Ask Jean: How to Stay Centered
We want to answer your most pressing questions—or, you know, just the things that you’re curious about. Please keep them coming to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Below, a Q for our beauty director, Jean Godfrey-June.
Dear Jean, I travel a lot for work, which I enjoy, except for the airport lines, breathing airplane air, and dealing with my crammed suitcase. I hate feeling disorganized and behind the eight ball. How can I feel more centered on these trips? —Leigh O.
Dear Leigh, I love to be transported; I loathe transportation. I love the places I travel to; I dread the process of getting there and back. If I could solve the problem of feeling like an in-the-way number: “Zone 3, you may now line up by the podium,” or the challenge of Kondo-ing a suitcase, or the suspicion that everyone’s health is being deeply compromised by the whole process, I’d be much happier, and also probably a billionaire.
But the discombobulation can be countered. This little bottle of oil isn’t for glowifying your face or even cleansing your germ-exposed hands. It is more like the pocketful of posies people carried back in the time of chamber pots and the plague: Inhale to transport, soothe, and breathe in something beautiful. Just as most gestures of self-care do, this one seems small, but the payoff is bigger than you expect.
The lovely Annee de Mamiel, an expert in Chinese medicine, aromatherapy, and acupuncture, has managed to blend seriously active oils—eucalyptus, lavender, pine, peppermint—into something that’s energizing and head-clearing but also gorgeous and deeply soothing. I put a bit on each palm and inhale the scented air between my hands—instant heaven. I feel more myself, calmer, clearer, head on straight.
In a taxi with overbearing air freshener (so toxic: beyond the usual phthalates, preservatives, potential endocrine disruptors, cancer-causers, and known irritants, conventional air fresheners typically also contain formaldehyde and naphthalene), I dab a bit of the oil directly under each nostril.
We can’t control the air we’re breathing, or how long we’re stuck on the runway, or who we’re seated next to. But we can take care of, and even, maybe, a little, stuck in transit or no, delight ourselves.