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  • The Top 11 (yes 11) Essential Oils For Holiday Stress Relief

    Just about everyone could use some help relieving their holiday stress. Today, I’ve got 11 (yes, 11 – I couldn’t narrow them down any farther) essential oils that you can diffuse through your home to make this holiday season much less stressful. I’ll also share a few blending tips to maximize their effectiveness.

    Aromatherapy oils
    Photo courtesy ABMP

    Essential Holiday Oils

    Clove – There’s something comforting about the spice oils during the cold weather months; and clove is one of the best. It has a stimulating effect on the mind, strengthens memory, and will help to ease those holiday blues. If you’re feeling lethargic, it is uplifting and has a positive effect on your mood.

    Cinnamon Leaf – Another comforting spice, cinnamon leaf is excellent as a pick-me-up when you’re exhausted. It will also help ease holiday depression.

    Eucalyptus – Most people associate eucalyptus with cold and flu season, which happens to coincide with the winter holidays. Eucalyptus has a cooling effect on the emotions, clears the head, and aids concentration. It’s also great for clearing your sinuses if you’re a bit stuffy. I prefer Eucalyptus radiata (as opposed to Eucalyptus globulus) because E. radiata has been shown to increase immune function AND it has a slightly mellower smell.

    Fir  needle- More than one winter holiday includes evergreens in some form as part of the celebration. Fir needle is warming and grounding; perfect for a chilly winter day.

    Frankincense – Mainly associated with the Christian holiday of Christmas, frankincense can be a wonderful oil to use regardless of which holiday(s) you celebrate. The scent of frankincense is calming if you’re agitated or anxious, and elevates your mood. Many people find it comforting and refreshing.

    Ginger – Here’s another spice oil to warm the emotions (especially if you’re feeling flat or cold) and cheer you. It’s stimulating yet grounding and will sharpen the senses. Ginger is also a great aid for the memory.

    Nutmeg – The last of the spice oils on the list, nutmeg will invigorate and activate the mind. If you’re running on fumes and your brain feels like it’s stalled, nutmeg is the oil for  you.

    Orange – Also known as sweet orange, this oil is like sunshine for your mind and soul. It lifts gloom, dispels tension, and reduces feelings of stress. Orange also has a reviving action if you’re feeling bored or are lacking in energy.

    Peppermint – One of the few oils that enjoys almost universal appeal, peppermint is excellent for depression and mental fatigue. It also has a cooling effect on “hot” emotions such as anger, and is calming to states of nervousness and hysteria.

    Pine – Another comforting evergreen, pine is very refreshing if you’re mentally fatigued and can help lift general feelings of weakness and debility.

    Spruce (black spruce) – The last of the evergreen oils on the list, black spruce is a wonderful essential oil for grounding, centering, and calming yourself. When diffused in the air, it’s a lovely deodorizer and decongestant (for those who don’t like the sharp smell of eucalyptus, this might be a good alternative to keeping your sinuses open if you’ve got the sniffles).

    Better Blending Tips For The Holidays

    As promised, here are a few of my favorite blending tips:

    • When it comes to essential oil blends (also called synergies), the total effect is often greater than the sum of the parts. The oils can balance each other, harmonize, intensify, or negate one another. Unless you’re really experienced, I recommend only blending 2 or 3 oils at a time.
    • Keep track of the number of drops of each oil that you use in your blend. That way you can re-create it once you’ve gotten the mix just right.
    • Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, two of your favorite oils just won’t blend harmoniously. The reason has a lot to do with chemistry (and I won’t bore you with that). You can preview a potential blend by holding the essential oil bottles together and wafting them under your nose to get an idea of how well the aromas will blend.
    • With spice oils, a little goes a long way. A few too many drops of cinnamon or clove and that might be all you smell once the blend is diffusing. If you feel your blend’s a bit light on the spice once it’s diffusing, you can always add 1 (ONE) drop at a time to the mixture until you achieve your desired effect.
    • Evergreen oils mix really well with the spice oils and with peppermint.
    • Orange and peppermint blend easily and harmoniously
    • If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Blending is part science, part art, and it takes a while to master both.

    I wish you all a wonderfully aromatic holiday season!

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