It's easy in the winter months, almost anywhere, to become a little more introspective, even a little blue. There's nothing wrong with this - I believe it is important to embrace the darkness so that we can do the same when it comes time for light. But, there are times when feeling trapped in the dark cycle of winter can become challenging - low energy can keep us from doing what we love to do, which can perpetuate a cycle of low energy. We know eating properly, drinking enough water, exercising, connecting with our loved ones and being creative are all ways to elevate ourselves, but what of creating an atmosphere of joy in ourselves, our homes, other spaces we inhabit? We sometimes need to start with these safe spaces.
There are many ways to do this. Obviously, one of my favourite ways is to use scent. When we inhale something, we perceive the scent by olfactory epithelium at the top of the inner nasal cavity. The tiny hairs called "cilia" are the endings of small olfactory nerves and they translate odours into nerve messages, these then travel to the limbic system, which is the centre of emotional behaviour. This is why we resonate so strongly with scents, odours and fragrances. Wearing treasured fragrances, making them custom by mixing and matching for the day or the moment, scenting a bath, lighting candles, burning incense, smudging a space (both for cleansing and for ritual) and using therapeutic essential oils are all ways we express ourselves, own and love our spaces and create atmosphere.
Here are some suggestions for essential oil blends, they can be added to a bath or in a diffuser, or worn as fragrance once diluted with a carrier oil.
grounding, calming - patchouli, helichrysum, lavender
joy-inducing - jasmine, grapefruit, coriander
easing tension - clary sage, cypress, clove bud
morning boost - rosemary, pine, peppermint
treating insomnia - neroli, lavender, marjoram, roman chamomile
What are some ways that you elevate yourself? Does scent affect you in this way? Do you use essential oils or fragrances to create atmosphere? What are some of your favourite smells? Do you have an essential oil blend you love?