The Best Essential Oils for Mental Wellness (at school and home)


I’ve been using essential oils regularly for 3 months, now. Here is an update on how they work for me and my ADHD family.  As a disclaimer, I am not a medical professional.  Please consult a healthcare professional or certified aromatherapist before using essential oils.


This post has affiliate links.  If you purchase, I receive a small commission.  Thank you!

Sleep Enhancement

The number one way we may enhance our mental health is through proper sleep.  As an ADHD mama of three, I know I function better when I’ve rested.  I’m more patient and kiss brain fog goodbye when I’ve slept a good 8 hours.  Here’s how we use essential oils to promote restful sleep in our house.

Young children



Lavender oil has been helpful in settling my toddlers down at night, especially now that they share a room. We put 6 drops in a diffuser and it runs for 1 to 2 hours. Don’t forget to shut the door to contain the scent and enhance the oils’ effects.


My eldest son with AHDH chose the stress-away scent for sleep. It’s a mix of lime, vanilla and copaiba oils. He diffuses this for about 1 hour while he reads before bed. I notice that he falls asleep more quickly when we diffuse the scent. He likes lavender, as well, but prefers the stress-away blend.




My evening routine includes a mix of frankincense and vetiver. I diffuse 3 drops of each while I listen to an inspirational or personal growth book on audible. The one I’m listening to now is The Million Dollar Secret.


My husband, who has the hardest time falling asleep (he’s the hyperactive type of ADHD), applies lavender on the bottom of his feet. He then takes hempseed oil, orally. I also rub it on painful body areas. He has a disc issue between the L4 and L5 vertebrae which causes leg and lower back pain. Another oil that’s good for pain is Pan-away (click for link), as well as straight copaiba oil.  There’s a podcast that talks about the full benefits of copaiba as well as CBD oil for pain.  Listen here, if it interests you.


Immunity Booster




I am happy to report that not one child had a bad cold, virus or bug this season while at home. I hope that’s partly due to our use of an immunity boosting essential oil blend. Especially during the change of seasons, I diffused 6 to 8 drops of Thieves for 1 to 3 hours every day or every other day in our living room.


My eldest did contract one bad virus, but it was at the end of vacation when we weren’t diffusing oils, at all. Cinnamon, clove, lemon, citrus and cedarwood are some of the oils in the Thieves blend.  Blend a few together to fight viruses at home.

Calm and Focus

Parcc testing is upon us, my least favorite time of year. We’ve found a few ways to induce calm, relaxation and focus at school, even during state testing. The best oils for in-school use (my son’s preferences) are rosemary, frankincense and vetiver. He also likes the stress away blend he diffuses at night.


School Use (wearable application)

IMG_5671We put essential oils on lava rock bracelets so my 11 year-old can sniff during class without drawing attention to himself. If you’re crafty, here’s a post on how to make them with clay.


We found the rollerballs were NOT inconspicuous and classmates we’re asking questions or to borrow them. This is not safe! I would never want my son to share oils without permission!! I teach him it’s like sharing pharmaceuticals; you never know how different body chemistries will react.




Photo from apothecary website.


There is an apothecary, located 1 hour away, where I buy lava rock jewelry, directly. Here is the aromatherapist’s website.  I attend workshops and basically become a breathless teenager in her presence.  The owner is a sage with an ancient medicine woman’s heart.  She’s a shaman and master certified aromatherapist, among many other credentials. Her Confidence oil blend will have you selling out of tickets to your own show.  If you’re interested in learning about the science and power of essential oils, visit her site.  Check out the store if you’re in the D.C. area.

Bracelet application

If I can’t make it to Frederick, I buy lava stone bracelets online. They’re masculine enough for my husband and son to wear. The aroma lasts longer on the lava rocks from the apothecary (6 weeks) than on the Amazon bracelets (only one week). I’ll continue to look for bracelets with better quality rocks.  Use a dropper and apply 1 drop of oil per stone.  The bracelets have 3 lava rock beads, each.  You can arouse different feelings by wearing two bracelets, one for calm and one for focus.  My son has been doing this, lately.


Energy and Motivation

I’m lucky to be a pretty happy and balanced person.  But I have bad days.  I have days with no motivation.  I’ve put on weight since the fall.  It’s been a freezing winter and early spring. I hate cold. I get tired and mopey.




There are oils I like to diffuse or smell straight from the bottle when I’m feeling depressed, uninspired or have low-energy.

Uplift spirits



For the blues I like Joy.  It’s a blend with ylang ylang, jasmine, geranium and rose oils.  This particular blend is recommended for mourning.  I’ve had too much experience with death in the last few years.  Joy puts a smile on my face.


Get-moving Energy



For low energy mornings when I just want to hit snooze instead of the gym I sniff Raven or peppermint.  I leave the bottle of essential oil on my nightstand so I can inhale the vital aroma without getting out of bed.

Trumpet Wake up Call



To get everyone in the house up and at ’em I diffuse citrus with peppermint.  It’s especially good on a cold or rainy Saturday morning.  Yes, we’re dreaming of family pancake breakfast in PJ’s, but we’ve got places to go!


Oils help us manage habits that enhance mental health.  Perhaps they can help you, too.  Are there other tricks you use to focus, get motivated or find a moment of joy or peace in your day?

Please share your tips.  Let’s build a database of mental wellness strategies in the comment section!!!


Published by Family ADDventures

Nicole Santiago is a learning specialist, student advocate, and founder of Family ADDventures. As a specialist, she assesses and teaches clients (adults and adolescents) to manage and grow their executive functioning skills which include emotional regulation, task initiation, and time management. As an advocate (IEP coach), she is a member of COPAA and ensures inclusive (special) education students receive the most appropriate educational services possible. She often collaborates with OT's, SLP's and neuropsychologists all in the name of student improvement and success. Her practice is located in San Antonio, TX, and everywhere (virtually). The author grew up an army brat and spends time with her three ND children and husband in Puerto Rico whenever possible. She writes about mental health, parenting, education, and entrepreneurship on her blog:

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