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Rosemary, peppermint, lavender: The plants helping us stay zen

Managing the schedule of the youngest child’s return to school, heading back to the office after months of home office or navigating a hybrid setup, shopping for school supplies, signing up for activities, visits with our in-laws — there’s always a lot going on as soon as September steps in. And if you’re anything like us, stress (or, let’s be honest, even panic) is taking up a lot of mental space.

So to help us calm down and stay zen, let’s look at what plants can do for us. In herbal tea, in decorative planters or in essential oils, they can help us relieve tension and soothe the mind.

getty herbs etx
Image: Elenathewise/Getty Images via ETX Daily Up

Dried flowers for rooms and closets

When it comes to scents, lavender is high on the list for calming. It can be placed in the entrance for a sensory atmosphere that imbues a peaceful vibe as soon as you walk in the door. The balcony or the windows are also great spots to place them. And if you really don’t have the space, you can slip some into small fabric bags and tuck them into a closet or drawer. Rosemary and thyme can also be used in this way, or for scenting the kitchen if you get them in little pots with earth.

Aromatic herbs in the kitchen

In the kitchen, sorrel, chives, peppermint and chervil are among the herbs that both smell fresh and add flavor to dishes. Tarragon and sage are also good choices. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, angelica is a type of herb whose name is as charming as its smell. As with mint leaves, you can use them in an infusion. Feel free to add a slice of lemon and even a bit of ginger for a pick-me-up.

Hanging plants for the bathroom

When it comes to making the bathtub or shower a relaxing haven, look to tropical plants like the monstera which grows quickly and spreads humidity and freshness. Ivy and hanging plants like rhipsalis or the quirky polka dot plant are also favorites. In addition to decorating a piece of furniture or a bookcase, they can be placed on the edge of a bathtub or shower. The bathroom is also a good place to keep a branch of a dried plant like laurel or pine of which you get a delightful whiff when you run the water.

Flowers for the living room and the bedroom

Choose your seasonal favorites, for sure. But, for calm and appeasement, look to the elegance of white orchids or lilies, although be careful of the latter in the bedroom as their smell can be overpowering. Hydrangeas are also a fine choice.

And in any case, offering a pretty bouquet of freshly cut seasonal flowers provides sensory pleasure to both giver and recipient. JB


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