How can essential oils help you manage college life?

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College is a very pivotal time in a person’s life. It involves continuous growth and development, and comes with many unique and exciting opportunities. College life can also be difficult and stressful at times. Students bounce around from class, to their dorms, to the library, and to their extracurricular activities. It can often be very fast-paced, as students are forced to juggle many different tasks throughout the day. Sometimes, the stress of school can be tough to manage. Essential oils are a great way to alleviating some of this tension, and are also very easy to use. Here are some different ways that essential oils can be beneficial for college students.

Spruce Up Your Dorm Room
When used as aromatherapy, essential oils can be a great way to make your dorm room smell good. They can also help cover up bad dorm room smells like mildew and dirty laundry. Choose your favorite scent and put a few drops into a diffuser with water. You can also evoke a sense of comfort by finding an essential oil that smells like home, such as vanilla, cinnamon, or clove.

Stress Management and Relaxation
Studies have shown that approximately 70 percent of college students experience stress, and that anxiety is the most common mental health diagnosis among this population. Although essential oils cannot physically fix these common issues, they can be a great tool for finding emotional zen and relaxation. Put a few drops of chamomile onto your pillowcase, or put some lavender oil into your bath water. Since lavender is extremely versatile, it is also perfect for diffusing and for topical use. Dilute some lavender essential oil with lotion or coconut oil and massage it onto your wrists. Washcloths can also be great “carriers” for essential oils in the shower. Simply put some oils onto a washcloth and place it somewhere in the shower where it will not be directly hit by the water. Rather, let the steam vaporize the oils and allow yourself to breathe in and enjoy the scent. Using about ten to twelve drops should give you the full experience. Diffusing lavender or chamomile at night may also help you sleep better.

Studying and Concentration
Essential oils like peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, and lemon have been found to increase attentiveness. Try diffusing a few drops while studying to improve your concentration, especially during those last-minute cram sessions. You can also put a few drops of oil onto a piece of cloth or a tissue to use during an exam.

Headaches
Researchers have found peppermint, rosemary, lavender, and eucalyptus to be the top four essential oils for alleviating headaches. Apply these oils topically to your forehead, temples, and neck to reduce tension. It is important to note that when applying any essential oil directly to the skin, there is always a risk of developing rashes or skin irritations. In order to decrease these adverse effects, you can mix the oils with unscented lotion before applying them onto your skin. Diffusing these particular oils for fifteen to thirty minutes can also help to ease headaches. Some advantages of using essential oils to fight headaches rather than synthetic medicines are that the oils are safer to use and usually have fewer harmful side effects. You also have the power to control the dose and adjust as needed for your personal experience.

Staving Off Colds
Many essential oils have antiseptic and antibacterial properties and can be used to combat the winter sniffles. Thieves oil is a powerful blend of clove, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. It is based on a story from the 15th century when the bubonic plague was running rampant throughout Europe and Asia. Four French thieves, who were known for robbing possessions from the dead and dying, used this blend and amazingly never contracted the infectious disease. Peppermint and tea tree oils also have antibacterial properties, and when diffused they can purify the air and kill off airborne bacteria. Tea tree oil is widely used to treat skin infections like acne, eczema, and warts. It is also an antifungal, and can help fight athlete’s foot and nail fungus. For a quick and easy application, put some of these oils into a spray bottle with water to use when needed.

Waking Up For That Early Class
If you have trouble waking up for that 8 a.m. class, citrus oils can be just what you need. Essential oils like lemon, lime, and grapefruit are invigorating and energizing. They also mix well with peppermint or spearmint, and can serve as a good pick-me-up during those gray Vermont winter days.

Stop by the Wellness Center’s relaxation room during our hours to engage in aromatherapy. Ask for our essential oils and diffuse them at your leisure.

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