Essential oils and creating calm kids and homes

Essential oils have  a therapeutic effect on our psychological and physical systems. The aroma of the oils such as Lavender, have a soothing effect on the emotional state. Try putting a drop or two of essential Lavender oil on a cloth and placing it where your child can smell it when they are in bed, e.g. under their pillow, or beside the bed. Try using Lavender oil in a vaporiser, you can buy one from most supermarkets. Vaporisers come in many shapes and sizes, they have a small bowl on top to place water and essential oil in and a platform for a slow burning t-light  candle beneath it.  You can add up to 5 – 10 drops of oil in total to the water, using a combination of up to 3 -4 different essential oils. Remember never to leave a burning candle unattended. Use only 100% pure essential oils, as the cheaper brands are often not pure and are mixed with chemicals to create the perfume. When we use this method, we breathe in the aroma of the essential oils, it goes into our bloodstream, which is why it is very important to use only pure essential oils.

Some blends to try in a vapouriser are;

A calming blend to use in the evening ; Lavender, Cedarwood & Lemon.

A calming blend to use during the day; Lavender, Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang & Mandarin. 

Have fun creating calm,

Path of Calm








One of the most noticeable early signs of stress and anxiety can be disturbed sleeping patterns and insomnia. The dictionary definition of insomnia is ‘abnormal sleeplessness’. Most people, at some stage  have complained of a lousy night’s sleep, which they can normally pin point the cause of. E.g, overstimulation of the nervous system , too much caffeine before bed, watching violent TV, computer games, worry and excitement.

Knowing what disrupts our sleep can assist us in making the appropriate changes towards a good nights sleep. However, sometimes this is not enough as there may be a deeper underlying cause of sleeplessness.

It may be that we know what that cause is, eg, stress, anxiety, such as a particular event which has disrupted our life in some way, such as separation, divorce, change of school, moving home or changing jobs. It can be an on going issue such as being a carer for a sick or elderly relative, studying or illness. Or, we may not be able to pin point the cause, and we may have silent stressors in our life which are things that we don’t realise are causing us concern. Any of the previous events mentioned can be defined as silent stressors if we don’t realise that they may be the cause of our stress.

Quite often, just acknowledging what’s going on in our life and identifying any issues that may be affecting us can be a positive step. By discovering what affects us and respecting ourself enough to fulfil our needs and making positive change, we can function and feel better which can help in getting a good solid nights sleep. Sounds complicated for something so simple such as sleep, but our minds are incredibly sophisticated and capable of storing vasts amounts of information.

Some of the information we gather on a day to day basis but don’t use is conveniently stored away in our brain on other levels (our subcounscious, being one of those levels) for when we might need that information again. We may or may not be aware of this process. This can help explain the silent stressor theory, e.g., because we aren’t thinking about or aware of an issue (our counscious mind) doesn’t mean that it is not affecting us in a positive or negative way (subconscious mind).

It’s important to remember that the issues that impact on us as adults also impact on our children. They learn to handle stress and most of the other things in life, in a similar way that we their parents and role models do.

When kids say “I can’t sleep and I don’t know why”, chances are they may be reacting to a silent stressor in their life. It can help to sit down with them and explain that sometimes things can bother us, but we might not know what those things are. And that’s ok, sometimes it can a while to work it out. Talk with them about any obvious issues that may be affecting  them, such as school, home, etc. What can seem like a small thing to us can be a huge thing to a child. Always validate what’s going on for them, this means acknowledging or showing empathy for how they feel, and not how we think they should feel about issues. This helps them to feel safe about opening  up more about their feelings and what is really bothering them. Just knowing that they can talk to a parent with no pressure or over reaction can be an enormous emotional support for a child.

Sometimes it can help for the kids to keep a journal. They could write or draw pictures to assist them with expression of their feelings, or remind them of positive things they would like to remember.

Once we know the issues that affect us we need to find ways to assist in dealing with them. It may be that we can’t change the issues  in our lives, but we can change the way we think about them or our response to those issues.

Some methods which can assist with stress are using positive affirmations, visualisations (see our post for info on affirmations and visualisations) and listening to a relaxation story before bedtime. Relaxing stories such as those on our CD have proven to be effective for this application. We have had great feedback on our CD, ( see our testimonials page), and we use it as part of our chill skills for kids classes with great results.

Copyright 2012,  Lisa Hemmings and Allan O’Keefe,