Running Essentials

“Running teaches us to keep moving forward, one step at a time, especially in the most painful moments.”

I enjoy running. Okay – maybe I should rephrase that sentence. I enjoy running in nice weather, on flat courses, when I am in the “right mood.” I am a picky runner and I am perfectly content with that. I love 5Ks and I can handle 10Ks. However, after my last half marathon, I made a promise to myself that would be my last half-marathon without more than a week’s worth of training.

I struggle with training consistently because my schedule is just a tad crazy right now, so there is always some excuse to go running on a different day. I will be running a 5K in the near future, so tonight I had to have a serious talk with myself and start training. The first day back is always the hardest. My legs started aching about 1/8 of a mile in. Pathetic, right? I have to remind myself that what matters is that I am being active. At this stage in my training, it does not matter how fast I go – all that matters is that I am out there moving.

The wonderful thing about running is that once I get back into it, I remember that even though my body will experience some aches and pains, running makes me feel GREAT.  Living an active lifestyle makes me feel more energized and improves my emotional dimension of wellness. Running reminds me how important it is to set goals and work my hardest to achieve those goals. My first short-term running goal is to be prepared for my upcoming 5K. Baby steps. One day at a time. Progress matters. 

Thankfully, essential oils can be incorporated into your pre-running and post-running routines to improve both the physical and emotional dimensions of wellness.

Before Running:

  • Apply a few drops of Peppermint or the respiratory blend to your chest and/or wrists a few minutes before beginning your run. Peppermint will clear the airways and enhance alertness.
  • Inhale or apply the grounding blend to stabilize emotions and clear the mind of outside thoughts.
  • Did you know Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties? Apply a few drops to your legs to reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Apply 1 drop of Frankincense and 1 drop of Peppermint to the bottom of each foot for energizing and cooling sensations while running.

After Running:

  • There are a variety of essential oils that are wonderful to soothe muscle tension. Apply Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Wintergreen, White Fir, or Frankincense to your calves or other sore muscles to relieve tension.
  • Rehydration is essential! Add 1 drop of Lemon to each 8-ounces of water you drink to benefit from its uplifting and cleansing properties.
  • Take an Epsom salt bath with Lavender to soothe sore muscles and experience ultimate relaxation. If you missed my post on the importance of a detox bath, you can read it here!
  • Cypress supports circulation! Apply a few drops to your legs after running to promote blood flow and reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Blisters? Apply 1 drop each of Lavender, Melaleuca, and Chamomile to speed up the healing process!

What are some of the natural solutions you utilize to enhance your running or workout experiences? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Turquoise Roots

“Remember your roots, trust your wings.”

I come from a long line of turquoise lovers. My great-grandmother lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico and she absolutely adored her turquoise jewelry. Over the past few years, I have also become quite fond of turquoise. There are very few days you will find me without my turquoise rings because going “ringless” makes me feel as if I am missing a part of myself. It is hard to explain, but somehow, my turquoise rings bring me a sense of safety. It was not until a few months ago that I came across some interesting information regarding the history of and meaning behind turquoise.

Turquoise is a purification stone–it dispels negative energy, acts as a mood stabilizer, and instills a sense of inner calm. For thousands of years, this “fallen sky stone” has brought protection, strength, and power to cultures across the globe.  Did you know that King Tut’s burial mask was adorned with turquoise stones? Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but turquoise will always be my soul mate.

The United States is currently the world’s largest producer of turquoise. Nevada, New Mexico, California, and Colorado all have mines in which dissolved copper has combined with aluminum and phosphorus to create beautiful turquoise stones.

Turquoise influences my emotional, spiritual, and environmental dimensions of wellness. If you missed my post on the importance of balancing all seven dimensions of wellness, you can check it out here!

Here’s how these tiny, precious items contribute to my overall balance:

  • Emotional Wellness: Each time I glance at my turquoise rings, I am reminded of my strong roots– the independent women in my family who I am proud to call my role models. These turquoise rings allow me to feel grounded and have become a unique component of who I am as an individual.
  • Spiritual Wellness: I believe you attract the same type of energy that you release into the world. Think about it for a moment…when you have a positive mindset, you tend to focus more on the wonderful things in life and you attract people who possess a similar mindset and vibe. Turquoise instills me with positive energy and I am therefore able to release positive energy back into the world. Simply put, energy is constantly flowing.
  • Environmental Wellness: We all need the occasional reminder that the world does not revolve around ourselves. Rather, we are part of a much larger interconnected web. The turquoise in my rings spent hundreds (if not thousands) of years in the earth. These specific stones were stationary for the majority of their lives, but now that turquoise travels with me around the world. I find that to be a pretty amazing concept,

I do not believe it is materialistic to have tangible items that remind you of who you are. Maybe you have a little momento from an amazing trip or a photo that reminds you of a lost beloved one. Whatever that object is for you, hold onto it. Let it serve as a constant reminder of your core being. Allow it be a window into your heart and soul.

What item serves as a reminder to your roots? What dimensions of wellness do you believe this reminder brings balance to? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Wild Orange Essential Oil

Wild Orange is known as the Oil of Abundance. This uplifting essential oil “inspires abundance, fosters creativity, supports a positive mood, restores physical energy, and aids in transitions. Wild Orange combats negative emotions like discouragement, nervousness, and the fear of scarcity, by promoting creativity, spontaneity, and abundance. This essential oil reminds the soul to give freely without the desire for compensation and to simply enjoy life. The purpose of this blog post is to provide you with some background information in order to establish a basic understanding of Wild Orange essential oil.

Wild Orange comes from the Rutaceae botanical family, which is the fancy, scientific word for citrus. One of the main chemical constituents found in oranges is d-Limone, a natural compound which contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The extraction method for Wild Orange essential oil involves the cold pressing of orange rinds. If you are interested in learning more about essential oil extraction, check out my blog post here, which covers the basics of essential oil extraction and the importance of quality.

The primary uses for Wild Orange essential oil include anxiety, digestion, fear, insomnia, menopause, nervousness, uplifting, and withdrawal.

If you would like to do some additional research and learn about the studies that have been conducted on the primary uses of Wild Orange, the U.S. National Library of Medicine website is a fantastic resource!

Wild Orange essential oil can be applied via three application methods­—topical, aromatic, and internal. Topical: Wild Orange essential oil can be applied directly to the skin on the area of concern or on reflex points. Please note: if you are applying Wild Orange directly to your skin, it is important you avoid direct sunlight for up to 12 hours. Aromatic: Wild Orange essential oil can be inhaled directly or diffused. Internal: add to a drink or take using a veggie capsule! Additionally, Wild Orange essential oil can be great in cooking. Tip: 1 drop of Wild Orange essential oil = 1 teaspoon orange zest.

Everyday Uses:

  • Are you having trouble studying or focusing on an important task? Add a few drops of Wild Orange and Peppermint essential oil to your diffuser for the perfect concentration blend!
  • Tired of the waxy residue on your fruits and looking for a flavor boost? Add a few drops of Wild Orange to a large bowl of cool water and soak your fruit for about 10 minutes! This a great way to enhance the flavor of grapes and strawberries!
  • Need an early morning pick-me-up? Add a few drops of Wild Orange to a basic body wash for an invigorating shower!
  • Feel like you need to wash your hands but you do not have quick access to a sink?  Rub a few drops of Wild Orange in your hands and voilà! Instant freshness!
  • Struggling to drink enough water throughout the day? Add 1 drop of Wild Orange to 8-ounces of water for a refreshing drink!
  • Looking for an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner? Add a few drops of Wild Orange to a spray bottle filled with water to clean your countertops, sinks, and bathtubs!
  • Want to ditch those sugary cocktail mixers or the dirty orange fruit slice? Add 1 drop of Wild Orange to a whiskey shot or Blue Moon and well…you can thank me later for the tip! 

Where do I get most of my information from? The sources I completely rely on and fully trust are Modern Essentials and  Emotions & Essential Oils: A Modern Resource for Healing. Check out these books if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of Wild Orange essential oil!

What are some of your favorite ways to use Wild Orange essential oil? How do you incorporate this essential oil in your daily routine to regulate your emotions? I would love to hear your thoughts!

DISCLAIMER: this website is for general health information only. This content is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health condition or problem. You should not rely on this information for your own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own healthcare provider.

Pursuing Peace

“To find peace, you have to be willing to lose your connection with the people, places, and things that create all the noise in your life.”

It is interesting to consider that as technology has simplified components of our lives, it has also overcomplicated our lives in the process. Technology has made routine tasks easier, but we have taken advantage of this increased efficiency. As human beings, we believe that when we have more time available, we should pile more responsibilities on top of our already busy schedules. Somewhere in this rush, the importance of human connections has begun to fade as we are consumed by what is going on in our own lives. Don’t worry – I will save my whole “I think I was born in the wrong decade” rant for a later time. I frequently find myself caught up in the rush as I scurry from home to work to school. Where do I draw the line?

A recent Luke Bryan song says “sixty seconds now feels more like thirty…sand through the glass sure falls in a hurry”. We have made it much easier for ourselves to believe we always need to be hurrying from one place to the next, constantly overwhelmed by a range of responsibilities. Why do we continue to accept the glorification of being busyIn order to change the pace of our lives, we must first learn that being a busier person does not automatically makes you a more important person. Now, I do not want that to be misconstrued because there is nothing wrong with being involved in a variety of activities. However, we also need to prioritize our wellness – specifically, focusing on balancing the seven dimensions of wellness.

The instant I begin to feel overwhelmed by my responsibilities, I practice living in the moment. Regardless of where I find myself in that moment, I stop whatever I am doing and become truly present. I really take in the details of my surroundings and observe the interactions taking place around me. The world is not revolving around me and I give myself a simple reminder that the stresses associated with my busy schedule are ultimately meaningless compared to the much bigger picture in life. Next, I take some deep breaths. I might take a few minutes to enjoy the warmth of the sunshine, or maybe I will notice the way the leaves on the trees dance in the breeze. As I begin to regain a sense of certainty, I also reevaluate my responsibilities.

When I reach those overwhelming moments, I know it is time for me to engage in one of my “pursuing peace” activities. These brief activities are just enough to restore balance to my overall wellness by addressing my emotional dimension of wellness.

Soak Up Some Epsom! Epsom salt (or magnesium sulfate) is a natural mineral compound which provides a variety of health benefits. When you place Epsom salt in a warm bath, the salt will quickly dissolve and the magnesium and sulfate will easily be absorbed by the human body. As a result of this absorption, you will begin to experience relaxation and thanks to our little friend reverse osmosis, toxins will be removed from your body.

  • Tip: for the perfect detoxifying soak, add about 2 cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath! For enhanced relaxation, add a few drops of Lavender or Eucalyptus essential oil and soak for at least 15 minutes! This is the perfect way to end a long, stressful day!

Sip on Calming Chamomile! If you are in need of a quick, yet calming activity before bedtime, sip on a steaming cup of chamomile tea! In addition to its soothing properties, chamomile is a great source of antioxidants, it relieves headaches, and calms an upset stomach. I love that loose-leaf chamomile tea has actual chamomile flowers and I enjoy the process of steeping my own tea! I buy my loose–leaf chamomile tea from a small, local business that supplies spices and tea. If you live in Northern Nevada, you must check out salty–savory–sweet!

  • Tip: for an extra hint of chamomile, add 1 drop of Chamomile essential oil to your cup of tea! Spend a few minutes breathing in the aromas from the steam and clear your mind of the day’s stresses before you slip into bed for a great night’s sleep!

Incorporate Essential Oils! Did you know there are essential oils that can provide calming benefits and bring you a sense of peace? When I begin to feel anxious and completely overwhelmed, I grab my “reassuring blend” for an instant boost of composure and contentment. This peaceful blend includes Spearmint, Vetiver, Lavender, Yang-Ylang, Clary Sage, Frankincense, and Marjoram essential oils.

  • Tip: apply this blend to your wrists, the back of your neck, and temples! Don’t forget – you can always inhale the aromas straight from the bottle as well!

What are some of the ways you bring peace back into your life when you are feeling overwhelmed? Are there any specific essential oils you incorporate into your daily routine to promote feelings of reassurance? I would love to hear from you!

Emotions, Essential Oils, & Escaping Anxiety

“The body benefits from movement and the mind benefits from stillness.”

Nearly 40 million Americans struggle with anxiety disorders. Social anxiety disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder, just barely tap into the range of anxiety disorders people struggle with every single day. Did you know that anxiety is the most common mental illness in the nation?  What is even more astonishing is that the majority of individuals who struggle with anxiety disorders do not seek any type of treatment. Even if you do not have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, it is likely that you too have experienced anxiety at some point in your life.

I frequently struggle with anxiety because I tend to overthink things, I put a lot of pressure on myself, and the idea of change can be frightening. When I let my anxiety take control, my chest gets tight making it hard to breathe, my stomach feels like it is tied in a bunch of knots, and my mind races with all sorts of fears. I find it extremely difficult to verbalize how I experience anxiety and I know that I am not alone in feeling embarrassed to talk about my anxiety. Even more, it makes me feel weak knowing that I continue to battle with balancing my emotions and taming my fears. Discussing anxiety is not easy and that is why I believe so many individuals try to function with their anxiety and allow their symptoms go untreated.

When essential oils were introduced into my life, I was completely unaware of the immense emotional support this natural health option could provide. Now, I am no brain expert – I knew after a frog dissection in my biology class freshman year of high school that I had no aspirations to end up in med school. However, I do have a basic understanding of the brain’s limbic system. I promise to keep the science of this short and sweet, but if you want more scientific evidence you should check out this website. The limbic system is responsible for our emotions, memories, thoughts, and hormone production. So, why is this important? Essential oils directly impact the limbic system. 

I hesitate in using the word aromatherapy because a lot of people associate aromatherapy with “patchouli” and “hippies” and then they quickly begin to lose interest in the conversation. I wholeheartedly believe you will not truly understand the potential power of aromatherapy for regulating emotions until you experience the aromatic benefits of essential oils. When I start to feel extra stressed, experience low energy, or have difficulty sleeping – I reach for my oils. Essential oils have provided me with the opportunity to regulate my anxiety and uplift my emotions.

The moment I took control of my health and began to regulate my emotions with essential oils, I began to feel more optimistic and inspired. I have learned the hard way that I am unable to control everything that happens in my life. However, I do have complete control over how I choose to react to what happens in my life. Proactively approaching the physical and emotional dimensions of wellness will provide a sense of empowerment that will seep into other aspects of your life.  I was able to harness that strength and confidence to raise my expectations. I then began eliminating toxic people and activities that were creating negativity in my life and ultimately, bringing me down.

In case you missed it, you should check out my blog post here on the seven dimensions of wellness!

As we begin to explore the many types of essential oils available, I will emphasize which oils specifically help improve our many emotions. What natural health solutions have you found to be successful in combating anxiety and regulating your emotions? I would love to hear your thoughts!

The 7 Dimensions of Wellness

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”

-Thomas Edison

How do you define wellness? Overall wellness is comprised of seven dimensions – physical, emotional, spiritual, social, environmental, intellectual, and occupational. It is critical that we give equal attention to all dimensions of wellness in order to pursue a state of holistic health.  

Now you might be thinking – how can each of these dimensions of wellness be equal? Have you ever noticed that when you experience the loss of someone who greatly impacted your life, that you begin to struggle in other aspects of life beyond your emotional state? Your mourning period stemmed from the emotional dimension, but it also had varying levels of impact on your physical, social, and spiritual wellness – as well as the remaining dimensions.

The seven dimensions of wellness are completely intertwined. When you begin to focus your energy on enhancing the relationships between these dimensions, you will truly begin to thrive. Let’s take a quick look at each of the dimensions!

Physical Wellness: involves making more informed lifestyle choices. Engaging in physical activity, improving nutritional choices, and getting a sufficient amount of sleep will benefit the physical state of your body.

Emotional Wellness: focuses primarily on improving how you feel about yourself and your life in general. This is the dimension that can often be the most challenging to regulate.

Spiritual Wellness: expands beyond the scope of religion. This dimension emphasizes finding purpose in life, understanding your personal values, and being open to developing connections to things that are much bigger than yourself.

Social Wellness: encompasses all types of relationships – family, friends, and significant others.  This dimension allows us to fulfill some of our deepest needs – to feel connected and supported by other human beings.

Environmental Wellness: incorporates learning how to engage in sustainable practices and understanding how our daily decisions impact the natural environment.

Intellectual Wellness: includes mental stimulation and pursuing creative outlets to challenge and open our minds to new ideas.

Occupational Wellness: promotes searching for a meaningful career and engaging in professional organizations and hobbies.  It is essential to prioritize the expansion of one’s skills and seek opportunity to help others.

Essentially, holistic health requires you to view your health from the broadest perspective by focusing your energy on prioritizing each and every one of the seven dimensions of wellness.  It is vital you learn to understand your body, as well as the connection your physical being has with your mind, spirit, and the world around you. Trust me – this is quite the challenging feat and I continue to struggle with maintaining balance in my life through all seven dimensions of wellness. What matters most is that you make the decision to continually work to improve yourself.  

I welcome you to join me on this journey and together we will explore how a holistic health approach and essential oils can bring you pure, personal empowerment. How do you balance the seven dimensions of wellness? I would love to hear your thoughts!