Some like it HOT, and the summer countdown is most definitely ON like Donkey Kong! Just think about it…sun, surf, sand, a cool drink in your hand, toes in the pool, fun outdoor gatherings, and let’s not forget about Thoooose Suuuummer Niiiiights (I just know you grabbed a hairbrush and belted that out…don’t deny it!) Let’s just say it, summer is FUN, and I’ve got a whole list of ways to beat the heat and make the most of your fun in the sun using essential oils! Now, for some of us who prefer other seasons better, or who are 8 months pregnant and not looking forward to the impending heat wave, I’ve got some great news…you’ll enjoy this post too, because it includes some AMAZING ways to keep cool and relaxed this summer.
Staying cool in the summer time is easier said than done. Sure, there’s air conditioning and fans, but what if you are out and about, or by the pool? Keeping your body cool as a cucumber is super easy with essential oils! Grab yourself a misting bottle, fill with water, add about ¼ cup witch hazel, and add a few drops Peppermint oil…ta-da! You have a refreshing body mist! SPECIAL NOTE: Do not spray near face, or use peppermint oil if you are pregnant or nursing, and do NOT use peppermint oil on children under 6. A pregnant/nursing/child safe alternative would be to use Lavender oil instead of peppermint. It will not give the same intense cooling effect but it will do the trick! You can also add 2 drops Peppermint and 3 drops Lavender to a cup of Epsom salt, then mix and place in a foot bath for a cooling foot soak! (Again, skip the peppermint if you are pregnant or nursing, or using with kids under 6).
Don’t Be A Lobster
There is nothing worse in the summertime than going outside for some fun and coming back in looking like you were just barbequed. Sunburns SUCK, let’s just say it. For this reason, it is SO important to take care when using citrus oils topically or internally before sunbathing or a day at the beach. Citrus oils can cause sun sensitivity for up to 12 hours after use, so if you have added citrus oils to your water or food, be sure to slather on EXTRA sunscreen and shade yourself well.
If you do happen to fall victim to the dreaded sunburn, you can create a wonderful, natural After-Sun Balm to help bring soothing relief. Combine 10 drops Lavender and 5 drops Frankincense with ½ cup of raw/organic Aloe Vera gel or aloe vera water and mix with ½ cup 100% pure, organic, extra virgin coconut oil. This will not only help to cool the skin but it will also promote skin repair and regeneration.
Just Add Water
First rule of summer…Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate! Making sure that your body gets enough water is key to staying healthy, calm, cool and energized this summer, but it’s probably (if we’re being real) one of the most difficult things to actually stay on top of and sometimes, keeping kids hydrated is like trying to tackle a dinosaur with a spoon. One way to do this is to add some flavor! Adding freshly sliced fruits to a pitcher of water, and allowing it to infuse (sit overnight in the refrigerator) will add a subtly sweet, refreshing and delicious boost to your hydration efforts…plus, no added sugar! For healthy adults who are NOT pregnant, NOT taking prescription medications, and do not have any preexisting medical conditions, adding 1-2 drops of Lemon, Orange or Grapefruit essential oil to at LEAST 8 ounces of water can give you a yummy flavor boost as well*, just be aware that this should not be done on a daily basis, and remember that citrus oils cause sun sensitivity.
Bugs…the bane of my summer existence. I would totally live outside if it weren’t for the bug brigade. I am eternally convinced they are out to get me. Thankfully, essential oils are fantastic for all things buggy!
When I’m in my home, I have a rule…bugs are cool, as long as they are outside; but if they come into my domain, I turn into The Terminator. One way my family and I keep the line drawn so that we can all coexist in harmony is to combine 10 drops Spearmint oil and 10 drops Lavender oil in a spray bottle with water, and spray around the windows and doors in our house. Spiders cannot stand the strong smells of lavender and spearmint, so it’s a great way to keep those little 8 legged freaks in their own habitat. It also keeps me from being a crazy person, inspecting the ceiling every 5 minutes.
Keeping bugs away OUTSIDE is a little more difficult, because now you’re in their house…but that doesn’t mean you have to play by their rules. You CAN have the upper hand! You can combine Lavender, Wild Orange, and Geranium oils with a carrier oil (such as Fractionated Coconut Oil) in a rollerball bottle and roll onto your pulse points to keep those little nasties in check. If you don’t feel like making your own, you can use the TerraShield Blend, which is gentle and smells amazing to humans but horrible to insects. I personally use this for my entire family and even though we are outside all the time, we have not gotten one bite this year! The best part is, both the self-made combination listed above, AND the pre-made blend are generally safe for all populations, including kids and dogs (to use on dogs, roll onto collar or bandana around neck…do not place directly on fur or skin). Better yet… no DEET or other harsh chemicals!
If the bugs end up winning the battle, that doesn’t mean they have won the war! You can relieve the pain, swelling and itch of a bug bite or bee sting by dabbing Lavender, Roman Chamomile and/or Melaleuca (Tea Tree) oil on the irritated area. Be sure to dilute with some coconut oil for kids under 6, and women who are pregnant.
Vacation, All I Ever Wanted!
When I think of summer, I think of the wide open road! I love to travel and family vacations are one of the amazing perks of summertime. Along with travel, though, comes the headache of long drives, long waits and of course, the stress monster. If you are on the road for way too long and need to get rid of driving fatigue, place a drop of Peppermint on your hands, rub together and inhale…HELLO! Every time I do this I envision SpongeBob Squarepants screaming “I’m Ready! I’m Ready!” Truth. If you suffer from motion sickness (“no, the car is not spinning…it’s just you”…an actual quote from my husband to me during our last road trip) Ginger is a WONDERFUL oil to bring relief. Place a drop of two on the bottoms of your feet before traveling. Are you leaving on a jet plane? Have flight anxiety? Try combining Lavender and Wild Orange, or using Serenity Blend to tame the tension and ease you into vacation mode!
Now get out there and soak up the sun!
*Essential oils, while natural, should also be used with care and as directed. If you want more information about how to use the oils mentioned in this article, please see my bio below. Not all essential oils are safe for children. Breastfeeding moms, women who are pregnant, people with medical conditions and those on prescription medications should always seek the advice of an expert before using essential oils, because not all oils are safe to use in these situations. Children and women who are pregnant should NEVER take essential oils internally, and should always dilute before using essential oils topically. Be Safe and Be Healthy: Mind, Body and Spirit!
Ginger Nicole Baker, M.Ed. is a Masters level educator, an essential oils and holistic wellness advocate, and is the founder and CEO of Essential Owl Holistics which you can find on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She has a deep passion for helping others to embrace and practice proactive, natural and holistic care for themselves and their families, especially during pregnancy, birth and beyond. She and her husband Adam are the proud parents of their 19 mth old daughter, Raienn, who has been her bright shining beam of inspiration. Learn more here! For a private consult, or to schedule a class, webinar or training, Message her here!
Photo Credits: Bosh Images
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