When our mental health takes a down turn, self care tends to be one of the first things that are effected. Though, this can be detrimental to our mental health in itself. It’s very easy to neglect ourselves and in doing so, we lose sight of who we are.
Recently, I ordered beauty products. I struggle with saving money so I thought I’d regret it, yet I didn’t. The ritual of washing my face and applying toner and serums has brought me more joy than I’ve expected. It’s a great feeling to take care of yourself and I’ve even started to look forward to it. Waking up and seeing my fresh skin everyday feels great. So, why do we stop taking care of ourselves when we feel down?
The effect of neglecting self care
Mental health issues can arise from insecurities and anxiety, in particular, likes to play on these insecurities. For depression, that hopelessness can cause people to shut down and in turn, it’s hard to look at ourselves. So, when we are struggling mentally, we tend to abandon self care routines. But this has the opposite effect in making us feel better.
I understand it’s easy to think focusing on ones looks is superficial. Owning lots of clothes, makeup, skincare or even Botox and cosmetic surgeries can be viewed as a want and not a need. That if we own a lot of these items or do undergo modifications then we must be materialistic and only focus on our looks. Society did a great job at teaching us this. But if we go beyond that view of superficial, we notice that it’s about confidence and feeling comfortable in your own skin.
The way we present ourselves not only shows confidence, it makes you feel confident. When we feel confident, we feel comfortable in our own skin. The anxiety about our insecurities can be reduced. And don’t get me wrong, it takes a lot of time to feel confident in yourself. But it’s the steps in self care that eventually lead to this confidence. It’s progression from hating yourself and your body to being in control of how you look and feel. By control, I mean the clothing you wear, the makeup masterpiece you create (makeup is an art), the exercise you do if you want to achieve muscles or even a bigger booty. We have a lot more control in our body than we believe and working for it helps us see that.
The process of working for what we want, shows us we have control in our lives and it aids in the journey to recovery. A lot of the time, I felt like I had no control. While it may not work for everyone, I told myself I did have control and I put the effort into self care to show it and now, I love my body more than ever. Don’t get me wrong, it depends on my mood but overall I’m incredibly proud. I’m hoping to do an update fitness journal soon and share some tips. Regardless, these activities create a sense of control in our lives where we feel there is none.
Both fashion and makeup, are fantastic for self expression. There’s nothing quite like expressing your personality through your sense of style. This can be in the form of cheap or expensive clothing. It doesn’t matter the cost of the material items, what matters is that you are expressing yourself.
Self expression also goes hand in hand with confidence. If you’re expressing yourself, you feel more comfortable and confident. While anxiety can deter this, wear what you’re capable of and feel great doing so. It will take time but the more comfortable you feel, the more likely you’ll be to explore your style.
Where can you start?
I myself don’t know much about skin care. But I know a couple things. One, is that it is by no means suited to only one gender. Men can have a skincare routine and many do. Products don’t discriminate between gender. Secondly, you know your skin the best. If something works, keep it. You can add to it if you’re searching for more. In terms of where to start, r/asianbeauty on reddit has a great skincare guide and you can choose based on your skin type. Asian beauty products are amazing and leave your skin feeling vibrant.
For style, look at what inspires you. Wear what you feel comfortable in but it’s also okay to be brave. You can also look to people who inspire you. This is in terms of style though, a lot of celebrities have unrealistic bodies and please don’t compare your body to theirs. We all have different body shapes and there’s nothing wrong with that. If that’s something that triggers you, be cautious of that.
If exercising is your thing, Chloe Ting on YouTube provides great routines which make you sweat. These videos also help you to gain muscle so I’d definitely recommend them. But even simply going for a walk would count as self care. Walking helps people mentally and physically. Mentally, you can reflect and understand your feelings more. Physically, it gives you some physical activity to keep you healthy.
This post mainly covers physical forms of self care and this is by no means limited. You can also have mental self care and I think I’d like to explore that in its own post.
Thanks so much for reading!
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