Whether it’s curling up with a good book or binge-watching cleaning videos on TikTok, we all have our different ways of dealing with stress. That said, there are some environmental switch-ups that seem universally appealing: opening windows to let in fresh air, peppering in some healing plants (it’s a thing), and cooking up a big batch of…herbs and spices? If you haven’t already tried it, you may want to consider aromatherapy. It’s both calming and mood boosting, and the best part is you can DIY it with ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen.
“I’m definitely using it a bit more in my daily routine these days,” says Kristin Guy. The photographer and stylist (and gardening pro) has been tinkering around with a few different blends. Some provide air purification and others supply head- and chest-clearing properties that could help anyone feeling a little under the weather. All of them involve a simple mix of plants, fresh fruits, or dried spices. “I know a lot of people don’t have huge stockpiles of essential oils on hand, so it’s important to remember that you can create the same aromas using foraged items from your backyard or pantry,” adds Guy. (Good news for those of us spending more time indoors these days.)
Guy’s aromatherapy DIYs are simple: Just fill a large pot with water, add your ingredients, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer on low. Replenish liquid as needed, and try to use whole spices wherever possible (if using powdered blends, Guy recommends making little sachets out of cheesecloth and twine, so loose herbs can mingle).
The beauty of this project is how customizable it is—though if you’re feeling stuck, these are the combinations Guy currently has on repeat.
The Immunity Booster
Right before bedtime or a hot shower, whip up a pot of bay leaf, spruce, and ginger—those strong scents help open up your chest and could relieve congestion.
The Sleep Aid
Guy swears by an elixir of peppermint, lavender, and lemon at night, which infuses a sense of relaxation into her bedroom and helps her drift off.
The Air Freshener
Try diffusing a few different combinations of fresh herbs, whole spices, and anything citrus. The zingy fragrance will make your home smell superclean. A few of Guy’s favorite recipes: sage, ginger, lavender, lemon, orange, and rosemary; rose petals, lavender, lemon, and orange; and bay leaf, thyme, coriander, lemon, and orange. Now breathe easy.
See more ways to make working from home better:
Keep Your Kids Busy With This Parent-Approved Project
This Artist DIYed a Pocket-Size Scented Lavender Pillow to Comfort Her Son
These Work-From-Home Hacks Are the Difference Between Stir-Crazy and Serenity