The Benefits of Beauty to Mental Health
Lockdown was hard for many, not just because of the obvious threat of Covid, but also the effect on our mental health.
Routine is what gets many of us through life, and whilst I’m not suggesting beauty in place of professional counselling, the positive power of beauty rituals is not to be overlooked as a way to ease far greater struggles in our life.
How often have you felt down in the dumps and forced yourself to get dressed, and do your make up and somehow you feel a little bit better? The power of make-up is not to be underestimated in its use of promoting feelings of confidence and strength.
When we feel confident in our outward appearance it is a natural mood-booster. Obviously, it’s down to the individual. It might be a massage or a facial or even just getting your nails back after lockdown, but if it makes you feel good, that is all that matters.
Blushing, sweating, breaks outs in times of stress. The body and brain are inextricably linked to the skin. All of these can cause visual effects to the eye, and so it becomes a vicious circle. Feeling you don’t look your best then can make you feel down.
One of the much-mentioned signs of depression or mental health issues is neglecting appearance. This can be true. The feeling of self-worth and ‘why bother’ mentality can creep in. The benefits of adopting a skincare routine, even if it’s just a few minutes twice a day can in fact have many benefits, not only to the skin but also in having a routine and taking those few minutes of self-care or ‘me time’ to relax and help with stress and anxiety. Those struggling with depression can often feel like life is out of control. Taking a little bit of that control back with a routine can often be a benefit.
One of the benefits of working from home, I admit, is that I often do start work in my pyjamas. I’ll then have a break and do my skincare routine, back to work, stop and do my make up if I'm going out. Now whilst some might think that doesn’t seem productive, I disagree. That time I stop to do those give a break from the computer screen gives my mind a rest and reduces eye strain. Taking that time to stop, drink water and reset can be hugely beneficial to me.
Mental health can have many faces, so as you’re scrolling through social media, just because somebody looks good, it doesn’t mean that they feel good, this is important to remember before you pass a comment. What they present to the world may not be an accurate representation of what’s going on in their head. So if they’ve given themselves the time to have a beauty treatment, get their nails done or their brows, good for them. Good for them for carrying on and showing up, and if that’s what they need to keep their mental health in check, nobody should judge.
Makeup and beauty treatments are one of the more accessible ways to help ourselves. It may well be a mask, but if it gets us through the day, makes us feel good and allows us to face the world then we have to acknowledge the benefits.