How I started using essential oils

When I started using essential oils it was not to help manage stress, it was to help me with my Hashimoto’s (auto-immune thyroid disease). I’ve always looked to holistic remedies to help me manage many of the symptoms. In general my mission has been to reduce inflammation in the body – I’ve done this by removing and reducing inflammatory foods (gluten, grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol… yes I do still have some fun!!


Stress causes inflammation. Inflammatory foods create stress on the digestive system, but stress comes in all sorts of forms. It could be overcommitting to things, taking on responsibilities that really don’t belong to us, financial pressure, unmet expectations, negative relationships. Stress can of course be positive stress eg working towards a goal that you’re passionate about (eg run a Marathon…. not MY goal!!) but the body still feels it as stress.

What I didn’t expect when I started using essential oils was that it would help me with my day to day stress. In 2016 my word for the year was ‘tranquility’. Two years before I discovered that I had a large brain lesion. A pre-curser to MS. Another auto-immune disease. More inflammation. I readjusted my body goals to be focused on wellness not body image. In 2015 I decided to write a cookbook – in 4 months, apparently that is fast. More stress.

I needed to do something

By the end of the year, my thyroid doctor told me I had to reduce my stress levels for my health to improve. She prescribed a trip to a luxury health retreat. Seriously. I was going to go. I had the tick of approval on the home front, the only problem was that I would have to come home. To myself and my day to day life. I needed to learn how to manage my stress or I would have wasted thousands of dollars.

I decided not to go (perhaps I could have done both!) but to set my word and intention for the year to be ‘tranquility’. I started taking walks in the botanical gardens, I tried to yell less at the boys. I wasn’t going to take on anything knew.

Then I thought I’d try essential oils. I wasn’t thinking about tranquility when I bought them because I’d never really liked smells. I was trying them initially in my facial oil to rub over my thyroid. I didn’t buy a diffuser. I wasn’t planning on ‘smelling’ them. Then I was given a little sample of ‘Balance’ essential oil.

I did more reading and research and was intrigued that I could cook with some essential oils and that seemed to fit with What Annabel Cooks and so the business side of doTERRA for me was appealing but I still wasn’t really thinking about using them for stress management.

It’s only with the benefit of hindsight actually that I realise just how much using essential oils has helped me manage my day to day stress.

My favourite smells

I discovered that I really like the smell of a lot of the woody oils and the fir tree oils. These as a category of oils are very grounding and calming (read up on forest bathing and you’ll get an idea of why). I bought a diffuser and started putting oils in it on my kitchen bench. I started dabbing Balance on my wrists at school pick up/homework time which is the time of the day I found the most stressful. I joke that I was snorting Balance in the car as I waited for the boys at school!

I haven’t had a personality change, I still feel stress. I hate being late. I have high expectations on myself and those around me (cue stress). I still yell at the boys, but honestly I really believe I do this less. I have tools that live in my handbag or on the kitchen bench so when I feel stressed I can roll myself with essential oils and inhale them deeply. They make me feel calmer.

My whole life has been infiltrated with essential oils so it’s hard to say what the ‘one’ thing is that works best for me. I don’t actually believe it’s ‘one thing’… I believe it’s accumulative. Wellness – physical, emotional, spiritual, relational wellness is a lifestyle. It’s not a ‘one thing’.

So here are the doTERRA products I use as part of my lifestyle that I believe help me manage my stress. I also eat well, do gentle exercise that doesn’t stress my body, get a balance of time on my own and with people who feed my soul, I have a marriage that isn’t stressful, I have faith in God that gives me a secure sense of who I am and my purpose in this world. All these things help too.

My go-to’s for when I feel stressed

💚 Lifelong vitality supplements for supporting general mood, energy, health etc. I take these morning and night.

⚖️ Balance is my go-to for after school/holidays when the kids are driving me crazy. I should call it the yell-less blend 🤣 I wear it like a perfume.

🤪 Clary Calm for the monthly pains and stress that seem to accompany womanhood! I roll it on my abdomen or even on my wrists for general calming.

✝ Frankincense for spiritual calm and soothing my CNS. I still use in my facial oil or a drop on the roof of my mouth.

💜 Lavender – all things soothing, including emotions.Z

🌼 Neroli – from the flower on the bitter orange tree, calming, nice to wear as perfume. Recent study showed benefits to post menopausal women. Comes in the roller so perfect for the handbag. Not too floral so also good for men.

🌬️ Easy Air – supports respiratory system so when we can breath clearly and deeply we reduce stressful feelings don’t we?

☮️ Peace – comes either in oil to diffuse or roller. I use this when I mediate for separated couples. Another nice everyday use oil. A great one for kids too.

🌲Siberian Fir representing the tree oils generally which I find grounding, calming and love in my diffuser. Others in this category… cypress, sandalwood, Douglas fir, cedarwood.

😥 Console – when it’s a bit deeper than stress and more like grief or intense emotion. This is Charlie’s (my 10 yr old) favourite for when he’s angry in a rage or broken something!

🌾Vetiver – another more deeply intense oil I use for sleep but also supportive of intense emotion when needing to be grounded. It’s in the new children’s roller called ‘Thinker’ too so can be helpful for focus. This comes from a grass root in Haiti. I love using vetiver too because of how it’s sourced! Check out the video about it here.

Would you like to try essential oils to help you support your stress levels?

To keep it simple, and not stressful (if you want more options, contact me to help you)

Buy one of the starter kits found HERE – then you’ll have lots of physical needs as well as some emotional support (eg Family Essentials, Home Essentials and Nature’s Solutions all contain frankincense, lavender and easy air).

If you need help, please just email or call me and I’ll help find the best selection at the cheapest price for you.

If you get started with doTERRA with one of the starter kits, as one of my much loved and supported customers, I will send you a keychain with 6 samples of essential oils you haven’t bought to give you a chance to try some of the other essential oils mentioned here. Just email me ( with the code WELLNESS IS A LIFESTYLE – STRESS in the email!