How to Use Essential Oils to Relax at Work

How to Use Essential Oils to Relax at Work

Traffic is a bummer. If you have a long commute, chances are you’re already frazzled by the time you even get to work. Not to mention the deadlines and the overflowing email inbox that are probably waiting for you. Even if you love your job, chances are you’ve had to deal with irritated customers or an exasperated boss from time to time, which can make it difficult to relax at work.

Using essential oils at work (or any time) is a practical way to help boost your mood and take control of how you want your space to feel. Humans have used essential oils for thousands of years for healing, spiritual practice and simply making their homes and meeting places smell appealing. Why not tap into the ancient tradition of essential oil aromatherapy to help you relax at work?

Best Essential Oils to Feel Better at Work

Before we get into how to use essential oils to relax at work, it’s important to know which essential oils to use. Different essential oils have different properties and benefits that create different moods or feelings.

For example, tea tree oil has many uses, including soothing congestion and freshening the air. If you’re feeling a little under the weather, tea tree is a great essential oil choice, but if you’re upset or trying to take the edge off so you can relax at work, maybe not so much.

When you want to use essential oils to relax at work, it’s better to choose peaceful, soothing oils that help balance emotions instead. These are some of the most popular aromas for peace and calm.

Lavender essential oil: Lavender oil is well known for its soothing properties and is often diffused around fussy babies and kids. Authentic, pure lavender essential oil has a floral, woody, herbaceous aroma that smells nothing like those overbearing synthetic lavender soaps and lotions. In fact, lavender oil is great to use in a variety of essential oil blends for relaxation because it mixes so well with other aromas.

Bergamot essential oil: The refreshing citrus scent of bergamot essential oil is sweet and fruity with floral notes. Citrus essential oils in general tend to “smell happy” because of all the positive memories we associate with fruit, but bergamot is also known to help create uplifting feelings.

Sweet orange essential oil: The bright fruity scent of sweet orange essential oil is the closest you’ll get to the smell of a fresh-peeled orange. Used in aromatherapy to inspire creativity, as well as relaxation, sweet orange essential oil is perfect for creative professionals to use to relax at work.

Frankincense essential oil: Rich, warm, and slightly spicy, the sweet woodsy scent of frankincense oil has been described as a “warm hug.” It certainly is a wonderful smelling essential oil, but this colloquial description may actually have more to do with the reputation frankincense oil has for emotional healing.

Rosemary essential oil: Minty herbaceous and slightly woodsy, rosemary essential oil is one of the most commonly used oils to blend with lavender oil. Frequently used in holiday spice mixes, the scent of rosemary oil alone can have positive scent memories for some people. Rosemary essential oil is also used in aromatherapy to help calm nerves and renew mental energy.

If you’re upset or feeling overwhelmed, not only is it difficult to relax at work, it can also be really difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. Essential oil blends are great for this situation because they create aromatherapy experiences that are calming and also support an active mind. These essential oils are great boosters to add to calming oils when you want to relax at work so you can be more productive.

Peppermint essential oil: Slightly sweet and strongly minty, peppermint essential oil is an invigorating, stimulating aroma. Well known for its positive mental effects, peppermint oil is a useful (and delicious smelling) essential oil to help you feel more focused.

Pine needle essential oil: Potently woodsy, refreshing and clean, pine needle essential oil is evocative of a serene mountain retreat. This invigorating aroma is used in aromatherapy to stimulate the mind, which makes pine needle oil the go-to when you want to help boost productivity.

Eucalyptus essential oil: The sharp, clean camphorous scent of eucalyptus oil is sometimes described as medicinal, but it can be easily be subdued with other essential oils. Eucalyptus essential oil is very well known for its use as a natural decongestant and the fresh feeling it creates. These factors are likely why eucalyptus oil has such a prominent reputation for creating spaces that facilitate concentration.

Calming Essential Oils

  • Lavender

  • Bergamot

  • Sweet Orange

  • Frankincense

  • Rosemary

Essential Oils for Focus

  • Peppermint

  • Pine Needle

  • Eucalyptus

Diffuse Essential Oils at Your Desk


Getting a small essential oil diffuser for your desk is one of the best ways to relax at work. All you do is fill your diffuser with water, add the essential oils of your choice, turn it on and go about your business. You’ll likely forget you’re even using essential oils, except that your space will smell amazing and you’ll notice a lift in your spirits.

Now that you know a little more about which essential oils can help you relax at work, you can experiment with mixing your own essential oil blends. If you’re not confident in your essential oil blending yet, try this diffuser recipe to relax and inspire productive creativity:

Whistle While You Work Blend

3 drops lavender essential oil

2 drops sweet orange essential oil

2 drops pine needle essential oil

If your office doesn’t allow it, you don’t have much space, or you move around a lot while working, a diffuser isn’t the only option. Even without an essential oil diffuser there are still several other easy ways to use essential oils to relax at work.

Essential Oil Aromatherapy Jewelry

Oil diffusers dilute essential oils with water and disperse the aroma by steam or mist, but that’s not the only way to enjoy their aromatherapy benefits. Direct inhalation of essential oils (simply smelling them) can be just as effective as a diffuser for helping you relax at work.

Aromatherapy jewelry, especially a diffuser necklace, is a fantastic hands-free way to enjoy essential oils in your own personal space. Most aromatherapy jewelry is pretty simple and just involves some sort of absorbent material that can be switched out of the jewelry piece. All you have to do is add a few drops of essential oils  of your choosing and enjoy the aroma wafting around you.

Personal Essential Oil Rollerballs


When properly diluted with natural carrier oils, essential oils can be applied directly to the skin and make wonderful personal fragrances that also offer aromatherapy benefits. All you really need to know before using essential oils for fragrance is that you should always do a small skin patch test before regular use. If any negative reaction occurs, stop topical application right away.

The easiest way to apply an essential oil blend is to use a rollerball applicator to apply the mixture to your wrists, inner elbows and neck. There are many pre-made essential oil rollerball blends designed specifically to calm and soothe, which is perfect for when you want to relax at work.You can even make your own by mixing about 15 drops of your choice of essential oils with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil like jojoba in a rollerball applicator. Try using the instructions below to recreate the “Whistle While You Work” diffuser blend for personal application.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp jojoba oil

  • Essential oils 4-5 drops each*

    • Lavender

    • Sweet Orange

    • Pine Needle

  • 10 ml roller bottle for essential oils

  • Small funnel (optional)

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in roller bottle. Cap bottle and shake until mixed. Shake before each use, apply as needed.

*For sensitive skin, use only 2-3 drops of each essential oil.

Super Simple Essential Oil Tissue Hack

Using essential oils to relax at work doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In a pinch, just a simple tissue and essential oils will do the trick. All you have to do is add a couple drops of your choice of essential oils to a tissue. Wave the tissue in front of your face to release the aromas and inhale deeply.

The Takeaway

Inhaling the different aromas of Essential oils can help you relax at work and inspire uplifting feelings of calm and mental clarity.

Which Essential Oils to Use

  • Lavender

  • Bergamot

  • Sweet Orange

  • Frankincense

  • Rosemary

  • Peppermint

  • Pine Needle

  • Eucalyptus

How to Use Them

  • Place a diffuser at your desk

  • Wear aromatherapy jewelry

  • Use essential oil rollerball blends

  • Add drops to a tissue and wave

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