Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH, author of The Healing Art of Essential Oils, Llewellyn’s 2020 Essential Oils Calendar, and the new Essential Oils for Beginners.

Kac Young
Our lives are busy, stressful, and packed with “need-to-do”s. Moms know this (and dads, as well), but it usually takes a blow to their health to remind them that balance is required. Take some time for yourself. Really! You will not only help yourself, but you will also be helping your family. You’ve probably familiar with the TV commercial where it shows a mom or a dad forced into having to take a day off due to a cold or flu. We laugh at the resulting chaos that ensues and are told to buy a product to help. It’s ironic how true the commercial is in our daily lives. But, the real moral of the story is to not get sick in the first place. Here’s how you can do that.

Taking a moment for a little bit of self-care pays off big time for parents and their families, too. Here is a list of 7 tips I have to share with moms and dads when they are feeling overwhelmed and overextended.

    1. Find time for yourself every day; 10-15 minutes. Turn off the phone, close the door and check out. (Ask a neighbor to watch the kids for 15 minutes) Diffuse a calming essential oil scent, like lavender, ylang-ylang or Roman Chamomile if you’re not allergic to the ragweed family.
    2. Wash your face. Take one full minute to freshen your face, use a warm washcloth and put some moisturizer on and lip gloss. Cover your eyes and spray your face with a mixture of 4oz spring water, 1 teaspoon witch hazel and 6 drops of lemon grass essential oil. Shake well to combine.
    3. Next, mix 1 qt warm water in a basin with 1 teaspoon of Solubol and 5 drops of lavender essential oil. Mix together and drop your washcloth into the bath. Wring it out and place the washcloth on your neck. Let it soothe the back of your neck for 5-6 minutes. (Use a cool water bath if it’s 90 degrees or above.)
    4. Go back to your diffuser and add a few drops of peppermint, bergamot, or grapefruit essential oil.
    5. Begin to concentrate on your breath. Use three slow counts for your inhale and four counts for your exhale. Do this for one minute
    6. Focus your thoughts on one thing like a mantra or your breath. Begin a short meditation. Put music on if you have time. Use a guided meditation or simply breathe and relax and let your thoughts drift. Leave all your cares and worries outside the door and just relax your mind. Think of a candle flame, soft breaking waves, palm trees waving in the winds, a ship sailing off into the horizon; anything that brings relaxation to your mind. You only need 5-10 minutes to do this for your mind to achieve stillness, your blood pressure to lower, and your anxiety to recede.
    7. Drink a glass of water, eat a piece of fresh fruit, and resume your day.

I have found that when moms and dads practice this short, mindful ritual, they have more energy, they are calmer, things don’t bother them as much and they have more patience for their kids. Taking a short break adds energy and clarity to your day. Try it once, and you’ll see what a difference this self-care ritual makes in your life.

Our thanks to Kac for her guest post! For more from Kac Young, read her article, “5 Ways to Battle Colds and the Flu with Essential Oils.”

Written by Anna
Anna is the Senior Consumer & Online Marketing Specialist, responsible for Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, Llewellyn's monthly email newsletters, and more. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading an absurd number of books; doing crossword puzzles; watching ...