For many people, the word routine brings to mind two other words: boring and tedious. In reality, however, having a daily routine can be grounding, fulfilling, and healthful. It can also add order and a feeling of ownership to your day while reducing stress and helping you minimize procrastination.I’m an enthusiastic advocate of having a daily routine. I get up at the same time each day, go to bed at the same time, workout every morning, and stick to a rotating cleaning schedule. All of this keeps me motivated, feeling rested, and better able to go with the flow when my day doesn’t turn out exactly as planned. (Which, I admit, happens quite often.) Many years ago, as I began learning about the benefits of essential oils, I started adding oils to my daily routine and found that it not only elevated my mood but also seemed to boost my immunity and helped reduce the use of toxic chemicals in my home.
Adding essential oils to your routine is easy and almost immediately satisfying. Here are some examples of how to use essential oils throughout the day. Pick a few to start out with and then add more as you get more comfortable using oils.
In the Shower
Add 1 drop sandalwood oil to your shampoo or conditioner to restore moisture to your hair and get a silky shine. Or, on days when you’re feeling really groggy, add 1 drop peppermint oil to your shampoo and give yourself a vigorous massage while washing your hair. The tingle will be invigorating and soothing all at once. (For either “recipe,” pour shampoo or conditioner into the palm of your hand, add the drop of oil, and mix slightly with your finger before using.)
At the Vanity
There are a number of wonderful essential oil tricks you can try at your vanity as you get ready for the day. Here are three favorites: (1) Make an all-natural mouthwash by adding 1 drop peppermint oil and 1 drop lemon oil to 2 ounces water. Swish around in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting out. (2) Every time you start a new tube of mascara, add 1 drop lavender oil to the tube. It will help strengthen your lashes and add volume if you use the mascara regularly. (3) Whenever you moisturize your face, add 1 drop frankincense oil to a dollop of moisturizer and apply as normal. This powerhouse oil soothes skin and can help fade dark spots over time.
At Breakfast (and all through the day)
Add 1 to 2 drops of your favorite citrus oil (lemon, lime, grapefruit) to a glass of cold water or seltzer and drink it with breakfast. Refresh your glass throughout the day to keep you hydrated and provide a pick-me-up whenever you need it. Shoot for eight glasses a day.
During the Morning Hours
To help you feel energized and motivated throughout the morning, diffuse this fantastic blend for an hour at the beginning of the day: 3 drops lime oil, 2 drops tangerine oil, and 1 drop cedarwood oil.
Replacing store-bought cleaners with homemade cleaners will reduce the number of potentially harmful toxins brought into your home while also disinfecting and thoroughly cleaning your home. Here are 4 DIY cleaning ideas:
On dusting day—dust wooden furniture with a dusting wand, soft cloth, or feather duster. Follow up with an all-natural, enriching lemon oil polish. To make the polish, pour ¼ cup olive oil into a plastic travel-size bottle, add 10 drops lemon oil, close the lid tightly, and shake. Apply oil to a clean, dry microfiber cloth and rub over wooden surface.
On bathroom day—spray down countertops and sinks with an all-natural, easy-to-make spray cleaner. To a 16-ounce spray bottle, add ¼ cup vinegar, 1¾ cups water, 10 drops each eucalyptus, peppermint, and wild orange oils. Replace lid and shake to mix well. Spray on countertops, sinks, the toilet seat, and bathroom floors and wipe with a damp cloth. You can also use this in the kitchen on stovetops, microwaves, sinks, and countertops. Do not, however, use on granite countertops; the acid in the vinegar can work away the granite’s sealant.
On floors day—The day you mop the floor could become your favorite day if you use this wonderfully scented, all-natural solution to clean and disinfect tile, vinyl, and laminate flooring. In a large bucket, combine 2 gallons hot water, 1½ cups vinegar, 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap (such as Dawn), ¼ cup baking soda, 20 to 30 drops of your favorite citrus oil or a combination of peppermint and eucalyptus oils. Mop the floor as you normally would. There’s no need to rinse.
On laundry day (which might, realistically, be every day!)—Try these 2 tricks to freshen up your laundry. (1) For bed sheets, add a few drops lavender oil during the rinse cycle. Your family will love drifting off to sleep in clean, slightly scented sheets. (2) Ditch fabric softener and dryer sheets in exchange for reusable wool dryer balls. Before drying each load of laundry, add 2 to 3 drops lemongrass oil to each dryer ball. Throw balls in with laundry and dry as normal. When the dryer stops, you’ll have static free, freshly scented clothes. You can try a number of other oils if lemongrass is not your favorite. I suggest doTerra Purify, doTerra Citrus Bliss, lavender, or wild orange.
For Midday Stress and Tension
At lunchtime, get ahead of any tension that might be building up by rubbing 2 drops frankincense oil on the back of your neck and your temples; follow up with 2 drops wild orange applied in the same manner.
For That 3 p.m. Slump
Between 3 and 5 p.m., most of us tend to feel a noticeable slump in mood and even some irritability as we rush to finish daily tasks and prepare for the dinner hour. To help yourself chill out a bit during this slump, apply the following blend to your wrists or the back of your neck: in a 10 mL roller bottle, combine 4 drops lavender oil, 3 drops clary sage oil, 2 drops marjoram oil, and 2 drops ylang ylang oil. Top off the bottle with your favorite carrier oil. Replace the lid and shake slightly.
For a great night’s sleep, take a soothing bath before bed. In a bowl, combine 3 cups Epsom salts, 2 cups sea salt, and 10 drops doTerra Serenity oil. Stir well to distribute oil through salts. Pour salt-oil mixture into a tub filled with warm water. Soak for 20 minutes. You could also try doing this with lavender oil, sandalwood oil, bergamot oil, or cedarwood oil. If you don’t have time for a bath, diffuse one of these oils at bedtime.