Wintertime blues

Surely Dickens penned, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” in the dead of winter. Surely winter offers us many benefits (retreat and introspection, fire-roasted chestnuts, snow days) and of course, many detriments as well (darker and shorter days, slipping on ice, frostbite). And no matter whether you love or loathe wintertime, there’s no question that it’s harder on us than those other three seasons. But, we can have bit of summer, spring and fall during winter’s coldest hours in the form of pure essential oils.

If you think essential oils are just another kind of perfume, you’re in for a surprise. Essential oils are pure plant essences distilled from flowers, barks, seeds, resins and other botanicals. Unlike fragrances and perfumes, which are chemically derived and toxic, essential oils actually offer therapeutic benefits that support mental clarity, creativity, calmness and boost mood. Essential oils can be applied topically to the wrists and neck or just whiffed from the bottle for a quick change of spirit. You can find a selection of single and blended oils at most natural food stores. And try these six oils to blast the wintertime blues:

Grapefruit provides a slightly euphoric, cheerful energy. It can quickly snap you out of a bad mood and help you to release unnecessary emotions.

Lavender is one of the most common essential oil scents for its balancing and amenable fragrance. It’s sweet and subtle but quite uplifting while also calming away stress or anxiety.

Clary Sage is warming and calming. It’s been used to treat depression and can help balance out emotions that are drifting too far in any one direction. It’s slightly sweet and subtle and blends well with other oils.

Ginger is spicy and sweet and a great energizer when wintertime has you feeling sluggish or lazy. It can quickly boost your mood and blends extremely well with grapefruit for a fast energy enhancer.

Bergamot is the common ingredient in Earl Grey tea and a member of the citrus family, thus it has a tangy and sweet scent. It can create a happy and relaxed feeling and induce creativity and a general sense of wellbeing.

Peppermint is not just for candy canes! This essential oil is extremely uplifting and can energize you as well as help reduce the onset of headaches (rub a drop in each temple). Use it to overcome sluggishness or crankiness.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: Misserion