De-Stress With Aromatherapy

With exams, it would be an understatement to say that the student body is a little stressed. If you can’t take any more coffee or energy drinks, try naturally stimulating your brain with aromatherapy. We all know that certain scents can be powerful reminders of people or places (like the smell of your ex’s cologne or your mom’s chocolate chip cookies). This semester, harness helpful fragrances to improve concentration, energy, or de-stress.

While some of these scents may require you to buy little bottles of essential oils to reap the benefits, many can be found around your home. Essential oils can be sprinkled into baths, made into body sprays or into air fresheners for your apartment Just remember to be considerate of those with scent allergies and asthma and check with your roommate first.

If You Need To Study

These scents are known to improve concentration for editing that ten-page paper or memorizing dates.

Peppermint - This is one of the easiest aromas to find around the house. Suck on a mint or a candy cane, chew on peppermint gum, drink some mint tea, even brush your teeth with peppermint toothpaste!

Rosemary - Known for improving clarity of thought, rosemary is one of my favourite herbs. At the moment, I’m nurturing my little rosemary plant on the windowsill of my dorm room. If you can, find a shampoo that includes rosemary oil to use before your big test.

Ginger - Another commonly known ingredient, you can benefit from ginger’s concentration powers by nibbling on some crystallized ginger or sipping ginger tea. Plus, if you pick up some ginger body lotion - my favourite is from The Body Shop - you'll smell just like gingerbread.

If You Need More Energy

Sick of the caffeine crash? Step away from the Starbucks! These natural energizers will have you up and running in no time.

Lemon - There’s a reason why most household cleaners are lemon-scented. If you haven’t joined the hot water and lemon craze, now is a good time to start. Or, throw some lemon slices in your water bottle next study session. 

Orange - Ever notice how happy and refreshed you feel after peeling an orange? When you run out of lemon, try a slice of orange in your water or simply drink some orange juice.

Grapefruit - I sense a citrus trend! Citrus are known for combatting stress and depression in the aromatherapy world. Besides just eating a grapefruit, you can get the rewards from body sprays and lotions containing grapefruit oil.

Cinnamon - Cinnamon and spice and everything nice! Next time you make oatmeal - and let's face it, these cold mornings scream oatmeal - sprinkle some cinnamon on top as both an energizer and a natural sweetener. It’s a win-win. Most coffee shops offer cinnamon at the counter, so your decaf can still keep you going with a touch of spice.

Coffee - I know, I know, no one needs to tell a collegiette about coffee. We can’t drink coffee 24/7, but we can use its energizing advantages all the time. First, if you need something to get you through the last ten pages of Aristotle, take a sniff of your ground coffee. Or, make some decaf! There won’t be the stimulant to keep you up until 5:00 AM, but the smell will trick your brain into giving you that extra boost.

If You Need To Relax

Around exam time, we all go a little nutty. There doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to maintain your top spot in class, work out, eat well, look good, and oh yeah, sleep, without going crazy. It is so important to rest so you don’t burn out or get sick. Do yourself a favour and stay calm!

Lavender - Lavender means “to wash” in Latin. This scent is made to be put in a bath so all your worries can be washed away. It’s an extremely pretty, flowery plant so consider adopting one this spring.

Camomile - You’ve probably heard of camomile tea and it’s sleepy benefits. Have some right before bed with some honey and don’t worry about it keeping you up.

Jasmine - A common scent, you may already have a perfume that contains jasmine. It is one of the more expensive essential oils. It has mild sedative properties so a little goes a long way.

Vanilla - This sweet, soft, calming scent can be found in every pantry. One of my friends dabs vanilla extract on her wrists as perfume. Common in many lotions, body sprays, and air fresheners, vanilla oil is easy to find. Alternatively, place some dried vanilla beans in your closet or sock drawer for naturally yummy-smelling clothes.

Exam time is stressful for everyone. Aromatherapy is an effortless way to concentrate longer, have more energy, or calm down that fits into a student's budget. Why not try it?