We all struggle with something—and more often than not, it involves our health. We recently took a poll to see what area you, our readers, struggle with the most. So let’s discuss these areas and find out how we can use essential oils to overcome these health struggles.
About 16% of pollers said that their biggest struggle is staying motivated. If you fall under this category, then let’s talk about your goal. When making exercise and nutrition goals this year, try utilizing these principles so you can stay motivated to achieve them.
- Take a good, hard look at where you are now. It is important to be honest with yourself.
- Determine where you want to be. Be positive as you do this.
- Keep goals “SMART”:
- Be accountable to someone. Talk about your goals to others, ask a friend to follow up with you, and write a letter to yourself so that, at the very least, you are accountable to yourself. One of our readers suggests:
“Keep a little journal, and each day quickly jot down if you succeeded or failed with your goal that day and, most importantly, WHY. This helps you know what areas you need to improve or if you should adjust your goal. It also helps you remember the days you succeeded and the positive results that came from succeeding so you can stay motivated.” —Anonymous
- Break larger goals into smaller steps. If your goal has more than 5 steps, it may be too big or too broad, and you may want to convert it into 2 smaller goals instead.
- As you narrow down the steps to your goals, be realistic and figure out where your barriers or pitfalls will be and how you will overcome them. (Note: If you don’t know your barriers or pitfalls, keeping a journal each day, as mentioned above, will help you discover them.) This is where essential oils will be the most useful. Modern Essentials can be a great tool in helping you discover ways essential oils can be used to help you overcome the barriers and pitfalls that may prevent you from realizing your goals.
For example, let’s say your desire is to increase your physical activity, and you determine that your goal is to exercise 6 days a week for 30 minutes. Your first step may be to wake up at 6:30 AM. One barrier to this step may be that you have a hard time waking up that early. Maybe you can’t wake up in the morning because you have a hard time falling asleep at night. Maybe you are too anxious at night, or you have a hard time breathing, or you just need something to help you relax. Once you determine the reason for your sleeping problems, you can look in Modern Essentials for some essential oils to try.
Here is a worksheet you can use to help you set your goal, determine your steps, and figure out the barriers and how you can overcome them. You can also use this paper to hold yourself accountable and track the results of your success.
You can also try out this diffuser blend to help you stay motivated:
Another 17% of our readers said that their biggest health struggle is exercising. If you fall under this category, let’s take a look at some common barriers or pitfalls you may be facing:
- No time. Some of us are incredibly busy, but most of us could still fit in a little exercise if we made it a priority. If you have a hard time finding time to exercise, try one of these tips:
- Pick shorter but harder exercise routines. For example, jumping rope for 10 minutes provides your body with approximately the same workout as running for 30 minutes.
- As you start exercising, try setting a timer for 10 minutes the first day, 10 minutes and 30 seconds the second day, 11 minutes the third day, and so on—gradually increasing the amount of time each day until you reach a set amount of time that works for you.
- Consider setting a goal to do a set number of exercises each day, then work them in throughout the day. For example, your goal could be to do 3 sets of 30 sit-ups, 4 sets of 20 lunges (10 on each leg), 3 sets of 10 push-ups, and 2 sets of running stairs each day. Then, throughout the day, simply complete a set of something whenever you have a break (or make breaks to do a little exercise). Try doing a set of sit-ups after waking up, then another after throwing in a load of laundry, and another before going to bed. After each bathroom break, you could do a set of lunges as you walk back to your desk or down the hall. Every time you need to go up a set of stairs, try running up, back down, and then up again. When you need to pick up something off the floor, do a set of push-ups first. As you make these short bursts of exercise a habit, you’ll find that every little bit goes a long way.
- Drive less; walk more. Try parking at the back of the parking lot or even a few blocks away so you can walk a little extra when you are running your errands, getting lunch, or going to or from work.
- Exercise is boring. So make it fun! Pick something that you enjoy doing. Try some of the following, and see if any of them work for you:
- Jumping rope
- Playing a sport like basketball, soccer, frisbee, etc.
- Walking with a friend or while listening to an audio book
- Listening to music as you run
- Taking a zumba class (you could do this in person or look up routines online)
- Putting on some upbeat music and having a dance party
- Looking up 1-song exercise routines and doing a couple
- Doing yoga or pilates
- Working out with your kids (do planks, dance, jump, tumble, put them on your knees and fly them like an airplane, run around a playground, play tag, assign exercises to numbers and roll a dice to see what you have to do, etc.)
- Finding an exercise buddy
- Exercising makes me sore. Your muscles should only be sore the first week or 2 after starting to exercise. If you are consistent with it, you’ll find that you can exercise without becoming sore. For the first couple weeks, try this Sore Muscles Salve as you push through the painful stage, and keep exercising. And don’t forget to drink water! Staying hydrated helps keep your body pain free.
- No energy. If you seem to run out of energy quickly, try doing some of these:
- Diffuse essential oils such as peppermint, white fir, Joyful Blend, Grounding Blend, lemon, basil, cinnamon, and bergamot.
- Add a drop of peppermint or lemon to your water. Make sure to use an oil-safe water bottle.
- Grab a snack such as these Healthy No-Bake Cookie Bites or these Hearty & Wholesome Granola Bars before you exercise.
- Pick a time during the day that you typically have the most energy.
Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition.
Check out “Just Add Oils to a New You!—Part 2” to read about our essential oil (and general) tips for losing weight, eating healthy, drinking water, overcoming depression, breaking addictions, and sleeping.