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Overwhelmed? 5 Essential Oils for Stress Relief

by Leah Morgan, CCAP

Are you feeling too overwhelmed to enjoy the holidays?

While many thrive on last minute shopping, decorating, and entertaining–the rest of us find that late nights, over spending and over indulging get in the way of truly enjoying the season. With too many things to do, in too little time, stress finds its way into the holiday hustle and bustle.

Stress is bad for the body and soul. It affects mood, saps energy, and makes us more susceptible to colds, anxiety and depression. 

Follow our 3 tips to ease stress and appreciate the festive season.

1. Eat right and watch the booze

Holiday treats tend to be sugar and fat filled. Enjoy a couple of sweet treats, then reach for protein rich snacks. 

Drink a full glass of water between alcoholic drinks to curb its negative effects.

2. Just say no

It's OK to say no to an invitation. Choose to spend time with people that make you feel happy, not stressed. Fit in activities that replenish instead of draining you. For some that might be parties and for others it might be tea for two or an outdoor activity.

3. Aromatherapy

Using essential oils can help alleviate some of the stress experienced during the holiday season. Plant-based remedies can help calm and soothe your nervous system without side effects.  

Aromatherapy helps bring you back to a place of peace and harmony. 

Choose among these essential oils by their therapeutic properties and by how pleasing they are to your senses. 

Winter Synergy Blend

Winter Synergy Blend

When essential oils are blended together, the resulting “synergy” is more beneficial than the sum of the characteristics of each individual oil. It's a comforting blend of seasonal favorites such as frankincense, mandarin, and cinnamon and also includes cedar and clove. Diffuse Healingscents Winter Synergy Blend for an hour two to three times a day. 

Frankincense Essential Oil


Frankincense essential oil is a holiday classic. With the resin having ties to the Christmas story, it is no wonder that people gravitate toward it during this season. The essential oil is distilled from the famous resin that comes from trees grown in parts of Africa and Southwest Asia.

While there are several different Frankincense species available, Boswellia carteriiis one of the most commonly used. Frankincense oil is known for its meditative capabilities as well as its balancing effect on the nervous system. This makes it the perfect oil to use during the holiday season to alleviate the disquiet that many struggle with during this time.

Dilute 10 drops of Frankincense in 10ml of carrier oil and add to a roller bottle. Apply where the scent can easily reach the nose.

Cinnamon Leaf

The scent of cinnamon brings to mind holiday baking and fragrant decorations. Cinnamon Leaf is a warming essential oil, both physically and emotionally, and is distilled from the leaves of Cinnamomum Zeylanicum like the common name implies. It is somewhat similar to clove but with spicier, warmer undertones.

In aromatherapy treatments it can help assuage feelings of depression and fear (Sheppard-Hanger 159). It is especially nice paired with citrus oils.

Diffuse 3 drops of Cinnamon Leaf, 3 drops of Sweet orange, 2 drops of Patchouli, and 1 drop of Neroli.

Mandarin Essential Oil


Red Mandarin

Red Mandarin differs from other citruses in that it is a more deeply calming citrus. The scent of Citrus reticulata is more mellow with subtle floral notes and is cold-pressed from the rind of the fruit. Unlike other citrus oils, it is not phototoxic.

Worwood notes it as being effective for irritability, nervous tension, and anxiety (35). This makes Red Mandarin an excellent choice for diffusing holiday stress. It is also an ideal option to use with children who may experience a little more unease than normal this time of year.

Diffuse 3 drops of Red Mandarin, 3 drops of Lemon, 2 drops of Grapefruit, and 2 drops of Sweet Orange.

Balsam Fir

Balsam fir is a favorite during the month of December. Abies balsamea is distilled from the leaves and twigs of this tall conifer native to North America. The refreshing, woodsy essential oil smells true to the tree and is easily recognizable as a classic Christmas scent.

Traditionally known to be uplifting, Balsam Fir is an ideal option for relieving feelings of stress during the holiday season. In aromatherapy treatments, it is useful in helping reduce anxiety and anchoring one against outside stressful influences. These properties along with its association to the season make it a fantastic choice to tackle hectic holidays head-on.

Diffuse 7 drops of Balsam Fir, 6 drops of Lemon, 4 drops of Sweet Orange, and 3 drops of Scotch Pine.


Sheppard-Hanger, Sylla. The Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual. Tampa: Atlantic Institute of aromatherapy, 1995. Print.

Worwood, Valerie Ann. Aromatherapy For The Healthy Child. Novato, Calif.: New World Library, 2000. Print.

Leah Morgan, CCAP

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