Grief, 12-Hour Bus Rides, And Sanity-Saving Products

Sometimes I need beauty products to distract me from the bigger picture.
Publish date:
October 4, 2013
dry shampoos, aromatherapy, travel, face wipes, hygiene, sad stuff

Physically, I am currently in New York at the xoJane/xoVain offices right now. Mentally, not so much.

If I tell you this week was hellish, it would be an understatement. I don't like to spill out all of the details of my life in my writing, but I will say that a family member passed away under really terrible circumstances on Wednesday, and I'm trying to process it (or maybe delay processing it) by distracting myself with work.

Before it happened, I had already booked last-minute bus tickets to New York as a belated birthday gift for myself and a chance to attend events for the launch of ROOKIE's Yearbook Two (another site I'm thrilled to be a part of). When everything went down this week, I knew I still had to come. I needed to keep busy. I knew if I stayed at home, I would spend my days in bed and wallow in the darkness of my basement apartment. I'm sure this method works for some people, but it's not ideal for me since I already have trouble falling into those patterns in my day-to-day life.

So I'm here, after taking a 12-hour bus ride. Usually I fly, and oh how I have taken that convenience for granted. I've had about three hours of sleep in between being repeatedly elbowed by an old man and feeling super-nauseated.

But hey, remember how this is a beauty site? Remember how I have written many times that beauty products can momentarily save your mind? I'm not the only person who has used beauty to cope. Recently Glennis wrote beautifully about dealing with grief by changing her hair.

If I'm stuck on a bus with a lot on my mind for 12 hours, I don't want to sink into the filth of my seat. I want to feel some semblance of being human.

After going through customs at 2:30 A.M. and being asked roughly five million questions (i.e. "Why do you have friends in New York?" [Seriously.] I swear, when I fly, I am spoken to for maybe 30 seconds. Totally different story on the bus. Oh well--I understand border guards may be on edge right now since they're working without pay, so shout-out to the customs people for doing your job thoroughly in this crazy time. Respect.)

Anyway, after heading through customs I was exhausted, achey, and suddenly felt like I was going to throw up. I reached into my bag for AVEDA's Stress-Fix Concentrate, which has oils of lavender and clary sage. I rolled it onto my wrists, neck, temples and even a bit on my little travel pillow and took deep breaths. I also chewed a Chimes Ginger Chew, which isn't exactly a beauty product but is a necessity in my makeup bag for when I feel sick. These two things combined eased my mind and stomach and helped me eventually pass out.

When I finally arrived in New York this afternoon, I walked into Starbucks, ordered a coffee and then headed to the bathroom to sort myself out. Since I didn't have immediate access to a shower (it was a Starbucks), I took out Soap & Glory's Off Your Face Cleansing Cloths and washed my face, and then everything below the neck I could deal with without getting totally naked/holding up the bathroom line. (I can be quick, OK?)

Then I reached for my tiny bottle of Lulu Organics Travel-Size Hair Powder, which, just like the AVEDA oil, is scented with lavender and clary sage. My hair is only on day two of being unwashed, but it was still looking a little sad after being hidden under my scarf blanket for the long bus ride. A bit of powder worked into my hairline made me smell refreshed and calmed me down, along with making me seem like less of a dirtbag.

So here I am in the office, finished my coffee and craving a shower and a toothbrushing. The toothbrushing will come first, followed by what I imagine will be the most relaxing shower I have ever experienced in my life.

In the meantime, I'll be reading your comments and chatting with Marci and Annie (they're sitting across from me) in an attempt to keep my mind busy. What beauty products or tasks do you use to keep your mind occupied and your life feeling normal?