How to support our Teens through “exam seasons” 

In my consultations recently, many mums have been asking how to support their teens through “exam season,” as they feel their struggles on a daily basis. 

As always, balance and calmness are much prized. Here are my tips for you to pick and mix, and discover what works for you and your teens to manage the pressure, stay focused during revision, and have less stressful exams days. 

If they are happy, we are happy 

First thing in the morning, grab your favourite oil. For me it’s Frankincense; put one drop in your wrists, and take three very deep breaths from them. Then put a drop  on the neck and behind each ear. This is fantastic for grounding and gives you the energy to start your day. 

If we are not feeling grounded and centred, it’s harder to be good parent. And it is true: you cannot draw water from an empty well, so self-care is paramount to help you help the rest of the family. 

Many mums in my consultations ask: Do essential oils work? How?

We are holistic beings, and as such, if we are out of balance physically or emotionally, and under stress for prolonged periods, our immune system doesn’t operate as efficiently as it could, and we are more susceptible to illness and disease. 


When we inhale essential oils we use the olfactory bulb that sits behind the nose. Essential oils primarily impact us via the Limbic system, which is the busy part of our brain responsible for regulating both our emotional and higher mental functions. These include learning, motivation, forming and storing memories, controlling adrenaline and autonomic responses, and regulating hormones, sensory perception and motor function. They trigger a cascade of hormonal signals to the different parts of the body as each strives for balance.

If we apply them to the skin it travels through the capillaries and in 20 mins, the essential oils are in every cell of our body delivering the therapeutic benefits.



“It is the energy of pure essential oils working with our energy 

that create powerful healing responses”.



Essential oils do work! They help us achieve balance, are great to keep stress at bay, and are easy to incorporate into our routines. They are very safe and I use them every day with my family. 


These are my tips from which you can  pick and mix:


During breakfast, set up a diffuser with an uplifting/ concentration blend:

Vetiver is a fantastic oil for students, for its concentration and calmness. It does not have a strong aroma, but if they dislike it blend it with Lemon, Lime or Orange. It helps manage agitation, stress, anger, and apathy,  and it greatly supports kids with ADHD.

Or you can go for more of an immunity boosting blend, with Lemon and Lavender/ Rosemary/Mandarin.

Some children or teenagers prefer roller balls to apply on pulse points. They are easy to carry and schools allow them as they are completely natural. Let them choose and participate in the blend picking, so they own the process and it becomes a habit. 



Do we really multitask? Homework / Study time: 


Every time we set up a new app we allow notifications by default to notify us every time a new email or social media post lands in our computer or phone. 


These constant alerts are very distracting. 


Every time we receive a new notification, in a blink, we take a peek and decide to carry on. 

Our brain takes 20 minutes to go back to what we were doing before the distraction. It is called, “Continuous Partial Attention,” a revealing phrase which describes how we are constantly distracted by our devices. 


Just having our attention divided sucks up our mental energy.


Over a few hours, with frequent notifications popping up, a lot of time can be wasted simply trying to regain our focus on the tasks in front of us. Instead, we can be more proactive with our energy and time, which will help us do more and generate feelings of real accomplishment.


Help your teens to set up good strategies regarding phones, email and social media alerts. Try something like, “set it in plane mode for 45 mins,” then take a break, look and answer all of them, then get back again into plane mode. 


I know we use tech a lot for studying and working. However, share these concepts at home and work out how we can all get by with fewer notifications. 


Throughout the day …I want to emphasize the importance of hugs  

When we hug, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, also called the rest and digest system. We are more acquainted with the sympathetic nervous system that prepares the body for the “fight or flight” mode, but there’s great power in the parasympathetic nervous system,  the calming one.

Hug your kids at any time and during breaks and, if they do not allow you to hug them, teach them to hug themselves. It will kick the “calmness button”.


Here’s a powerful essential oil blend to activate before sitting for lunch or dinner, so we’re ready to rest and digest. I enhance it with a blend of Clove and Lime, applying pressure under ears before meals to stimulate the Vagus nerve and the parasympathetic response. It can make your meals more pleasurable and provides a real mental break for everyone.



     Get away from the 2 dimensions of the computer

Let’s touch base on the balance between “online” and “offline”.


Normally, we function in 3 dimensions; we adjust vision, we hear the background noises, and we use all our senses. When we use a computer, we exist mainly in 2 dimensions, so we are not adjusting our vision, or our sense of smell. We’re not using all senses. After a while in 2D, the brain switches off the areas we are not using, and this is what the researchers are calling “digital dementia”.


To maintain  different stimuli, do short walks with your teenager. Plan for a cooking session, or board games, or simply change rooms. It is important to use all our senses to activate our whole brain. Doing so helps ensure we feel more balanced at the end of the day.



At night time, set your diffuser up around 30 minutes before bedtime to fill up a room.

Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Mandarin are great for kids. Frankincense or Ylang Ylang are more appropriate for  adults and teens. These essential oils are amongst the safest ones in aromatherapy.  

They are all recommended for soothing restlessness, especially in hyperactive teenagers, as they calm the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and  alleviate insomnia, moodiness, frustration and anger. 



Take a calming bath before bed with warm water but not too hot, very hot water stimulates rather than relax.

Baths and showers are both enhanced with calming essential oils. Again, let your teenagers choose the combination of oils and make them participants of the process.


👉 Buy Epsom salts and organic solid coconut oil: mix a cup of each and about 6 to 7 drops of essential oil for an adult bath, or 3 to 4 drops for a child. It is so simple to make and the results are powerful. Not only for the mind, but for achy muscles (too much sitting, and especially for the ones who study in bed), dry skin, moodiness. 


👉Put the plug in the shower, add a couple of drops of essential oils in the corners (to avoid slipping) and the water will push the oils through the soles of your feet, getting into your system; you’ll also benefit from the oil-enriched steam as it is absorbed via your respiratory system. 



Even the most reticent teenager will agree to a foot massage and it is an invaluable space to share time with them.


My youngest is 18 years old and every night I perform a foot massage. I personally use a blend of Lavender and Spikenard oil, considered to have the strongest  sedative effect  in aromatherapy. 


She needs this blend as she feels drained after a full day of college and revisions. So, I start with one foot and we talk about the day; she shares her struggles and I try to emphasise the good things so she can end the day on a “happy note.”  At this point I encourage her to stop using the phone (after we put down the phones the brain needs 40 minutes to switch off) and I do the second foot, breathing deeply (as they mimic our actions) and by the time I finish she is more relaxed and ready to go to sleep.


Essential oils are powerful tools that we have handy at home. Try to incorporate a natural approach in their use.

Allow your children/teenagers to participate and help in the selection of oil blends. With time, they will develop a “natural healthy habit to empower themselves”. It is a skill for life… 




Jana Kingsford.  


I hope you’ve found these suggestions helpful to help you teenagers through their exams, and I hope they’ve helped you too! 

You can find more tips to achieve balance for grown-ups with all  our daily chores and office work by visiting