At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, I am becoming more and more convinced of the benefits of essential oils every freaking day. While at first, I was only using them to help me calm down and go to sleep, I have now also discovered essential oils that wake you up, energize, and inspire confidence, too. Trust me when I say that using these bad boys has a deliciously natural impact on my day-to-day routine, especially since the shorter days (and TBH, the news) have had me feeling more off and sluggish than normal.
Essential oils work, ahem, essentially like this: After a process of steaming or distilling a plant, you get an oil product which is thought to hold the "essential" benefits, fragrance, and healing properties of that plant. These oils are often used for the purpose of aromatherapy, which The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy calls both an art and science that utilizes plants' aromatic essences to "balance, harmonize, and promote the health of body, mind, and spirit." These scents activate the olfactory system — the part of the brain that reacts to smell — and ultimately the limbic system, which is linked to your heart rate, emotions, breathing, stress, memory, and hormonal balance, to name a few. In layman's terms, you take a whiff of a particular fragrance that comes from a plant, and it has the potential to benefit all levels of your beautiful being.
So if you've been having trouble getting out of bed because of the often chaotic and depressing state of the world, or simply because you stayed up too late to finish watching Stranger Things, using these oils will definitely help kickstart both your morning and your mood.
It's no secret that peppermint oil is said to help with boosting alertness, increasing energy, and cultivating positive attitudes. In fact, it's one of the few oils that have been involved in scientific studies, one of which showed that ingesting just a little bit of peppermint oil can improve your athletic performance.
For a morning rev-up, try rubbing some of this body butter on after your morning shower. You'll be amazed by how refreshed and ready you'll feel to tackle your day.
Another deliciously refreshing scent, eucalyptus is thought to clear the mind and uplift you on both an emotional and mental level.
Studies also find that eucalyptus has antimicrobial properties, meaning it's recommended to help with things like colds and respiratory infections, as well as pain relief and immune system stimulation.
Yay, citrus! Scents like grapefruit, orange, and lemon (which are all extracted from the rinds of their respective fruits in a slightly different process called expression) are thought to not only energize the mind and body, but actually supercharge serotonin production. FYI, serotonin is the hormone that helps you feel happiness, so cheers to that, amirite?
This essential oil is also thought to reduce stress hormones, so in addition to getting a boost of good vibes, you'll also enjoy a heightened sense of calmness and relaxation as you go about your day.
This bad boy is thought to promote a whole host of benefits, like mental clarity, relaxation, improved focus, and a stimulated production of melatonin in your brain, which will help you wake up feeling refreshed. Apparently, cedarwood is even sometimes used as a care method for those coping with ADD and ADHD.
This oil from Nordstrom is definitely a bit pricy, but hey, why not throw it on your gift wishlist this holiday season? Trust me, with cedarwood oil as its base, this stuff has one of the best smelling scents my nose has ever had the pleasure of enjoying.
Lemongrass oil not only boosts energy and combats exhaustion, but it might also help relieve that groggy headache you tend to wake up with sometimes. Swipe on some of this lemongrass deodorant before heading out for the day, and you'll be sure to enjoy the benefits all damn day.