I have been intrigued by the power of essential oils for quite a while, but outside of my trusty Tea tree oil which I use for cold sores, Ethans Warts and other scrapes/zits, and the Peppermint oil I used to diffuse to help me in pregnancy with sickness, they have never really been a part of our home and life. I have heard many great things about essential oils and have many friends and family that use them on a regular basis for a number of things and swear by them. For me however, I have looked from afar, with no idea where to start and rarely the funds to be able to afford them.

When Simply Earth contacted me to review one of their Recipe Boxes this month, I was delighted to have the opportunity to finally learn a little more about incorporating oils into our lives and learning more about the benefits of new oils outside my current tea tree! I already love that their Subscription boxes offer you full sized oils each month, with ideas and little extras of how you can use them. And the best part is that they are pure and come at the affordable price of $39 a month for a recipe box – this was exciting!

Who Are Simply Earth? 

Simply Earth are an American based essential oils company (who ship worldwide) and who are passionate about helping others to have a more natural home and access the power of plants and nature. They work carefully and ethically to choose a region where each plant will thrive and then work with their farmers to ensure that when the plants have reached maturity, they are harvested safely and fairly. From there they collect their natural essential oils through either cold-pressing or steam-distillation and every batch is then tested to ensure 100% purity.

Monthly Subscription

One of the things that has put me off being able to use essential oils in the past, is that pure oils are so blooming pricey! I was therefore excited that for only $39 a month (£30 and a few pence) you can join Simply Earth to get a monthly delivery of 4 pure essential oils plus extras (which is at the same price of 1 oil from the big oil companies). It can be paused at any time, and gives you the opportunity to learn how to use the oils in everyday life to help your home and family be more natural.

The essential recipe box includes 👇

4 Essential Oils | Natural Ingredients | + Fun Extras – they have a $150 value for only $39/month and after 6 months subscription you will also receive a jam packed free bonus box that will enable you to widen what you can mix and make.

The January Box! 

I received the January box last week and was really excited to see all of the lovely things in it – not only would it be a fabulous gift to give to someone who loves essential oils, but it also enables you to make natural homemade gifts for friends and family too. As well as providing you with the individual oils that can be used for so many other things.

The January Box has a Bergamot Essential Oil, Myrrh Essential Oil, Ravensara Essential Oil, Farewell Scars Essential Oil Blend, Tapioca Pearls, a Soap Mold and Lip Balm Container, along with recipe cards of various things you can make. I was really impressed with just how much you get, and how simple the recipes were to follow.

Bergamot Essential Oil – Bergamot oil is a citrus oil that has commonly being used in Italian folk medicine for fevers and other medicinal purposes for many years. It is useful to help relax you, calm your nerves and help with insomnia. Many swear by it for anxiety, as well as seeing benefits for balancing oily skin and easing tight muscles.

Myrrh Essential Oil – Myrrh is a common word we throw around at Christmas time, but did you know that it has been used as early as 600B.C in Ancient Egypt for embalming and fumigation?

Whilst I am pretty certain that you won’t need it for it’s traditional uses, it is nonetheless useful in this day and age. Myrrh is a popular oil for skin healing, as well as calming the mind and being anti-fungal.

Ravensara Essential Oil – Ravensara Essential Oil not only supports the immune system during times of seasonal illness, but also has great benefits for mental well-being as it promotes self confidence and has a calming effect. It wards off skin corruption of the lips and also supports self confidence. Along with Bergamot oil it has been my firm favourite.

Farewell Scar Blend – The farewell Scar blend is a blend of Lemon, Lavender, Rosemary, Myrrh and Helichrysum essential oils. It helps  during the healing process and can help reduce scarring and leave you with healthy, healed skin.

I am a complete beginner with using essential oils, however I am already loving how easy the Simply Earth Recipe box has helped me to use them. Yesterday I made both a body scrub and 2 lip balms and loved them both. They were easy to make and smelt gorgeous (as well as having the assurance of health benefits from the oils).

I used the body scrub in the shower immediately and the hot water helped to really kick in the power of the oils as my breathing suddenly felt clearer and my mind calmer throughout the day. The benefits to my skin were instantaneous too, leaving it incredibly soft and moisturized. I have put some in a jar to take to my mother in law tomorrow, as I know she will love it too, but it gets a thumbs up from me!

The lip balms were really easy to do too and I love that I have now created “his & hers” lip balms for Nathan and I! He suffers with chapped lips and this blend is so good to help promote soft lips. I have only been using them since yesterday but the smallest amount moisturises all day, as well as having a lovely fragrance from the farewell scar blend.

Both the scrub and the lip balm (as well as other recipes in the January box) are excellent for skin and lips at this cold time of year when the weather is harsh and can chap and dry out skin.They are wonderful for personal use and great to give you the chance to make lovely homemade gifts too, that will pass on the joy and benefits of essential oils.

Helping others along the way

Another thing that I have loved since becoming acquainted with the Simply Earth brand is their commitment to helping others. It is remarkable that Simply Earth shares 13% of it’s profits to organizations who help end the atrocity of Human Trafficking, which has quickly become a a worldwide phenomenon.

Simply Earth essential oils can be used in a variety of ways outside of those found as a starting point in the recipe boxes. They do not recommend ingesting the oils as the International Federation of Aromatherapists does not recommend that Essential Oils be taken internally unless under the supervision of a Medical Doctor who is also qualified in clinical Aromatherapy. However, their oils would be safe for consumption, if under the care/supervision of a doctor trained in clinical Aromatherapy.

I am going to continue researching how I can use them in everyday life and at home, and will let you know in a few weeks how it goes. In the meantime, if you want to give essential oils ago this year, and like the idea of being able to make homemade lovely gifts for friends and family with them, then head over to the Simply Earth Website and type in the code HEARTYFREE  –  it will give you a free $20 gift card which will be included in your initial Essential Oil Recipe Box at checkout (when you subscribe to the recipe box for the first time) and that you can use on your future purchase or next box.

*I am working as part of Simply Earths affiliate programme and receive a small fee for each purchase made through my code. I received this January box and a bonus box complimentary for the purpose of this post and collaboration. All images and thoughts are my own. 

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When you eat mostly chocolate as your daily food intake, and wallow around sobbing and feeling anxious and gaining pounds by the second, you know you’ve hit rock bottom and are pretty miserable! And yes, this is a scene that frequently plays out in my life. You see, sadness or grief is something I experience frequently, and I suppose it is all part of my “new normal” package I received when my child died!

Sometimes I know what will trigger these emotions, and whilst they are difficult, I have learnt that I can be on my guard, and this often in the short term avoids me spiralling into the depths of misery and negativity. I know for example, that entering certain situations or doing certain things, will ultimately hold sadness for me, and this has been okay to bear (mostly) and I can cope. Whilst I may get tired from fighting it, ultimately it isn’t so bad as the days when I am caught off guard.

For me it is in the moments I am least prepared for it that the sadness grabs me and pulls me down – it’s on these days it strikes the hardest – with low mood, constant crying, some anxiety, and a desire to hide away from it all! I know for some it is easy to label it as depression, and I assure you I have gone through every type of mental health problem with these symptoms that I can think of. I have asked time and time again “What is wrong with me?”! “Am I depressed? Am I Bipolar (because I was on one yesterday)? Is it hormonal?”! And right now I do not know the answer to that. I do not know if it is simply the messy and very natural occurrence of grief since stillbirth, or if it is the effects of trauma and I have an element of PTSD? I don’t know if there are underlying and deeper mental health problems that I may need to explore. All I do know is that whilst we all get sad from time to time, (frustrated and stressed about things too), for me it is different to normal. For me it has become, and is, a very real and regular occurance in my life that makes me feel often at my limit and searching for joy.

I have had depression before (PND), and whilst some emotions and behaviors are similar, with this I can cleary pinpoint it back to 2014 – when my world came crashing down and I endured the trauma of having a stillbirth, and burying my baby. It went against all that is natural and now I am frequently sad and brain doesn’t work how it used to!

It is an almost daily battle to lift up my pain, grief and loss and try to wear it comfortably!

In the last 3.5 years I have grown in confidence with this and have come to the conclusions that those who judge me in how I respond to my grief, or choose to wear it, are obviously completely oblivious to my pain and need to mourn. You see, when I am sad I am also very fragile, and sadness isn’t all that comes in the package. The sadness is only the start because it also leads to feeling rather discouraged about every aspect of my life, momentary anger and stress and a general feeling of inferiority and longing for more joy.

I begin to think I am failing at everything.

That I am not very good at anything. 

I am not myself – But I am always sad.

I am emotional.

And I am fighting hard to survive!

But how do you get out of that? How do you stop it from making you go insane? Stop it from drowning you and consuming your life?

Yes I think it’s completely fine to be sad, to have things move us to tears, and to mourn losses – sadness is natural. But to stay there long term is not. And so here are the steps I take, and the things I do that help me embrace the grief, but also then help me to move through it and be better at the other side! I guess they are my steps to self care to cope with it all!

My steps to moving forward in Sadness! 

1.Let it out / feel it

This is a vital step to being able to move forward. For too long in the beginning I tried to suppress my sadness thinking that being strong meant I shouldn’t cry, and that to cry meant I was weak. This only made it worse and, meant the periods of grief lasted for longer. Now when I feel it I cry, I sob, I whine, I mourn, and I feel every raw emotion that at other times I keep a lid on. In these moments I remember what it felt like to be told my daughter had died, and to then give birth and how hard it all was. I look at how different life looks and feels because of it, and It is a sad thing that still makes me sad…and that’s okay.

I feel it… I acknowledge it, and I remember it’s okay to not always be okay!

Letting it out, and riding the waves of sadness and grief are so important in finding calmness at the otherside and coping with the stresses of life after loss!

2.Talk

Some people are very private when going through struggles and deep grief, and won’t talk or mention it to others. But I am not one of those people. I am a talker, and a wear my heart on my sleeve type – I find it both therapeutic and strengthening to be able to talk to a friend, counsellor, family member, or SANDS group about how I am feeling, all of the thoughts racing through my mind and how sad I am at that point in my life.These days that friend is usually Nathan or my older sister, because I have found that both allow me the freedom to go over and over the same old points I need to in order to try and make sense of them. They allow me to talk nonsense, or to bring up things that to others are uncomfortable.

With Nathan I find he holds me, my pain, and lets me speak. He seems to get now that for me, talking about how I am feeling is so important to feeling Okay again.

3.Veg!

Being that sad, anxious about things, and generally emotional completely wipes me out. I often feel exhausted, drained and unable to function and complete my usual daily tasks. I remember how in the first year of loss, it left me feeling everyday like I had the flu because my whole body was literally trying to carry that burden and it was tough. Only on occasion do I now get that sad, but when I do I feel it all over – headaches, pain and tiredness.I have discovered that as the heart is the life of the body, when it is broken, it’s effects are felt through pain and aching in your entire body – heartbreak is all consuming.

The way for me to feel better in these moments is to veg. I do like to go for nature walks and do things that lift my spirits on days I feel a little “meh”, or in need of a rest to my soul, But on the days I hit rock bottom, I just veg! I drink Pepsi Max, eat rubbish and I don’t get dressed/do my make up. I take time out from the day to day things, and binge on treats, have a diet of chocolate for 24hrs and just snuggle in my bed or on the sofa. I stay at home and I’ll watch films to take my mind off things and give me emotions a rest. And i’ll sleep more than usual, because I am more tired than usual! The house work and laundry will still be there tomorrow, and whist I always manage to feed the kids and get them to school (success), I have learnt that sometimes looking after our emotional and mental needs has to be prioritised over those day to day menial things!

Vegging is not lazy when your emotions are wrought – it is necessary, and an important step in rebuilding yourself from a point of pure sadness!

4.Write about it!

I found writing to be a great therapy for me early on in all of this. Once I have let it out and rested from the day to day demands, I will pick up a pen and write down what I have been feeling and thinking in my journal. Some of that I will filter out on to my blog, to help others, but often the deeper things I keep private.

Writing to me is an essential step that not only helps me process what has just happened, and how hard it was… what my thoughts and feelings were and what caused it, but finally gets it all out of me and then I can close the book on that period of grief and sadness and pick myself back up again!

5.Read things that will motivate and strengthen me

Initially I don’t particularly enjoy hearing positive quotes or uplifting messages, they irritate me, because in my mind none of it means much and I already know it all – I’ve heard it before! At that point of sadness I am purely lead by my heart and the emotions of sadness from the broken, empty part left by poppy. When I am sad, I want to be sad. I want to cry, I want to talk about it all and I want to veg. I do not want positive stories and quotes until I am ready to process them, and only after the processes of steps 1 -5 do I find I want to be inspired and motivated to get up, put one step in front of the other and start walking through life again!At that point I will scroll through pinterest, I will read positive thinking books or talks from leaders in our church, and I will turn the pages of my scriptures to look for things that will build me. From here I set a couple of goals to apply those things and then head into reminding myself that…

6.Remember that there is no time limit

This quite possibly is the most important step. However sad you feel, and for however long you have felt that way…however you chose to deal with it, it is so important to remember grief has no time limit and will hit in the most unlikely situations. There will always be the expected dates and places that make you feel sad, and sometimes only briefly, but if sadness hits, months or years down the line it’s okay.
It isn’t a race, and there is no particular time you need to aim for to be able to broadcast to the world “Hey remember me whose baby died – yeah I’m all fixed and better now!”… you know, the hard reality is that I don’t believe you ever will be all better. I believe you can live a full life, but there will always be an element of sadness attached to some things, and it’s remembering with that to say “There is nothing wrong with me. It is not a lack in my faith or inability to heal. It is simply a fact of life…an act of love and the natural effects on ones heart from suffering a major loss”.

Sadness and grief have no time limit, and having a plan in place to get through it, bare it and come out of it again is something I find essential to carrying this, and living a joyful life in the easier moments despite that aching!

Always Remember…

Sadness and low mood from grief makes you feel less – you are not!

Vegging doesn’t mean you are a bad person or parent – a day of TV is fine and your kids will not suffer as result or be any less intelligent, it is self care for you and an essential step in being able to cope with the burden of sadness. 

Being sad doesn’t mean you are a failure or inferior to anyone else – it means you are normal and feeling the effects of losing someone or something you deeply love.

It’s okay to ask for help. Whether it’s a friend. family member or counsellor – Choose people you know will respect you and hold you, not tell you to move on, get over it or make you feel less for being sad!

Success and happiness can still result from a life where grief is a recurring scene! At times this may not seem true and it may feel like a balancing act, but you soon begin to realise that as you feel deeper pain, you are also able to feel deeper joy in contrast – and that is a strange, and yet very beautiful thing! 

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