THERE is no good health without good mental health, and one Jamaican woman is doing her part to help raise awareness of this, one flame at a time. Media practitioner and reigning Miss Global Jamaica Brithney Clarke is using her business, B'Mindful Candles and More , to promote healing and awareness of the mind, especially during these uncertain times.
“This idea has been in my mind for over a year, but I actually registered B'Mindful Candles and More in March,” she shared with All Woman about her hand-crafted scented soy wax candle business.
“It's a merger of a passion and a craft. I'm really passionate about mental health awareness and I've always loved scents and candles, and I'm intrigued by aromatherapy. B'Mindful is really about combining my passion for mental health awareness and all the interesting information I found on aromatherapy.”
Clarke's candle-making venture could not have been launched at a better time than in March, as COVID-19 and its immense psychosocial effects soon enveloped the country, as it did the rest of the world. Experts agree that restrictions caused by the pandemic have been causing, and will continue to cause, elevated rates of stress, anxiety, loneliness, depression, harmful alcohol and drug use, and self-harm or suicidal behaviour.
Clarke, who routinely covers the Government's COVID-19 press briefings for Nationwide News Network, is acutely aware of the challenges, and hopes that her candles can help to shine a light on the need to balance our physical well-being with our mental wellness.
“Given what's happening with COVID-19, a lot of people are feeling a little more sad, a little more depressed and all of that,” she lamented. “So hopefully my product can remind them that they're not alone, their mental health is important, and know when to disconnect from the world and reconnect with self.”
In observance of Mental Illness Awareness Week last week, Clarke rolled out a collection of new scents targeted specifically at lifting the spirits and making people feel lighter.
“Aromatherapy has been used for centuries to ease stress, treat anxiety and depression,” she explained. “Certain scents have a way of triggering memories, or awakening feelings of nostalgia, but more than that, they actually impact your mood and well-being.”
She pointed to the fact that aromatherapy has been used in the treatment of dementia patients, for example, because of its power to bring forth buried memories. While all her candles consist of powerful, fragrant and essential oils, her Mental Health Collection focuses on infusing essential oils that carry 'happy scents'.
“For example, the Stress-Less candle is made with lavender and frankincense, which aids in stress relief, feelings of peace and promotes relaxation,” she said.
Another timely piece in the collection is the Breathe Easy, which contains eucalyptus and peppermint.
“These may help to open the airways and ease congestion,” Clarke noted. “Peppermint is also a natural energy booster and can help to improve overall mood. It promotes easy breathing and reduces inflammation.”
Other scents in the collection include Revive, with white tea and lemongrass; You're Lit!, with rosemary and mint; and Be Happy with pineapple, sage and green tea. B'Mindful (@bmindfulja on Instagram) also carries crisp, sweet, sensual and fresh scents made with the fragrances of cucumbers, citrus fruits, coconut, mango, cinnamon, coffee, vanilla, Japanese cherry blossom, and other ingredients.
Clarke, who has been championing the cause of mental health since she won her first pageant title at Immaculate Conception High School, hopes that her candles can remind their holders to practice kindness and mindfulness.
“Mental health is important, because if your mind is not in something, there is no way that you're going to convince your body and spiritual being to be in it,” she said. “Each of these aspects have to work together. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.”