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Begin your New Year with Aromatherapy for Self-Care

January is the time for cleansing, renewing and focusing on what we want to change, ready for the New Year ahead. Many of us love this time, feeling positive and excited about the opportunities it may bring, but some of us can also struggle with the concept of change and even experience January Blues! Whilst it can be a great time for goal-setting, it’s often the case that we make loads of unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions that are impossible to achieve and strive for perfection, and then we beat ourselves up when we don’t achieve them.

Whatever New Year means for you, remember that rather than trying to be the perfect person, it is your wellbeing that is most important at this time of year! Set goals for your own health and happiness - and make time to work out what you really want to achieve – follow what your heart loves – what you could do - rather than what your logical mind thinks you should do. Essential oils can support this gentler approach to New Year wellbeing, so read on for aromatherapy tips that can help inspire you to be a bit nicer to yourself at this often demanding time of year!

Cleansing Ritual

New Year is a time for ridding the old to create the new; forgetting the past and recreating yourself! Is your aim to leave the past behind? We can begin our New Year by cleansing our whole self - using essential oils to cleanse and renew our energies ready for the year ahead, to help rid the past. If last year was an emotional year for you, you might be glad to see the back of it – but it doesn’t mean the coming year will be the same. Welcome it in, by dedicating some time for cleansing and renewing by following this wellbeing ritual before you commit to new goals!

· Prepare a safe and quiet space for you to relax and get comfortable – perhaps lying down.

· Light a candle, turn on a diffuser with 5 drops Lemon essential oil, 3 drops Lime and 3 drops Cypress, and have a Sage smudging stick at the ready.

· Take a few moments to breathe deeply, inhaling the new, and exhaling the old.

· Place your left hand on your heart chakra, and your right on your solar plexus – just below your breast bone. Affirm in your head that you welcome in the positivity of the New Year. Breathe here.

· Set an intention to cleanse your mind, body and soul ready for the New Year.

· Visualize closing the door on last year, and imagine the New Year as a success.

· When you are ready, burn your Sage smudge stick and move it round your aura as you say “I cleanse myself ready for a positive New Year.”

Enjoy the feeling of peace and new beginnings. Embody it, to remember throughout the New Year!

With this ritual, you have added a focused intention to leave the past behind before you step into the new. Your heart and solar plexus chakras are about self-love, confidence, and turning goals that you love into action, so setting the intention for next 12 months helps cleanse you ready to achieve all you desire! Essential oils that help here are Lemon, Lime and Cypress, which are great for purifying.

Improve Focus & Resolve

Now that you have prepared your intentions for the New Year, it can be nice to focus your goals with resolutions!

Grab your journal and just write. Write about what you want for the year, write about what you don’t want, write anything! Just explore your thoughts. Drop into your heart - what do you love? What do you think you should love, but don’t? Focus only on what truly makes you happy! When you’ve had enough of getting everything out on paper, start to pull together some themes from your journal. What have you found yourself talking about most? Did you explore how you didn’t love your job even though you should, or how you needed more time for yourself, or how you wanted to be healthier? Whatever it was that kept surfacing; set yourself some small, achievable goals! Don’t fall into the pattern of making materialistic, mind-based plans – your wellbeing and happiness are most important.

Before you set these goals, create a spritz that you can use to associate with them, to remind you to keep on track. For this, you might use your favorite, heart-happy, essential oils. Some great options for oils that help you focus and also bring personal happiness and self-love include but are not limited to Lemon, Rosemary, Jasmine, Rose, Rosewood, Fragonia, Cedarwood, Patchouli & Lavender.

Once you decide on your oils create your spritz by using a 50/50 dilution of distilled water and witch hazel, you will add your oils to this mixture at a 2% dilution rate(12 drops of oil per ounce).

Write out your achievable New Year’s Resolutions, along with a reason for why you want to achieve it. After each goal, spritz yourself with your essential oil blend and repeat your goal and reason out loud like a mantra.

For the next two weeks, repeat this mantra-spritz routine every morning.

Carry your spritz with you and spray as required to remind you to stay focused whenever you are feeling like giving up - to remind you of your goal! Our sense of smell is linked to our memories, so soon enough this blend will remind you of your goals and help you keep focused!

Inspire Positivity with an Affirmation Bath

Not everyone likes New Year – or January. Do you feel a bit low at this time of year – does it fill you with dread? Affirmations are wonderful to help you stay inspired and positive about the change and your ability to cope with it. You might not know what it is that makes you dislike New Year, but that’s ok! To help you feel more positive and confident, follow this routine:

· Run a nice warm bath (or do whatever makes you feel relaxed – if this is just lying down, do that!).

· Set the scene with essential oils: add 2 drops Bergamot, 2 drops Sweet Orange and 2 drops Rose to your bath mixed in half a cup of milk and 2tsp. castile soap – this is a really nurturing blend! (You can change the oils if you prefer something else)

· Lie there and think about what it might be that makes you dread this time of year. Breathe through your thoughts. Notice what negative thoughts pop into your head.

· Create some positive affirmations and repeat them over and over, out loud or in your head! If there is a consistent theme as to why you hate New Year, create an affirmation to repeat based on that.

Here are some positive affirmation suggestions:

· I welcome in the positivity of a fresh exciting New Year

· I deal with New Year well, the New Year is kinder to me

· I cope well with change and feel excited about what is in store

· All is well in the world this New Year

· I trust what the universe has in store for me this exciting New Year

Select an affirmation that resonates with you, in your heart, and repeat this every day until you start to feel more positive about the year ahead. You can even write it out and tape it to your mirror that you use daily each morning so you are sure to see it!

Re-Energize with Aromatherapy Massage

Feeling sluggish in the New Year? Have you not really rested enough to be able to re-focus? Well, it’s time to make some you-time. You’re going to treat yourself to a DIY Aromatherapy massage to re-energize yourself, and then you’re going to relax!

Clear your weekend (or a few days in the week)! Don’t let yourself get caught up in any tasks that you don’t need to do – let everyone know that this time is for you. Create yourself an energizing massage blend and apply it to your whole body on both mornings. Mix 2 drops Peppermint, 5 drops Orange and 5 drops Grapefruit in 2oz carrier of your choice. Massage the blend into your skin mindfully, applying from the feet to the head, in the direction towards the heart with long, gentle strokes, take care around the face (Eyes, mouth, etc.)

Focus on eating healthy, balanced food.

Get plenty of sleep – diffuse a nice night-time blend like 3 drops Lavender, 3 drops Sweet Orange and 2 drops Chamomile to remind your body what it is meant to do to wind down.

Create a mindful plan for some activities: try some journaling, yoga, meditation, swimming, or just resting in front of the TV – whatever you love doing – but don’t overdo it!

Spend the rest of the time following our suggested New Year rituals to really focus yourself on how you should prioritize your energies!

Detox for Health

The most popular goal people resolve to achieve at the start of a year is detoxing and losing weight. However, setting this as your only goal can be unbalancing for your wellbeing – we need to be healthy in mind, body and spirit, not just look good physically! Detoxing as part of improving health – without being too extreme – can help improve energy, skin and organ health, aid digestion, and generally help cleanse our bodies, so it is a positive goal as long as it is for health reasons rather than just purely beauty - and as long as you actually want to do it! There are some great essential oils to support a detox:

Massage – add 5 drops Juniperberry, 2 drops Fennel and 5 drops Lemon into 2oz carrier oil of your choice and apply to your entire body (particular digestive areas) in the direction of your heart. These aromatherapy oils are really detoxing for the body and can make you feel really energized too!

Inhaler – to stop those incessant cravings for unhealthy food during your detox, try using a blend of Grapefruit, Spearmint and Ylang Ylang in a personal inhaler.

As well as utilizing essential oils for detox, don’t forget things like herbal teas, drinking hot water and lemon, eating a healthy and balanced diet and getting a balance of regular healthy exercise – and don’t make it just about losing weight, it’s important to be balanced!

Enable Change

Doing all of the above will naturally help you start to enable change in your life, but if you start to feel you’re struggling, try diffusing some supportive oils such as: Geranium, Jasmine and Ylang Ylang for balancing emotions and enabling positive change!

Most Importantly, Be Kind to Yourself

Whatever you decide to do this New Year, remember: be kind to yourself! Don’t fall into the pattern of making resolutions about image or achievement: create health and happiness focused goals which fulfill your heart and lead you closer to your truth. Make some time for your wellbeing and use essential oils to ease yourself gently and positively into a Happy New Year!

Amber M. LaBorde is a Clinical Aromatherapist & Co-Owner at Botanically Rooted (Formerly LovingScents Aromatherapy) a supplier of essential oils and other related aromatherapy products and an educator in the field of aromatherapy. Visit or telephone 336.294.7727 for more information.

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