We’ve had a huge fire burning here locally since July 3. It’s been intense for all in the valley, especially the firefighters and everyone directly affected by evacuations, home losses, smoke damage, and now mud slide threats. It has impacted people deeply. It’s been stressful, anxiety producing, and depressing. Summer was joyfully cruising along, a cherished time of year for us snowy mountain folk; it was almost the 4th of July and then wham-o the summer took a completely unexpected and intensely emotional turn. Regardless of whether you’ve been affected by fire here, elsewhere, or not, today I thought I’d write about strategies for dealing with intensely stressful events, and the affects of fire specifically.

Let’s look at the physical stuff in the air first. People are feeling the smoke in their lungs, sinuses, and throats.

Great essential oils to support the respiratory system are conifers like Firs and Pines. I really love Fir Siberian Silver right now. She smells divine and is a huge lung, sinus, and immune helper. Fir Balsam is great too, and Fir Douglas grows locally. Eucalyptus is another great respiratory supporter. Eucalyptus Mint is nice and gentle one for kids or sensitive lungs and Eucalyptus Gully Gum is a great friend for persistent respiratory issues, like the smoke inhalation we can’t escape right now. I also really like Laurel Leaf for supporting the lymphatic system because that’s what will remove toxins from our bodies, along with exhalation.

The cool thing about those three species is that they all serve double duty in helping us deal with the emotional affects from the fire as well. Firs really support the adrenals, which get overworked with stress, plus they are super grounding. Grounding is really needed with all this fire energy and fear. Eucalyptus helps us process emotional and spiritual breathing. With any stress we tend to breathe shallowly and quickly, and Eucalyptus can remind us and encourage us to drop down into our bodies again and let go and simply breathe deeply. Laurel Leaf is a huge protector and courage giver, both welcomed right now.

Diving into more stress relief, we of course have all the Lavenders and Lavandins to calm our nervous systems and ease our heartache over the forest burned and the visual we’re going to be looking at for the rest of our lives. Lavandin Super helps with fear and anxiety as well as eases breathing. Along with Lavandin Grosso, they both are mucolytics, helping to thin and release mucus from the respiratory system, which is part of how we get those smoke particles out. Lavender Spike is a great calmer, but also an anti-depressant and insomnia aid. Lavender Fine also calms, but supports the respiratory system as well as helping us stabilize our physical and astral bodies, again big help with all the fire energy and stress. Bonus credit for Fir and Laurel Leaf for anxiety relief too!

Depression has been a common theme with the fire, from seeing the vast areas burned, to the fear for so many of losing their homes.

It’s incredible that two communities were almost completely spared by the fire. Thank you amazing heroic firefighters! Now the game of chicken with mudslides has started, and that type of ongoing, completely out of our control fear can really bring people down. It takes it’s toll and depression is the very common companion to anxiety. Big depression helpers are Rose. She brings your vibration up so high and opens your heart so wide. She smells so sweet that you can’t help but be lifted up by her. Citrus essences are also excellent for depression. They are uplifting and are literally sunshine in a bottle. Their bright colors and smell brings you, your mood, and your energy up. Tangerine is a favorite of mine right now, as I use her first thing each morning to start my day. She makes me smile!

Lastly, I’d like to offer a couple more essences that could really support the local community’s healing right now, Pinon Pine and Juniper Utah, the two trees that have burned up so dramatically in the fire. Pinion Pine is a conifer, so all the above info pertains, but she also aids us in detoxifying our bodies, from the smoke but also from the stress. She’s grounding and helps us evolve to a higher consciousness out of fear. Juniper Utah is a detoxifier too, as well as being a major nervine (calms the nervous system) and central nervous system supporter, that’s the brain and spinal column, where the anxiety, fear, and depression originate. Let’s go ahead and add in the essential oil from our local sagebrush, Sage Purple too. She’s another respiratory aid as well as a direction aid, as she literally establishes the community that the Pinon Pine needs to grow. She helps the landscape heal along with clearing out energy. How inspiring and full circle is it to use two trees and a shrub destroyed in the fire to heal yourself from the fire?

My love to you as you deal with the intensity this fire has brought and continues to bring to our beautiful community.