Self care is always important, but even more so during times of added stress. School is starting back up, and the restrictive class-to-class-to-homework-to-sleep schedule that students have to maintain in order to keep our grades up limits the amount of time we have to really take care of ourselves. Hygiene, cleanliness, and being nice to yourself are vital for all students, especially those with mental illnesses. Although it may be hard at times, exploring new ways to boost your confidence and self esteem can give you the motivation to take care of yourself.
As someone who has mental illnesses, there have been plenty of times in which I was just completely apathetic about my appearance, cleanliness, or making myself happy. Convincing myself to do simple tasks for my well-being was nearly impossible. With some help from friends, I have been able to try different forms of self care, attempting to find a few that would actually work for me. The best self care “technique” that I have found, is doing makeup.
Makeup is a great way to motivate yourself to get up in the morning. I allow myself about 40 minutes every morning before class to do my makeup. I enjoy doing it, so when I hear my alarm I am motivated to get up. Even just setting aside 20 extra minutes in your morning routine can be enough to give you something to look forward to before class. It’s 20 more minutes that you can sit down, focus on yourself, and relax. Contrary to popular belief, people don’t do their makeup in order to please others; doing makeup is a great way to just put all of your attention on yourself for a little while. It’s also a great confidence booster. Doing my makeup makes me feel empowered and pretty and happy. I love feeling like my wings are so sharp I could cut anyone who tried to mess with me, and that my highlight is so bright it’ll blind people who look my way. Looking good helps you feel good, and anything (safe) that helps you feel good is a form of self care.
Makeup is also a great creative outlet. It’s an art-form and a way to express yourself. Doing my makeup allows for me to be creative, use my artistic eye, and try out fun new things. It is a way for me to escape when I can no longer focus on the words in my textbook, or when I am too stressed to function normally, or when I feel my anxiety creeping up. It basically forces me to spend time with myself, and it helps me to focus on and appreciate all the little details of my face. While doing my makeup, I have to focus most of my attention on one spot at a time, and that’s all my brain is thinking about. I am not thinking about the outside stressors in my life; I am only thinking about blending my eyeshadow, or curling my lashes, or contouring my face. Although my problems won’t go away, I am able to forget about them for a short time in order to calm myself down.
Some people may think that spending time and money on makeup is excessive, unnecessary, and superficial. However, for me and many other people, makeup is a creative way to spend time with yourself and boost your confidence. So do your brows, put on some lipstick, and go take on the world.