The Unexpected Tool That Kept Me Calm During the Most Stressful Times of My Life
Between facing a job loss, becoming self-employed, and learning a lot more about myself than I could have ever imagined, let's just say last year was one for the books. I searched high and low for ways to calm my anxieties and stay focused on the positive, but nothing seemed to work. I tried every standard remedy, and yet what ultimately brought me some peace of mind wasn't meditation or CBD, but essential oils.
I was about two months into working as a full-time freelancer — and having a hard time adjusting to life without a 9-to-5 — when a friend mentioned how much she loved her essential oil diffuser. I had tried and tested essential oils during my days as a beauty editor, and while I was curious about their healing properties, I never really knew what to do with them. That didn't stop me from being intrigued by a diffuser, especially since my friend told me that the scents and steam helped her feel calmer. I figured, if nothing else had worked to help me find my Zen, it couldn't hurt to try it.
I did some research on essential oil diffusers, which helped me create a wish list: anything I purchased would need to mist for several hours, and it couldn't be noisy or distribute heat throughout the room. I ultimately settled on a diffuser from Saje Natural Wellness because it checked all the boxes and the brand also offered plenty of essential oils, including lavender, eucalyptus, and lemongrass.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with how these diffusers work, here's a bit of a breakdown. You fill a small compartment of the diffuser with water, then add your essential oils. It's advised that you add around 10 to 15 drops of oil into the water, depending on how intense you'd like the aroma. You then turn on the diffuser to activate the steam, and within a few minutes, you'll notice the scent and steam begin to fill the room. Essential oil diffusers typically don't use heat, so you're getting the oils in a very pure form.
The first time I tried the diffuser, I opted for lavender, since it's known to help reduce stress. I'd be lying if I said my anxieties melted away the moment I let some oils stream into the air, but I did find that I was able to get my work done at a better pace. It felt good to make self-care more of a priority, and although the scent wasn't my favorite, I knew I wanted to try the diffuser again.
This isn't to say that the essential oils have removed those feelings entirely — that's just not how anxiety works — but they have helped me cope better than other methods I've tried.
I set it out for about two hours the next night, this time using eucalyptus oil, which is also supposed to help promote a sense of calmness. It was a game changer. The eucalyptus made me feel more relaxed than the lavender but also more productive, and it eased a lot of the tension I had been feeling, which is exactly what I needed to stay on track with my work. This time, with my mind quieter, I also found the sound of the steam to be very soothing.
I used the diffuser three times a week throughout the next month and noticed that I didn't feel my usual sense of worry as frequently as I had before. This isn't to say that the essential oils have removed those feelings entirely — that's just not how anxiety works — but they have helped me cope better than other methods I've tried, like cutting caffeine or going for a walk. I'm hopeful that it'll be even more relaxing soon, as I plan to add some deep-breathing exercises to my routine. If you're ready to give an essential oil diffuser a try, keep reading for some options that caught my eye, including my personal favorite.