Sleepless nights? Check.
Meals on the run? Check.
Impaired lung function? Check.
Toxins and carcinogens galore? Check.
It is not just the firefighter experiencing heightened emotions and physical changes in the fire life. The families are right there alongside them.
Fear and worry aren’t the only emotional battle in the fire life. We also deal with anger and depression. Our firefighters, ourselves, and our children all have to face some of these emotions at one time or another, and don’t we all just want to do everything we can to dissipate those angry outbursts, the endless weeping, the feelings of despair and loneliness?
If you have ever read the article My Battle with Fear and Worry: Surviving that Deep Dark Put of Anxiety, and it resonated with you because you have those nights, you are not alone in those feelings.
Emotions can change from one second to the next.
Everyone just had a great day together. We are flying high on love and happiness.
Then, the instant the door closes, Dad is gone, and the kids start missing him. Or even later that night, the bed feels so empty, maybe you parted on bad terms and everything just feels so wrong. How do you control the pounding of your heart or the stinging tears in your eyes?
You have to try and hold it together until they get home and you can hash things out, in a calm way of course! Bringing up issues that can wait while they are on shift might distract them from their job and focusing on their safety.
Or how about this scenario? Yay! Your firefighter is home after a long shift, or even multiple shifts in a row! Then you feel the tension in the air. Suddenly everyone is walking on tiptoes trying not to erupt the volcano that is your firefighter stewing from little sleep, bad calls, and frustration that make them irritable. Read Disarming Your Irritable Sleep-Deprived Firefighter.
There may be a way to ease some of that anxiety, worry, anger, depression, and/or fear naturally.
Since we are already exposed to so many toxins, using essential oils is a great way to deal with some of these emotions and physical symptoms in the most natural way.
Now some of you may have tried essential oils in the past and found they did nothing for you. And it is true, each person is affected differently by different oils, applications, treatment methods, etc. So find what works for you, and leave what doesn’t.
Here are a few important things to remember when using oils:
- All oils are not created equal. Quality matters. It REALLY matters. Don’t jump to buy the cheapest oil, because it may be such poor quality that it will be ineffective. But don’t be fooled into paying a ridiculous amount for low quality either.
- Do your research about dilution and application methods. Some oils should never be used on children or pregnant or nursing women, or even individuals with certain conditions.
Top Essential Oils for Fire Families
Lavender. Lavender. Lavender.
This is probably the most useful oil you will find to benefit your family. Because a little less stress and a little more sleep goes a long way in a tense household.
Close the bedroom door, take a deep breath in and relax with lavender. Take control of your fear and worry.
Use lavender to relieve the anxiety and stress you feel on shift nights. Find that sought after relaxation when you diffuse it into the air. Actually feel rested after you sleep. It can also be used to reduce hyperactivity (think small children at bedtime!).
It is a great oil to diffuse in the evenings or in the bedroom before your firefighter gets home from a long shift.
There are many ways to use this versatile oil, so it won’t just sit on the shelf when everyone is happy and rested.
Beware! This is one of the stronger oils. A little goes a long way! Also take caution around sensitive skin.
Peppermint is amazing. Amazing for allergies. Amazing for asthma. Amazing for indigestion issues. Amazing for tired, worn out, air-tank breathing lungs and muscles sore from overhauls.
Diffusing this into the air during allergy season or after a fire helps open those irritated airways and cool tissues.
Try diluting it with a carrier oil and massage into sore muscles (wintergreen is another great oil for this). Just be sure to test sensitive skin first!
You can also diffuse this with Lavender at night. Your firefighter will thank you when they wake up rested and feeling better. Everyone wins.
It is well known for its anti-inflammatory and cooling properties. This is another must-have oil for fire families! Note: Eucalyptus is also a great oil to help your firefighter breathe better while sleeping.
We all need team players in the fire life. Lemon is one of them as an all-around oil. Historically, lemon essential oil has been used against food poisoning, malaria, typhoid, and scurvy. It has also been used to control blood pressure, which is a condition some in the fire life are very familiar with.
Lemon is a powerhouse.
You can use it for emotional support like getting rid of anxiety when your firefighter is gone. Lift your mood and energizing yourself when you just want to lay in bed until he gets home.
OR you can use it to clean just about anything. Use it to freshen the air in those stinky teenager sports stuff areas or the laundry room. Use it to remove the gum your toddler stuck on your wall, or to remove grease stains from that one shift night you decided to eat a little on the unhealthy side.
It sounds so ancient, doesn’t it? Most people know if as one of the gifts the wise men brought to the baby Jesus.
This is good oil to have on hand. It has anticancer properties because of its ability to regenerate healthy cells. You heard me right. Anticancer. They have been using it in clinical trials and it has shown effectiveness against cancer. Check out the research, it might blow your mind. Some cancer cells that aren’t responding to chemotherapy are being wiped out by frankincense!
This is definitely one many fire families should have in their cupboards to battle against all the carcinogens our firefighters are exposed to. Support heightened immunity for the rest of the family too by diffusing it in common living areas.
Psst…Ladies. It is ALSO has anti-aging properties, so put a few drops in your cleanser or moisturizer!
Get your diffuser running and get back to loving on your family.
A diffuser won’t solve every problem, but essential oils may help you get to a point where you can deal with issues from a more stable emotional level.
Give your fire family your best, and help them get to their best too. Let’s get back to the basics and focus on our love for each other.
Resources on How to Help Your Family Naturally
Add another resource to keeping your family healthy and low on stress.
Use them from beauty to cleaning to cooking to emotional and physical wellness.
One more way to avoid unnecessary toxins for your family, because that’s the last thing we need in the fire life!