I’ve been trying to cope with depression for most of my life to the point where sometimes I don’t even realise my coping mechanisms are coping mechanisms at all. They are just things I do and it is not until I don’t do them that I realise they are part of my crutch. One thing I do is burn scented candles and those little tart things that melt into pools and give off their scent before solidifying again when you blow out the candle underneath them. It turns out a lot of people do that and a lot of people recommend that but I didn’t realise how important it was for me until recently in keeping that little gremlin at bay. I used to burn candles and then my cat at the time decided she wanted to sit where they were burning and I had nowhere else to put them so I stopped. Now, sadly, my cat has passed away and my room is arranged differently so pretty much my whole desk of drawers top is dedicated to candles.
It has made a huge difference for me. Even when it is summer I think I will burn at least one tealight constantly in order to have my tartlets filling my air with scent. I find they are stronger than ‘scented candles’ alone. It took me a while to find scents that I find really comforting. I tried cinnamon for a while because people said~ I can’t stand the stuff. I had a fresh winter one for a while but after a time it would irritate me more than anything else. At the moment I’m loving my vanilla tartlet. Since I put it on my burner a few weeks ago I have pretty much had it going constantly. I’ve gone through so many tealight candles but it has been worth it. The smell is not overpowering and it doesn’t get weaker after a while. It is just a constant and every time I return to my room, which is my safe place anyway, I feel like I am being hugged. There is no stress without a cat around either. I don’t have to fear for her safety, that she might appear jump up and hurt herself while, ya know, setting my house on fire.
Often I burn a lot of candles because of my thyroidism. Even with the heating on and many layers I need that extra heat coming off them so I end up looking like I have some sort of pagan alter going on in my bedroom but needs must. They make me happy. I feel more calm, happier, just better with my candles on the go. It isn’t an expensive self-care tool either. Supermarkets do huge bags of tealights for a pound or so and even at the rate I go through them a bag lasts me ages. Some scented ones come in their own holders for a pound and I stocked up after Christmas when all the red ones went on sale. Homebase are pretty awesome in the UK too for getting random scented candles, failing to sell them and then slashing prices only to get more stock in and repeat it all. They do a fabulous apple one . Holder can be pricey but Christmas ones crash in price at this time of year and if you’re on a budget and don’t mind Santa in your room in July it is a good way to save some pennies. Other than that it is about looking around. Places like poundland, B&M, Home Bargains and such tend to have these things hanging around and they look just as good as their more expensive counterparts in Next. The tart burner itself can be a few pounds but they last forever.
When you want to get a solid tart out and burn another one just stick a knife around the edges until you can pry it free. Yankee are the more well known makers of tarts but they are not the only ones out there. They do happen to be my favourite and again, I treat my depression by sometimes treating myself to a new tart now and then. Makes me happy in the moment and the smells make me calm and happy later on as well.
Obviously some smells can trigger negative reactions in people and some can trigger happy memories. Some just make you think ‘man that stinks’ and others you hardly notice. For me it is about finding the ones that are not too strong and that I don’t connect to anything in particular. It is just a nice, calming background smell in my room. It is important for me to have simple things that deal with my depression. I felt I was handling it towards the end of last year and as a result it really crept up on me. Doing more little things now means I feel SO much better but I don’t feel tired for it or like I’m using energy on it instead of on another gremlin or the rest of my life. It is all little things, like my candles and my socks.
For those who like the idea of scents but are scared of candles, can’t burn them for some other reason, or/and happen to have an adventurous animal or little person around there are other options. My mum always like to have a bowl of potpourri around. Personally I find it is too strong at first and then you stop smelling it very quickly. There are those other incense likes sticks going around as well too which come in different flavours but I’ve yet to find a scent I like. The thing with candles is that you’re constantly re-lighting them so you don’t get overly used to, and stop smelling them. They are my preferred method but not the only one. Air fresheners are another but again I find they start too strong and then fade. If you haven’t thought of it or didn’t think it would work, I would encourage you to have a go. It you have a spare pound that can be all you need to start off candle wise and I really do believe it can help ❤