The new school year is upon us and in my house this is met with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. My daughter in particular struggles with anxiety when it comes to school. Who will be my teacher? Will she be nice? Will my friends be in my class? Will the bully be in my class? Will the work be too hard? And the list of questions goes on.
As a former teacher my heart aches when I hear these questions. I tried so hard to make those first few days as relaxing and welcoming as possible. In fact I would diffuse essential oils in my classroom to help manage the mood in the room. As a parent I have learned that although there are many wonderful caring teachers in the world, there are many that are not and so my anxiety level shoots up as well.
As a Bastyr trained aromatherapist I have studied the chemical constituents in essential oils and how they can affect the central nervous system. So, I go to my oils and start diffusing. I diffuse at home, in the car on the way to school, and also on the way home from school. I add a carrier oil to my oils and apply them to my kids to wear so they can smell them throughout the day, helping to keep them calm. The benefit of this is that other kids who smell them will benefit as well.
Here is 5 of my most common go to essential oils to help with school anxiety.
Lavender is one of the most well-known and used essential oils. Its scent is easily recognized and is not only floral, but sweet and fresh as well. High in the chemical constituent Ester is has a powerful relaxing effect on the central nervous system. It helps in calming, relaxing and provides relief from restlessness, irritability, and general nervous tension. It has the ability to balance and well as enhance moods. It can relax a person, while at the same time make them more alert.
2. Citrus Essential Oil
Need to lift the mood in a room? Citrus oils are the way to go. Kids love the smell of citrus fruit and they are incredible in their ability to change a mood from grumpy to happy. Orange, Bergamot, Lime, Lemon, Tangerine and Yuzi are a few you can choose. The favorite in our home is “Wild Orange,” my daughter calls it the, “Happy Oil.”
Cedarwood is known as the “Oil of Community.” It helps those who struggle with the ability to form social bonds. It has a soothing and calming effect on the mind and body and is great for helping to relieve tension and stress. Combined with Lavender in a diffuser Cedarwood can help with sleep as well.
Vetiver oil is comes from the root of the Vetiver plant. It has a calming and balancing effect on the nervous system and is used in aromatherapy for reducing the effects of emotional stress, shock, panic, sleep issues, hysteria and deep sadness. Vetiver can also help calm what I like to call, “Monkey Mind” which turns off the mind to help you fall asleep.
Chamomile is well known as a tea that helps calm and relax. As an essential oil, its wonderful calming properties can help in reducing anger, stress and nervousness. There are three different varieties I like to use, German, Roman and Cape Chamomile. Cape Chamomile is incredibly high in Esters making it a great choice to use for calming the central nervous system. I keep an empty bottle of Cape Chamomile in my car when I am driving in stressful traffic. Just inhaling from the bottle instantly calms me down.
So, in my home as we are headed back to school our diffusers are going and I am oiling up my kids. It works every year.
*It is important to note that when using essential oils to affect your mood it is best to diffuse/inhale them. This is the fastest way to reach your central nervous system. You can wear them as a perfume with a carrier oil or a cool mist diffuser. Always use a carrier oil when putting essential oils on your skin.
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