Three Keys to A Healthier, Happier You

One of the easiest ways to get started with doTERRA Essential Oils is for mood support, especially if you struggle with anxious or sad feelings. In fact, let me share a few of my favorites with you!

(As always, please remember that I am not a doctor, and you should proceed according to your comfort level and common sense and consider consulting your doctor. I am sharing here what I have found to be effective for me)

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Three Keys to a Healthier, Happier You with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
 

I remember as an awful, vivid, blur the first couple of months after Ian was born. Every single day was a battle for survival. A battle to get up. To keep the boys alive. To be attentive to their needs. To have a good time. To avoid crying. It was so, so, so hard (and, as an aside, I had an amazing support system through this. My heart especially goes out to y’all who are struggling but feel alone in it, too). This isn’t the only time I’ve struggled with overwhelming and sad feelings to the point of struggling to function, but it was the worst, the longest, and the scariest. (you can read more about those first 6 months here, here, and here. ) I struggled hard for almost two years (in spite of the hopeful note in that third post— things got hard again shortly after). As evidenced by my recent Facebook live video on the topic, I still find it really hard to talk about those 18 months from when I stopped taking medication (a choice I would not change but that is not necessarily the right choice for everyone) until I finally started feeling like myself again. It’s a bit of a blur. Particularly good days and particularly bad days stand out in the timeline, but, mostly, it was a lot of survival mode.

In fact, I think that’s the best way I know to describe struggling with mental health: constant, daily, even hourly survival mode. It’s hard to have fun or grow meaningful relationships because all emotional energy is tied up in just barely functioning. During those months, I had such a short fuse, and I could find myself angry or overwhelmingly sad at the drop of a pin.

If you are experiencing a season or struggle like what I am describing (related to postpartum or not), there’s a few very important things I want you to know: First, you are not alone. About 1 in 8 women will experience depression in her lifetime, and postpartum depression can occur as often as 1 in 5 women (according to mentalhealthamerica.net and the CDC). Between social factors and genetic predispositions, being mentally healthy is hard. Second, please talk to your doctor. I’m going to give you some suggestions below that are based on my experience only. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease (mental or otherwise). I believe with my whole heart that these recommendations will help you and work in complement to any recommendations your doctor makes, but if you are concerned about your mental health, you must, must go see your doctor.

As I referenced above, I worked closely with my healthcare provider for my recovery, especially in the early days when things were scariest. Beyond that, though, I found three keys that made all the difference in the world to my mental health then and now:

Community

While we’re getting better as a society about discussing mental wellness and recognizing its importance, we still have a long way to go. Furthermore, no amount of talk will actually eliminate the isolating feeling that comes from feeling sad or anxious or overwhelmed. Lean in to your community. Even though it can be hard to get out and connect with others, do so in whatever way you can. Find people with whom you can be honest about your journey. Look for circles of friends both in person and online who can support and encourage you and whom you can support and encourage in return. We’re all in this together, and it’s a lot more fun if we cheer for each other along the way.

 
Three Keys to a Healthier, Happier You with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
 

Physical Wellness

There’s increasing information available about our emotions being tied to physical processes in the body. Therefore, the best defense is a good offense, and taking the time to be as healthy as possible physically will yield rewards mentally as well.

Rest

Like real rest. Not the restless lethargy that often comes with feeling off balance. A few tips for helping with this: First, summon the twenty seconds of insane courage it will take to start a workout, then follow through and do a hard workout (whatever “hard” is for you and your body). For me, that might be an hour or two of Zumba, 4 or 5 miles of running, 8-10 miles of cycling, etc. Push your body to its limit at some point during the day so that you will be properly tired at bedtime. Second: read, knit, sew, or listen to music/ a podcast/ an audio book rather than scrolling your phone or watching TV before bed. Wind yourself down properly. Finally, use doTERRA Essential oils to support healthy sleep by taking Serenity and/ or Copaiba soft gels when you start your wind down routine and diffusing through the night. Night time diffuser favorites for me include Lavender, Balance, Peace, and Frankincense.

Nutrition

Did you know that 90% of your body’s production of feel good hormones is tied to your gut? That’s right— proper nutrition directly affects the chemical processes of mental health. Consuming a diet heavy with produce and light on inflammatory foods like grains and dairy will give the body a variety of important nutrients. In addition, I’ve experienced better moods, better sleep, and better energy since I started taking doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality Supplements, PB Assist (probiotics), and TerraZyme (digestive enzymes). I have a history of gut issues, but providing my body with proper supplementation has made a huge difference. The Lifelong Vitality Pack is doTERRA’s top selling product and is an important foundation to informed self care (read more about it here)

Exercise

I already mentioned exercise up above as a tool for improving sleep, but exercise is also useful because it causes your body to make endorphins— “happy hormones” that come from working out. Exercise also helps your body create energy (hence, don’t do that big workout I talked about above right before bed— you’ll be on a workout high for a few hours afterward!). Getting exercise can be as simple as taking a 30 minute walk around your neighborhood. This simple walk is also a good way to get some sunshine so your body can make Vitamin D, another key to feeling good. Get some sort of exercise and sunshine every day, and challenge yourself to some more intense workouts (as you are able— don’t hesitate to consult your doctor if you’re new to exercising) several times each week. After your exercise, use doTERRA DeepBlue rub to help your muscles recover for next time.

Water

So simple, and yet often so elusive. The current recommendation is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Personally, I prefer to drink a bit more than that, but it’s also summer here in Georgia, and I love the heat. Get in the habit of carrying a glass or stainless steel water bottle or tumbler with you at all times, and add a drop or two of doTERRA lemon, lime, or wild orange essential oil for a touch of flavor. Drinking enough water helps keep the gut clean and moving and helps prevent annoying things like head tension.

 
Three Keys to a Healthier, Happier You with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
 

doTERRA Essential Oils

While I’ve already mentioned essential oils several times above, using doTERRA topically and aromatically has been crucial to my journey, so I wanted to highlight a few favorites. I diffuse more or less around the clock and find it helps me focus, function, and flourish. Oils interact chemically with our bodies, and the effects are amazing (read more about that here)

The Emotional Aromatherapy Kit- This kit contains six essential oil blends and a diffuser. The blends, with names like Peace and Cheer, are easy to use because you simply diffuse the one named for the emotion you’d like to feel more of. These oils also come in a roller kit if you prefer to apply them topically rather than diffuse

Elevation- This “joyful blend” was my go-to, even though I’m not usually a floral person. It contains Ylang Ylang which is a fragrant flower, but it also is wonderful for supporting female emotions and hormones. In the midst of my postpartum journey, I didn’t really know anything about essential oils except that when I diffused this, I was a lot more functional than when I didn’t.

Frankincense- This “king of the oils” is a rich aroma that feels like a warm, steadying hug. I especially love to swipe Frankie across my forehead and down the back of my neck as well as often adding a drop or two to my diffuser. It helps me feel ready for the day and up for any challenge

Take the Next Step to Wellness

If you’re ready to add high quality supplements and CPTG essential oils to your mental wellness routine, I invite you to join my doTERRA team. doTERRA works just like Costco— you pay an annual fee and are able to order your oils and products at or below wholesale prices. Plus, if you join the Loyalty Rewards Program, you can earn points back on your orders that add up to free product! However, if you join doTERRA with an enrollment kit, you can have these amazing membership benefits without paying the joining fee. It’s definitely the way to go!

There are two kits I recommend for focusing on mental wellness. The first is the Emotional Aromatherapy kit which includes 6 oil blends for targeted mood support and a Lumo diffuser. I love these blends and use them daily for maintaining my mental wellness. The other kit is the Healthy Habits kit which includes a month’s supply of Lifelong Vitality Supplements and also PB Assist and TerraZyme, DeepBlue rub, and five versatile oils. This kit is perfect if you’re ready to make powerful lifestyle changes to pursue and maintain a healthy gut, physical exercise, and support your body with powerful essential oils.

Adding consistent, natural support for my body to my routines by taking doTERRA’s supplements and using doTERRA essential oils has had huge benefits for my mental wellness, and I know it will for you too! It’s okay if you feel like you still have a lot to learn about these amazing products— I’m here to help, and I’m excited to continue this journey with you!