How to help our “homeschoolers” find balance 

 

Lockdown 3.0 feels very different from the other ones, its cold and grey….it feels heavy. 

Many mums have been sharing their home-schooling struggles and these are my tips for you to pick and mix what works for you and your “homeschoolers” to have a more balanced day. 

If they are happy, we are happy 

First thing in the morning, grab your favourite oil, for me its Frankincense and put one drop in your wrists, and take 3 very deep breaths from them, then back of ears and neck, fantastic for grounding and give you the energy to start your day. 

If we are not feeling grounded and centred we don’t feel we can be good mums. 

And it is true: you cannot draw water from an empty well, so self-care is paramount to then help the rest of the family.

More tips to achieve balance for grownups in our daily chores and office work:  https://www.clarisaayllon.com/balance-online-vs-offline/

 

Many mums in my consultations ask: 

Do essential oils work? How?

 

We are holistic beings, and as such, if we are out of balance physically or emotionally, and under stress for prolonged periods, we are susceptible to illness and disease as our immune system doesn’t operate as efficiently as it could.

 

When we inhale essential oils, via the olfactory bulb (that sits behind your nose), Essential oils primarily impact us via the Limbic system, which is the busy part of our brain responsible for regulating both our emotional and higher mental functions. Including learning, motivation, forming and storing memories, controlling adrenaline and autonomic response, regulating hormones, sensory perception and motor function. They trigger a hormonal cascade of signals to the different parts of the body. 

If we apply them to the skin it travels through the capillaries and in 20 mins, the essential oils are in every cell of the body where they react directly with the body’s chemistry.

 

 

It is the energy of pure essential oils working with our energy 

creating powerful healing responses.

 

 

Essential oils do work! They balance us, are great to maintain stress at bay, easy to incorporate, very safe and I use them every day with my family. 

 

These are my tips for you to pick and mix:

 

 ü  At the start of a school day, set up a diffuser with an uplifting/ concentration blend:

Vetiver is a fantastic oil for students, for its concentration and calmness. It does not have a strong smell, but if they dislike it blend it with Lemon, Lime or Orange. 

It helps with agitation, stress, anger, apathy and greatly supports kids with ADHD. 

Or you can go for a more boosting immunity blend with Lemon and Lavender/ Rosemary/Mandarin.

 With younger kids, help them to avoid accidents and spills, and leave the diffuser out of reach. Some children or teenagers, prefer roller balls to apply on pulse points. Let them choose and participate in the blend picking, so they own the process and it becomes a habit. 

 

ü  Do we really multitask?

Every time we set up a new app we allow notifications by default to notify you every time a new email/social media lands in your computer/phone. 

Although it’s great that all the hard work is done, these constant alerts are also distracting. 

Every time we receive a new notification and in a blink, we take a pip and decide to carry on our brain takes 20 minutes to go back to what we were doing before the distraction. 

It is called: “Continuous Partial Attention” which describes how we are constantly distracted by our devices.

Just having your attention divided sucks up your mental energy.

Over a few hours, with frequent notifications popping up, a lot of time can be wasted simply trying to regain your focus on your tasks.

I know we are using tech for studying and working, however, share this concept at home and work out how you can have less notifications. 

Let’s be more proactive with our energy and time, generating feelings of accomplishment.

 

 ü  Throughout the day …I want to emphasize the importance of hugs  

When we hug, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, sometimes called the rest and digest system. We are more acquainted with the sympathetic nervous system that prepares the body for the “fight or flight” mode, meanwhile, the parasympathetic nervous system is the calming one.

Hugs your kids along the day, during breaks and If they do not allow you to hug them teach them to hug themselves. It will kick the “calmness button”.

 

Is the one we want to activate before sitting for lunch, so we are ready to rest and digest. I enhance it with a blend of Clove and Lime applying pressure under ears before meals to stimulate the vagus nerve and kick off the parasympathetic response.

 

 ü  The importance of getting away from the 2 dimensions of the computer. 

Let’s touch base on the balance between “online” and “offline”.

When we use a computer, we are functioning in 2 dimensions, so we are not adjusting the vision, or smelling, not using all senses. When we operate in 3 dimensions we adjust vision, we hear the background noises, we are using all senses. After a while in 2D the brain switches off the areas we are not using, and this is what the researchers are calling: “digital dementia”.

 

To have different stimulus wrap up warm and do short walks with them, plan for a cooking session, or board games, or simply change rooms, lit a fire and share a book. I know in winter we have less options but it is important to use all our senses to activate our whole brain.  We feel more balanced at the end of the day.

 

 ü  At night time set your diffuser up around 30 minutes before bedtime to fill up a room.

Lavender, Roman chamomile and mandarin are great for kids, Frankincense or Ylang Ylang for more grownups. These essential oils are amongst the safest ones in Aromatherapy.  

They are all recommended for soothing restlessness, especially in hyperactive children, as they calm the activity of the sympathetic nervous system alleviating insomnia, moodiness, frustration and anger. 

If you prefer not to diffuse in young children bedrooms you can put a wet towel over a radiator and a couple of drops of essential oils to promote sleep. 

 

 ü  Calming bath before bed with warm water but not too hot, very hot water stimulates rather than relax.

Buy Epsom salts and organic solid coconut oil: mix a cup of each and about 6 to 7 drops of essential oil for an adult bath, 3 to 4 drops for a child.

 

it is so simple to make and the results are powerful. Not only for the mind, but for achy muscles (all day sitting), dry skin, moodiness. 

 

Put the plug in the shower, couple of drops of essential oils in the corners (to avoid slipping) and the water will push them through the sole of your feet and getting into your system while the steam will drive the rest into your respiratory system. 

 

Simple foot bath if you don’t have a bath or don’t fancy baths. Add the salts and essential oils, put the feet in for 15 mins. The sole of the feet has 4000 pores, delivering the benefits of the oils in 20 minutes. 

 

You know when a bath is needed, enhance it with calming essential oil. Again, let them choose the combination of essential oils and make them participants of the process.

 

   ü  Even the most reticent teenager will agree to a foot massage and it is an invaluable space to share time with them

 

My youngest is 14 years old and every night I perform a foot massage. I personally use a blend of Lavender and Spikenard (Spikenard is considered the most sedative oil in aromatherapy). She needs this blend as she feels drained after a full day of home-schooling. So, I start with one foot and we talk about the day, she shares her struggles and I try to emphasize on the good things to end the day with a “happy note”.  At this point I encourage her to stop using the phone (since we put down the phones the brain needs 40 minutes to switch off) and I do the second foot, breathing deeply (as they mimic ours) and by the time I finish she is more relaxed and ready to go to sleep. 

 

Try to incorporate a natural approach, essential oils are powerful tool we can have handy at home, allow your children to participate and help in the selection of oil blends. With time, they will develop a “natural healthy habit to empower themselves” 

 

   

“BALANCE IS NOT SOMETHING YOU FIND, 

IT IS SOMETHING YOU CREATE”

Jana Kingsford.  

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