Beauty: “The quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc) a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest”*
You can ask 20 people to define beauty and you will get a variety of answers. To me, beauty comes as a result of self care. When you take time to improve yourself physically and mentally, to care for, love, and accept the person that you are, your beauty shines through. It can present itself in many different varieties, which is what makes people unique! I don’t know about you, but I am thankful to be living in a world containing beauty across a vast spectrum.
That being said, I have found that there are certain things that each of us can do to enhance our own natural beauty. Here are my favorite self care beauty tips:
SLEEP It’s called “beauty rest” for a reason! Sleep is ESSENTIAL for our bodies to recover. It allows for hormone regulation, muscle rebuilding, and even improved memory and concentration! (read more about sleep in my post here) One way to ensure a good night’s sleep is by creating a cozy environment in your bedroom! Protect that room from food, noise, stress, and work. Use it as your sanctuary and your will find yourself looking forward to some peaceful zzz’s!
HYDRATION It seems so simple, but water is MAGICAL! Did you know that water can help balance your weight, flush toxins from your body, improve your memory, and improve your skin? Water also relieves headaches, improves your mood, and even decreases joint pain! I love hydration so much that I have dedicated a post just to this topic. The recommended amount of water in a day is half of your body weight (pounds) in ounces of water. (For example, if you weight 200 lbs, then drink 100 ounces of water in a 24 hour period). See my post about establishing a self care routine for a sample of how I incorporate water into my day!
SWEAT IT OUT Sweat and exercise is great for flushing out toxins, releasing endorphins, keeping pores clear! Be it running, jogging, or simply brisk walking, just get your body moving! You can find an activity that you love and can fit into your weekly routine to keep you encouraged. I like to meet with friends once a week for a class like “Zumba” to keep me accountable. If done correctly and regularly, this practice improves blood circulation and imparts a fresh healthy glow to your face. (for more information, read this post about tricking your body into exercise)
BREATHE This seems like a simple activity, but taking time during the day to just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths has been shown to decrease anxiety and stress. This can also allow a few moments to focus on yourself in the midst of a busy day and is so simple that it can be done anywhere. I like to use my an app on my phone that just counts down 30 seconds. I step into a quiet place (and yes, sometimes at work, the only place is the bathroom), close my eyes, and concentrate on breathing in as I slowly count to 5, expand my lungs, then exhale as I imagine all of the stress and tension of my day leaving my body.
PAMPERING Pampering yourself isn’t something that most of us have the luxury of doing on a daily (or even weekly) basis. However it is very important to take some time to “spoil” yourself. Be it a pedicure while listening to music, a bubble bath with a glass of wine, a massage with essential oils, these moments help you feel special. You work hard and can’t always rely on those around you to show appreciation! In fact, relying on others for my own self care is how this blog got started. So reward yourself by taking time to regroup. Even if it’s just one hour a month. You will notice a big difference.
PROTECTION This seems like a broad term but it’s perfect for self-care. Use protection! Yes, I am referring to the usual protection: sunscreen, helmets, condoms….But I also am referring to mental protection. Avoid negativity. Simplify your life to avoid stress. Nourish your mind with positive thoughts. Educate yourself and read material that will continue to build you up! Some of my favorite things are watching inspiring YouTube videos, reading stories of overcoming great obstacles, and being kind to myself when owning a mistake!
MUSIC I secretly wanted to be a Disney movie singer when I was younger. I have always loved to sing along to songs from movies like “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast” but I am an introvert. Thus the thought of being able to sing my favorite tunes while someone drew an animated character to focus on was perfection! To this day, music can turn my stress into a show tune and my anxiety into a crazy dance routine (I look like I’m having a seizure, but I promise, its all good). So use music as an outlet. And “Let it Go!”
UNPLUG I recommend this to everyone. Period. Make sure you take time every day to unplug. I incorporate this into my nightly self-care routine, but I have also used this during the day to catch up with my family or friends without distraction. We have a “no media” rule at the dinner table and that “pressure” to check the phone and see if anyone called, texted, or emailed is gone during this time. Turn off your phone, place a “do not disturb” sign on your door, put the cat in the laundry room, whatever you need to do. You’ll be surprised at the difference it can make. Don’t worry, the Facebook updates will still be there in an hour when you are finished!
TALKING We aren’t all “talkers” but having even just one person to connect with is important for self care. It can be a best friend, a significant other, or even a good therapist! You may like to process things by yourself, but talking and interacting with others can give you different perspectives or even provide encouragement that we all need!
Take baby steps when starting your on your own self care beauty routine. These things don’t make a difference when done once in a while, so pick a few that are important to you and plan to incorporate them daily. You can always add more, but it won’t help if you try to do too much at once and give them all up! I’d love to hear from you when you try these out and find how beneficial they are to you! And if you want to start your own self-care routine, click here for my recent post with free handout!