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By now, those of us still lucky enough to be working during this challenging pandemic are hopefully doing so at home. All of us here at the Portland ACHS Campus are on week 6 of telework. Like us, you are probably enjoying the no commute to your job. But are you missing some office comforts – the standup desk, the ergonomic office chair, and the social chit chat that makes going to work fun? The plus is also global. Not only is the planet happier with less traffic, but there is even less energy use all round as office buildings across cities stand empty. Now that we have the commute to the home office on time by 8:30 each morning down, let's see how we can make the home office a more inviting and productive place.
Aromatherapy in the workplace can give your home office a quick, no fuss face-lift! Essential oils have qualities that can truly enhance your work environment. From encouraging focus to purifying the air, to boosting the mood, there's something for every home office personality.
You should check with your roommates or partner before diffusing essential oils in your home office and make sure you're diffusing in a well-ventilated space. Take special care if you have a cat. Make sure they can always quickly leave the room. Cats metabolize specific aromatic molecules more slowly than other species because of a lack of the enzymes within the liver that can make them feel pretty lousy. Not what we want for your favorite furry family members. Other ways to stay safe while distilling essential oils in your home office is to place the diffuser on the far side of your desk. Better yet place it a few feet away from your desk on a side table or ledge, plus I always crack the window.
Here's a rundown of our five-favorite work-enhancing essential oils for the office:
How it benefits the home office: One of the most popular oils to promote productivity and concentration, rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis (L.), is lauded for its uplifting and stimulating effects on the mind and memory. This is an ideal oil for the home office environment where deep concentration is a necessity. I love to diffuse rosemary in the morning when I am most creative. If I have time, I love a rosemary morning bath for the same reasons.
All about the aroma: Rosemary's aroma is strong, fresh, and uplifting. It is a middle note and blends well with lavender Lavandula angustifolia (Mill.), cedarwood Cedrus atlantica (G.Manetti), bay Laurus nobilis (L.), or citrus oils. This is a strong aroma, so ventilate well and only for about 3o minutes.
How it benefits the home office: A sweet and uplifting citrus, bergamot Citrus aurantium var. bergamia (Risso) orange is the signature flavor of Earl Grey tea. The essential oil has been shown to have significant mood-boosting qualities. Don't we all need that right now? Some days are better than others as we get used to the new normal but for those down days diffuse bergamot essential oil. It's a delightful and powerful purifier in a home office cleaning spray. Plus, who doesn't swoon for the scent of fresh orange?
All about the aroma: Bergamot is a bright, clean, and happy top note. A distinctive citrus, it imparts a refreshing, characteristic Eau de Cologne fragrance. This oil is ideal in invigorating summer and mood-boosting blends. Try blending bergamot with cypress Cupressus sempervirens (L.), geranium Pelargonium graveolens (L'Her.), lavender L. angustifolia, and sandalwood Santalum album (L.) essential oils.
How it benefits the home office: Geranium Pelargonium graveolens (L'Her.) is a luxurious floral perfect for the self-professed "flower child." A notable mood lifter, geranium offers the hope of spring flowers on dreary days.
All about the aroma: This delicious, balancing aroma is akin to rose Rosa damascena (Mill.) essential oil, but is significantly more affordable for the budget. Geranium is a light, high intensity middle note, so you only need a few drops to fill your home office with the aroma of flowers. Geranium blends well with bergamot C. aurantium var. bergamia, clove Syzygium aromaticum (L.), and juniper Juniperus communis (L.) essential oils.
How it benefits the home office: The fresh, lemony aroma of lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus (Stapf) will invigorate your senses and open your mind. You will feel awake and aware with this energetic, earthy essential oil. If your home workspace has an issue with fruit flies or gnats, lemongrass can act as a natural insect repellent.
All about the aroma: Fresh, earthy, and citrusy. Lemongrass is a lively and herbaceous top note. Try blending with lemon Citrus limonum (Risso), lavender L. angustifolia, or rosemary R. officinalis essential oils.
How it benefits the home office: Everyone loves the spicy, warm of clove Syzygium aromaticum (L.) plus it is a beautiful air cleanser. This essential oil is your best friend right now.
All about the aroma: A fresh and comforting top note, clove's warming, and spicy aroma adds a peaceful and grounding ambience to any home office space. Try blending this fun spice with bergamot C. aurantium var. bergamia, clary sage Salvia sclarea (L.), lavender L. angustifolia, or ylang ylang Cananga odorata (Lam.) var. genuina.
Home Office Essential Oils – Honorable Mentions
There are way more than just five essential oils to use in the home office. Really, it's about crafting an aroma that is right for you and your co-workers. Why not have a zoom "blending party" as a team-building exercise or with your physically distant friends? ACHS President Dorene Petersen gives a great breakdown of how to blend essential oils in this blog post here.
Here are even more delightful essential oils you can try out in your home workplace:
- Cypress C. sempervirens
- Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Blume)
- Black Pepper Piper nigrum (L.)
- Clary Sage S. sclarea
- Grapefruit Citrus paradisi (Macfad.)
- Ylang YlangC. odoratavar. genuina
- Ginger Zingiber officinale (Roscoe)
- Lavender L. angustifolia
- Lemon C. limonum
- Lime Citrus aurantiifolia (Christm.)
Vetiver Vetiveria zizanioides (Nash)
Happy Home Office Diffuser Blend
If you're skeptical about blending essential oils yourself, don't fret. Give this pre-blended recipe a try the next time your home workspace needs an aromatic lift. Don't forget—check with your roommates, partner and cat before diffusing essential oils in the office.
Geranium Pelargonium graveolens essential oil: 6 drops
Lemon Citrus limonum essential oil: 2 drops
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil: 2 drops
Blend essential oils and add to diffuser. Be sure to follow the instructions on your diffuser—they are all different.
As an extra treat for those of you just too daunted to blend your own, there are some more pre-blended by our expert aromatherapists plus great diffusers so head over to the Apothecary Shoppe to stock up: https://www.apothecary-shoppe.com/collections/essential-oils-for-the-home-office
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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.