I have had anxiety disorder since middle school and like many people, the past year has compromised my mental health and worsened my symptoms. I take medication to treat my depression, PTSD, and anxiety and had to increase my daily dose of Valium. I was also afraid of going anywhere without the bottle in my purse because I never knew when I would need the fast-acting drugs to help me with a panic attack. With my newfound free time during COVID-19, I started researching and trying some more natural approaches to managing my anxiety, such as meditation and essential oils.
When it came time to try essential oils, I reached out to Saje Wellness, the same company that makes an oil blend that I used to relieve migraine pain. They have been in business for more than 25 years, their products were formulated using scientific research, and my psychiatrist digged a bit and told me it was safe to use their essential oils on top of my prescription drugs. So I ordered the Saje Mindfulness Pocket Farmacy ($ 65). It comes neatly in a cute little case with five essential oils in a roll-on form. The kit is the perfect size – small enough to slip in my purse and even take my carry-on bag with me for flights.
The oils contained are called trust, connection, reflection, unwinding and energy. I use all five, but the two that have made the biggest difference for me personally are Reflection and Unwind. Reflection has a grounding effect that has helped me a lot with my concentration and concentration. My fear and PTSD make it extremely difficult for me to concentrate. I often work myself up so much that I’m too scared and excited to sit at my desk and do the necessary tasks. Sometimes I walk around my apartment for up to two hours and in the past the only thing that could make me sit down and focus was taking medication. Thanks to the Reflection Oil, I no longer have to use Valium for this purpose as often as I used to.
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The second oil that has helped me the most is unwind. The name is pretty self-explanatory – according to the instructions, I roll this oil on my neck at the end of the day when I’ve finished my work and housework and have some time to read a book and watch a movie or paint. My anxiety often interferes with my ability to relax because my thoughts are already racing about what needs to be done tomorrow, next week, or even next year. Like Reflection, Unwind Oil has helped me cut back on medication to cope with these frenzied thoughts. I feel more present at the moment and can enjoy reading or painting.
Some days are more difficult than others. When I have a panic attack, I still take Valium and propranolol, a beta blocker that lowers my heart rate so I don’t feel terrible about having a heart attack. And on days when my anxiety or PTSD is more severe than usual, I’m not ashamed of taking a prescription drug. But on an average day, Mindfulness Pocket Farmacy is now my first resort. I’ve been using it for a month and so far it mostly helps. For a long time, I had the notion that the only two options were to rely solely on “natural” treatments or to only use prescription drugs. But as my psychiatrist and personal experience have confirmed, that’s just not true.
I would recommend these essential oils to people who suffer from anxiety and difficulty concentrating – of course, check with your doctor first, especially if you are on medication.