Your Ultimate Guide to Essential Oils

Essential Oils

With such hectic lives, it can be challenging to truly step back and find ourselves in the moment. To recognize that there’s so much more to the day than the constant hustle and bustle of our to-do lists, career and school obligations, and own personal goals.

One of my favorite quotations comes from Lee from America’s blog wherein she says,

Self-care is a revolution.”

I love this saying because it takes so much intentionality to push back against what we’re told we should be doing. Taking time for yourself embodies a radical kind of self-love.

For me, going against the grain and embracing self-care always involves essential oils. I’ve used essential oils in the form of roller balls for a couple of years now, but recently they’ve been popping up everywhere–a trend I can totally get behind.

How I use essential oils

For me, diffusing essential oils is the way to go. I always keep a roller ball for tension headaches in my wallet, but in general I most often use oils in the form of diffusing them in my room. Purchasing a diffuser is definitely a worthy investment because they last a long time and will quickly work themselves into being a necessary part of your daily routine.

So let’s say you’re interested in trying out essential oils for yourself. The best way to embrace them is to find the one that matches your intention. Such as…

Intention: I want to feel grounded.


  • Sweet Orange
  • Cedarwood
  • Frankincense

Grounded is usually the vibe I’m going for. I allow my anxiety to sit in the drivers seat and catastrophize virtually any situation at the drop of a hat (a skill I’ve been advised against putting on my résumé). When I get home from work or class, my favorite thing to do is diffuse some of Aura Cacia’s “Medieval Mix” (a combination of frankincense, cinnamon, cloves) and take five minutes to sit in silence, practice gratitude, and breathe in the earthy tones. Other scents like sweet orange, cedarwood, or simply an isolated frankincense or cloves are also great for this.

Intention: I want to feel energized.


  • Peppermint
  • Lemongrass
  • Tea Tree

Some mornings we wake up and just feel sluggish. It’s not always contingent upon how much sleep we’ve gotten either. Sometimes we just don’t feel quite awake enough to take on the day. If this is the case, try a little bit of stretching or yoga to get your body moving as you breathe in energizing scents such as peppermint or lemongrass. Feel your body open up and wake to the world around it.

Intention: I want to feel cleansed.


  • Eucalyptus
  • Peppermint
  • Tea Tree

Whenever I go through a cleaning frenzy or have had a particularly late night, I like to diffuse a purifying or cleansing oil. My two favorites for this are eucalyptus and peppermint. These two oils are also wonderful if you’re experiencing congestion or a cold. Their really vibrant scents seem to instantly open up your sinuses.

Intention: I want to feel elevated.


  • Cedarwood
  • Sandalwood
  • Rose

Do you ever feel the urge to connect with something bigger than yourself? This desire for an expanded-yet-more-intimate relationship with the world around us is part of engaging in a spiritual practice. Many times, especially when we’re engaging in a more mindfulness-centered activity, such as yoga, journaling, or meditation, we want to create an environment in which we feel able to best foster that divine connection

Intention: I want to feel relaxed.


  • Lavender
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Sweet Orange

One of the most common reasons people turn to essential oils is for relaxation. At the end of the day it’s great to take an hour to truly wind ourselves down and prepare for a restful sleep. Sipping some tea (my favorite is Yogi Tea’s licorice root & peppermint), reading a book or journaling, and diffusing essential oils is an amazing way to do this. For sleep, my favorite oils are actually pre-made blends. Aura Cacia’s “Cool Hottie” and NOW’s “Peaceful Sleep” have become my go-tos. Both incorporate scents of lavender and ylang ylang, which have incredible calming effects on the body and mind.


featured image by Chalkboard

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