From ancient homeopathic remedies to cleaning your home; the uses for essential oils are diverse. When I moved into my cubicle for my Wellness Coordinator job, I had just received an essential oil diffuser through my FabFitFun subscription.
I knew the building I was moving into was very old and I’d have to fight off that dusty/mildew smell with something that didn’t affect my asthma and allergies. Surprisingly enough, when I set up my little diffuser, one of my coworkers told me she had the same one! So of course we had to share our favorite essential oil blends and concoctions.
Pros and cons of essential oils…
1. Essential Oils Can Alter the Way You Feel
Our sense of smell is connected to our limbic system, which is an area in the brain that deals with emotions and memories. Neurologically, it’s theorized that smelling things you like can reduce stress and improve your mood.
2. Essential Oils Have Pharmacological Uses
Tea Tree Oil can treat athletes foot, peppermint oil can help heal Irritable Bowl Syndrome, and Lavender oil can help treat anxiety…and the list goes on and on. The power of essential oils in the world of medicine is quickly becoming a well studied topic especially as recent research suggests that essential oils may be used to combat antibiotic resistance.
3. Essential Oils Are Generally Safe
That one sounds scary, I know…let me break it down for you though. Generally speaking, essential oils are safe BUT with the increase of homeopathic trends and essential oil uses, there has been an increase in overexposure, toxicity, and allergic reactions due to improper use. So just like everything else, if you educate yourself and use essential oils correctly, you shouldn’t have any issues.
Some essential oil safety tips to keep in mind:
- Always seek advice from a medical professional prior to beginning an essential oil regiment.
- Never ingest essential oils without consulting a medical professional.
- If putting essential oil on your skin, dilute with a carrier oil (almond, coconut, olive) and do a test patch for skin sensitivity and allergies.
- Use quality, organic essential oils.
- Be careful using essential oil around pets. Ensure they are able to leave the room for fresh air. Dogs and cats (especially cats) have a hard time processing essential oils.
- Rotate your oils/oil blends every couple of weeks so you reduce risk to overexposure and sensitization.
4. What Works For Me May Not Work For You.
Remember how smells can alter how we feel because it’s tied to memories and experiences? If you have a negative association with a smell, it may affect you differently than someone with a positive association with that smell. For example, I have a friend who’s family is Italian and they LOVE the smell of Basil. To them, it reminds them of fun times in the kitchen and time spent with friends and family. For me, I HATE it. I physically cringe when I smell it. I find it overpowering and overwhelming. Basil, is just not for me. Similarly, people just respond differently sometimes. While most adults find lavender soothing and relaxing, many children become agitated and overstimulated by the same scent.
How to Use Essential Oils at Work…
Now that I’ve touched on some of the important information regarding essential oils, how can we implement them at work?
Firstly, if you plan on using essential oils at work, speak with your coworkers in your surrounding area to check if they have any issues with you using essential oils. The last thing you want to do, is diffuse lavender throughout your office and find out that Tom is allergic. Remember how I said my coworker also had a diffuser? I check in with her to see what oils she’s using and if she plans to use them that day so that I don’t use mine and overpower everyone with too much scent or a bad combination of oil blends.
Secondly, decide how are you going to use them.
- A diffuser is great if you’re trying to affect a larger area (like my smelly old building).
- Wearing the oils (similar to perfume) is a great option if you’d like a more personal use. Try a diluted dab on your temples, behind your ears, or on your wrists.
- Spraying essential oils with a spray bottle is a good way to freshen up the room, your skin, or give your clothes a boost of encouraging/confidence building scent before a meeting.
My Favorite Essential Oil Recipes for Work…
*I typically use a diffuser at work but either of these blends can be adjusted to wear on the skin or used in a spray bottle.
1. Breathe Well Blend
I also call this one “the anti smelly old building blend”. This one is my go to (obviously). When my allergies are acting up, I really enjoy this blend at work because it’s refreshing and helps clear congestion while combating that old building smell.
The orange essential oil is an anti-inflammatory which helps with the inflammatory response to allergies like mold spores, dust, and pollen in my building. Bonus, orange oil also improves mood and mental clarity…which are good bonus benefits for your work day.
The Eucalyptus oil assists in improving respiratory function by stimulating the immune system, provides antioxidant protection, improves respiratory circulation, and combats inflammatory responses to seasonal allergies.
Together, this oil blend creates a cool, energizing, and clean scent.
2. Productivity Blend
Feel like your creativity has stalled or you’re stressed about a deadline? This blend is designed to enhance your cognitive performance by giving you an energy boost while reducing stress and anxiety that can negatively impact your workflow.
The orange oil is a a mood booster and can act as an anti-depressant and relieve fatigue.
Peppermint oil boosts your energy levels and improves memory and alertness.
Frankincense reduces stress and anxiety, and improves memory.
Grapefruit oil is uplifting, balances the mood and reduces stressful feelings.
Together, this oil blend is uplifting, balancing, and provides a sweet, tangy, and spicy scent.
3. Relax and Unwind Blend
Use this blend to take a moment for yourself to relax and center yourself before an important meeting or presentation.
Lavender oil promotes calmness and reduces anxiety and emotional stress. It can also improve brain function.
Cedar wood oil has a soothing effect on mood, relieves stress, and improves focus.
Frankincense oil induces a feeling of mental peace, relaxation, and satisfaction. It promotes deep breathing which allows you to relax. Frankincense has also been proven to reduce blood pressure.
Together, this blend offers a relaxing, warm, spicy, and welcoming scent.
Essential oils are a great way to enhance your work environment. Do you have a favorite blend you use? Let us know in the comments below!