Updated: Feb 17
Time to unwind
This image was taken in my garden as the last of the Summer sun was hitting the Jasmine flowers before it dipped down below the tops of the trees. I decided to stay awhile longer to reflect on the day. Sitting outside until the evening drew in with a mild breeze against my skin, after the hot summers day. Watching and listening to the birds swoop and dive for their supper high above me in the clear blue sky above, while my white jasmine vine was still buzzing with the sound of visiting bees, at it's best in full bloom. The fragrance just beginning to give off the most amazing aroma that will continue to build as the evening draws in. Filling all my senses as I begin to unwind and finally relax. The smell is always strongest at dusk when the warmth is now coming up from the earth and out from the surrounding brickwork of my home and walled garden rather than directly from the sun. There is a sense of calm, quiet and ease as dusk approaches.
Jasmine the King of floral essential oils
Jasmine is such an amazing plant. Beautiful architectural pale green leaves, a robust plant but with such delicate flowers. The common variety, shown above was chosen for our garden, for it's amazing scent but its cousin offers an equally enticing taste in the form of a cleansing tea which I also love. The ritual of mindful tea drinking has it's own amazing benefits too.
Another variety of this wonderful plant, allows me to be able to bring the scent of Jasmine into my Reflexology practise in the form of essential oils. I use it primarily in an uplifting aromareflex blend for clients. If you need an energy boost and mood uplift at the same time as calming your nerves, this is a great choice. It has an added bonus that it is also very good for sensitive or dry skin, so perfect for massaging into the hands or feet. Although uplifting it also has a sedative effect so can help relieve the effects of a build-up of stress. This very versatile oil is also great for hormone balancing, pain relief and is an effective addition for reducing the effects of anxiety. I make a blend of balm or cream with essential oils to suit your individual needs for application to the feet or hands that you can then keep for your own use afterwards. If prefered a rollerball applicator, inhaler or spritz can be made up with the same blend for your own use at home, along with aftercare advise I can guide you through. Although not used in the context of Reflexology, it is also interesting to know that Jasmine is also an expectorant, so great if you have an irritating cough or build-up of catarrh and is a popular aphrodisiac. Not recommended for use during pregnancy unless you have reached your due date.
As an anxiety sufferer, I know first hand how hard it can be to manage during times of stress sometimes. Over the last few months, I have at times struggled to come to terms with everything that is going on at the moment but also know that I am not alone in this. Given the circumstances, this is a very natural and necessary response to have to help us keep ourselves and others safe. If however it is going beyond this and causing you distress, please seek extra help and support. If you too have a heightened sense of anxiety at the moment, with nowhere to channel those feelings. I hope that you find these survival tips useful.
1. Visualisation Read the first paragraph of this blog again and visualise yourself finding your own sense of peace and calm. By bringing your mind back to your senses, in any given moment, you can reduce your worry and overthinking during times of stress.
2. Mindfulness and meditation
Allow yourself to stop and just be. Focus on your senses and let your thoughts and feeling drift by. Mindfully make and sip a cup of tea. Why not try Jasmine.
3. Essential oils The right choice of essential oils can help relieve nervous exhaustion from prolonged episodes of stress. Our olfactory sense of smell is a very effective and fast method of delivering the beneficial effects of essential oils while absorption through the skin, especially when left on overnight in the form of balms or creams, can give prolonged relief. Use essential oils or the natural smells in your garden like Jasmine.
4. Keep a Journal
When your head is too full with thoughts buzzing around, you can't focus on any particular thing, writing those thoughts down can sometimes help. If you can't talk something through, writing it down can get it out of your head leaving you with more clarity.
5. Getting outside in nature
Being outdoors, gentle exercise being with nature can help with so many things. If you can garden, this can be a welcome distraction that also has a fulfilling end product of fruit, vegetables, flowers, greenery and it can be a feast for the senses. So much to do, smell, look at and touch.
6. Sing or Dance or both
Try a different activity like singing or dancing. choose an upbeat tune that brings a smile to your face. Unless you have performance anxiety then karaoke with others in your household could be fun.
A great technique to distract yourself and connect with your sense of touch and breath mindfully at the same time is to do a quick finger trace. Trace around your fingers on each hand breathing in as you reach the tip of each finger and breathing out as you run down the sides of each one beginning to breath in again when you reach the crease between each finger. By combining the breath technique together with applying an essential oil blend to the hands and self-applying some acupressure and reflexology techniques, this can be a very powerful combination.
If you would like more guidance or a workshop on this or information about my services pop your questions on my contacts page or hit the book now button for a free phone or zoom session or grab yourself a gift voucher from £5 or more towards the cost of any future face to face bookings from the autumn onwards.
Shelley Mason MAR