If there’s one thing quarantine has revealed, it’s that feeling beautiful very often has little to do with our physical appearance. Despite the fact that I've looked generally the same every day since shelter-in-place began (no makeup, messy hair, comfy clothes), I’ve noticed there are some days when I wake up feeling really good about myself, and other days when I can’t even meet my eyes in the mirror. My appearance hasn't changed, but my feelings about it have.
I've always known that "beauty comes from within" in an inspirational bumper sticker kind of way, but it's a different feeling when you begin to recognize the way it actually manifests in your everyday life. As I've explored this idea and done some research, I've realized my feelings about my own beauty are much more closely tied to the actions I do for myself and others than the way I actually look in the mirror.
Here are some easy (and very real) ways you can feel more beautiful right now — no makeup, hair products or new clothes required.
When you do something kind for someone else, you create beauty in the world. That beauty doesn’t just impact the person you’re helping — it also affects you. Random acts of kindness have been proven to boost your self-esteem. Beyond that, they also shape the way you view the world, which in turn affects the way you view yourself. The more kindness, love, and magic we spread outward, the more kindness, love and magic we generate inside ourselves. Try giving a stranger a compliment, sending a friend a surprise gift or letter via snail mail, or even simply letting someone cut in front of you when you’re stuck in traffic.
Express yourself creatively
It’s time to examine your relationship with creativity. If you think you’re “just not a creative person” or that creative hobbies are for kids, you’re not alone. However, research increasingly points to creativity as an essential component of a happy and healthy life. It doesn’t have to be great, you just have to do something for the sake of doing it. Having trouble getting started? Try making up a song, writing a short poem, making art with dried flowers you pick on a walk, doodling for 20 minutes, or making a collage out of old magazines. When you succeed at creating something, your brain releases dopamine, and as a result, you feel happier. The happier we are, the more beautiful we feel.
Bring beauty to your space
As the saying goes, your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. This statement works both ways — just as what’s inside can influence what’s outside, you can also use your surroundings to influence how you feel. There are a plethora of health benefits to keeping your space organized. Why don’t you take it one step further and create a space that is truly beautiful? That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to do a full reno or buy expensive art or furniture. Identify items that have meaning to you — a photo of someone you love, a print of an art piece that inspires you, flowers that remind you of a meaningful place, crystals you’ve collected — and find special ways to display them so they’re always in your line of sight.
Beauty through movement
Intuitive movement is a powerful method for getting out of our heads and into our bodies. You don’t need to know how to dance, you don’t need to be flexible, and you don’t need to do this in front of anyone. We say: shut the door, close your eyes, put on music that makes your heart sing, and tap into your gut. The goal is to try and move from instinct instead of “should” or “correctness.” Use this awesome guide to get started. You might feel weird at first, but if you can push through, there’s a lot of beauty on the other side.
Laughter is the best medicine (duh), but when was the last time you sat down and really laughed? Of course, it's not always easy to do. Enter: laugh yoga. Yes, you read that right. These laugh exercises are designed to get you giggling. It might sound weird, but it works. Give one a shot.
Got any tips and tricks for bringing more beauty into your life? Let us know below!