Mid-Winter Mood Booster

It’s winter’s half-time.

To keep hope alive during this season, it might be time to break out the power of scent to overcome any encroaching mid-winter blues. More specifically, by diffusing or dabbing a few drops of essential oils known to have an emotionally uplifting effect around your home, you might find a beautiful and much-needed mood booster to make the season more manageable. A few drops of these oils can also be used in your bath or mixed with carrier oil such as almond oil and used for a massage or as a skin moisturizer. So, when your roads are snow- and ice-free, perhaps your next outing will include a stop at your local health food store or another store featuring natural body care products, where you can do a sniff test and see what instantly brings a smiling “mmmm” to your soul. Remember to give your nose and brain a break when taking a whiff from those tester bottles, or else a headache and smell-confusion might follow. Here’s a list of fragrances you might want to try:

1. Citruses: The essential oils of lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, and oil are familiar scents that bring sunshine to the heart. In addition to using the essential oils extracted from these fruits in the ways mentioned above, peeling (and consuming) these fruits, can provide a similar, immediate mood enhancing surge. Other citrus-derived oils include bergamot and neroli.

2. Happy herbs and spices: Rosemary, sweet basil, and cinnamon oils are also familiar scents that, for many, induce a sense a well-being. Another — simmer a pot of water sprinkled with a spoonful of cinnamon on your stovetop to create a yummy, comforting – in your home.

3. Mints: The scents of peppermint and spearmint are both familiar and refreshing to many people.

4. Florals: Lavender and geranium oils are recommended for emotional uplift. While the scent of lavender is familiar to many, geranium oil is frequently used in massage oil blends and in many aromatherapy therapeutic treatments.

Of course, the fun is in discovering what works for you; smell, like all senses, is a subjective experience. If the smell of lavender reminds you of your mean third-grade teacher, it probably won’t make your feel so happy. A few friendly warnings: these oils are powerful, so a few drops go a long way…don’t go crazy. Also, to avoid skin irritation, do not apply oils directly to skin. Always mix them in a massage-grade carrier oil.

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