Stop and smell the essential oils

Inhale and exhale: Sophomore Kaylee Schweer stopped to smell some flowers on campus in between classes. Certain scents have been found to conjure memories and alleviate stress.

Kodee Christensen

As finals season approaches, our stress levels will inevitably begin a slow linear incline with deadlines on the x-axis and hours spent at the library on the y. Cue desperation. We turn to various remedies, ranging from coffee to naps to exercise. One treatment that seems to be rising in popularity is aromatherapy, specifically in the form of essential oils.

According to Young Living Essential Oils Silver Leader Jaime McKinley, “Aromatherapy entails the use of essential oils and other natural aromatics for physical, psychological and spiritual well-being.”

While McKinley is a sales representative, what drew her to the position was her own family’s experience with using essential oils for improving their overall wellness. A mom of four, McKinley discovered essential oils as a remedy for her 6-month-old’s cough six years ago and has been reaping the benefits of it since.

“Lavender is very calming,” said McKinley. “We use it at bedtime a lot to help calm down the mind and get sleepy. Chamomile is also a great one for trying to sleep. I know that when I’m stressed my mind never wants to stop thinking, so using these both topically (usually on my chest) and diffusing helps so much.”

In addition to being a sleep aid, different essential oils have countless other purposes. Specifically, some can be used to reduce stress.

“There have been a few that we have found work really well for stress,” said McKinley. “Citrus oils are naturally uplifting. Orange and peppermint are two I really like to diffuse when I’m starting to feel stressed for a deadline and need uplifted and motivated.”

Finding what works for you is an important thing to keep in mind. For junior Jasmine Creighton, she’s found lavender and base oils to be helpful in multiple aspects.

“I like to use lavender because the smell is very soothing and calming,” said Creighton. “I also use breathe, which is a mix of base oils that are used to calm anxieties and helps keep sickness caused by a build-up of stress away. I use it when I’m very stressed and it seems to help me sleep better.”

If you’re considering delving into the world of essential oils, McKinley shares one piece of advice.

“I’ve also been through the [Young Living] distribution center and seen the labs,” said McKinley. “It’s amazing to me all that goes into the little bottle to make sure we are getting the most optimal and beneficial oils we can. There are a lot of people jumping on the oil making band-wagon and they are not making quality oils…it’s super important to me that people understand that if you want results from essential oils, you have to be using the stuff that is going to help your body, not potentially hurt it.”

Whatever it is that you decide to use essential oils for, consider doing your research to see which kinds are good quality and healthy for your body. To check out Young Living Essential Oils, visit

Edited by Jada Johnson, Adam White, Jason Morrison