Except for the most exceptional and disciplined among us: there is a good chance you are not taking care of yourself as best you should or you are not feeling as confident about your appearance as you would like. This is understandable. We lead busy lives, we have bad habits, we tend to put other people’s needs before our own, and sometimes, we are just plain lazy and neglect to do the things we know we should be doing. Here are a few areas where things may be slipping a bit, and how to fix it.
Not Managing Stress Effectively
Oh, that darn stress. It just seems inescapable sometimes doesn’t it? Unless you have a Buddha-like level of enlightenment, you probably can’t avoid it. But, that does not mean it has to overwhelm your life, like most of us let it. So many people seem to take great pride in leading very stressful lives, and how much they can ‘handle.’ This is nothing about which to be proud, let me tell you.
Not managing stress effectively wreaks all sorts of havoc on our health and appearance. Ever really look at someone who is stressed out? They are not looking so hot are they? It causes all these little subtle changes in our appearance and posture, and you can spot it a mile away.
Stress also causes all sorts of changes in the body that damage our health, from constricting our blood vessels to raising levels of hormones that lead to an increase of belly fat—that dangerous fat deep in the abdomen that increases our risk of various health problems. Stress also takes a toll in a more indirect way. Stress affects our choices, and we are less likely to make healthy ones when we are feeling stressed. You may feel more pessimistic about your efforts to make positive changes, and stop trying as hard. You eat emotionally, and polish off a box of donuts instead of the fruit you bought. You know you should exercise, but you would rather just zone out, and watch YouTube videos for the next three hours.
Letting Your Appearance Slide
When it comes to our appearance, we need to find that line between the natural desire to look attractive and feel good about ourselves, and becoming obsessive about how we look ,and overly critical of every ‘’flaw.’’ Now, if you don’t care a lick about what you look like, this won’t apply to you, but that person is a rarity.
And, it is okay to care what you look like—when we feel attractive, we feel good about ourselves. But, it is easy to let things slide because we are busy with other things, and caring about how we look seems ‘’frivolous.’’ But, it’s not, and if you are not feeling so hot about how you are looking lately, it is probably taking more of a toll on you than you know. You have a right to tend to yourself and make your appearance a priority. So, whatever it is that is nagging you, whether you feel you have not been taking proper care of your skin, or getting too comfortable in your ‘comfy’ clothes, tell yourself you will turn it around now.
If your skin is in need of a boost, there are so many treatments that can literally transform it with little more effort than a few trips to a treatment center; places such as americanlaser.com, for example, offer everything from chemical peels to laser resurfacing. Go ahead, treat yourself.
Tell yourself you will give yourself a few extra minutes in the morning to get some make-up on, or put on a nice outfit, even if you are not doing anything more than running to the store for the week’s groceries. If you are super-busy, break down your workouts into 10-minute chunks—this is the same as a continuous session. Ditch any guilt you may have; honestly assess where you can make changes and do whatever it is you need to do to regain your confidence in how you look.
Convincing Yourself You Are Too Busy to Eat Right
Sure, maybe you don’t have time to prepare a seven-course organic meal every night; you are busy in the morning and a big, elaborate breakfast is just not in the cards. That is fine, but that doesn’t mean your only other option is to eat like garbage. There are lots of options in-between. Sit down at the beginning of the week and write out meals for the week, go to the store and buy the ingredients. Do your prep work on a Sunday afternoon to save time—get all the vegetables chopped, cook some rice, prepare a soup or sauce, put together the casserole. Make a specific plan as to how you will improve your eating habits. This can be as easy as bringing a snack to work instead of hitting the vending machine. Just wanting to ‘’eat better’’ is too vague. You must identify concrete steps.