Updated: Jun 23, 2019
Going back to school, like many new adventures, comes with a whole host of stresses and new experiences. While it is not possible to avoid all of these completely, there are many ways to make the transition into something new a lot more peaceful for the mind and body. Here are a few suggestions on how to do so simply and naturally.
While there are many essential oils that can be used in addition to this list, these are some of the oils that we feel are the most useful to getting an easier stress free return to school.*
Feel free to click the names of the oils below to learn more about each one.
Focus, focus, focus. For just about any type of learning, having a proper focus on the task at hand is essential. Without focus, the mind does not retain information and tasks tend to be done in a fragmented or haphazard style. The InTune blend was designed to help the mind maintain a calm, focused state and enhances any learning experience. I like to apply the oil to the back of my neck, near the brain stem, each time that I start into a mentally strenuous task. I find that it keeps me more on task, causes my mind to wander less, and enhances my productivity by keeping me on one task until it is complete.
#2 Eat an Apple!
Many of us know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know that eating a green apple can supply the body with the same amount of energy as a cup of coffee, naturally? I can always tell a difference when I have had my apple and when I haven’t, it just gives my day a boost. I don’t always want to eat my apple by itself, so I will often toss it in my morning smoothie along with spinach peanut butter, vegan protein, and cacao nibs to give myself a nutrient rich start to the day. Add a few drops of peppermint for a energizing refreshing boost!
If you want something a little more warm and comforting? Oatmeal has also been known to provide a great energy boost. Add some apple and cinnamon essential oil for a delicious cinnamon apple oatmeal! If you don't have time cook oatmeal in the morning then throw some oats, nuts, apples, cinnamon oil and almond milk in a jar overnight in the fridge so you have delicious overnight oats in the morning!
School, like many other public areas – planes, buses, stadiums, offices, etc., can be a petri dish of sickness and disease. Just like many of the others, it is a place that we, however, must frequently go. On Guard provides a strong shield against the common bug and can be used preventatively by applying a few drops each morning before school during times when sicknesses are most common. This blend is also a great restorative blend it the sickness has already come; I like to add 2-3 drops to the chest (or other affected area) a few times a day until the sickness has abated. The warm, christmasy smell is not only comforting, but helps to alleviate the acute symptoms of the illness quickly.
#4 Make a Roll-On Kit
Roll-on bottles make and easy way to apply essential oils and make a great way for kids to have essential oils to apply to themselves. Making a little roller kit of essential oils for stress and other common needs for school allows the child to have them at school when you aren’t necessarily there to apply them for them. This is also a great teaching tool for self-care later in life, if they get used to it now they will likely carry forward great habits going forward. If building roll-on kits is not your forte, our New Adventures Roll-On Kit can be a great one to toss in the backpack, or briefcase, at the beginning of a new adventure.
#5 Diffuse Oil in a Dedicated Homework Space
Having a dedicated homework space allows for the mental preparation for working when stepping into that space. Create a dedicated space with a table, good lighting, and the needed supplies for doing daily assignments. In this space it makes it an easy spot to add a diffuser with frankincense, wild orange, and peppermint essential oils to allow the mind to focus and be alert while studying. This blend is great for a roll-on too and can be made easily into a portable study aid. But more importantly, add an oil to the diffuser that is a smell that is inviting to you or your child, something that makes them want to stick around and complete their tasks.
#6 Essential Oils in Lunches
Lunchtime is another great place to easily add essential oils into a student’s life. One caution, as always, is when talking about using essential oils in food or internally it is vital that you ensure that the oil is designed for that.* Disclaimers aside, cooking with essential oils can be delightful and very easy. For lunches we like cinnamon essential oil with apple slices, dill essential oil in carrot dip, wild orange essential oil in peanut butter sandwiches, and many other ideas. They are simple to create, but add a bunch of flavor and healthy essential oils into the regular routine. Added bonus about these oils is they are so therapeutic they provide many added benefits along with adding great flavor!
#7 Get a Good Night Sleep
Without adequate sleep, the brain literally starts to shut down; when it is in that state; it is obviously more difficult to learn as you are barely functioning. We have all been at a point in school where we had to stay up all night to finish a project or report and then paid for it the next day. Making a pattern of poor sleep will lead to fatigue and prevent success in school. To assist with proper sleep applying essential oils to the chest or feet before bed can assist in falling asleep and getting restful sleep. Lavender essential oil is great for calming the body and lemon essential oil (or other citrus) can be used to calm a restless mind. I also enjoy diffusing doTERRA’s Serenity Blend by my bedside to add additional lavender (and other oils) consistently throughout the night.
*Try turning off all electronics at least an hour before going to bed or at least make sure you turn everything off before you settle it, you may be sleeping but if you have TV running around in the background your brain is still processing all that activity and never gets a chance to fully rest.
#8 Stay Hydrated
When we achieve that optimal focus and get going on a project, it can be easy to forget to drink water. In fact, this reminded me that while I was working on this list I hadn’t had anything to drink because I was focused…it is really easy to forget! Water is crucial to human survival because, well, we are made out of it. It can be a lot easier to stay hydrated while sitting at home, but in the school or office setting, without proper habits we can lose that hydration really easily. Fortunately, a lot of schools now allow student to carry water bottles with them to drink throughout the day. Having the water available is the first step to maintaining hydration. If your child does not like to drink a lot of plain water, adding essential oils and xylitol or stevia to the water can make it a lot more enjoyable without adding the sugars or other junk found in sports drinks or sodas. Whatever your technique, make sure you are getting enough water throughout the day – it enhances focus and the ability to accomplish the tasks before you.
#9 Meditative Breathing Techniques
Our body is essential a large, electrical system. It operates off of systems and codes and relies on signals to tell it what to do. Because of that if we are stressed, a lot of our focus and other bodily processes will be diverted to staying alive. Stress comes in many types, but the body perceives it all the same; to enhance our learning, one of the best techniques is learning to breathe properly. In stress mode, our breathing becomes more rapid and shallow, taking a deep, intentional breath can interrupt that stress cycle and tell our body that things are okay. Practicing these deep breaths can be easy to do on the way to school or periodically throughout the day. I know that this made a big difference with my daughter when she gets frustrated; now, instead of getting really upset, she knows to take a deep breath and move forward. She is three so it hasn’t completely replaced crying, but as we continue to practice she learns that she can calm herself down and when she is stressed she can take a deep breath. This skill is valuable in school, but also throughout the rest of life.
*If you drive your kids to school, both take the time to practice in the car taking a quick few moments to relax and take some deep breaths. Great time to help guide your children through the process before they head off to school.
#10 Feed Your Brain
The average diet today does not consist of many ‘brain foods.’ These foods would consist of things that are high in amino acids, the building blocks of the brain, and antioxidants. Some of my favorite brain foods include: blueberries, avocados, wild salmon, olive oil, flax seeds, broccoli, eggs, nuts, chickpeas, and dark chocolate. These can be used to make a quick snack or as the foundation for complete meals. Additionally, rosemary and roman chamomile essential oils have been shown to assist in brain function and provide focus. Using these in conjunction with a proper brain diet will make learning a lot easier and assist in retaining the learned information.
We hope that this list helps with the preparation of going back to school. Learning can be a lot of fun when you have the tools that you need and while this is not a complete list, following the tips in this article can lead to success in not only school but all of life.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
*We use doTERRA essential oils because they have a rigorous quality assurance process to make sure that the oils are safe for use topically, internally, and aromatically; not all brands are created equal and many of the brands available in health food stores and online might not meet this standard.