Updated: Mar 7

Do Looking Good and Taking Care of Yourself mean the same thing?

For some, the terms "beauty" and "self-care" may mean the same thing: taking care of yourself and looking good. For others, equating the two as indulgent may mean missing out on an important part of wellness.

More than Beauty

When you think about "self-care", the image of bath bombs, bubbles, and expensive candles comes to mind. Or maybe a fresh manicure or a peel-off face mask. But taking care of yourself the way that you need, is just that, different for everyone. For you, it might have nothing to do with beauty, appearance, or bodily care. Self-care might mean eating what makes you feel well, taking five minutes to yourself in the midst of a chaotic day, or even writing positive affirmations (which, let me tell you, sounds so abstract but can actually have such an effect).

For others, self-care might mean exactly a sparkly bubble bath, or looking good. Beauty products, makeup and working on your outward appearance can be an important part of self-care... if that's what make you feel good! Although I'm not someone who wears make-up often, I totally get the appeal of the process. Working on your appearance doesn't have to mean hiding or fooling the world, or vanity, it can be about working on becoming your best self by putting your best [lash extensions] forward.

Care or Indulgence

But equating beauty and self-care might be inhibiting some from benefiting from the idea all together. If we think about self-care as indulgent, luxurious, or excessive, it might be a term we avoid out of principle. Especially if much of your life is devoted to other people, the idea of self-care might sound selfish.

Taking time for yourself is Not selfish. In fact, taking that time to feel good about you, however you choose to do so, can make you better for those in your care. Putting time into your well being can make you a better partner, friend, mother, daughter. When you feel whole, you have more of yourself to give to others. You can't pour from an empty cup.

Crisis Self Care

How are you balancing beauty and self-care during this time of isolation or quarantine? It seems that for a lot of people, this is making all the difference for state of mind while stuck at home. We may be living in a time when we can't get our nails done, or go for a massage, or hit the gym or yoga class... but taking that time for ourselves is still important, especially if you're not just at home, but caring for others... it just looks a tad different during this season.

What's also important, I've noticed, is being Intentional about it. Even though we're home all day, which in itself feels indulgent compared to going out to work, it doesn't mean we can't take that time for intentional care of ourselves. Personally, about once per week I've been doing my hair and makeup as if I were going out, even though I'm not going anywhere. I'm also setting specific time each morning to do something care related like journaling. Block out the time if necessary for a specific act of self-care that you know works for you.

I saw a post this morning relating to productivity that said some people over-function during this time, to cope, while others under-function, and both are OK. This relates to self-care as well. There has to be a balance right now; finding where you can exist on that spectrum of embracing the slower days - and - allowing the acts of self-care when needed, as needed.