Stressed? Yeah me too… 

Stress, stress, stress. Can I just move to an island and grow my own food and let my kids run wild… and not watch them fight over the ipad, or who wore the other ones socks, of whether or not I remembered to pay the rates bill, or fix the doorbell, or clean the potty OR spray stain remover on the kids’ clothes? Every morning, we go from the breakfast table/floor/kitchen counter to the slog of dressing (when noooo ooooone wants to remove pj’s), to nappies to noise to lunch boxes and school bags and lost water bottles, trying to remember to pack swimming togs and food for extra play and whether or today is a Fit Kids t-shirt wearing day and and aaaaaaaaand.

Once I have lost almost every ounce of patience, self control, and brain space, I make a mad dash into work, realize I left my lunch at home, forgot to give my kid a ‘show and tell’ item, and then see that there is dried oats on my pants.

Not stressed at all.

Enter – stress relieving essential oils. Ahhhhh. Essential oils. If you aren’t quite clued in, essential oils are the highly concentrated fragrant essences found in plants. The leaves, flowers, fruits or roots of the plants are usually steam distilled or cold pressed to extract this aromatic liquid.

I love SOiL Essential Oils because they are organic and Ecocert certified. This means that the herbs, shrubs and other plants that provide the oils are grown on land that is not exposed to herbicides, pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Winning all round.

I feel like essential oils are a bit like the ocean. Strange comparison – but stick with me here. When I look at the ocean (from, say, the top of Chapman’s Peak), I see this beautiful vast gorgeous sheet of water, but only when I have a chance to stop and think, can I begin to imagine the intricate ecosystem below, its vast depth; from the tiniest fish and piece of coral to the hugest and most majestic blue whale.

Essential oils are the same (kinda). They look cute in their neat little bottles and smell nice when opened, but once you dig deeper, those powerful little drops of oil can greatly contribution to ones life, health, healing, and restoration.

Here are the top 6 essential oils for stress relief:

Frankincense 

Frankincense, also known as Olibanum, is obtained from steam distillation of the gum resin. It has been used for 1000’s of years as incense in religious ceremonies. I know of Frankincense from the birth of Jesus :). Its centering aroma slows the nervous system and promotes a feeling of calm and introspection (Mary probably needed it), and a few drops in an essential oil burner can aid concentration and meditation. R100.00 (5ml)

Safety Information: Do not use during pregnancy.

*Frankincense smells similar to eucalyptus to me. I love the ancient heritage and how it can contribute to effective mindfulness.* 

Rose Geranium

Geraniums originate from South Africa and were introduced into Europe in the 17thC. The essential oil is distilled from the leaves and branches of the plant. Geranium is known to lift the spirit and relieve anxiety. It is useful in treating PMS and menopausal problems. R115.00 (10ml)

Safety Information: May cause skin irritation in some individuals

Lavender

Lavender is the most popular and versatile oil in aromatherapy. It’s a must for the first aid box – a great oil for skin conditions where there is inflammation, burns, scarring etc. Lavender is also well known for its relaxing, antidepressant and calming properties, and for treating headaches and insomnia as well as benefiting throat infections, colds and flu. R70.00 (10ml)

*I love Lavender – it is SO versatile! I literally keep a bottle in my bag and give it a sniff when I need to chill out. This is my go-to in my home diffuser.*

Ylang Ylang

Originating from South-East Asia, Cananga odorata is a fast-growing, tall evergreen tree, which produces large yellow-green, strongly scented flowers. Ylang Ylang has an intoxicating floral aroma. It is calming and soothes mentally, physically and emotionally. Traditionally used as an aphrodisiac. R80.00 (10ml)

Safety Information: Excessive use may cause nausea or headache are must be taken to always keep the oil away from children.

Melissa

Melissa oil is steam-distilled from the leaves and flowering tops of the plant. It is sometimes referred to as the bee balm. It has anti-depressant properties and is indicated for insomnia, hysteria and irritability. It is also an anti-spasmodic and is reputed to regulate the digestive system, relieving stomach cramps and nausea.  R220.00 (2.5ml)

Contraindications: A possible sensitizer and dermal irritant

Vetiver

Vetiver is a tall grass, native to India. It is sometimes used to prevent soil erosion due to its network of roots. It is these fibrous roots which are cleaned, dried and distilled to produce the sweet earthy smelling oil. Vetiver is often used in perfumery and is a valuable oil for relieving anxiety and depression due to its grounding nature. It is suggested as a good oil to strengthen the skin as well as being beneficial to the musculo-skeletal system due to its ability to promote blood flow. R150.00 (10ml)

*Vetiver caught me off guard with its potent peppery/earthy scent*.

Book a massage, grab your oils, take some time out, diffuse, sniff and relax.

*If you are not sure about certain oils or have not used them before, please contact your health practitioner before use. Please be smart and educate yourselves on the dangers of essential oils before using them. Using essential oils in conjunction with carrier oils is encouraged.

*Essentail oils are not recommended for pregnant or nursing mums, or on sensitive skins such as babies’ skin. All preggos must be very careful when using essential oils. 

*If you are not keen on using an undiluted essential oil directly on your skin (which many aren’t), you can dilute it with a carrier oil – such as almond, apricot kernel, grape seed, rose hip etc. 

Feaured image: www.aromasense.co.nz

A GYM… for your KIDS!

As a mum to three kids (two busy boys who are play-school going) we all know the importance of gross motor development and the scary stats about the number of kids in Occupational Therapy. I think partly, it’s due to the fact that we can’t just allow our kids to run up the road to their friends house or let them cycle to the nearest park to play until we call them in for dinner (sigh…). Facing the reality of OT can be a scary and intimidating thought for many parents. While neither of my kids are in OT – I have left a meet-the-teachers appointment with a sheet of gross motor exercises in my hand. Best I get on it then…

So I was PUMPED about this! A couple weeks ago we were invited to the launch of The Kids Gym, a brand new and FANTASTIC first-class gym space, designed with only kids (aged 0-15 years) in mind. KIDSFIT size treadmills & bicycles have been imported from America, and it has everything you can dream of in a gym – barring weights – on purpose (that could get dangerous). There is a range of specially designed equipment for age appropriate movement activities to improve balance, coordination, strength, flexibility & rhythm.

My kids had a BALL! They could’ve played for hours and hours and hoooooooours. I’m not over-exaggerating when I say that I had to drag them out of there. The range of exercise/play equipment is so vast, you’ll need a few visits to enjoy it all.

A gym with HEART:

This is not another ‘money making activity’ aimed at parents who feel the need (guilt) to take their kids out somewhere fun. This gym was created by a father whose daughter was born with a neuro-muscular disorder. He struggled to find a place to go to help her. It ignited his passion to create a place where kids can go to build muscle tone, strengthen their bodies, develop stronger gross and fine motor skills all while have a ball and building their self confidence at the same time.

I can’t help but think how PHENOMENAL a place like The Kids Gym will be for kids who:

a) need a place to get their energy out (or can’t stop moving),
b) need help with gross motor strength,
c) want to build self-confidence,
d) want an awesome adventure day out, or simply
e) a place parents can take their kids instead of plonking them in front of the tv.

The Kids Gym offer’s a non-competitive, non-judgemental environment for ALL to find their own “zone”.





But don’t be fooled – this is not a place where you dump your kids and hit up an awesome flat white at the Ninja Bean Cafe (…and there are AWESOME flat whites at this cafe). No one ‘works out’ alone – there is always a trainer to teach and supervise.


The gym is safe; with turn styles, a top notch security system, cameras and linked tv screens and an impressive number of trained assistants constantly watching and helping. Guys. I mean!

Price you ask? Take a look at the incredibly reasonable membership options below:


Check them out:

Address: Sable Square, Cnr Bosmansdam & Sable Road, Century City, Cape Town
Email them: fun@thekidsgym.co.za
Cell: 082-900-4480

Get social with them: www.thekidsgym.co.za, Facebook, Instagram.