“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” ~Franz Kafka
I don’t know about you, but I can still get to feeling pretty rotten about myself pretty quickly. Blame it on stress or out-of-whack hormones or plain humanness but I definitely have off days. My hair is unkempt and I can’t remember when I last wore a stitch of eyeliner or even moisturized properly. It’s not pretty. Lately, this had been more of a constant state until I came to a rather startling conclusion: the package matters.
What I mean is this—just as our very presence and physical selves are bolstered by a positive mindset—our internal state is, at least to some extent, influenced by what we do on the physical plane.
Yes, I’m vein, but it’s not about that. It’s about recognizing that we’re interconnected beings-souls with skin-and that the material and spiritual domains are not separate after all. Just as kind, loving individuals often smile with their eyes and wear a look of contentment on their face, self-loathing and depression can dress itself in unwashed hair and three-day old clothing.
We may be spiritual beings in human bodies, but what we do with our body matters. And the way I see it: Our physical shell needs proper care in order to safely house our spirits.
Here’s how to handle to those blah days (or weeks):
Luxuriate in the small stuff. Spend a little extra time washing your face and/or bod each night. Not only will you give your skin, your largest organ, the attention it deserves, but it’ll give you a chance to clear your mind as well. I like to include a mantra in my cleansing routine: I’m becoming more youthful and radiant each day or I’m clearing away all debris and negativity in my life.
Indulge in one item or service that feels risky. Buy the miracle cream you’ve been curious about or get one of those fabulous, long-lasting, gel manicures. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that’s new and a little unexpected. You’ll realize how sexy and bold you truly are.
Go au natural. I don’t mean getting naked or going without underwear (though both can be fun). Take your makeup off and go out into public. Whether you do it all the time or are afraid to start, a makeup-less face is very liberating (and a little scary). Make sure you have well-groomed brows, a quality moisturizer with sunscreen on and chap-stick for a little added confidence. You’ll forget why you ever spend $34 on that foundation.
Take a detox bath. I try to do this at least a couple times a week in addition to my daily baths. Use some baking soda and fresh ginger to really sweat it out or add some epsom salts if you’re looking for muscle relief. Make sure the water is steaming hot, candles and Enya optional. A drop or two of a well-choen therapeutic oil like lavender won’t hurt either. Stay in as long as you can comfortably stand it. You’ll be a new person in less than an hour.
Fake Fancy. You don’t have to spend a bunch to feel fabulous. Instead of trips to the salon, give yourself a homemade facial or coconut conditioning treatment. And have someone, anyone, give you a massage whenever possible. You need to be able to feel (and look) great without breaking the bank. Get creative and ask for what you want!
Make yourself the finest homemade meal you can muster up. I know it sounds odd, but I can be having the day from absolute hell and I will still feel the need to cook an amazing, fresh dinner. It’s therapeutic and nurturing and so good for you. You get to control the exact ingredients that go into your meal, not to mention bask in all the compliments of your delicious creation.
Unless you’re superhuman or have figured out the secret to life (call me), you know what it’s like to deal with the B version of yourself. But you also know how easy it is to turn it all around. Righteous living is of course the surest way to feel good from the inside out. But the right mascara goes a long way too. Focus on the material, just a little bit, and reap massive rewards.