12 Ways Looking After Your Outward Appearance Can Boost Your Mental Health

Many people find the act of caring for their outer appearance to be soothing and distracting from things like anxiety. Beauty staples like putting on makeup and nail polish, going through a skincare routine, and finding a gorgeous new outfit can all help improve mental health. Not only that, but the happier we feel in our outward appearance or physical health, the more confident we feel in ourselves.

That’s not to say that you have to change everything about your outward appearance in order to boost your mental health – though many do find dramatic makeovers to be their own type of self-care. It is more about putting work and effort into looking after yourself and seeing how these efforts can pay off.

Enjoying Therapeutic Benefits Of Beauty Routines

Beauty routines can be therapeutic, with set steps to follow in a set order. They are also repetitive and relaxing and give you the satisfaction of a job well done by the time you’re finished. Like any other creative hobby, it can boost confidence to see that your work has paid off, whether in perfectly applied eyeshadow, glowing skin from your skin care regimen, or freshly applied nail polish.

walking in nature

Exercising To Improve Health And Fitness

Many people choose to take up exercise out of a desire to look different. This could be losing some weight, tightening areas of the body, or gaining muscle mass. Whatever the reason you decide to start exercising, the impact on your mental health is undeniable. Being physically active allows you to work on your outward appearance and your mental health at the same time and can be invaluable for improving both.

Eating Well

For many beauty benefits, a healthy diet is critical. This includes glowing skin, shiny, thick hair, and strong, healthy nails. In addition to helping you look your best, a healthy balanced diet is most likely to keep your mental health strong.

Unhealthy foods contain things like trans fats, which can lower your mood and contribute to serious issues like heart disease. You should include plenty of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and healthy fats to keep your body and mind strong and happy. Healthy fats include things like olive oil, nuts, fish and eggs.

Using Beautification For Self-Care

Self-care is an important part of any mental health care routine, and beauty treatments can form an excellent element of that routine. Self-care is anything that helps soothe and relax you and that you enjoy. The process of applying makeup, skincare and other beauty staples can all be an excellent part of self-care. It can be tricky to find time for self-care, so consider taking the time at least once per week to do something that brings you joy.

friends put makeup on

Following A Routine

Humans are creatures of habit, and having a routine can be a soothing, mental health-boosting thing. Not only can routine make our days easier, but it can be a form of therapeutic self-soothing. Most people have some form of beauty and wellness routine in the morning, whether a simple shower, face wash, or something more elaborate.

Likewise, many people end the day by washing their faces and putting on some overnight moisturiser or other beauty treatment. As we will discuss below, a morning and evening routine can also be an excellent way to ensure you get a good night’s sleep.

Providing A Distraction From Stress And Worry

Oftentimes, people who struggle with intrusive thoughts, stress and anxiety find it difficult to quiet their minds. Distractions can be an effective way to combat this, helping keep your mind on something other than your worries. Dwelling on things you cannot change or may not even happen can be very detrimental to your mental health, so distracting yourself with self-care can be invaluable.

This is by no means a cure-all solution to stress, anxiety or depression, but it can certainly help manage symptoms of them. If you’re concerned for your emotional health, you should get in touch with your GP, who can refer you to mental health professionals and potentially provide you with medication to help.

Resolving Recurring Skin Complaints

If you’re one of the many people who experience recurring skin complaints, it can make your confidence take a dive. In turn, this can have a negative impact on your mental and emotional health. Fortunately, many common skin conditions and complaints can be resolved effectively using the right products, lifestyle choices and medication. Conditions like psoriasis can be difficult to live with but often become more manageable with a good skincare routine. Check out some of the advice from the medical experts over at Patient.

being happy inside

Practising Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a type of meditation that helps you to stay in the moment to relieve stress, clear your mind and fully enjoy experiences. It involves focusing on the things happening in the moment, like what you are touching, smelling, tasting and hearing. Mindfulness can be a great practice to combine with beauty, as there is much to feel, see and smell when going through any beauty routine.

Releasing Endorphins

Many health and beauty routines can produce endorphins which help raise your mood. Things like putting on makeup, doing your nails or moisturising your skin can all be positive experiences that you can look forward to. The more of a routine you get into, the more your body and mind will expect that rush of endorphins, further boosting the impact of having an excellent self-care routine.

Getting Better Quality Sleep

Our sleep quality is critical for a positive and healthy mental state. Poor sleep quality, particularly over longer periods, can result in low mood, irritability and difficulty doing everyday tasks. There are a few simple things you can do to help improve your sleep quality. First, you can set yourself a time to go to sleep and wake up each day. Following a set sleep schedule can be invaluable in helping you get quality sleep.

It is also beneficial to stop using your electronic devices an hour or two before you plan to sleep so that the blue light that device produces doesn’t interrupt your natural sleep cycle. You should also avoid tossing and turning in bed, as this can result in your bed becoming a stressful place to be when it should be somewhere for rest and relaxation. Instead, get up and make yourself a caffeine-free hot drink and read or watch TV until you feel tired enough to sleep.

socialising with friends

Boosting Your Social Life

Many people hesitate to get out and about when they don’t feel like they’re looking their best. Feeling self-conscious about your looks is a common reason cited for staying in rather than going to see friends, so focusing on improving your outer appearance can give you the confidence and drive to get out and socialise. Seeing and connecting with other people is crucial for our mental health and can give our lives variety and things to look forward to.

Focusing On Your Natural Beauty

Many people can pick out a range of things they don’t necessarily like about themselves but find it much harder to point to the things they do like. By looking after your outward appearance, you’ll find it easier to identify the things you like about yourself and begin to change your internal voice from critical to complimentary. This can be invaluable in helping you feel happier in yourself and enjoy improved mood all around.