Essential Oils at Work: 5 Aromatherapy Tricks for Surviving the Work Week

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

We all have favorite scents and memories tied to different smells. Cinnamon might remind you of your grandmother’s family-famous apple pie, while the scent of fresh-cut grass takes you back to good times at summer camp. Just as those scents can evoke powerful thoughts and memories, aromatherapy with essential oils is thought to be able to impact your body and mind — energizing you, calming you, and altering your mood. And if you use the right kinds of oils, aromatherapy could be just what you need to get through a tough work week.

How you choose to incorporate these essential oils into your routine is up to you, but you have options — you can put them in a diffuser, add them to a bath, use aromatherapy candles, or even buy or make special aromatherapy jewelry.


What you need: A memory boosting post-weekend pick-me-up.

You should try: Rosemary oil. You probably use it most often to season foods, but rosemary is one of the most common essential oils and has long been thought to help improve memory and increase energy. Studies back this up, too — findings show that inhaling rosemary oil increased heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and memory performance in subjects and participants reported feeling fresher, more active and less drowsy.


What you need: A little extra focus for a brainstorming session.

You should try: Peppermint oil. Studies show that the scent of peppermint — even in forms other than essential oils, like fresh-brewed tea — can be a major brain boost. Peppermint has been found to improve alertness and accuracy and like rosemary, it can help increase memory performance, too.


What you need: A mid-week stress and fatigue fighter.

You should try: Bergamot oil. When hump day has you feeling overwhelmed and tired, Bergamot can help you de-stress, according to research which found that people who inhaled bergamot essential oil experienced a decrease in stress responses, blood pressure and heart rate.


What you need: A nerve-busting boost before a big meeting with your boss.

You should try: Jasmine oil or orange oil. If you’re feeling a little nervous before a big meeting or presentation, studies show the scent of jasmine oil has calming effects—and another study found orange oil helped dental patients experience less anxiety.


What you need: Some much-needed relaxation after work.

You should try: Lavender oil. The scent of lavender has long been associated with rest and relaxation, and research shows it really works. One study found that inhaling lavender oil helped participants feel fresher and more relaxed, and it their decreased blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature—making it easier to get some rest.