Back to school can be a tough transition for both children and parents. My three children have recently started back at school, and we're all still adjusting to the change. It's difficult to get them back on a regular sleep schedule; and despite it freeing up my work time during the day, I'm still adjusting to the busier morning and evening routines. Whatever your children's ages are, and whatever your daily routine is like, there are several different ways aromatherapy can help.
1. Establish A Calming Bedtime Routine
The first challenge with a new school year (aside from the expensive back-to-school supplies) is getting kids on a healthy sleep schedule. Something as simple as bath time is perfect for younger children, during which you can incorporate an essential oil blend that is calming and soothing. Use 3-5 drops of lavender essential oil or this Sleepy Time essential oil blend in the bath.
At bedtime, children of any age can benefit from a calming essential oil blend with the use of a diffuser. A personal aromatherapy diffuser is easy to use and small enough to fit on a bedside table. No matter the age, incorporating soothing and calming essential oils into a nighttime routine can help children fall asleep faster and get a deeper sleep.
2. Improve Mental Focus and Memory
With so many different things to juggle between school, work, and after school activities; children and adults can both benefit from a little help with focus and mental clarity. There are several health benefits of peppermint essential oil for example, from soothing an upset stomach to alleviating a headache; but my favorite way to use peppermint is for a brain boost! When used in aromatherapy, peppermint is often used to improve concentration and increase alertness. This Mentally Sharp Essential Oil Blend combines peppermint with rosemary and uplifting lemon.
For a great DIY essential oil blend that enhances memory, concentration, clarity and one’s ability to stay alert; simply add 6 drops Rosemary, 3 drops Peppermint, 3 drops Grapefruit, and 2 drops Cedarwood or Basil in a diffuser at home while your child is doing their homework. Check out this full Study Buddy DIY for ideas on how kids can use this blend while at school.
For a convenient and continual hands-free option, these aromatherapy inhalation patches are also great for kids to use during the school day. They're easy to apply, discreet, and last up to eight hours. On testing days, my high school aged son likes to combine a peppermint patch for mental alertness with a calming lavender inhalation patch to help ease anxiety; though other children may find it more helpful to pair a peppermint patch with a fresh citrus patch.
3. Boost Energy and Motivation
Whenever you or your children need an energy boost during a busy day, a fresh citrus scent like an orange essential oil can help with both motivation and energy. Try diffusing an orange essential oil in your office, or use this Positively Motivating Essential Oil Blend in your favorite jewelry diffuser.
If you're still struggling to adjust to the new morning schedule yourself, start the day with an invigorating shower. This Citrus Delight Foam Soap is the perfect way to start the morning energized and with a positive mood.
4. Defend Against Germs
It's inevitable during the school year that children will bring home germs. Unfortunately it is quite common for my family to have a cold or stomach bug going around on a monthly basis. From boosting the immune system to easing symptoms, essential oils can provide some much-needed relief even when used in aromatherapy.
Lemon essential oil for example, is used to give the immune system a boost, and the scent can help ease nausea. Minty essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus can help clear nasal congestion, and when applied topically via a lotion or carrier oil, can relieve chest congestion too. This Breathe Blend includes essential oils like Basil, Eucalyptus, Pine, and Cedarwood for an invigorating aroma to help support a healthy respiratory system. Check out this recipe for a DIY Essential Oil Vapor Chest Rub using the Breathe Blend.
As stress and lack of sleep have a negative affect on the immune system, using calming essential oils can also help defend against viruses. This Immune Support Essential Oil Blend combines lemon and peppermint with soothing patchouli.
5. De-Stress & Lift Your Mood
Children can greatly benefit from calming essential oils like lavender and chamomile, but as a parent, I know that moms and dads and teachers alike can use some major relaxation as the new school year sets in. My favorite way to incorporate essential oils for stress relief is with a luxurious warm bath, but then again, if I had time for a relaxing bath everyday, I probably wouldn't be so stressed out in the first place. There are so many great on-the-go aromatherapy products out there now for immediate relief on those hectic weekdays. I love to use this Anxiety Release Essential Oil Roll On throughout my work day.
Though it's also great to think outside of the box when it comes to using aromatherapy to relax. Bath and body products tend to focus solely on lavender for relaxation when in fact, lemon essential oil has been shown to reduce stress levels more effectively than traditionally-calming oils like lavender. Whenever I don't have a lot of time in the evenings to unwind, I love to spritz my pillow with a relaxing mist. Add 10-20 drops per ounce of your favorite relaxing essential oil to distilled water in a spray bottle, or simply go with a pre-mixed spray, like this Stress Relief Aromatherapy Air Mist.
Have you tried aromatherapy in your home? Which of these back to school tips can your family benefit from the most? Let me know in the comments below!
Shop Krisztina's Top Essential Oil Picks for Back to School