Wake up to citrus
THERE ARE TIMES we all could use a bit of a jumpstart in the morning, or even when we’ve hit that 3 o’clock wall. Most of us reach for caffeine. But if you’re trying to cut back or if you’re not a coffee drinker, there’s another remedy found in nature – a remedy that’s been in use for more than 6,000 years, beginning with the ancient Chinese, Indians, Greeks and Romans.
Essential oils, a key ingredient used in aromatherapy, contain concentrated extracts from leaves, seeds, roots or blossoms with various therapeutic purposes. And science seems to back this up. It’s shown that certain scents have the ability to perk us up.
Yes, it does seem counterintuitive – aromatherapy, for most of us, is used to soothe emotions or lull us into a more restful sleep; lavender pillow spray, anyone? – but it can also invigorate, and help to cheer us up.
Citrus (lemon, orange and grapefruit) helps boost the happiness hormone serotonin. Peppermint and rosemary both contribute to alertness. Add a little spice with cinnamon and ginger, both of which can also positively impact emotional well-being and productivity, helping make the daily grind more of a breeze.
But what if you don’t have, say, a sprig of rosemary or a cinnamon stick on hand? Many health food and drug stores as well as spas carry essential oils for personal use. You can directly inhale a blend straight from the bottle (some wellness manufacturers also offer roll-on options designed for safe contact with the skin) or by putting a few drops of oil into a diffuser.
For round-the-clock aromatherapy, try the AromaTime Ultrasonic Diffuser ($190) from Canada’s Saje Wellness, which works on a timer. Fill one reservoir with an energizing blend, like Liquid Sunshine, with its zingy notes of grapefruit, lime and bergamot orange, to help gently wake up. Fill the other with a relaxing blend, like Tranquility, with lavender and ylang-ylang, to help you drift off to sleep.
AromaTime Ultrasonic Diffuser