When it is winter, you could suffer in ways you don't during any other time of year. You have less daylight than any other time of year. Rain, snow and cold can make you feel slightly depressed too. This can harm your mind, mood, spirit, and body.
For those that suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – did you know that around 5% of Americans deal with SAD every winter? These months are especially hard. Not only do energy levels drop, but people can start to feel tired and unable to cope with the darkness. It can seem impossible to manage the winter blues at times.
There are many essential oils that can help improve your mood during the winter months. Some of these oils also have antiviral and antibacterial properties, which can help protect you from colds and flu.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are natural chemicals that come from plants. People have used them for thousands of years to treat different conditions. Some essential oils can help you sleep or relax. Others can help reduce stress, anxiety, or depression.
Their antibacterial properties aid the healing of skin infections, illnesses, colds, flu, allergies, and other ailments. They are a great way of naturally boosting the health of your skin as natural antioxidants fight the free radicals produced by pollution and the sun’s UV rays.
Today, essential oils can be purchased in liquid form to be used in various ways, such as aromatherapy, a massage oil, in a bath or in a diffuser. You will also find essential oils included in many health and beauty products, too.
Essential oils contain natural chemical compounds found in plants.
Best essential oils for winter
There is a vast range of essential oils; each have different properties, and some are more beneficial to us during the winter months than others. They will offer warmth and stimulation, ease aches and pains often associated with winter, aid relaxation and de-stressing, clear congestion and soothe allergies, ward off cold and flu symptoms, boost your immune system, and many have a wonderful natural scent as well. Here are our top best essential oils for the winter blues.
- Bergamot – this essential oil has an outdoor summer scent and can boost your mood. Bergamot is great for easing tension and to help with insomnia. It is also excellent for people that suffer from SAD, helping to lift spirits and lessen anxiety.
- Sweet orange – although more citrus in fragrance, sweet orange has a very similar impact as bergamot in that it is an uplifting essential oil that boosts positivity. It is another essential oil favoured by people with SAD.
- Peppermint – Peppermint oil is a stimulant that boosts your energy levels and wakes you up, and has a positive impact on your physical and mental stamina.
- Rosemary – if you find it harder to concentrate during the winter months, rosemary oil may very well help you. It is known to help you stay more alert and focus better, principally down to the fact it contains the compounds of camphor and eucalyptol, which are natural occurring phytochemicals produced by plants.
- Lavender – negativity is a known problem during the winter, which is linked with anxiety and depression. Lavender oil is well-known for its calming, soothing properties which will help ease any negative feelings.
- Cardamon – ideal if you are feeling down as it will lift your spirits. It also helps to boost your immune system and encourages mental clarity.
- Cedarwood – if you need inner strength, cedarwood is the oil to choose. It is known to help with emotional stability, perseverance, and strength, ideal if you are struggling with an emotional issue, anxiety or depression.
- Jasmine – sweet smelling jasmine is loved for its antidepressant properties. It helps you feel more positive, boosting self-confidence and is favoured by those who want to ease any depression symptoms.
- Mandarin – if you need energy, mandarin oil is the perfect choice. It is a revitalising essential oil that can help to clear the mind, but has a calming effect as well.
- Lime – if you’re struggling with feeling tired during the day and lack energy, lime oil is a wonderfully refreshing, uplifting essential oil that will help fight fatigue.
- Neroli – this is a very soothing, calming essential oil that helps to ease the mind and body, particularly if you are suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression.
- Patchouli – as well as being an uplifting essential oil, patchouli oil is also powerful as a calming influence, ideal for reducing stress and anxiety.
- Rose – if you have experienced a shock or and dealing with grief, rose oil is the perfect choice due to its sedative properties. It will soothe your emotions and is also a good tonic for your central nervous system.
With it's calming properties, lavender oil has the ability to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress.
How to use essential oils
As well as being found in a wide choice of health and beauty products, you are also able to get essential oils that can be used in a variety of ways. However, they should never be applied directly to the skin without being diluted in a carrier oil. Let’s delve into the ways you can use essential oils to beat the winter blues.
- Using a diffuser – essential oil diffusers come in many forms, such as ceramic, lamp rings, candles or reed diffusers. Whichever you choose, always follow the instructions but in simple terms, the diffuser will disperse the essential oils into the air around you, allowing you to breathe them in and benefit from their healing properties.
- Using an oil burner - Placing a few drops of your chosen essential oil into the bowl of an oil burner is a great way to diffuse the scent throughout your home. This not only smells amazing but will also help to create a calming atmosphere.
- Inhalation – the easiest way is to open a bottle of the essential oil of your choice and take a deep breath, inhaling the essential oil at the same time. Be careful not to let the undiluted oil get on your skin. Alternatively, add a few drops of essential oil onto a piece of fabric, like your pillowcase or underneath the corner of your shirt collar, or use a cotton wool ball and inhale a few times throughout the day.
- Steam – this is a great method if you want to ease congestion or relieve symptoms of a cold or flu. Add some hot water to a bowl and place on a table. Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil. Place a towel over your head and carefully lean over the bowl, closing your eyes and inhaling the steam for a few minutes. You can repeat this several times during the day.
- Massage and skincare – whenever applying essential oils to your skin, you must first dilute the oil with a carrier oil, like coconut, jojoba, argan, olive, sweet almond, rosehip or black seed oil. Once you’ve done this, you can then use it as a massage or skincare oil, gently rubbing it in. You can also add the mixture to your favorite body toners and skincare serums.
- Baths and showers – again, you must mix with a carrier oil first but once you have, add a few drops to your bath water or in a shower, put a few drops in your body wash.
Essential Oil Burners provide a fantastic and safe way of bringing pure essential oils into your home.
Essential oils can be a powerful tool in helping to reduce the effects of winter blues. With so many options available, it’s easy to find one that suits your needs and preferences. Whether you use them through inhalation, steam or massage, essential oils can help provide relief from stress and anxiety while boosting energy levels for those long winter days ahead. Remember to always dilute with a carrier oil before applying directly on the skin.
Are there any other ways you like to use essential oils? Share your experiences with others.
You can find a full selection of essential oils and the special benefits of essential oils at Africa Imports.