Every writer has tricks to get his or her mind focused.
Whether it’s your morning coffee or a soothing playlist, there’s probably something you use to help get your head in the game before sitting down with a blank word document.
Here’s one thing you may not have yet considered: essential oils.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are extracted from plants like rosemary, lavender or eucalyptus. Although not 100 percent backed by scientific studies, oils are intended to induce certain emotions or can be used for homeopathic health.
Different oils can be diffused, ingested or rubbed directly on your skin to do anything from help you sleep to give you more energy.
As companies like Young Living and doTerra rise in popularity, more and more people are discovering the benefits of oils—writers in particular.
Devon Anderson, from Akron, OH, is a novelist and journalist for a digital magazine. She said essential oils are vital to her creativity.
“I started with oils four years ago. My husband was in a job where he traveled a lot, I was newly pregnant with our third child, and I was a bit stressed to the max,” she explained. “A friend recommended I try oils to help me ease my tension. I used them for three days and was hooked! And I have been using them in one capacity or another ever since.”
Which oils work best for writers?
There are hundreds of different oils and combinations available.
Anderson said she uses a wide range of oils, depending on what she needs at any given time.
“Bergamot helps with stress and anxiety, to help writers move out of those gaps. Orange is always a good one for general joy. I find Cypress and Eucalyptus can help me clear up any mental fogginess I may have and keep me going,” explained Anderson.
Tamara Oliver, a blogger from New Hampshire, agrees.
“Peppermint and spearmint are great for when you’re stuck. They are vasodilators and literally open your blood vessels to get your blood moving, get oxygen to all the ends of your fingers and throughout your brain,” Oliver said.
I personally use oils as well, diffusing Sweet Orange to bring a little happiness into my apartment and Peppermint for positivity. I just add a few drops to my oil diffuser and feel my creative wheels start to turn.
I’ve found you can use oils at any part during the writing process to help rejuvenate your mind.
“Basil helps uplift the mind; I find that especially useful in my prewriting stages. I use oils during the prewriting phase, while I am writing to keep me going and focused, and when I am done to help me mentally wind down,” Anderson said.
How should oils be used?
When it comes to how to use oils, you have three main options: using a diffuser, rubbing drops directly on your wrists or behind your ears or ingesting a few drops mixed with water or tea. Not every brand can be digested—make sure to check first!
“I prefer diffusing because it is a constant, and using it directly on the skin can make it feel instant. I also like the trick of putting one or two drops in my hands and inhaling directly through the nose; it’s like a kick in the pants for whatever I need,” Anderson said.
Why are oils great for writers?
Oliver said essential oils have been essential to her writing process since writing can be such trying work.
“A lot of non-creative types don’t understand it, but the mental focus and emotional investment required to create can be incredibly taxing,” Oliver said. “Recognizing and honoring the truth of this allows me to be more physically, spiritually, and emotionally comfortable in that strain and effort.”
For more info on using oils for writing, check out the @OilsForWriters Instagram, run by author Jodi Kendall. She offers fun oil combinations to help writers think outside the box and focus in on great ideas.
Before I used essential oils, I was still writing well, but I wasn’t always able to get out of my own way and overcome gaps as quickly or stay as focused,” Anderson said. “Now, they help me stay on track and keep moving, even when it gets hard.”
If you’re interested in trying essential oils, many are sold through independent distributors—put a callout on Facebook to see if anyone knows someone who sells them. Some brands can also be purchased directly online through Amazon, like Radha Beauty or Art Naturals.
Have you ever used oils to inspire your writing? Share your experiences in the comments.
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