We are at the start of a new year: a time of reflection and forward looking, a time of release and renewal. Each New Year’s eve we assess the past year’s positives and negatives and recommit to a new year’s set of resolutions. Often these are ones we have resolved to fulfill year after year (without success), others are new creations in the moment. Aromatherapy can help use create and energy of change and support us in our convictions.

Let’s look at a few of the more common new year’s resolutions and see how essential oils can help.

This year I will exercise more …
We all tend to be more sedentary in the winter – again, the instinct to hibernate – and yet, exercise is still important to help us maintain health and well-being. Doctors believe that, if you do nothing else, try and get out and walk at least ½ hour each day. But in ice and snow, that is not always reasonable, although “mall walking” seems to be a popular option. Daily stretching keeps the acids from building up in the muscles and cardio-vascular exercise will help you lower your body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Essential oils can also assist in cleansing acids from the body are eucalyptus, juniper, rose and hyssop. Essential oils that stimulate the body and encourage more energy for exercise are black pepper, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, basil, and tea tree. These oils can be burned in an aroma lamp or a few drops of two or three individual oils can be added to a morning body wash to stimulate the senses and wake up the circulation.

This year I will lose some weight …
After a couple of months of “dietary indiscretions” (and, let’s face it, just plain holiday gluttony), our focus turns to shedding a few pounds. Unfortunately we have the earth’s natural energetics working against us. It’s winter, a time when our bodies need warm hearty foods, filled with root vegetables and meaty stocks in order to keep our internal digestive hearth going. The body is actually trying to hold weight, with the expectation of a long winter and a deep hibernation. The last thing our bodies want to metabolize is salad and raw vegetables or cold juices. Those kill the digestive fires and cause internal damp and chill. So, what to do? Stews and soups, filled with rich root vegetables, squashes and deep leafy greens will warm and support our digestive systems, and if eaten in small portions, through out the day, without bread, pasta, rice or potatoes, will also normalize us to a healthy winter weight. Essential oils that can help us lose weight and ease digestion are: *basil, bergamot, black pepper, cardamom, fennel, juniper, peppermint, marjoram, rosemary and thyme, lemon verbena*. A combination of these oils, mixed in a carrier oil and massaged clockwise around the belly will help stimulate digestion and reduce edema and digestive congestion.

This year I find a more loving relationship …
Of course we all want to love and be loved and each year it is good to remind oneself to recommit to being in a more loving relationship first to self then to others. Essential oils can easily help with opening the heart to deeper levels of love and compassion and smooth out the frenetic energy into viable flowing sexual energy. These oils are clary sage, jasmine, neroli, frankincense, patchouli, rose, ylang ylang, and sandalwood.

This year I will be more positive …
Especially around this time with the long winter nights, the cold, the lack of sunlight, one can experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD, also known as Winter Depression). We can become particularly gloomy and moody, unable to find joy anywhere. There is almost a desperate need to find the positive things in life, and yet there seems to be no energy to follow positivity through. Essential oils that can bring light into depression and joy into glumness are basil, bergamot, clary sage, geranium, jasmine, lavender, melissa, neroli, rose, cypress and ylang ylang.

This year I will attract more wealth …
Every year we hope to create a better life for ourselves and attract more wealth to us. Wealth doesn’t necessarily mean money, it can be wealth of experience and/or well of knowledge. The latter, knowledge, can be supported by the mentally stimulating oils such as basil, cardamom, lemon, lemongrass, peppermint, melissa, rosemary and lemon verbena. Attracting money can be a little more involved than just burning an essential oil in an aroma lamp. You first need to change your relationship with money, which means altering how you see yourself. First and foremost you must believe that you are worthy to have wealth in all its manifestations. Self-belief, self-love and the desire to self-actualize are needed before the creation of money can occur. Meditating on creating manifestation, whether it is financial, health or happiness, can be assisted with essential oils. In meditation, these oils will bring you to a deeper level of self-awareness, will allow you to see what blocks you are creating in keeping wealth from you and encourage you to release any old patterns of unworthiness. These oils are frankincense, myrrh, elemi, cypress, patchouli, sandalwood, hemp, angelica, cedarwood and lavender. Depending on the combination, these oils will lay the foundation for new energies to be created in meditation which will set new possibilities of manifestation in your life, including the attraction of money, if that is your desire. If you can truly feel the money in your pockets and know that you are worthy to have it, you will create the energy for it and eventually it should manifest. You have to believe it with every cell in your body …

So this year, invite the essential oils to your new year’s resolution ritual and things just may be different!