March is Social Worker Appreciation Month!
YOU ARE APPRECIATED!
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Self-Care with Essential Oils for Social Work
Child Protective Worker Focus
For an immediate and intense experience, place a drop of essential oil on your palm, rub your palms together, cup your hands in front of your face and inhale deeply.
Safety – Keep essential oils away from and out of eyes and sensitive areas. If discomfort is experienced, dilute with carrier oil such as olive, almond or coconut. Keep out of child’s reach. Not all essential oils can be ingested. Young Living Vitality Essential OilsTM are the only EOs in the industry that are labeled for internal use, so that you can be entirely sure they are safe for consumption.
Lavender – Many people you encounter will be keyed up and unsettled, possibly angry or down. Maybe you even feel unsettled about certain reported concerns. Lavender brings a sense of calm and comfort. If you are feeling drowsy already, you will want to add an equal amount of one or more of the following: peppermint, tangerine, lemon or another citrus. You will benefit from the calm of the Lavender but also an uplifting feeling from the other oils. Even the sourest/foulest of moods can be shifted with peppermint and citrus aromas.
Peppermint – You will need all of your potential energy when you meet with some clients. Maybe you are headed to your fourth home visit in a row or had many taxing experiences already in the day. Your client may consciously or subconsciously try to avoid topics or questions. You may feel like every exchange takes you off topic. Peppermint, applied as noted above, will bring an immediate boost of energy to most, along with improved mental clarity. A drop on your tongue or in your water will also give you a boost. Take care to only drop EOs in beverages that are glass, stainless or glazed; EOs will begin breaking down plastic within minutes of contact.
On occasion, you may leave a home feeling queasy, maybe because of scents in the home, animals or topics discussed. Inhaling a bit of peppermint may bring soothing to your digestive system.
If hot feelings, from stress, nerves, illness or being in a very hot home with no A/C are setting in, peppermint rubbed on the soles of your feet or a drop on the nape of your neck can be a great help.
ThievesTM – A great immune booster. When we visit the homes of others, we are exposed to organisms that may be unfamiliar to our immune system. A drop on the tongue and the tongue pressed to the roof of your mouth each day may help your defenses. Thieves can be rolled on the bottom of your feet or rubbed on an uncomfortable throat. Thieves is in the family of “hot” oils. Start small and dilute with a carrier oil if you experience discomfort. The clove in the Thieves will cause a bit of a numb feeling when dropped on your tongue. The feeling subsides within minutes, but if the feeling is uncomfortable to you, have a drink of milk, coffee or a teaspoon of honey.
Thieves Waterless Hand PurifierTM is great to have in your pocket as between home visits you may not have access to a sink, soap and water. Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier is nontoxic and smells wonderful!
Ylang Ylang – You may experience others with very negative emotions, hostility or irritability. You may find yourself experiencing these emotions. In my research about how peppermint EO enhances exercise performance, grip strength and test performance, one of the control oils was Ylang Ylang. Ylang Ylang showed a decline in all of these measures, as if “dulling” the senses. This EO has a very respectable effect of smoothing one’s negative energy. Apply a drop to the back of your neck. The aroma of the Ylang Ylang will impact the wearer and those in their presence.
Bergamot – For those who are on edge of their nerves, fearing the social worker’s visit, or for you experiencing similar feelings, this EO does a good job of providing an uplifting, yet grounding feeling. By adding Cedarwood to Bergamot, many people experience a more settled and calm emotional feeling. Both the wearer and those who can smell it on the wearer will receive the benefit.
And of course, the children – You all know the emotions that the children experience when the social worker comes. Your ability to be present with the child and for the child to be present with you is not always something that feels within your control. Children almost always respond positively, moods uplift and rapport improves with the aroma of citrus, particularly Tangerine, Orange and Lime. Peppermint is also a favorite, but the citruses are my favorite because if there is even the small chance that the peppermint could ramp up the child’s internal energy, I would rather that not be the case. Apply citrus oils as liberally as you wish to yourself, after patch testing on your forearm.
Transitioning from work life to home life – This is a transition that most of us don’t give enough attention to. Even on a good day, those in your occupation hear, see and experience things that are troublesome. In every case, someone, often a child, is suffering and things are happening that should not be happening. When I attended my initial training for DSS in Boston, during the slide show of how to recognize different types of physical abuse, a young woman fell right out of her chair when she fainted. She is not simple or weak. She is human and she has a heart. Some feel good after a day of “successful” child protective work. Some feel competent, in control, good about helping a child be safer today than they were on the day before. Some feel overwhelmed or exhausted. There can be a range of feelings, but everyone has taken in sights, sounds, smells, and emotions that involve people in difficult circumstances. Your limbic system, which involves instincts, moods, basic emotions and drives may have been lighting up all day. Your stress levels, appetite, energy and mood may be impacted a small amount or in a large way.
We can use aroma to transition from work to home by stimulating the limbic system through the olfactory bulb, ON PURPOSE. You can do the same after a very difficult situation on the job, such as a difficult visit or interview, child removal or another scenario that a regular citizen would consider highly stressful, but that you do on any given day of the week.
Choose a safe and comfortable place to sit. This may be at your desk after your last office task of the day, in your car in the parking lot, or in your own driveway.
- Choose a calming oil, such as one of the citruses: Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, Stress AwayTM, Peace & CalmingTM, White AngelicaTM, Trauma LifeTM, or others. This is where individual preference plays a role. For one person it will be Peace & CalmingTM, while another will benefit more greatly from Trauma LifeTM. It will take a bit of experimentation.
- Put a drop of your chosen oil on your palm, rub your palms together, cup hands in front of your face and inhale deeply.
- Think, “Smell the flowers, blow out the candles.” Do this for at least one minute. Repeat until your eyes feel like they are softly and comfortably closed. Do this until your shoulders feel like they are resting and relaxed. As your shoulders drop in relaxation, it is likely that the relaxation will travel down your torso and to your feet. Try to be aware of that.
- While doing this, with your eyes closed, try to rest your mind on a soft vision like a pastel sky, white fur or a sandy beach. Rest your mind on a vision that is comfortable to you.
- Reapply oils at any time desired.
- To finish, if you wish, rub your oiled hands on your neck and shoulders.
Why not just use my favorite perfume or shower with my favorite body wash when I get home?
These products are usually primarily chemicals. When you breathe in the molecules, you are taking them in to your lungs and from your lungs into your bloodstream. When you put them on your skin, they go directly through your cells into your bloodstream. Chemicals are not your friends.
Pure, therapeutic grade essential oils will enter your body and circulate through every cell in the body in 20 minutes. Essential oils work through their aroma and their circulation through the bloodstream on a cellular level. Visit https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed and search different essential oils for studies involving various health and emotional topics.
For more information on essential oils and their therapeutic emotional and health benefits, please visit www.essentialoilscapecod.com or request a group or private consultation with Tracy Lamperti, from the Meet the Team page.
Be safe and well!
Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
Lamperti Counseling & Consultation
Young Living Independent Distributor, #2420449