How to Diffuse Essential Oils: The Newbie’s Guide

Learn how to diffuse essential oils and protect your family from the trending virus, block allergens, or increase your focus and joy.

Diffusing Essential Oils Is Super Easy
Have you heard great things about essential oils but no one's taught you how to use them? Confused by all the information or jargon? Perfect! This post is just for you! Learning how to diffuse essential oils is the first step into natural health care for your family. And it's easy peasy!

We're still in the throes of cold and flu season and, maybe it's just us here in the pacific northwest, it always seems like the changing of the seasons brings more viruses around then the coldest days of winter. As spring takes its sweet time springing, I'm relying heavily on my oils to keep my family healthy.


How to Diffuse Essential Oils
I get asked all the time how to use essential oils. I know it can be overwhelming, but it's really not. It can be quite simple. There are three options for using oils: inhalation or breathing them in, topical application meaning rubbing them on your skin, and internal consumption meaning you eat/drink them. The easiest, and safest, method is inhalation.

While you can always just twist open your favorite oil and give it a sniff, using a diffuser can spread the benefits of that oil over your whole family, classroom, office, etc. Diffusing is easy peasy, but make sure you have permission from those who will be sharing the air with you. We've got some relatives who are allergic to cloves, so I always make sure I'm not diffusing an oil containing cloves when they come over.
I've rounded up my favorite ways to spread the love with those beneficial oils.


 
5 Ways to Diffuse Essential Oils
 
1) Traditional Diffuser
A small, semi-portable electric diffuser is my go to. It acts as a diffuser, humidifier, and optional night light. I have two of these which I fill up anytime I hear the least bit of a sniffle. One lives in my daughters' room and the other travels around the rest of the house as needed. With a 150 ml capacity and 4+ hour run time with auto shut-off, this diffuser works great for a bedroom or living area up to 250 square feet.

How to use it: Add cold water to fill line, plus 4-6 drops of oils or oil blends, replace lid and turn on. When diffusing in a child's room, place diffuser out of reach and make sure directional spray doesn't mist over the top of your sleeping baby.

More options:



(left to right) Slightly Cheaper, Prettier, Larger Capacity, Made from Bamboo, Travel/Car Version
2) Mini Diffuser
These little guys pack a big punch. With versions you plug into an outlet and those you can plug into your car's cigarette lighter, you can take your oils with you wherever you go. Some of these little units do not have auto shut-off settings, so do be careful not to run them overnight or you risk overheating.

How to use it: Add a few drops of oil or oil blend to the filter (or the water reservoir in select models), plug in and position in the upright position. Add more oil as scent dissipates. Unplug when not in use.



 
3) Aromatherapy Necklace
This is my second favorite way to diffuse. Not only are these necklaces beautiful, they can wrap you up in an oil safety bubble. I never go to a substitute job without fighting five on my necklace diffuser.

How to use it: Place 1-2 drops of oil or an oil blend on the felt or pumice insert, close up the necklace and enjoy your good health.


4) Wax Burner
If you have one of those scentsy style flame-free candle warmers, you can repurpose it into an oil diffuser. There is some debate about the efficacy of this method, as heating oils can reduce their potency and, in some cases, change their composition. Therefore, this option, as well as the wall unit option above, is best when the scent is what you want. For battling a cold or flu, allergies, or other medicinal uses, it's best to use a water filled diffuser.

How to use it: Place a tablespoon or two of water or coconut oil in the wax reservoir along with 4-6 drops of oil or an oil blend and turn on. Be careful not to leave it on after the oils/water have dissipated.
5) Sniff from hands
This last method is our go to when we're dealing with congestion, but it's also great when you need a little pick me up. First, make sure the oil or blend you want to use is not hot, meaning it won't cause skin irritation. When in doubt, sniff straight from the bottle (feel free to ask about certain oils in the comments and I can let you know).

How to use it: Place 1-2 drops of oil or an oil blend (safe for topical use) on your hands, rub together, and cup hands around nose. Breathe deeply 3-4 times.


What Oils to Diffuse
The only thing to decide now is what oils you should be diffusing! I'll be adding more posts about our experiences with essential oils and our awesome health victories in the weeks to come but, for now, I'll leave you with some of my quick favorites.
Why I Recommend Eden's Garden Essential Oils
One last note about why I recommend the oils I do: I use Eden's Garden essential oils almost exclusively unless my MIL gifts me some DoTerra goodies. I did a ton of research when I first started using EO's. What I discovered was that there is a whole spectrum of oils, both in cost and in quality. My mission was to find the highest quality oil at the most affordable price, from a company with a wide enough selection to serve my families needs. Everyone seems to have an opinion when it comes to oil brands, so that decision is best left to you and your family.

I chose Eden's Garden because of their dedication to quality, the fact that their oils pass all the same tests as those of the big 2, and for their lower price tag. Same quality oils, way less money invested! And for the record, I don't sell their oils or get a kick back in any way from EG. If you purchase any of the oils or diffusers that I've linked to on Amazon, I receive a small commission from Amazon through their affiliate program which doesn't cost you a dime extra and allows me to keep putting my time and effort into this blog.

Now, on to the oils! These recipes are all for a standard size diffuser, requiring 5-6 drops of oil in total.





Cold And Flu Buster
2 drops Fighting Five
2 drops Oregano
2 drops Tea Tree



Allergy Block
2 drops Lavender
2 drops Peppermint
2 drops Lemon



Congestion Relief
3 drops Fighting Five
3 drops Breathe Easier





Depression Kicker
3 drops Bergamot
2 drops Purify
1 drop Lavender



Pre-Made Blends
6 drops Anxiety Ease
6 drops Energy Boost
6 drops Good Night
6 drops Stay Alert




To save even more money, you can piece together a custom 6, 12, or 32 oil set on their website at edensgarden.com. (For which I receive no kickback, but I want to make sure you, Mama, are getting the best deal possible! I would never recommend something I didn't fully trust myself.)

Let me know what other questions I can answer in the comments and don't forget to subscribe for more helpful posts!

Blessing upon blessing,

Jessi

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How to Shake Off This Funk

Sometimes you're just blue. How do you shake off the funk when it won't go away? Click through for 10 ideas and a free printable with 50 more!
As someone who has dealt with depression at some level for the last 9 years, I totally understand the funk. I often describe it as a wave. The sadness builds slowly, picking up momentum under the surface of whatever other emotions I might be feeling, and then crashes over me at the most (seemingly) random times. It wasn't until I started seeing a therapist that I began to recognize those triggers and do something about them before the wave drowned me. Today, I want to share with you some of the things that help me keep my feet on the ground.

Whether you're battling depression or just having a bad week, these tips can help you find your happy place again.

(Please note: If your funk has lasted more than a few months or you're thinking scary thoughts, then please, please, please stop trying to pull yourself out of it and go see someone!  Talk to your doctor, get recommendations for a good therapist in your area, or call 1-800-THERAPIST for a confidential recommendation.)
10 Tips for Getting Out of Your Funk:

Rest Those Hardworking Muscles! As a Mama, your number one complaint is probably lack of sleep. Am I right? Girl, put that phone down and go to bed! I know how hard it can be to get to bed on time. With littles to care for (who may or may not still need you in the middle of the night) or older ones with homework and sports and unending time in the car plus household tasks and quality time with the hubby and all your other commitments... It all adds up and before you know it, you're folding the laundry at midnight, crying quietly cause you just want to go to sleep. Well, I'm here to tell you: For your sake, put the laundry down! Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep. If a tiny cry will interrupt your beauty hours, then plan to stay in bed as long as takes to fill up on sleep. If ever there was an encouraged use for iPads, it's during those early morning hours!
You Are What You Eat: Food plays such an important part in every aspect of your physical and mental well-being. Make sure you're getting enough calories every day and that most of them are coming from whole foods. That means cut down on those processed foods and refined sugars, Mama. I know you only want to eat ice cream in the middle of the day... grab an apple instead. Your body will thank you!
Check your levels: It's always a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor and have them run blood tests. Deficiencies in iron, magnesium, vitamin D, and others can all contribute to suppressed moods.
Get Moving: Exercise has been shown again and again and again to improve depressive symptoms because it increases your dopamine and serotonin levels, two major players in the mood game. Plus, sweating is a great way to work out aggression for things you might not have any control over. Many a good rage has been dispelled with weights in my hands.
Go Outside: Ever wonder why sunshine makes people happy? It's because the sun helps your body produce vitamin D! Not to mention it's warm and comfortable and invites you out into the fresh air and wonderful, wide world where birds sing and children giggle and moms get tan. Oh, February... I wish you were July... This Pacific Northwestern girl is missing her some sunny days and poolside outings right about now!
Create something: Take time for yourself and make something you love. It can be a painting, a drawing, photos of your kids or nature, one of the many DIY projects you've been pinning for 'later'. Make later today.
Use all your senses: Smell is often left off the list of self-care to-dos but, I'm telling you what, diffusing my favorite essential oils or lighting a tantalizing candle can really shift my mood quick. Essential oils have many benefits, the most significant of which is known as aromatherapy (which doesn't have a 'therapy' in its name for no reason). My favorite oils for blue days are Quiet Time, Bergamot, and Cinnamon.
Practice gratitude: Gratitude has more beneficial effects on your body than I could ever list here! Stop for a minute and think of five things you are grateful for. Or better yet, make a list and post it somewhere you'll see it again.
Find the thing that makes you happy and prioritize it: If you love gardening, set aside time to be outside with a shovel and some seeds. If you love writing, plan to have Hubby put the kids to bed so you can write or journal without interruption. If you love hiking, then dust off your boots and get out there. If you love... You get the idea. If something makes you happy and you can shift your schedule or let something else go so you can do that thing, then do it! A happy Mama is an effective Mama.
Let some things go: Thanks to Facebook and Pinterest and, ahem, mom blogs, there's a TON of pressure to be awesome at everything, especially if you're at home during the day. It's easy to feel like you've got be on top of everything from whole foods to organization to a spotless house to the newest parenting trend to fashion to... the list goes on. Mama, you can't do it all. Let me say that again. You CAN'T do it all. I can't either. And we're not even supposed to. So pick your battles, fight for what's important to you, and let the rest of it go. Let it go, let it go... Now it's going to be stuck in your head all day. Sorry 'bout that.

That's my list. What would you add? Tell us in the comments!

Blessing upon blessing,

Jessi

 



 
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DIY All Purpose Cleaner (Only 3 Ingredients!)

DIY All Purpose Cleaner for a greener, safer home | With only three ingredients and two minutes, you can mix up your own eco-friendly, pet-safe, child-safe all purpose cleaner! Click for the recipe.
I've been on a personal mission over the last 2 years to rid my household of all commercial cleaners and I'm almost there! This DIY all purpose cleaner is just the thing I needed to meet that goal.

When we moved into our new house, I wiped the slate clean. In the packing process, I left all my old cleaners out of the boxes (since cleaning the empty house was the last step anyway) and ditched them all at the curb on my way out. I brought only four store-bought cleaners with me to the new house--toilet bowl cleaner, laundry detergent, wood floor cleaner, and disinfectant wipes. These are the only things I haven't replaced yet, but we'll get there.
Out With The Old, In With The New
One of the first things I replaced was a disinfecting countertop spray in my kitchen. I threw out the old and replaced it with a vinegar based DIY version that is much healthier, way less expensive, and just as effective. I use it on my kitchen & bathroom counters, my black stove top (which is annoyingly streaky when 'cleaned' with anything but this spray), cabinets, appliances, mirrors, windows, table top and chairs, door knobs, light switch covers... You get the idea. It's awesome for everything.

The great thing about it is that I use regular old apple cider vinegar so it's non-toxic. Even if my kids got a hold of it, it would be no different than giving them a pickle (except the essential oils, but those aren't even close to dangerous in the quantities we'll be using). It's so quick and easy to make that I mix up more the moment I run out, which is usually once a month in my four-person, large-kitchen, three-bathroom household.



If you find the smell of vinegar to be too strong for you, you can dilute it with more water or more oils but I spent lots of time achieving the right balance of cleaning power and mild scent for my vinegar-hating husband so I hope it works for you too.
DIY All Purpose Cleaning Spray
1/3 cup vinegar, apple cider or white (apple cider is less pungent)
1 2/3 cups tap water
20-30 drops of Essential Oils (My favorite combo is 15 drops Cleaning, and 5 drops each Lemon and Grapefruit)

Combine all ingredients in a clean 16 oz spray bottle and label clearly. Shake before each use.

One note about the glass spray bottle: It's not totally necessary. I only recently switched from a plastic spray bottle, which I picked up at a local big box store, to the amber glass bottle pictured here. I used the plastic bottle with no noticeable issues for about a year, but three reasons made me switch. First, essential oils can actually deteriorate plastic containers over time, meaning it won't last forever and likely won't be reusable for another purpose down the road. Second, the oils lose some of their potency when stored in a clear container and exposed to sunlight. Probably not a huge issue considering how quickly I go through this stuff, but something to keep in mind. Lastly, glass is a renewable material, as opposed to plastic, so I can either repurpose the bottle later or recycle it. For those reasons, I finally sprung the extra few dollars for the glass bottles and I won't go back!

That's it! Enjoy your streak-free shines and unassaulted hippie sensibilities.

Blessing upon blessing,

Jessi

p.s. If you have suggestions for natural replacements for any of my four crutch cleaners, do tell! Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading.



 
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