Social distancing is hard. We as humans are naturally social animals and we suffer greatly when we are isolated from one another. However, it is important to remember that this is a temporary situation. In the meantime, one can actually find quite a few silver-linings in staying home for a few weeks or months. For one, self-isolation is a perfect time for self-exploration.
Without the threat of social rejection or ridicule looming above our heads, we are free to explore and reinvent ourselves within the safe confines of our homes.
Try Out a New Hair Color or Style
Many people who visit their local salons religiously for root touch-ups may be distressed by the recent shutdowns. For many, growth of gray hair can cause feelings of insecurity that often manifest as anxiety. This occurs despite the fact that social distancing probably means far fewer people are going to see their hair. This may be why maintaining beauty routines has been shown to improve mood and overall self esteem in those dealing with social isolation. On the other hand, others feel liberated from social pressures when they stop maintaining their usual beauty routines. Do what feels natural and embrace what makes you feel more comfortable and empowered in your beauty. Grow out your hair, try a temporary hair color (color-depositing conditioners are great for this), or crimp it like it’s the 90’s, just have fun!
Clean Out Your Wardrobe
This is also a good time to go through your closet and throw away anything that hasn’t been worn in a few months. Some people find it difficult to get rid of clothing because they believe they may eventually wear it. A great trick is to have every hanger in your closet facing the same way, and then flipping the hanger when you wear an item. In a few weeks or months you can look at your hangers and see which articles of clothing you have not worn during that time. In the meantime, go through your closet and see if there are any articles of clothing that don’t fit great, are damaged, or don’t fit your overall style. Toss overly damaged or worn garments and donate the rest to local organizations that have safety protocols for accepting clothing. After this period of social distancing, you will have an organized wardrobe containing only clothes you actually like. Not to mention you will have given back to your community in the process.
Pick Up a New Skill or Craft
Several online retailers sell starter kits for those wanting to get into embroidery, crochet, doll painting, and a variety of other crafts. Learning a new skill is a great way to build self esteem and a personal sense of competency. If you are not as artistically-inclined but would still like a fun craft to do, try painting-by-number kits. They are very easy to do and will leave you with a beautiful work of art and a feeling of accomplishment! Not to mention it is an affordable and relaxing way to spend a few hours at home.
Try Out New Makeup Looks at Home
This is also the perfect time to try that challenging smokey eye or that bright orange eyeshadow that is too bold to wear to work. Most social and professional settings have implicit, or even explicit, restrictions on how your makeup should be worn. Social-norms can make anyone feel insecure and fearful of ridicule. While social distancing, you have fewer time restrictions and you can readily ignore all of these social norms. You are free to explore a variety of products and looks that you might otherwise not be able to. Pull up a Youtube video and follow along or freestyle it your own way. Find and practice a look you can wear out after quarantine, or just play around for a bit.
We are in the midst of a global pandemic, the rippling effects of which have changed how we operate as a society and as family units. With the rather daunting task of adjusting to these unprecedented circumstances, it can be easy to put mental health on the back-burner. However, it is important, possibly now more than ever, not to let yourself get lost in the chaos. While maintaining social contact with others is crucial during this time, do not forget to check in with yourself as well. Take this time at home to get to know the “you” that you are without the societal pressures usually present in your life. Exploring your likes, dislikes, and style can increase your self esteem and confidence. Comfortability with one’s self is a huge stepping stone to self-love and self-acceptance.
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