Covid has come to define the year 2020 just as it has consumed our everyday lives. It seems to be all we hear about. Even if we’re not talking about Covid specifically, it’s always something related to Covid – mask do’s and don’ts, virtual learning, government policies, travel restrictions, etc… Despite Covid and other world events my life, like some others, has been fairly steady – steady to the point that I am pretty complacent in my daily and weekly routine.
The thing is. . . nothing is really wrong in my life, but sometimes something just feels like it’s lacking. You know that feeling where you just get the urge to completely change things up? For me that happens nearly every evening when Netflix is on and I have been mindlessly scrolling through Instagram for the last half hour, I look around my room and get a major urge to just redo everything. Who cares that I painted and decorated MAYBE a month ago?
If you’re like me, it’s time to put down the proverbial furniture catalog and paint samples and start thinking about a new candle. Yes, you read that right. That big change you are craving and the solution to your lackluster life could be as simple as helping out your olfactory receptors (basically the things that allow you to smell) and adding the right candle to your space.
It Happens to the Best of Us
Drawing from my time as an overly stressed out college student I found that a change of scenery, but more importantly a change in smell, was exactly what I needed when I was feeling overwhelmed, stressed or even just a little -blah-. You may be thinking “I understand the change in scenery, but the change in smell? I’m not buying it.” I don’t blame you, but hear me out.
I remember a few months ago, it was a Sunday evening, I was sitting on my floor working on my thesis paper and I was beyond overwhelmed. One of my friends stopped by, looked at me and just said, “I think you need a breather” and they were right. I had been stuck inside for at least two days working on that vile paper and hadn’t had a break. I put up my laptop and we went for a walk.
The moment I stepped outside, I took a deep breath and I could feel my mind begin to clear. I could smell the grass that had been cut on Saturday afternoon and the beginnings of a bonfire from one of the neighbors. I felt so much better after that little walk that I sat down and wrote three additional pages in an hour before calling it a night. Sitting here writing this six months later I can almost smell that Sunday evening walk.
The Proof is in the Pudding
Studies have shown that scents and smells are strongly linked to our memories as well as our emotional being. This is due to the fact that our olfactory receptors (those things I mentioned before that allow you to smell) are directly connected to our brain’s limbic system which is in charge of – you guessed it – our emotions and memories.
Knowing this, it’s no wonder that the smell of fresh cut grass and bonfires are smells that make me happy! Those are the smells of my childhood, a time that was so much simpler and those specific scents bring me right back to that time. I am positive that the majority of you have similar examples.
Not only can smell memories lift our spirits, but different fragrances tend to have different effects on the brain as well. For example, lavender tends to be a relaxing scent that calms and centers while peppermint is more stimulating and can make you more productive (If you’re interested in seeing an in depth study with a list of scents and their effects I would recommend checking out this article here).
Okay, that’s cool, so what? Well knowing how intensely smells can impact a person’s state of being perhaps you should just light the right candle the next time you’re feeling the need for a change.
In desperate need of some relaxing “me time”? Grab yourself the “Hygge” scent from Sunday Candle Co. for a fresh, clean and comforting escape.
Need to feel fresh, clean and maybe a little earthy? Try the Botanist “Citrus & Oakmoss” candle.
And if you’re just needing that pick me up to motivate you to get out and go for that early morning run, light some “Athleisure,” also from Anecdote Candles.
If you’re not a candle person or if you have little ones that you don’t want around an open flame, you can always swap the candle for a diffuser and use essential oils for some aromatherapy.
All in all, whatever your funk is, try switching up the smells BEFORE the furniture! Your brain and wallet will thank you.