Essential Oils for All Your Workplace Woes

By Emma Hickey

Whether it was in a trendy boutique, along the aisles of Whole Foods, or through your third cousin’s Facebook posts, you’ve likely encountered essential oils. Over the last few years, essential oils have saturated the zeitgeist and become central figures in the wellness movement. People—typically women—from all different demographics swear by them as cure-alls for a variety of ailments, from anxiety to acne and everything in between. Essential oils are made by distilling plant essence into small vials you can purchase in the herbal remedies section of any drugstore. They’re fragrant, flavorful, and not medicine. Despite the claims of multi-level marketing companies that sell these products, essential oils won’t cure cancer, or prevent you from getting ebola, or reverse dementia.

Great, now that we’re on the same page about the pseudoscience that is essential oils health claims, it’s time to acknowledge that though they aren’t magic potions capable of curing all that ails you, they can still be useful in a more moderate way.

Back in June, we took a look at crystals for all your workplace woes. Well, essential oils can help with your workplace woes, too! You can use them at work by squirting a few drops into a tissue and inhaling the scent, or it you want the scent to fill the room (and you’re sure your coworkers won’t be bothered by it!) you can use a diffuser. Either way, as long as you can smell the aroma, the essential oils should have their desired effect.  

For the night before a big presentation

You’ve been working on your deck for weeks. Even though you’ve combed through every slide, practiced several times for your cat, and know the material like the back of your hand, you can’t stop turning it over in your mind the night before. Your brain just won’t shut off, and you know you won’t be at your best if you don’t get a good night’s sleep.

You need lavender oil.

Lavender is one of the most common essential oils. Its scent is calming, and diffusing it in your bedroom will help you relax and drift peacefully to sleep.

For after the big presentation

It’s over, finally, and it went well. You nailed every point, answered each question perfectly, and remained poised and eloquent throughout. You return to your desk after the presentation, ready to get to all the other work you’ve been neglecting, but adrenaline is still pumping through your veins. Your brain knows the presentation is over and you can relax now, but your body hasn’t quite gotten the message.

You need chamomile oil.

Chamomile oil will calm you right down. It’ll help your heart rate slow and kick that adrenaline out of your system. Put a few drops on a tissue, breath it in, and feel your body relax.

For cold season

Cold season has hit your workplace hard. Sniffling is the new soundtrack in your office and you weren’t able to escape the common virus. Your nose is so stuffy you can barely taste any food. You’re already taking medicine prescribed by a doctor, but you’re desperate for more relief, if only so you can taste the burrito you ordered for lunch.

You need eucalyptus oil.

Eucalyptus oil will help open your nasal passages by breaking up mucus so you can cough it up. It’s a great supplement to any doctor-recommended routine to help you get through a nasty cold.

For the rainy season

It’s been raining all week and you have cabin fever. Everyone in your office is grumpy and you’re sure that if the rain doesn’t stop soon, you’ll lose your mind.

You need geranium oil.

Geranium oil has a flowery aroma that will remind you, and all your coworkers, of sunny summer days. Diffuse this in your office, and watch as spirits are lifted while everyone recalls better weather.

For when you can’t focus

It’s a Friday afternoon and it seems like nearly all your coworkers have checked out. The atmosphere is rowdy. Everyone is telling jokes, laughing, and goofing around. You wish you could join them, but you have a 5pm deadline you need to meet, and you can’t concentrate with all the noise.

You need peppermint oil.

Peppermint oil is said to stimulate the mind and help you focus on the task at hand. Combine this with noise canceling headphones and you’ll meet your deadline with no problem at all.

For when you’re out of aspirin

You have a screaming headache and you can’t stop thinking about it. You go over to the medicine cabinet in your office, only to find that someone put back an empty aspirin bottle. You ask your office manager if there’s anymore, and they politely tell you they no longer have the budget to provide aspirin.

You need rosemary oil.

You can either inhale the scent of rosemary oil, or you can dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut or sunflower oil and apply it topically to your temples. Of course, you could also just buy your own aspirin, but where’s the fun in that?

For when you want to achieve hygge

Hygge is a Danish word that conveys a sense of comfort and coziness on cold winter days. It doesn’t translate into English, but it’s become a popular concept in the US over the last few years. There’s even a New York Times bestseller called The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking. Your office has fluorescent lights and white walls. It can feel a bit cold and sterile, and you’re sure that infusing it with a light dose of hygge will make it a much more pleasant environment for your whole team.

You need clove oil.

Clove oil smells like a nutty cinnamon and it will definitely evoke a sense of warmth and comfort for everyone in who smells it.

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