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How Aromatherapy Affects Stress: A Guide for Back-to-School Stress Relief

For many people, the beginning of fall can be a stressful period. The relatively carefree days of summer are over, it’s time for the kids to go back to school, sports and activities are starting up again, and schedules are totally changing. All those transitions are stressful, which in turn can bring up feelings of anxiety, reduce concentration, and even hinder immunity.

Fortunately, there are many ways to beat the back-to-school stress through self-care and holistic therapies, and aromatherapy is one of the easiest and most accessible options. No matter what you or your child are going through, there’s likely an essential oil that can help. These are just a few of the best ways to use oils at this time of year.

To Sleep Better

The stress brought on the back-to-school season doesn’t just put you in a bad mood, it can also negatively impact your sleep. Ironically, not getting enough sleep also makes it more difficult to handle stress, creating a continuous cycle. Fortunately, the scent of lavender oil can help with both.

To relax before bed, fall asleep quicker, and improve your sleep quality, expose yourself to lavender in the evening. One easy method is to set up an oil diffuser with lavender oil in your bedroom. You can also fill a spray bottle with water and a few drops of lavender, and give your pillow a mist at bedtime.

To Improve Concentration

The ability to concentrate is often another victim of high stress levels, and that’s especially detrimental for students who are starting a new school year. But the good news is that when it comes to essential oils that improve concentration, you’ve got a few choices.

Peppermint is one of the most widely-touted oils for enhancing focus. Apply a few drops to the insides of your wrists, and then take some deep breaths to inhale the scent. Rosemary and basil are also common concentration-stimulators, although you may not want to walk around smelling like either of these scents. Apply a few drops of the oil to a washcloth or handkerchief instead, and take some breaths while you hold it over your face.

To Reduce Anxiety

Stress and anxiety come hand in hand for many people, and they often feed each other. Stress makes you feel anxious, feeling anxious makes you stressed, and it all prevents you from being productive or enjoying your life. Fortunately, using an uplifting citrus oil can combat them both and help you get back on track.

Orange and lemon are the most obvious choices, and a whiff of either one will help lift your mood and get you out of the rut you’re stuck in. Both can easily be applied to your wrists or to a cloth as above, or you can use an oil diffuser to fill your space with the scent all day long.

Of course, aromatherapy isn’t a silver bullet to banishing stress, so make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and connecting with loved ones as well. But using oils like these can give you an extra boost and complement the other efforts you’re making to stay sane during this busy time.

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