For as long as I can remember, I’ve been able to associate my sense of smell strongly with memories, ideas, thoughts, and life events. I don’t know if it’s just me or this is something everyone can relate to, but aromatherapy has always been a form of self-care for me – whether I realized it or not.
I was always a fan of fragrances, perfumes, scented candles, essential oils and the like and they’ve always been a huge part of my life.
As a kid, I used to hunt my mother’s closet and spray all her perfumes on myself at once – and then be mesmerized and relish the various smells I’d doused myself with. It was honestly nauseating, but also, a lot of fun. Back then it was just an infatuation with interesting smells and fascinating fragrances. It wasn’t anything that I ever thought would help me.
But as I grew up, I realized it became a lot more than just an obsession with perfumes or scented candles. It became a way of life.
After a hard day at school, I’d often come home and burn my favorite scented candle to calm my senses. If I had a fight with a friend, I’d take deep breaths of my jasmine perfume oil and I’d instantly feel better (this is something I still do).
Aromatherapy helped me combat my anxiety and depression. It even helped me deal with the loss of a loved one. I lost my grandfather to cancer in 2010, but I still find repose in the perfumes he gifted me. I get vivid flashbacks of my time with him every time I smell them – and it makes me feel like he’s right here with me.
Every big or small event in my life can be linked to a particular perfume/scented candle/essential oil I had on me, at that point in time.
When I entered college, I was an anxious mess for the first few months. I was confused, scattered, and lonely. But I found peace in this Body Shop perfume I was using, and it still manages to soothe me on my worst days.
This may not seem important in the wider scheme of things but when I have to deal with something particularly disturbing, I find comfort in the memories of the past, which I can easily access thanks to aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy also serves as a form of self-care when I’m traveling, especially when I’m returning home. I love traveling so, every time I’ve traveled to another country or even another city within my country, I’ve made it a point to buy a perfume or a scented candle as a reminder of the journey and the experience.
Upon returning from my most recent trip, which was to Dubai, I found comfort in a scented candle I purchased from Bath & Body Works there. Every time I burn the candle, the sweet and warm fragrance that fills my room reminds me of the amazing vacation I had with my family there and for a few minutes, I completely forget about whatever may have been bothering me.
I feel my senses awaken when I turn to aromatherapy for help. It stimulates my body in such a way that I have no choice, but to get distracted and divert my attention completely to the beautiful smell that envelopes me, in that moment.
Aromatherapy has worked in a million miraculous ways to provide me with happiness and relaxation, which is an essential form of self-care. Self-care is now a vital part of my life now because I’ve learned its importance. Aromatherapy and other forms of self-care keep me going even on my worst days and reminds me that everything isn’t as bad as it seems.
That’s the power of self-care if you let it help you. It’s really important to find what works for you and then allow it to work in your favor – the process might be slow but it’s worth it.