When struggling with our mental health, the way we look on the outside is often the least of our worries. And understandably so. But taking the time to look after the way we look can help boost our mental health.
It’s all about that buzzword; self-care. And practicing self-care can take time, partly because having ‘you’ time can feel selfish. But we all need to be selfish sometimes. Because looking after ourselves means we can be more present in our other relationships.
Setting aside some time to pamper yourself will give you a plethora of mental health benefits. Here are just a few to get your teeth stuck into.
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A Self-Care Routine Provides Stability
Having a routine is essential to all of us. And over the coronavirus pandemic, many of us lost those routines which can be integral to our mental health. Loss of routine feels like a loss of control. Like you’re adrift in the open sea.
Making self-care a part of your daily routine acts as a grounding force. They’re stabilising and comforting. An anchor for you when you feel all at sea.
Certain times of the day or outside occurrences can trigger intrusive thoughts, which lead to cycles of worry. But you can break these cycles with a little bit of self-care. Doing something nice for yourself, like a skincare routine or a long bath, helps you focus on those simple activities. It breaks the cycle because you’re engaged in an activity rather than being in your head.
It Helps You Get Out Of Worry Cycles
And little self-care routines enable us to practice a little bit of mindfulness. The act of being mindful lets us think about sensations we’re experiencing without passing judgement. And this can help our mental health in the long run as we learn to be less judgemental of our emotions or thoughts.
Mood-Boosting Chemicals Are Triggered
Regularly caring for yourself in a way that feels good will start to change how you think. You’ll look forward to looking after yourself. And then, doing the activity will help release lovely endorphins to boost your overall mood. Because looking after yourself feels good.
And if you have another health problem that can be helped by a long bath or other act of self-kindness, then you’ll continue to reap the rewards. Your body will improve, and your mind along with it as the outside trigger is reduced.
It’s An Act Of Kindness To Yourself
The world can be stressful. And it can feel easier to watch TV until the early hours of the morning rather than take care of yourself. But taking just 5 minutes to look after your outward appearance sends a really powerful message to your mind. You’re telling yourself that you’re worth it. You’re worth those 5 minutes of skincare or those 10 extra minutes lounging in the bad with a good book.
Taking care of the way you look is an act of kindness. And we all deserve more of those in our daily lives.
Looking After Yourself Improves Your Confidence
It’s the most obvious benefit to taking a few extra minutes to do your hair or slather on a bit of moisturiser each day. Looking after yourself will boost your confidence. You’ll start to love how you look, and that love will translate into a brilliant boost for your mental health.
When we feel confident in ourselves, we feel like we can tackle anything. And we can do it being authentically ourselves. The more that you are unapologetically you, the more confident you’ll get. But if improving your confidence means visiting Dr Jason Roth to correct a deviated septum or improve the way your nose looks – then that’s ok too. Because you get to decide what self-care and looking after your appearance means to you.
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Improving your outward appearance or taking extra time on the way you look doesn’t make you shallow. You are allowed to look after yourself. And now you can see that it brings lots of mental health benefits with it too.
Remember that your mental health journey can be a long and ever-changing road. Being kind to yourself helps build a solid foundation of self-love. And loving yourself will help you see that you can take on anything. No matter how difficult it is.