of calm.
Add a drop or two to your pulse points as well (especially the wrists), and extend that easy-breezy feeling through the rest of the hour to your next breathing break.
2. Balanced Nutrition on the Go
Stress makes us crave sugary mid-morning and late-afternoon snacks, but these very “boosts” often swing you way up and send you crashing down. This perpetuates an endless cycle of nasty sugar addiction in our bodies in addition to our already-imbalanced hormones.
Food and beverages need to convey the right messages to your system, so you need to start adding in the good and subtracting the bad.
Quick changes you can make today:
- “Eat the rainbow” with fruits and vegetables
- Make green smoothies
- Eat savory instead of sugary breakfasts (with protein!)
- Ditch sugar
- Avoid inflammatory foods (i.e., refined carbs)
- Pack your own whole-food snacks (nuts, berries, seeds, fruits, veggies)
RITUAL: Green Smoothies in the AM
To start your day with a punch of nutrients that will sustain you through those cravings, try a green smoothie for breakfast. The 5 minutes of prep time are well worth the energy and nutrition that they provide. I never leave home without mine!
EO BOOST: Citrus Oils
You’ve not had a smoothie until you’ve zinged it with the tang of citrus essential oil. My favorites are lemon and Wild Orange, but try some lime for a zesty kick!
[recipe title=”Morning Green Smoothie” servings=”1″ time=”5 minutes” difficulty=”Easy”]
- High-powered blender (Vitamix®/Ninja Prep®/Blendtec®)
- Quart mason jar or BlenderBottle®
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) almond or coconut milk
- 2 packed cups (60 g) organic spinach or leafy greens
- 1/2 avocado, pitted & sliced
- 1/2 cup (75 g) frozen berries
- 1/2 frozen banana, sliced
- 2 drops citrus essential oil
- 1 cup (215 g) ice cubes
- This first step is key! Blend your spinach with the water and milk first for at least 30 seconds. This ensures you aren’t choking down chunks of leaf.
- Add your avocado, berries, and banana, or any other combination. The avocado provides a creaminess that I love, but you can mix and match with the fruits and veggies. Try apples, cooked carrots, cooked butternut squash, kiwi, mango, cucumber, or anything else you have on hand. Blend for another 30 seconds.
- Add 2 drops of your favorite citrus essential oil and a handful of ice cubes. Blend again for 45 seconds for an icy, rich treat! Pour into your BlenderBottle® or glass jar, and sip away!
Note: To add some caffeine and powerful antioxidants, add 1½ tsp. organic matcha green tea powder in step 2!
3. Nurture with Nature
Nature does wonders for our mind, body, and soul, especially when combined with a pause in our day.
I know you’re sitting there thinking, “Right . . . but who has time for nature in a busy day?”
Everyone does! Here’s how:
- Boost your vitamin D with a 10-minute walk in the sunshine, or do some work near a window.
- Park at the back of the lot (when going to work, grocery shopping, etc.) and enjoy the sounds and sights of creation as you breathe deep and walk in.
- Eat lunch outside instead of at your desk. Schedule in this “me” time. Even a working lunch outdoors will give you the benefit of sunshine and fresh air.
- Take the ramp instead of the quick way in. Let your body feel the twists, turns, and incline as you appreciate the motion of your muscles.
- Enjoy your on-the-hour breathing breaks or your AM green smoothie outside!
- Volunteer to run an errand, and leave the stress at the office.
- Take your kiddos for a 10-minute nature walk with a gallon baggie, and let them collect and explore while you enjoy.
- Walk your dog or other pet—whatever needs some exercise.
EO BOOST: Peppermint
Nothing helps to amp up your focus and open those respiratory pathways like a hit of high-quality peppermint essential oil! Simply inhale from the bottle, or dab a drop under your tongue for instant minty power. And it will make your breath kissably fresh and smooth!
4. Hydrate That Bod
Did you know that not drinking enough water can cause premature aging, inflammation, and gut issues? Yikes!
RITUAL: Drink Up
Get yourself a super-cool glass or stainless steel water bottle, and carry it everywhere. Infuse it with some fruits, berries, and fresh herbs to give your tongue some extra pizzazz.
EO BOOST: “Spike” the Infusion
Looking for an awesome flavor with sustained benefits for your system? Try high-quality essential oils in your water infusion! Grapefruit is one of my go-tos to help curb cravings and boost my productivity. Here is one of my fave recipes:
[recipe title=”Smooth Citrus Water Infusion” servings=”1″ time=”5 minutes active” difficulty=”Easy”]
- 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
- 1 orange, sliced into rounds
- 1 lime, sliced into rounds
- 1 medium vanilla bean
- 2 quarts (about 2 liters) distilled water
- 1 drop high-quality grapefruit essential oil
- Add fruit and vanilla bean to the insert of a 2-quart infusion pitcher. Fill pitcher with water, and add essential oil. Allow to steep for at least 30 mins, but preferably 2–3 hours, before serving. Or use in a glass or stainless steel infusion water bottle, and cut the ingredients in half.
5. Aromatherapy Focus
Look no further than high-quality essential oils for a quick and sustaining way to reduce your stress and increase your focus instantly! Ultrasonic cool-air diffusers are an amazing way to provide lasting benefits in a larger space, but sometimes you just don’t have that option. Check out these tricks for daily diffusion:
- Straight from the bottle: Take off the lid, and inhale deeply!
- EO key chains: Carry your faves with you! Key chains hold 8 drams of EO for your daily needs.
- Cotton balls: Put 1–2 drops on your ball, and place nearby or pop in your drawer or purse.
- Clothespin: Put 1–2 drops on the wood, and clip to a fan or your car vent.
- Diffuser jewelry: 1–2 drops on fashionable jewelry will keep you sustained all day long.
- Leather bracelets: Inside and outside benefits! Place 1–2 drops on the underside, and wear.
- Thick card stock: Put a drop on a bookmark, and carry in a book or notebook all day long.
EO BOOST: Meet Your Needs
Rosemary: Instant focus and improved memory/concentration
Lavender: Calm and relaxation
Peppermint & Wild Orange: Morning wake-up or midday pick-me-up
Bergamot: Relaxation and energy at the same time
Clary Sage: Support for a woman’s needs
Frankincense: Calm and connection
Cardamom: Respiratory health, balance, and mental clarity
Bonus: Smart Mom’s Guide To Essential Oils
If you are an on-the-go mom looking for some quality ways to take care of your family and keep yourself healthy and energized at the same time, please check out my best-selling book here at AromaTools, Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils. In addition to ready-to-go recipes that you can immediately put to use for everyone in your family, there is an entire chapter devoted to self care for moms. Indulge and treat yourself to a book that will benefit you for years to come and provide you with the skills to become a healer in your own home!
[recipe title=”About the Author”]
Dr. Mariza Snyder is a wellness practitioner and the author of 6 books: the best-selling The DASH Diet Cookbook and Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils, as well as The Low Glycemic Index Slow Cooker, The Antioxidant Counter, The Water Infusion Detox Book, and The Matcha Miracle. For the past 9 years she has lectured at wellness centers, hospitals, conferences, and corporations on hormone health and essential oils, nutrition, and detoxification. She is also the creator of the Women’s Balance Summit, an online event first held in 2016 with over 30 internationally acclaimed wellness experts, designed to empower women to create the health and life they deserve.
Dr. Snyder has been featured on Fox News, MindBodyGreen, Dr. Oz, the Huffington Post, and in Women’s Health, Shape, and Self magazines. She received her BS degree from Mills College in 2002, majoring in biochemistry, and graduated cum laude with a doctorate of chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic College West in 2008.