People who know me personally know that I have been going through a very difficult time in my life. It started one Friday afternoon in late April when my perfectly constructed world crumbled in a few careless text messages, and it recently culminated in the stifling heat of July. Throughout this time, I’ve became aware of how much I’ve been relying on my beauty rituals to lift my mood. In the midst of tears, sadness, and anger, I’ve been using my crazy beauty obsession as an anchor in my day.
The point of this post is not to compare difficult times, or to belittle your personal experiences, or to throw a pity party for myself. I can point out a million examples of people who are struggling more than me. It’s also not to say that something little is going to take away your stress or grief. I know that it is not easy to take care of yourself when your world seems like it’s falling apart. The point is that there are some little things that you can focus on to pull you through. It’s so easy to say that we don’t have time to take care of ourselves. In times of stress, it’s easy to let these little habits slip. But these little habits are the ones that don’t have to take a long time but can have huge effects on the way you feel about yourself in down times.
These are some little habits that I’ve been relying on to pick my mood up, even if just for a quick minute.
- Taking a shower and using a shower gel with a fragrance I love. My personal favorites are the Korres Shower Gel in Jasmine and Japanese Rose. I follow with the matching body butter (either the Jasmine or the Japanese Rose) and take a few minutes to breath in the fragrance. Time needed? Whatever I spend in the shower plus 2 more minutes.
- Doing a face mask while drinking a glass of red wine. I justify the wine because the resveratrol found in red wine is a potent antioxidant that has been shown to boost the skin’s glow. Double the effect and try a glow-boosting mask while you imbibe. One of my faves… Astara Green Papaya Nutrient Mask. Time spent? 5-10 minutes, but don’t rush that wine.
- Making sure that I follow my regular evening routine. Sometimes just managing to do a quick routine makes me feel better, just knowing that my skin will fake what I don’t feel. And performing the same routine is a comforting constant when everything else in life has been flipped upside down. Time needed? No more than 3 minutes.
- Trying a little strategic makeup. Light concealer around the eyes hides dark circles from sleepless nights. Bright pink blush gives a little life to a dull complexion. A shimmery highlight cream fakes the glow I know I don’t have. Hiding behind a few cosmetic products at least gives me a little relief from the “You look so tired” and “What’s wrong” comments that I don’t have the energy to ward off. Time needed? 5 minutes.
Finding small pampering moments for yourself won’t put more money in your checking account or make the kids stop screaming. But finding two to five minutes to maintain a beauty ritual can boost self-esteem and confidence, as well as temporarily lifting your mood. I speak from personal experience when I say that I know how hard it can be to take care of yourself, but I also know how much it can help. Build healthy habits now that you can lean on in tough times. If your tough time is now, be sure to take some time and effort to take care of yourself.