Have you had phases or series of days when you didn’t feel like bathing, moisturizing your dry skin, shaving, or cutting your nails despite knowing you need to? Do you know of people who have recently lost the urge to do anything for the good of their body? Are you constantly on the run and forgetting to take care of the five senses that you are blessed with? Then you will get to reflect on this today as I talk about the significance of different forms of beauty routines and self care practices for our mental wellbeing.
What does self care and beauty routines mean in this context?
Well, it refers to simple acts that you do just for the sake of your body. It may include taking care of your skin, applying that lipstick to make you feel good, doing that head massage to relax, ranging to more diverse and bigger things, such as doing yoga, breathing fresh air in the morning, taking enough sleep and rest when tired, listening to some calming or peppy music, keeping yourself well fed and nourished, having that steaming cup of green tea, enjoying a long, hot bath and so on. Any act that gives you time with your own self, often resulting in something which is good for the body, can be covered under the realm of self care. Grooming and beautification is also a part of self care, and this category of self care helps boost our confidence, and generally gives us a good feeling about ourselves. What one considers as self care can vary between individuals, but the essence remains the same: to feed your five senses, taking care of your body, giving it time to revive, and experiencing the sensations that your five senses provide you.
Now, I will tell you why self care is important for your mental health, for the soul and your overall wellbeing, and not merely your body.
- Body is the vessel for your soul. And the body is a large part of our existence.
Who are we? We are souls mounted on bodies made of flesh, gifted with a mind to control the workings of this vessel made of cells and organs. Hence, taking care of this large machinery falls into our own hands. Eating good food, sleeping well, keeping warm and healthy, right to smaller things such as wearing makeup to keep our confidence high, all of it is necessary for a human machinery to work well.
- Taking care of your body makes you feel more in control
A calm moment with yourself in the middle of hectic workdays makes you take charge of situations in a more controlled way. So deeply sniff that cup of roasted Arabica coffee at your desk, keep your mind off emails, apply some lotion on your dry elbows and you will feel your soul back in its place. Some minutes doing an activity that provides good feelings to your senses help you regain balance and be better at whatever it is that you are doing.
- Self care provides meaning to all that you do for a living
Why do we get up early in the morning, get stuck in traffics to reach the workplace, work hard throughout the day and earn that money? No, definitely not merely to go out to shop, buy groceries and send kids to school. You earn to be able to take care of your body through which you have to achieve many more things in life. Taking that deep breath in the park in the morning, applying that happy red nail paint, smelling those white jasmines in the garden, if you aren’t doing all this despite earning the money, what are you living for?
- Mental wellbeing stems from the confidence that you derive after looking and feeling good
It is quite well accepted that looking good does affect our perception towards ourselves. It becomes quite obvious then, that you spend some minutes each day dressing up that body properly, looking and feeling your best in order to give your best.
- Gives you the bigger picture and bigger goals for life
Imagine you don’t give yourself those moments with yourself. You may eventually end up losing yourself in the rat race because you don’t know why you work so hard, why you struggle with office politics, why you give your best despite not being promoted. If you spend some time with yourself, taking care of your own needs every single day in some way, you will have your priorities right. Then you can easily see the bigger picture and your own place in that picture.
- Mentally tiring work of the present times makes one lose sense of self
Our generation is the one in which we work with our minds, not with our hands. We spend increasingly greater time stuck to pixelated screens, which in the long run causes us to lose the connection between mind and body. We remain lost in virtual realities, thus losing sense of the real reality. The calm moments that we devote to our bodies are indispensable so that we retain some contact with reality. Throw that phone aside for some moments to sit idle and do something for your body. It will thank you for this.
Doing some acts of self care every single day makes you feel more human, hence makes you feel more capable and more alive. It is necessary that you take care of what your body needs (food, sleep, rest, warmth, care and so on) by providing it timely and amply so that it gives you back, in terms of hard work, good attitude and freedom from diseases and stress.
So go ahead and indulge yourself in those moments of pure bliss. Breathe deep, do some form of exercise or meditation as often as you can, take those extra minutes getting ready, wear that mascara, sit idle while massaging oil into your hair, listen to the raindrops splattering on the windows, and feel yourself coming alive. You need it. After all, you are alive!
Have you read my piece on the importance of making sense of our work? If you haven’t, you should!
**All original artwork done by me 😊