5 Essential Oils to Help with Back to School Anxiety

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.

1.   Lavender

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.”

3.   Cedarwood

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.

4.   Vetiver

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.

  1. Chamomile

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.

Bethany is a former elementary educator with a Master’s in Education and a Bastyr Trained Aroma Therapist. She is passionate about empowering families to take a natural approach to healing in their homes, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Bethany does this by educating them about the safe and effective use of essential oils. She’s known by her clients as “The Essential Oil Guru”, both locally and internationally, and has spoken on the use of essentials over 100 times.

If you’re ready to learn how essential oils can make a difference in your family’s life, then check out Bethany’s Essential Oil Academy to educate yourself about the benefits of essential oils on her essential oil education member site.  https://squarepegsroundworld.com/product/membership/

Peace and Comfort…..PLEASE

During this time I am often wondering how to remain calm and peaceful and how to offer comfort to others. It seems like we are daily, almost hourly, being bombarded with stress and anxiety.

I personally, cling to my daily self-care rituals and have even added some to help support my mental, emotional and central nervous system. Here is what I do daily.

Quiet time – First thing in the morning I have my quiet time. I read a devotional, my Bible and journal. I also do Morning Pages. (If you have never heard of morning pages I highly recommend it, they have changed my life. Here is a link http://juliacameronlive.com/basic-tools/morning-pages/)

Yoga/Melting – I have a friend who is a yoga teacher. She comes to my house weekly and teaches yoga to some friends and myself. Stretching and breathing can help release all those negative thoughts and emotions. Melting is something I do daily on my own at home. It has been a game changer. Check it out here. https://www.meltmethod.com/

Walking – There is nothing like a walk, especially in nature, to help clear the mind and relieve stress.

Laughing/Keeping it Light – I am picky about what I watch and read right now. I watch light and funny shows, (I am a House of Cards fan but have yet to watch this latest season.) And am reading more than ever before.  I am also hanging out more with friends and entertaining more.

Create/Art – Art and creativity are HUGE for keeping the Central Nervous System calm. It helps with anxiety and stress as well. I have started an “Art Journal.” It isn’t anything dramatic, just painting, drawing, collages etc. You don’t have to be an artist to do it, believe me!! Link for more information. http://mindfulartstudio.com/how-to-start-an-art-journal/

Keeping Abreast of the REAL NEWS! – This is key. There is so much sensationalism out there and it’s hard to know what is real and what is fake. I usually only follow News sources that have journalistic integrity with Editorial oversite. I also follow Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin. She does a daily Facebook live called, “Resistance Live.” She is a former Washington Civil Rights Lawyer and in 10 – 20 minutes a day will break down what is true and what is false in the News. Watching her has given me hope and relieves my anxiety daily. You can find her on You Tube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC85eSMgCIdzVn4y_CBCrvag

Prayer and Meditation – This is something I do multiple times a day. I pray and spend time quietly meditating on what I want our world to be for my kids. I pray for guidance and hope. It is key in helping to keep calm, peaceful and receiving comfort. Link: http://how-to-meditate.org/

Nutrition/Food – Eating healthy is key in helping your body handle stress and anxiety. I have been very mindful about my eating and have eliminated grains from my diet. I am eating more greens and veggies and upping my water intake a healthy diet can help support a healthy body! http://www.health.com/food/12-superfoods-for-stress-relief

Essential Oils – Last but NOT least is essential oils. Diffusing and smelling essential oils can make a HUGE difference in helping your body with anxiety and stress. When you inhale essential oils they go through your olfactory bulbs to your amygdala. This is also the place that is called, “The Seat of Your Emotions.” It is also the only place in your body that is open to your central nervous system. Your sense of smell is POWERFUL in helping your brain heal and soothe your body. So what essential oils do you diffuse? Lavender, Chamomile, Melissa, Geranium, Clary Sage, Bergamot and Ylang Ylang. These are some great oils to start with.

Try one or two of these ideas and hopefully you will find they help bring some peace and calm to your life.