Lifestyle

Turn Your Car Into a Retreat for Your Senses With Essential Oils

By The Editorial Team

Between caring for students and caring for family, sometimes the only alone time we get is those few minutes in the car on the way to or from work. But guess what? It’s still ALONE time and it should be celebrated and treated like the sacred gift it is. Make the most of this time by creating a spa for your senses with some aromatherapy!

Essential oils can invigorate your senses, aid in alertness, or calm your spirit. And, when incorporated into your commute, can be the perfect preparation for the day ahead or a great way to center yourself after leaving a hectic classroom. 

How do essential oils work?

When we breathe in, scents reach the olfactory system, an extension of the limbic system. The limbic system is also considered the emotional brain as it is responsible for emotions, behaviors, and memory. This portion of the brain also plays a role in controlling breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Essential oils, extracted from plants to retain the smell or flavor of the source, affect the limbic system in various beneficial ways. Effects and benefits vary depending on the particular scent. 

Finding the right essential oil for your commute

Find yourself yawning your way through traffic or just not feeling ready to face the day? These essential oils are known for their energizing and invigorating effects:

  • Basil
  • Cedarwood
  • Citrus
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint

Is the morning commute your time to plan, think, and imagine your next lessons? Find oils to help spark some creativity and concentration:

  • Frankincense
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Wild orange

Feeling stressed about your upcoming observation, had a stressful day, or feeling frustrated by the slow-moving traffic?  Calm your senses with these relaxing oils:

  • Geranium
  • Grapefruit
  • Lime
  • Rosewood

Do you hope to cleanse that stale air or even the nasty remnants of your child’s gym bag left in the back seat too long? Try refreshing oils to keep your nose happy:

  • Cinnamon
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ginger
  • Orange
  • Patchouli
  • Peppermint

Some essential oils create a calm so relaxing, they may not be appropriate for the road. You will want to avoid any oils that may make you feel sleepy or over-stimulated. Oils to be wary of using in the car:

  • Chamomile
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram 

How to use oils in your car

Refresh your car with an essential oil quick spray. Fill a clean spray bottle with water. Add a drop or two of your preferred oil (or blend). Shake vigorously and spray inside your car.

Create a personal scent dispenser. Add a few drops of oil to a handkerchief, tissue, or cotton ball. Take a quick sniff as often as you desire. Or share the sensation by placing the tissue on the dashboard. The warmth of the car will evaporate and disperse the scents through the air. 

Use a car electric diffuser. There are multiple devices available in stores or online.

Scent your car carefully

When used as directed, essential oils can be a safe and effective way to lighten your spirit, reenergize you, or spark creativity. But using essential oils in the car requires sensibility. Oils can affect people in different ways, so it is best to try them at home before you begin to use them while driving.

It may seem that using more oil will better your experience. But, in the case of such a small enclosed area as a car, less is definitely more.

In most cases, a maximum of two drops should be used. Try one drop first to test the strength of the oil then modify accordingly. 

When used strategically and smartly, essential oils can turn your car into a sanctuary for your senses — and your commute into the very best part of your day. Ditch the artificial air freshener, invest in some good oils, play some music that suits the mood you’re after, and relish those moments behind the wheel.

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