Sailing and Aromatherapy: How to Use Essential Oils for Relaxation
Sailing and Aromatherapy: How to Use Essential Oils for Relaxation

Discover how the power of aromatherapy and essential oils can help you relax and reduce stress while sailing the open seas with your family.

Sailing and Aromatherapy: How to Use Essential Oils for Relaxation

Sailing the open seas with your family can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience. However, it can also be physically and mentally demanding, especially when you’re living in close quarters on a boat. One way to help alleviate stress and promote relaxation is through the use of essential oils and aromatherapy. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of aromatherapy, how to choose the right essential oils, and how to incorporate them into your sailing lifestyle.

The Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils, which are concentrated extracts from plants, to promote physical and emotional well-being. These oils can be inhaled, applied to the skin, or used in other ways to provide a range of benefits, including:

  • Stress relief: Many essential oils have calming properties that can help reduce stress and anxiety. This can be particularly helpful when you’re dealing with the challenges of sailing and living on a boat.

  • Improved sleep: Some essential oils can help promote relaxation and improve the quality of your sleep, which is essential for maintaining your energy levels and overall health while at sea.

  • Pain relief: Certain essential oils have analgesic properties, meaning they can help relieve pain and inflammation. This can be beneficial for addressing the aches and pains that can come with sailing and other physical activities.

  • Immune support: Some essential oils have antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties, which can help protect you and your family from illness while living in close quarters on a boat.

Choosing the Right Essential Oils

There are many different essential oils available, each with its own unique properties and benefits. When selecting oils for relaxation and stress relief, consider the following options:

  • Lavender: This popular essential oil is known for its calming and soothing properties, making it an excellent choice for promoting relaxation and reducing stress.

  • Chamomile: With its gentle, calming scent, chamomile is another excellent option for promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety.

  • Ylang Ylang: This exotic, floral essential oil is known for its ability to help balance emotions and promote a sense of calm.

  • Bergamot: This citrusy essential oil has a bright, uplifting scent that can help reduce stress and anxiety while also promoting a positive mood.

  • Frankincense: With its warm, earthy scent, frankincense is known for its ability to promote relaxation and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

  • Sandalwood: This rich, woody essential oil is often used in meditation and spiritual practices for its calming and grounding properties.

When selecting essential oils, it’s important to choose high-quality, pure oils from reputable sources. Look for oils that are labeled as “100% pure” and avoid those with added synthetic fragrances or other additives.

Incorporating Essential Oils into Your Sailing Lifestyle

There are several ways to incorporate essential oils into your sailing lifestyle to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Diffusing Essential Oils

One of the easiest ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils is by diffusing them in your boat’s living space. There are many types of diffusers available, including ultrasonic diffusers, which use water and ultrasonic vibrations to create a fine mist of essential oil and water, and nebulizing diffusers, which use pressurized air to disperse the essential oil into the air without the need for water.

To use a diffuser, simply add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to the water or nebulizer chamber, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Turn on the diffuser and enjoy the calming aroma as it fills your boat’s living space.

Creating a Relaxing Atmosphere

In addition to diffusing essential oils, you can also create a relaxing atmosphere on your boat by incorporating other elements, such as soft lighting, calming music, and comfortable seating. Consider setting up a dedicated relaxation area on your boat where you can unwind and enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy Massage

Another way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils is through aromatherapy massage. To create a massage oil, simply dilute a few drops of your chosen essential oil in a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or coconut oil. You can then use this oil to massage your own or your family members’ shoulders, neck, and back, helping to release tension and promote relaxation.

Aromatherapy Baths

If your boat is equipped with a bathtub, you can also enjoy the benefits of essential oils by adding a few drops to a warm bath. This can be particularly soothing after a long day of sailing or other physical activities. Be sure to mix the essential oil with a carrier oil or bath salts before adding it to the water, as undiluted essential oils can be irritating to the skin.

Aromatherapy Sleep Aids

To promote a restful night’s sleep, consider creating an aromatherapy sleep aid by adding a few drops of a calming essential oil, such as lavender or chamomile, to a small spray bottle filled with water. You can then lightly mist your pillow and bedding with this mixture before bedtime.

Safety Considerations

While essential oils can provide many benefits, it’s important to use them safely and responsibly. Keep the following safety considerations in mind when using essential oils on your boat:

  • Always dilute essential oils before applying them to the skin or using them in a bath. Undiluted essential oils can cause skin irritation or sensitization.

  • Be cautious when using essential oils around children and pets, as some oils can be toxic or irritating to their more sensitive systems. Consult with a qualified aromatherapist or healthcare professional for guidance on safe use.

  • If you or a family member has a history of allergies or sensitivities, be sure to patch test any new essential oils before using them more widely.

  • Store essential oils in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat, to maintain their potency and prevent degradation.


Aromatherapy and essential oils can be a valuable addition to your sailing lifestyle, helping to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. By choosing high-quality essential oils and incorporating them into your daily routine, you can enhance your sailing experience and create a more enjoyable, harmonious environment for you and your family.