Aromatherapy and fragrance
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from natural substances such as fruits, flowers, leaves and plants to promote wellbeing. Aromatherapy can provide you with a calming sensation, stress relief, or various other improvements to your bodily and mental health.
People report that smells like lavender and chamomile help them to relax or sleep, that peppermint can pick up low moods or that lemon can support the ability to focus.
If you want to try out aromatherapy, the most important thing is to do so safely and to focus on what feels best for you. For example, if you are using scented candles, make sure you don’t leave them burning when you leave the room or fall asleep. And if you are using the oils in the bath or on your skin, be mindful that some can be irritating unless they are diluted in a ‘carrier’ oil, such as olive or coconut. You might prefer using candles, running an aromatherapy bath, using an infuser, or simply picking flowers or herbs like lavender. You may also enjoy the act of picking flowers or herbs, like lavender, themselves, or keeping an aloe vera plant, which can be used to make moisturising face creams.
What young people have told us:
'Yes 100%. It really calmed me down, and brought sweet thoughts into my head, as if the scent was clearing away any trouble or stress.'
There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.
If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.