Keeping up with the pace ofÂ a day at the officeÂ is draining. Self-care is of utmost importance to avoid fatigue and forgetfulness when facing a heavy schedule or constant demands on your time. Â You may rely on coffee or other caffeinated drinks to keep you going, but small bottles of essential oils carry a little magic of their own.
Aromatherapy is an ancient healing practice that safely and effectively alters a person’s mood and delivers desirable results. It works when a particular smell activates parts of the brain. For many professionals,Â who keep a few bottles tucked away in their desk, it has become a suitable option for dealing with stress. With a few whiffs, your mood transforms from one of dread to delight, or resignation to relaxation. Â You may also rub small amounts of essential oils on your wrists or neck, as well as blend it with other lighter oils, like olive and jojoba, to prolong use.
Below are some common moods you may feel during the day, and an aromatherapy cure:
YOU FEEL: “If another person asks me a question, I will lose it.”Â
YOU NEED: Calm
YOUR AROMATHERAPY SOLUTION:Â Ylang Ylang, Palmarosa
It’s easy to give up when you are overwhelmed. Use these essential oils to feel grounded again, calm your mind, and quell feelings of anxiety. Â Those you work with will thank you later.
YOU FEEL:Â “I’m just going through the motions.” Â
YOU NEED: Rejuvenation
YOUR AROMATHERAPY SOLUTION:Â Peppermint
Who doesn’t love a good cup of peppermint tea in the morning? Now, you can feel refreshed like after a cold shower or a soothing massage. Â You may not be able to shower on the job, but this may be the closest thing to it, for a quick pick-me-up without leaving your desk.
YOU FEEL: “What am IÂ doing today?”
YOU NEED: Focus
YOUR AROMATHERAPY SOLUTION:Â Cinnamon, Thyme
Either one can be the antidote during a brain freeze. We’ve all had moments when we lose focus and find our brains trying to catch up with the goals we’ve set.
YOU FEEL:Â “I just need a 30-minute nap, and I’ll feel like new again!”
YOU NEED: Alertness
YOUR AROMATHERAPY SOLUTION:Â Basil, Rosemary
These are common herbs for cooking, but they provide wonders for the mind when you need it most. Mix a few drops inÂ with jojoba oil and it dab on your skin a few times a day to be ready for anything.
YOU FEEL: “I am very bored with this job.”Â
YOU NEED: Creativity
YOUR AROMATHERAPY SOLUTION:Â Frankincense, Lemon
Combined or alone, you will feel the new ideas brewing; you may want to keep a notepad handy to grab them. Do not just expect ideas for work–you may get some for your health, home, and relationships. Â Lemon also helps with performance and concentration.
YOU FEEL: “Someone is out to get me.”Â
YOU NEED: Peace
YOUR AROMATHERAPY SOLUTION:Â Juniper, Yarrow
Miss that blissful, “all is well” feeling? Â This relaxes you enough to take the paranoia or anxiety down a few notches.
Experiment with one or two of your favorite aromatherapyÂ scents and see how your body responds. Some people are inclined to scents that are clean and light, like jasmine or lavender. Others thrive off of the sharp scents of basil and lemon. Your body will lean towards one type of scent more than the others, and your desired mood should follow.
Aromatherapy is a wonderful addition to any self-care practice, but don’t rely on it alone to cure any prolonged sadness or stress. If you experience longs bouts of either, you may need to look at how you are managing your life.
Maryann Reid is the digital managing editor of BlackEnterprise.com and the author of several books published by St. Martin’s Press. For more, please follow her @RealAlphanista.