I received such a large response from my post about anxiety and depression, I thought I would share some things that have helped me deal with it. Over the course of a few posts, I’ll simply share a few things that I have found helpful or beneficial. Just because something worked for me, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. These things don’t make my anxiety or depression go away, either. I understand that these issues must be worked through on a daily basis. Like I said in my last post, some days are better than others. One thing that has really helped me is essential oil.
About 4 years ago, when I first started college, I started having a hard time falling asleep. I would lay in my bed for hours just going over what I needed to do the next day or next week or even next month. I would go back through my day in my head trying to reassure myself that I did everything I needed to or finished all my homework. I just couldn’t turn my mind off. My aunt recommended that I try doTERRA Lavender oil. She told me to place a few drops on the bottoms of my feet and behind my ears before bed. I’m not going to lie…I was a little skeptical. How could putting something on the bottom of my feet help me sleep? But, my lack of sleep was taking a toll on my health, so I decided to give it a try. That night I put 2 drops on my feet and 2 drops behind my ears, and I had the best night’s sleep since starting college. I was honestly shocked. I thought, “Maybe it was just a coincidence…“, but sure enough I slept like a baby every night I used Lavender oil.
A few months later, I was talking to my cousins about how stressed I would get before exams or presentations…or even just everyday homework (I’ve always been extremely hard on myself when it comes to school). They asked me if I’d been using my Lavender oil. I told them I’d been using it before bed, but wasn’t sure how that was supposed to help my stress level. Well, apparently Lavender can also be used to help reduce anxiety. My cousins told me to place a few drops on my wrists before entering a situation that I knew would be stressful for me. I had a big chemistry exam coming up, which was the root of a lot of my stress…just thinking about chemistry makes me cringe. As I studied and prepared to take my exam, I started putting the oil on my wrists or even behind my ears. While this obviously didn’t eliminate my test anxiety, I could definitely tell a difference in some of my physical symptoms. Typically, I can tell when I’m anxious based on my ability to eat, my heart rate, and how fast I bounce my leg (think restless leg syndrome). Although essential oils don’t tend to have a great impact on my mental symptoms, I definitely feel a sense of calmness when I use it.
During the months after graduation that I struggled with both anxiety and depression, my mom got me a diffuser from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. During panic attacks or times I was feeling extremely upset, I began diffusing Lavender oil. If you’ve never used a diffuser before, it’s basically just a way to get the essential oils into the air. The diffuser I use also doubles as a humidifier, which helps my allergies as well (I’ve linked my diffuser below). I place water into the diffuser, then add a few drops of Lavender. Within minutes, the Lavender scent can fill my entire room. It’s a very calming scent, so I found it very helpful during times when my anxiety and depression was at its worst. Although I am doing much better, I still use my diffuser every night to help me sleep. One thing I noticed with my diffuser is that it uses up my oil very quickly. A 15 mL bottle usually lasts me several months when I just use it on my feet, wrists, and behind my ears. However, I was only getting a few months use out of the same size bottle when using it in my diffuser. When it comes to putting oil in direct contact with my skin, I only trust the doTERRA oil I’ve used for years. In an attempt to save some money, I did some research and found a less expensive lavender oil that I use ONLY for my diffuser. I do not put this product on my skin. I’ve been using this oil in my diffuser for about 4 months now, and haven’t noticed any issues. I will say the doTERRA oil does have a true lavender scent, while the other oil smells a little different. Overall, I’d recommend going with doTERRA if you’re in doubt. My aunt has been nice enough to give me her contact info if you are interested in purchasing any doTERRA products. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get your hands on some essential oil. I also use and love the blend “Breathe” when my allergies are really bothering me and “Peace” when I’m stressed. There are multiple different blends that aid in different things, so if you have any questions feel free to email my aunt!