You may already know that essential oils have significant benefits for relieving stress. However, those little bottles of super-charged plant essences are certainly not cheap, and many people buy them only to find that they have little idea about how to use them.
There must be literally hundreds of unloved and unused bottles hiding at the back of bathroom cabinets; yet with a few simple tricks, it’s surprisingly easy to incorporate their benefits into your daily routine.
Here are some of my top suggestions for getting the most from your essential oils without going to great lengths to work them into your day.
Use a diffuser
There’s a huge array of aromatic diffusers on the market, so I highly recommend you do your research to find one that fits with both your budget and your lifestyle.
One of the most economical ways to infuse your environment with uplifting, stress busting scents is to create your own diffuser. Try adding a few drops of oil onto a cotton wool ball and placing it in a warm place such as behind a radiator. (It goes without saying – don’t place these near anything flammable or so hot that it could cause a fire.) This is a neat trick to use if you work in an office and are looking for ways to keep your stress levels in check throughout the day. However, do be sure to consult with your colleagues first, as some people may not appreciate the gesture, or in the worst case scenario, even be allergic to the scent.
Alternatively you could create your own home-made “reed” diffuser using a small glass jar and some wooden lollipop sticks. As always Pinterest is the “go to” source for all things homemade. A simple search for “home-made diffuser” will bring up literally thousands of interesting and budget friendly ideas.
If you can afford it however, the best solution is to purchase an ultra-sonic diffuser. These nifty devices break down the particles in the essential oils and disperse them into the air. The particles then act as negative ions which attach themselves to the positively charged particles in the air to help purify your home. These kinds of diffusers are typically filled with water which provides the added benefit of humidifying your environment. Ultra-sonic vibrations agitate the water causing the particles to separate. This method of dispersing the oils works much better than candle diffusers which heat the oils, causing them to lose some of their valuable health giving properties.
I really like these types of diffusers as not only are they a great way to get the maximum benefits from your expensive oils, but the little spouts of steam that regularly emanate from the device are also weirdly relaxing!
Add them to your laundry
Another highly economical way to use your oils is to use them in your laundry. This has a number of benefits; the most obvious being that you’re able to have the scent on you wherever you go.
The easiest way to do this is to soak a piece of old material in a mixture of warm water and a few drops of your favourite anti-stress blend. Place the damp cloth in the tumble dryer together with your freshly laundered clothes. You can also use this trick on bedding to improve your sleep hygiene. Lavender oil is one of the best to use for this purpose as it’s traditionally used to aid restful sleep.
If you’re looking to reduce your chemical toxic load, you could try going one step further by making your own laundry detergent from scratch. Add a few drops of your favourite oils and you’re ready to go.
A few more tips
- When buying essential oils always be sure to buy the best quality you can afford. Many of the cheaper brands come from lower quality sources rather than the premium crop. These types of oils won’t have the same therapeutic effects.
- Never buy oils that have had chemicals or other oils added to them. Be sure to buy oils that are packaged in dark brown or amber glass bottles which protect them from exposure to sunlight which can have a damaging effect.
- If you’re using oils with children be sure to check with a qualified practitioner that they’re safe. Not all oils are suitable for everyone. Remember these are powerful distillations and pure extracts. If you’re at all unsure – check before use.
For more information about essential oils and adrenal fatigue check out our other article, The 7 Best Essential Oils for Stress Relief.