Essential Oils – Tool Kit for Surviving the School Year
Economics. Biology. Cold pigs and half-dissected frogs stuffed in your dorm refrigerator. What to do with them?
Oh, those notes. Where are they? The latest Game of Thrones is on your roommate’s TV and it’s so much more interesting.
Algebra… How many Hillarys divided by two Trumps will it take to fill an orange crate? Oh, the debates are on.
Seventeenth-century painting just got less interesting when the resident advisor started a twerk session during the dorm’s first-Sunday, voluntary-dream therapy breakfast group, but wait, you came here to learn!
Let’s face it, dorms are distracting; as is life. Unless you’re not human, you probably struggle with focus. There are practical things you can do to help yourself, however. Often times, just switching the off button helps tremendously, but it may not be so easy if the switch resides in your head.
Essential Oils for Focus
Amazingly, there are some essential oils that may encourage focus. No, we don’t sell them, but we’re thinking about you and thought we’d share a few tips to help you get through the final leg of your term.
Oils for Concentration
- Clary Sage
- Juniper Berry
For studying, the best ways to use the oils are either by sniffing directly or using in a diffuser (one engineered for use with oils). The chemicals get to the brain faster when inhaled through your nose. That said, when cut with a carrier oil (such as almond or coconut oil), a topical rub applied to vital points is also very effective. Plus, you can do it in public without rousing suspicion (or risking confiscation or arrest). Rub on wrists, behind ears, around ankles, at temples – or use your intuition. Don’t use the oils straight, they need to be diluted in a carrier oil. One or two drops to two tablespoons should work (or ten drops to 30 ml.).
If you feel hyper or scattered, the tree resin (Frankincense) and Juniper Berry are nice grounding oils. Peppermint is a great wakeup oil. Cool and stimulating, it can make you more alert. Try mixing some with your shampoo to get going in the morning (same ratios as with the carrier oil). Don’t apply peppermint near your eyes or other sensitive tissues.
When you’re studying for an exam, try sniffing some rosemary while you’re studying, then smell it again right before you take the test. Smells have a way of recalling memories and information. This a great memory trick and one worthy of sharing.
Essential Oils for Stress
We all have it. Sometimes a little stress is good, but not when it interferes with your concentration, your work, or your studying. The universe gave you lots of safe, aromatic plants to help you feel good. Many splendid oils come from trees, including the roots, resins, bark and blossoms. Ylang ylang is a great de-stresser and you can use it the same way as outlined above. A diffuser is great because you can use it while you’re sleeping – plus it helps relax you for deeper sleep.
Orange or bergamot are other great de-stressing oils and they can help modulate blood pressure – and have lots of other health benefits. Clary sage also has calming properties and it’s good for hormone-induced stress.
Oils for Reducing Stress
- Ylang ylang
- Cedar Wood
Lavender also has some amazing physical healing properties – especially for burns. You can find lots of information about essential oil properties online.
Essential Oils for Immunity
When you’re in school, it’s hard to avoid germs, unless of course, you’re doing it remotely or have a private room lined with Lysol-doused aluminum foil. Along with managing stress, it’s important to eat right and get lots of rest so you can feel and perform your best. Should you get sick, and you just might, sitting with all those germified “other people,” here are some great oils to have on hand:
Oils for Colds
- Cinnamon Bark
These oils all have amazing individual properties, but combined, they form a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-viral mix. The blend is especially effective when you use it immediately – just at the onset of the sniffles – on vital points such as the soles of feet, wrists and behind ears. I’m not exaggerating! This is a powerful mix! You can buy it premixed from a number of manufacturers under names similar to “Thieves” but if you mix it yourself, you’ll have leftover oils so you can play amateur alchemist in your dorm room just as soon as you finish dissecting those pigs and complete those impossible math equations.
For “Thieves” proportions, check out this website, and remember the “Thieves” oils are all inexpensive staples that are nice to keep in your medicine cabinet. Please note that before using any essential oils, you should perform an overnight allergy test to detect if you have any sensitivities. Put a drop of pure oil on your skin and cover it with a Bandaid overnight. If you have any redness or swelling, don’t use it.
These suggestions aren’t just for college students, they’ll benefit most anyone and make a great home or travel kit for minor cuts, burns, etc. Please note that the doses recommended in this post are for adults only. Child doses require greater dilution, so please do some research before administering oils to children (or pets). There’s a wealth of free information on the internet about medicinal and other uses for essential oils, including recipes for eco-friendly cleaning products.
Clutter Control Freak
For two de-stressing essential oil recipes, view our other post.
You might also enjoy this tea storage blog on our sister site, which features a tea storage box that gets repurposed into an essential oil holder. And check out this piece on getting focused at work (which totally translates into school studying habits).