Do you have a morning routine? I didn’t for years and, in retrospect, I now understand my lack of a morning routine contributed to feeling like my life was all over the place. It’s hard to have a good day when it starts off chaotic.
Before I had kids, I worked outside the home and had no consistent schedule. I would get up at different times, usually skipped breakfast, and sprinted out the door without packing my lunch half the time.
One day I was discussing my crazy mornings with a friend who uses essential oils and she made a suggestion. She encouraged me to set a stimulating essential oil next to my alarm clock so I could sniff it in the morning instead of hitting snooze on my alarm. I said I would try it but doubted it would make much of a difference.
I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get up without hitting snooze the entire next week. This made me wonder what other simple changes I could make to my morning that could start my day off a bit better.
Before I go any further though, let’s first discuss what essential oils are and why they work so well.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils (EOs) are the organic compounds extracted from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, root or seed of a plant or tree.
Plants and trees have protective mechanisms that safeguard them from harsh environments. These mechanisms are generally found within the oils of a plant or tree. By separating these oil from the water-based compounds, we are able to isolate them and harness their properties.
What Are Essential Oils Used For?
Essential oils can be used for everything from pain to help lessen stomach problems. If you have a problem, chances are there is an oil that can help lessen or help manage the symptoms.
There are thousands of independent studies which show the safety and effectiveness of EOs when used correctly. However, the FDA (food and drug administration) nor the CDC (center for disease control and prevention) have studied EOs so they will not support any claims made about the healing potential of essential oils. The FDA has added certain essential oils to their list of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list.
For example, this mosquito bite prevention page lists “Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus” as being effective but the CDC not list Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil as effective. Thus, when discussing EOs, no one can claim they treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
How Do Essential Oils Work?
EOs are so effective because the tiny molecules are easily absorbed by the human body. Each oil has a unique chemical composition and those components interact with specific body systems depending on which essential oil used.
Essential oils are used in one of three ways:
– Inhaled by taking a sniff (big or small, it’s up to you) or using a diffuser. This stimulates the olfactory organ which sends signals to the part of the brain that affects memory and emotions.
– Applied topically to either the affected area or over pulse points on the skin (like the neck or wrist). This is because the skin is the thinnest over these areas and oils get into the bloodstream the quickest here.
– Internally. Most companies who produce essential oils suggest to not take them internally. However, DoTERRA does have certain oils they suggest for internal use. The EOs approved for internal use are all listed on the FDA’s GRAS list, are labeled CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade), and are found here.
Using Essential Oils in Your Morning Routine
Now that you know what EOs are, let’s review the steps that have helped me the most when establishing a good morning routine and how these steps can benefit you.
1. Start Your Morning the Night Before
Take a few minutes and think about what you can do to make your mornings; shorter and easier. For me, this included showering and preparing my lunch the night before (generally leftovers) along with any snacks for the day. This easily knocked off about 30 minutes from my mornings. Some people prefer or need to shower in the mornings, in that case, do what works for you.
2. Stop Hitting Snooze
This was a big one for me. James E Gangwisch, an assistant professor and sleep expert at Columbia University, explains why hitting the snooze button can leave you feeling more tired than when you first wake up.
Thanks to my use of essential oils, this was a much easier fix than I thought it would be.
To use essential oils to help you get out of bed, find an invigorating oil you like the smell of and leave it at your bedside (but out of the reach of children). When your alarm goes off in the morning, turn it off, uncap your essential oil, and sniff. The stimulating smell will help your brain wake up making it a lot easier to get out of bed.
Some of the best invigorating essential oils are:
Citrus Oils- Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, and Orange
Minty Oils- Peppermint, Eucalyptus
Herbal Oils- Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, Lemongrass
Spicy Oils- Cinnamon, Ginger, Frankincense
3. Stretch or Do Yoga
Let me say that I do not consider myself to be a yogi. I am not flexible (although my flexibility has improved) and other workouts like Crossfit are more my pace. But studies have shown that yoga is a great way to increase blood flow, mental clarity, and allows for better sleep. Even 10 minutes a day can decrease stress levels and increase life satisfaction. You can also use this time to reflect on the coming day.
4. Make Your Bed
Some people start to feel like an adult when they get a car, move out, or pay their own bills. For me, it was when I decided to make my bed every morning. There’s something nice about coming home to a made bed each day.
Control Your Schedule
If you are anything like me then the thought of waking up an extra 15 minutes early is almost painful. However, by incorporating tips like packing your lunch the night before and not hitting snooze, those 15 minutes will free up without setting your alarm any earlier.
Taking control of my morning has had more of an effect on my life and attitude than I would’ve ever thought possible. I am now an advocate for taking the extra time to start your day off right with a few minutes for yourself.
When you start the day off right, you will feel more grounded and be more productive. Being on autopilot in the morning can give your mind a few minutes to wake up and having a relaxing morning can set you up for a less stressful day.
Make the mornings your time. You have to take care of you before you can take care of anyone else.
Deja Cronley is a Registered Nurse turned Blogger. She fell in love with natural living four years ago and has dedicated herself to educating others about organics. She loves Crossfit, the beach, and playing with her kids. Read more about cleaner, natural living at DejaVuOrganics.com.