Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

Practicing gratitude can have a positive impact on our wellbeing and relationships! Below is a video I made about the benefits and ideas of how to practice gratitude today!

Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot

Bergamot is a sweet and spicy citrus essential oil! It comes from the fruit of the bergamot orange tree (Whelan, 2018). Bergamot is used for food and can be distilled to be used for essential oils. Bergamot trees were originally grown in Southeast Asia, but are now also known for being grown in Italy (Whelan, 2018).

Benefits of Using Bergamot

Bergamot is known for having some medicinal uses and has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties (Whelan, 2018). These properties contribute to bergamot being used to help with acne and irritated scalp (Whelan, 2018). Bergamot is also known for helping relieve feelings of anxiety and sadness (Tagger, 2023). I also use Bergamot in DIY body care recipes for increasing my energy. It has a very uplifting and soothing scent. Bergamot is a citrus oil and can cause photosensitivity. Be careful to not put bergamot directly on your skin without being diluted. Can cause skin to be sensitive in the sun.

These claims have not been evaluated by the FDA.

Three Ways to Use Bergamot

The number of drops used in these ideas are based on a health adult. If you are sensitive or unsure about how your body responds to essential oils use a much smaller amount to begin with or talk with your doctor first. Look up more specific recommendations for children, seniors, and pregnant women.

  1. Combine Bergamot essential oil with a carrier oil in a roller bottle. I normally add 10 drops.
  2. Add Bergamot essential oil to an aromatic diffuser with water. I usually add 2-3 drops.
  3. Add Bergamot essential oil to melt and pour soaps. For 1 pound of soap I normally add 50 drops of essential oils. Bergamot would also go great in combination with Lavender essential oil.

References

Tagger, M. (2023). “Bergamot oil: Benefits, uses & side effects” https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/the-health-hub/natural-beauty/aromatherapy/what-is-bergamot/

Whelan, C. (2018). “About Bergamot Oil” https://www.healthline.com/health/bergamot-oil

Journal Prompt: New Year Reflections

The beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect! It’s an opportunity to reflect on the year that has past and to make plans for the new year to come. During this journal prompt we will do both of these things! This is going to be a great year!!

Journal Prompt

First we will reflect on our experiences in 2022. Reflection is a time to remember, ponder, and evaluate our experiences. Not all the things that we experienced over the last year were easy or enjoyable. There may have been more lessons or hard times over the last year then moments of laughter and joy. The purpose of this prompt isn’t to judge your experiences, but to simply reflect on how these experiences can help us create the best year in 2023. Consider these questions to help reflect on 2022:

  • What brought you the most joy in 2022?
  • What are three lessons from 2022 that you want to bring into the new year?
  • What goals did you work on during 2022?
  • Think back to how 2022 started for you and where you were in life…where are you in life now in comparison?

Now that we have reflected on 2022, let’s look ahead to our plans, goals, and hopes for 2023.

  • What are your top 3 goals that you want to work on in 2023?
  • What habits are you hoping to break or begin in 2023?
  • What 2 things are you looking forward to most this year?
  • Where do you want to be in life a year from now? What action steps can you take this year to accomplish this?

I hope you enjoyed this time of reflection! This is going to be a great year! We got this!

Making Physical Health Goals

We are constantly being told by society how we should look, what we should weigh, and how to have the “ideal” body. Today we will discuss making physical health goals…but not goals that someone else has for you. Today we will reflect on your goals and what’s important to you!

Defining Physical Health

When thinking about self-care for your physical health, this can include anything regarding taking care of your body and it’s biological system. All of us have a unique system and our goals can be unique to what our body needs. Here are some questions to consider when thinking about making goals:

What areas of my health am I wanting to change to take care of my body?

What does my body need to function at it’s best?

For me personally when making physical health goals, I often get overly focused on my weight or my appearance. But I’ve been learning to instead focus on my internal health. Asking myself questions like what would help me manage my multiple sclerosis better? What will help me have more energy? What is a good way to take care of my body’s internal functioning? What makes my body feel good and healthy?

What about your internal health is a priority for you in this season of life?

What are your physical health goals?

Setting Goals

When setting goals it’s important to be specific and have a plan to put your goal into action. Here are some questions to consider:

What actions will I need to take to accomplish my goal?

How will I know if I’m making progress?

What routines can I put in place to support my goals?

Any form of change takes time! Be patient with yourself and remember taking care of our physical health is a life long journey.

Daily Resilience: Grounding

Resilience is something that we can practice daily. There are many tools to build resilience. I wanted to share a time recently when I used grounding.

Practicing Grounding

I was starting to feel overwhelmed and my thoughts were spiraling. I could feel the stress increasing in my body. For me this feels like a pit in my stomach and my body tightening. Before I learned about resilience I would feel this way and let myself continue to spiral. This time I knew I needed to decrease my stress. I stepped away and went outside. I sat on a bench and closed my eyes and grounded myself. Here are some of the ways I did this:

  • I put my attention on the support of the bench beneath me and against my back.
  • Then I put my attention on the feeling of the breeze against my skin.
  • After that I allowed myself to put my attention to the sound of the birds around me.

Grounding is all about allowing your attention to totally shift from your stress to one of your five senses. Taking this moment to take care of myself was huge! I felt so much better and my stress decreased. I could now think clearly and wasn’t spiraling anymore. Sometimes stepping away is essential!

How could you use grounding when you get stressed?

The more you practice grounding, the easier it will be to use it to decrease stress.

Comment below with your favorite way of grounding!

Tips for Boundaries

Boundaries can be difficult to implement. Especially in relationships or situations we have been in for a long time. It can feel overwhelming, vulnerable, and scary to start using boundaries. But it is totally possible and often is absolutely necessary! Today we will discuss some tips for how to put our boundaries in action!

1. Use Assertive Communication

Assertive communication is key to setting boundaries. This form of communication allows us to clearly state what we feel, think, and need. Being assertive means taking ownership of your feelings and using statements that clearly say what you need. A simple way to do this is by using “I” statements. This is a statement that starts with “I” and then is followed by how you feel and what you need. Here is an example:

“I feel like I’m not being heard when you talk over me. I need you to listen to me.”

This is a simple example, but these statements can be used in a variety of ways and situations. This type of communication is effective, but if you are talking with a person who is toxic they may not be able to respect your boundaries or hear your needs. Stay safe and consider if making boundaries or simply separating from that person is necessary.

2. Be Specific About Your Boundaries

Make sure to be specific when setting boundaries. Sometimes when we are not clear about what we need, the boundary can be misunderstood. Take time to think about what boundaries you need ahead of time so you can communicate them specifically. There will not always be an opportunity to plan ahead. Sometimes we don’t know we need a boundary until someone has violated our trust, space, or expectations. Whenever you do know your boundaries feel free to advocate for yourself and your specific needs.

3. Stay Firm In Your Boundaries

There will be people who push back when you set a boundary. This may look like a guilt trip or someone criticizing your boundaries. Stay firm! It doesn’t matter what they think about your boundaries. You are important. Access to you is a privilege not a right! If you feel you need to set a boundary to feel safe, take care of your health, or simply for your quality of life then do that! No apologies needed! I am writing this to myself as well because I am always apologizing, but it’s not necessary.

Something to consider is that we all have responsibilities to tend to throughout our lives. There are some seasons when boundaries will look different because of where we are in life; such as when parenting, being a caregiver, or in the midst of any significant life experience. Because of these changing circumstances the boundaries we have and the way we implement them might change. This is totally normal!

4. Acceptance As A Tool

I personally struggled with this for a long time. It can be very hard to accept the boundaries we need, especially in relationships. There have been relationships that I have had to set firm boundaries in that really turned my world upside down. But they were situations that weren’t healthy and needed to be cut off or changed. Accepting that relationships you have or had were not good for you or needed to change can be hard. Here are some statements of acceptance to practice when struggling with this:

I accept the relationships I’ve had and have. I accept not all relationships are meant to be long-term and there are times when boundaries have to be set for my well-being and self-care.

I accept how I’ve gotten to this moment. I accept my past, present, and future. I accept in this moment I need boundaries to live well in my present and prepare for my future.

I accept boundaries are a tool to use in my self-care. I accept that I am worthy of having boundaries. My needs are worthy of being met.

Check out more blog posts below!

Clove Bud Essential Oil Spotlight

Clove Bud

Clove Bud essential oil has a spicy and warm aroma. Cloves comes from the flowering buds of the tropical evergreen tree (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022). This tree belongs to the myrtaceae family. Clove buds are used as a cooking spice to flavor food. These trees originate from East Asia, and are now grown mostly in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Indonesia, and Tanzania (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022).

The buds contain 14 to 20 percent essential oil, the principal component of which is the aromatic oil eugenol. Cloves are strongly pungent owing to eugenol, which is extracted by distillation to yield oil of cloves.”

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022

Benefits of Clove Bud Essential Oil

These benefits have not been evaluated by the FDA. There are several benefits of using Clove essential oil (Seladi-Schulman, 2019):

  • Has antimicrobial properties and helps get rid of bacteria
  • Can be used as a pain reliever for toothache or muscle pain
  • Helps relieve respiratory issues such as cough and asthma

How to Use

There are many ways to use Clove Bud essential oils. Consider using one of these options (Seladi-Schulman, 2019):

  • Making a room or body spray
  • Adding to homemade lotions, scrubs or creams
  • Use in an aromatic diffuser
  • Can be used for a tooth ache

Dabbing clove oil onto your sore tooth may help to relieve the pain until you can get to see a dentist. To use clove oil for a toothache, follow these steps:

  1. Dilute a few drops of clove oil in an edible carrier oil, such as olive or coconut oil.
  2. Dab a clean cotton ball into the solution, allowing it to soak in.
  3. Avoiding contact with your gums, apply the cotton ball to the sore tooth. It may take a few minutes of application to feel relief. 
  4. Reapply every 2 hours as necessary.”
Jill Seladi-Schulman, 2019

References

Encyclopedia Britannica, (2022). “Clove” https://www.britannica.com/plant/clove

Seladi-Schulman, J. (2019). “What You Need to Know About Clove Essential Oil” https://www.healthline.com/health/clove-essential-oil

Lemon Essential Oil Spotlight

All About Lemon

Lemon is a common essential oil used in cleaning and body care recipes. Lemon, also known as citrus-limon, is a plant that is apart of the rutaceae family. It was originally grown in Italy.

Benefits of Lemon Essential Oils

There are many benefits from using lemon essential oils. These benefits have not been reviewed by the FDA. Below are some of the benefits (Watson, 2021):

  • Can help reduce anxiety and depression
  • Eases nausea
  • Can help relieve pain
  • Improves congestion and sore throat
  • Can help increase uplifting and energizing feelings
  • Has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties

How to use Lemon Essential Oils

Lemon is a strong citrus oil and can cause burns if put directly on the skin without a carrier oil or if it is on your skin and directly exposed to sunlight. I don’t recommend ingesting essential oils due to their strength. When diluted lemon is great for these uses:

  • Use in diffusers, whether an electric or passive diffuser
  • Great in room spray recipes
  • Is a great to add to DIY cleaner recipes
  • Can be used in body care recipes, such as soaps, lotions, scrubs, or deodorants

References

Watson, K. (2021). “What You Need to Know About Lemon Essential Oil.” https://www.healthline.com/health/lemon-essential-oil

Daily Resilience: Shift & Stay

This is a great tool to build resilience from the Social Resilience Model, which was found by Threshold Global Works. When we are focused on things that overwhelm us and make us feel stressed, it can be difficult to build resilience and be in our resilient zone. This is a tool I use a lot in my self-care because I tend to overthink or ruminate on things so it is helpful to intentionally shift my thoughts.

Shift & Stay

The shift and stay exercise is all about shifting away from what is overwhelming and shifting to something that is calming. Shifting allows us to increase feelings of calmness and not be overcome by stress. What are some things you could shift to instead of stressing? Here are some ideas:

  • A good thing that happened to you today
  • An item or place that brings you joy
  • A person that you have a positive relationship with
  • Anything positive or calming

Practice!

The more we practice the more our brain will support and adjust to a new habit. Here are some ways to practice the shift & stay:

  • When you start to feel overwhelmed intentionally think about something else more positive. Once you are feeling more calm you can then address the previous situation.
  • When feeling overwhelmed by negative thoughts pause and take a moment to journal about a positive memory or event.
  • When having an overwhelming conversation allow yourself to step away and think about something else to calm.

Resilience & Self-Care

Resilience and Self-Care

We talk about self-care often and it can sometimes feel like a cliche. Lately, I have been going through a difficult season, as we all do sometimes, and people have been telling me to take care of myself. Internally I question, what does that even mean? Self-care can look different for each of us and can look different across your lifespan. Here are some questions to consider…

What areas in your life are you feeling empty or drained in?

What does thriving in this season of your life look like?

Why is self-care important to you?

How can you intentionally practice self-care in a way that is helpful in your current season?

Self-care is more then bubble baths and ice cream. Self-care is taking care of ourselves in the areas that are most important to you. This can include taking care of ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually, sexually, or emotionally.

I love this idea of considering how building resilience is related to our self-care. Being intentional about building our resilience is a vital part of taking care of ourselves.

Resilient Self-Care

There are two main ways of building resilience and both of them relate to our self-care!

  1. The first way is through sensation-based resilience which is all about increasing sensations of calm and decreasing sensations of stress. This directly relates to our self-care because being overwhelmed by stress can be unhealthy for us emotionally, mentally, and physically. Practicing skills of resilience can help increase calm and holistic wellness.
  2. The second way is thought-based resilience, which is all about managing our thoughts and emotions to increase well-being. Being overwhelmed by our thoughts can increase stress within our body. How we think directly impacts our perceptions, actions, and the words we say. It also impacts how we view ourselves and interpret the world around us. When we use skills to increase resilience through positive and calming thoughts we are practicing mental and emotional self-care.

Tools of Resilience

There are many tools to help build and increase our resilience. Consider choosing one or two of these tools to practice this month!

Sensation-Based Resilience Tools:

  • Tracking calm and stress sensations within your body
  • Practicing grounding techniques

Thought-Based Resilience Tools:

  • Focusing on things that brings you joy
  • Practicing yoga
  • Journaling

Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is an energizing, minty, and refreshing scent, which makes it one of the most popular oils! It is also one of the oils for sale in the Blooming Resilient Shop. You can find it at the link below!

Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil

These benefits have not been evaluated by the FDA. Always be sure to listen to your body and stop using any oil if it causes an allergic reaction or does not make you feel well.

  • Helps reduce headaches, joint pain, and muscle aches (NCCIH, 2022)
  • Helps reduce nerve pain (Ansorge, 2022)
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties that may help gastrointestinal issues (Seladi-Schulaman, 2022)
  • Repels mosquitoes (Ansorge, 2022)
  • Help reduce cold symptoms when inhaled (Ansorge, 2022)
  • When used may help increase energy and be uplifting emotionally

How to Use

There are many ways to use essential oils! Some people feel comfort ingesting essential oils, but it is not something I recommend because these oils are so concentrated.

Ways to use your peppermint essential oil:

  • You can add this oil into your body care recipes! This is a great oil to add when making soaps and body sprays!
  • Can be applied to the skin when diluted with a carrier oil in a roller bottle or spray bottle.
  • You can add this to your aroma diffusers to create a refreshing scent in your space!

References

NCCIH Clearinghouse. (Accessed 08/2022) https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/peppermint-oil

Seladi-Schulaman, Jill. (2022). https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-peppermint-oil

Ansorge, Rick. (2022). https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/peppermint-oil-uses-benefits-effects