Aromatherapy for the Holidays | Center for Growth Therapy

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Aromatherapy for the Holidays

Margaret Fromuth

MFT — Therapist, Website Manager

Aromatherapy For The Holidays: Therapy in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Mechanicsville and Santa Fe

Quickly after Halloween, the holiday season begins. We see gourds decorating front doorways with little haystacks and dried corn husks. The weather begins to change as we unpack our sweaters and switch to hot coffee instead of iced. Soon snow begins to hit the ground and we can feel our noses get red from the icy bite of the wind. Families and friends come together to celebrate and honor those who have come before us. We celebrate our appreciation for one another through acts of kindness and soon we begin to hunker down and prepare for the sheets of white to cover our homes and streets.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut not all parts of this season are as picturesque as a snowglobe. Changing weather causes delays in our commute, seeing family can kick up dust from past struggles, and the sun setting early can feel like our world has gotten darker. Holidays can be overwhelming in so many ways that it’s hard to even think about how we can get through them! Not everyone can schedule a massage or opt-out of family activities, so what can we do to celebrate the season AND reduce the stress that is associated with this time of year? A simple way to steel yourself for some stress relief is to surround yourself with the aromatherapy of the holidays cheer.

Aromatherapy tends to be associated with spa treatments and diffusers in your office, so why not use aromatherapy during the holiday season to help with some of those stressful times? It’s an easy and cheap way to escape from those stressors and give yourself some much-needed “me” time, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Below is a list of aromatherapeutic scents associated with the holiday season as well as some additional information on how each scent can promote individual health. Additionally, there are examples of ways you can utilize aromatherapy for the holidays by incorporating these scents into your holiday celebrations.

  • Pine- uplifting and invigorating: aromatherapy for the holidays
    • Head on over to a pine farm and suck in those sweet smells for a boost of energy

  • Peppermint- Boost alertness, reduce headaches: aromatherapy for the holidays
    • Drink some peppermint tea or join the kiddos in eating some peppermint candy canes

  • Ginger- reduces nausea: aromatherapy for the holidays
    • Indulge in making ginger cookies or sip on some ginger tea after a large meal

  • Cloves- an analgesic, reduces nausea and has antifungal properties: aromatherapy for the holidays
    • Indulge in a hot apple cider with cloves from the spice cabinet to add some additional pizazz and settle that tummy.

  • Vanilla- lift mood and calms hyperactivity: aromatherapy for the holidays
    • Find yourself a vanilla candle to light before sitting down with a holiday movie or album.

  • Rosemary- Increase focus: aromatherapy for the holidays
    • Don’t forget to add that rosemary sprig to your holiday cocktail (or mocktail) or the roast beast.

  • Sage- promotes relaxation: aromatherapy for the holidays

  • Lavender- stress relief and sleepytime: aromatherapy for the holidays
    • After a long day with the family, spritz your pillow with some lavender-scented spray to help unwind from the day.

  • Cinnamon- managing anxiety/depression, promotes sleep: aromatherapy for the holidays
    • Indulge in some cinnamon cookies or add a cinnamon stick to your favorite holiday beverage.


Now, not all holiday scents are aromatherapeutic but can instead provide positive associated memories with that smell. You see, scents are more attached to memories than other sensory signals. As such, olfactory signals can be the most potent and powerful sense for alleviating the stress from the holiday grind. Here are some more holiday scents for you to consider including into your scent stress relief:

  • Frankincense

  • Gingerbread

  • Hot Cocoa

  • Open Fire

  • Incense

  • Snow

  • Roasted Chestnuts

This list is not exhaustive as each individual may associate different scents with different memories so feel free to get creative with how you incorporate your beloved memories into your olfactory stress relief! If you want help with aromatherapy for the holidays, or want to talk with a therapist call 215 922 5683 x 100. We have offices located in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Santa Fe, and Mechanicsville


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