The holiday season is here and in full swing. The parties, the shopping, the filling out of Christmas cards, and the consistently revolving door that has become your home can leave you feeling a little bit stressed out to say the least.
There are various ways that people deal with their stress – Some drink, some read, some work out like it’s their job, others take detox baths, and some people (myself included) rely on a little help from nature in the form of oils. Of course I’m talking about essential oils. We’ve already covered essential oils for sleep, allergies, digestive issues, and other things, but we’ve yet to cover what kinds of essential oils you can use to boost your mood and calm your nerves and anxiety when your stress levels begin to go through the roof.
That’s what this post is going to be about. There are quite a few different oils that can help bring you back down to earth when you’re feeling like you just can’t take it anymore; use your favourite one on this list or experiment with some that you’ve never tried to figure out what works best for you.
Lavender is usually the first essential oil I reach for when I begin to feel like my life is spinning out of control.
Not only is the scent calming and soothing, but it’s also one of the few essential oils that’s mild enough to not require the accompaniment of a carrier oil. Just a couple of drops on the wrist and/or in my diffuser and I’m back to feeling like a normal human being in no time.
You’ve probably heard of Chamomile tea before – my grandfather used to drink it on a nightly basis to help ease himself to sleep – but did you know that they also make it in essential oil form? Well they do, and not only is it calming and relaxing, it also helps ease feelings of sadness and depression.
I absolutely love earthy, grounding oils. Sandalwood essential oil is one of my favorites. Not only does it help promote relaxation and sleep, it also helps me focus when my brain is attempting to accomplish three thousand things at once.
It can help improve concentration and focus, helps relieve fatigue on a seemingly never ending day, and can even help ease feelings of depression.
Ylang Ylang oil can help lower your blood pressure; this is especially helpful when the anxiety of the holidays (or any big event) is making your heart feel like it’s about to burst out of your chest and start running for the hills. It’s also incredibly helpful for boosting your mood when feelings of sadness and loneliness start creeping in out of nowhere.
You may not of heard of this one before, but I’m sure that you’ve heard of lemongrass. They’re closely related and have the same sorts of properties.
Whether you’re nervous, anxious, or angry with the world (or your partner, your kids, etc.), this essential oil can help calm you down and bring you to a more grounded, relaxed place.
It’s calming, it’s wonderful, and it’s got a hint of citrus scent that will help uplift your spirits when you’re in even the foulest of moods.
If you’re clinging to bad feelings, hating your current situation, or anxious about things to come, this is the essential oil that you want to reach out to (and if tea is your thing, it pairs incredibly nicely with a cup of Earl Grey).
This is definitely the oil you want to grab when you feel like everything you’re working toward is slipping from beneath your fingers.
It promotes relaxation, helps ease feelings of depression, and can ground you like no other oil can (in my experience, of course). Plus it smells absolutely lovely.
This is the perfect oil for when you’re not only feeling stressed to the max, but that stress has you feeling completely drained of energy and like you’re unable to go on. It has a super refreshing and invigorating scent that uplifts you in a way only orangey scented things can, and it kind of smells like the holidays (especially if you mix it with a drop or two of cinnamon oil).
Peppermint oil is great for a whole host of things, and if you only decide to invest in one of the oils on this list I would seriously consider making it this one if I were you. It boosts your energy, helps clear your head when your brain just won’t shut up, and has even been shown to improve cognitive performance so it’s perfect for keeping on hand at work when you need to get through the three to five stretch that seems to never end. It’s also great for battling the likes of headaches and upset stomach due to over eating (Ever wondered why restaurants give you mints at the end of your meal? Well, now you know!).
This isn’t one of my personal favourites, but I do know a few people that use it to help calm their nerves when they’re feeling super stressed out. It kind of smells like a geranium/rose mixture with a few sweet notes mixed in. If you’re into floral scents, this might be just the thing to get you through a stressful day or night (or week).
Here’s another flowery scent that can help ground you when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Whether it’s been a rough day or a rough month, the strong scent of Bulgarian rose can help to get you through it.
Bonus: You get the sweet scent of roses without needing to worry about them being dead in a week (which can be pretty stressful in itself).
If you like the idea of citrus essential oils but you’re not ready to feel like you’re lying in the center of an orange orchard, Mandarin might be more your style. The scent of this oil is lighter than the Wild Orange, but it still gives you all of the same effects.
Using Essential Oils
There are a few different ways that you can use essential oils to help combat stress and anxiety:
Diffusing: Put a couple of drops into your diffuser, sit back, relax, and bask in the wonderful scent that fills the room.
Cut with a carrier oil: Mix a drop or two in a carrier oil (coconut, olive, etc.) and give yourself a relaxing massage (bonus points if someone else does it – Then you can really relax!).
In a detox bath: Either mix a couple of drops into a carrier oil and drop that into your bath (this will also help soften your skin) or mix the oil with some Epsom salts and relax for an hour. You can just add a couple of drops to the bath water if you’d like, but if you have sensitive skin you might find that it gets irritated since (as we all know) oil and water don’t mix so the essential oil will end up floating on the surface of the water instead of being absorbed by it.
You might read in some places that you can use essential oils internally (aka mix it in with some water or milk and then drink it), but I seriously wouldn’t recommend it. Essential oils are extremely potent. If you want to use them internally, please consult with an actual aromatherapist, to ensure that you’re doing so properly.
Do you use essential oils to combat stress and anxiety? Which ones are your favorites (even better if they’re not already on the list above)? Let us know in the comments section below – We always love hearing input from our dedicated readers!
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