Your Personal Hygiene Routine Could Boost Your Self-Esteem
Personal hygiene typically encompasses maintaining parts of our body—hair, skin, nails, face and so on—for the sake of our physical health and appearance. But occasionally, distractions arise and life happens, making it difficult to sustain a routine.
For people who experience difficulty keeping up with a healthy regimen or in developing one at all, here are some reasons for making hygiene a habit.
Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
The mantra "when you look good, you feel good" is true when it comes to grooming and mental outlook: When we take care of ourselves, we feel better about ourselves.
Personal hygiene also uplifts our morale and promotes a positive outlook for our judgment, capabilities and self-worth. You'll feel more balanced and gain self-assurance, making it easier to navigate your social and professional life. It's a form of self-care proven to boost confidence and positively influence our mental health.
Ultimately, increased self-esteem and confidence become a byproduct of routine self-grooming.
A more positive mood
Confidence and self-esteem aren't the only factors positively impacted—your emotions are, too. When practicing self-care and grooming, you're carrying out activities that make you feel and look good. Therefore, when you style your hair a little differently or alter your go-to outfit, you'll probably find yourself smiling and carry yourself with confidence, a direct result of consciously giving effort and energy to yourself.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, these kinds of activities can also help manage your stress levels, and keep anxiety at bay. When we aren't practicing self-grooming as we should, we can develop anxiety over our appearance and interactions with others. This can create a snowball effect that can cause us to withdraw from people out of fear or shame.
The benefit of a hygiene routine
Routine promotes consistency in our actions, and consistent personal hygiene practices have a crucial role in uplifting and maintaining our mental health.
Poor hygiene is directly linked to poor mental health, as depressive symptoms—for example, impaired cognitive functions and reduced energy levels—can make it harder to maintain a self-care and hygiene regimen.
This has been particularly true over the past year, as there was not the same urgency to dress yourself to see your fellow workers and friends every day. Brushing your hair, putting on makeup and dressing for success have been a low priority, even if you regularly attended meetings on Zoom. (Zoom's low resolution was comfortingly uncritical of personal hygiene.)
As we begin to try and remember how life was before the pandemic, we can all benefit from having a consistent ritual that'll help how you see yourself and how others see you.
If you struggle with maintaining an good self-grooming routine, start small with tasks that feel achievable, such as:
- Bathe regularly: You don't have to shower every day, but cleaning your body and your hair at regular intervals can help you sleep, reduce stress hormones, soothe muscles and help heal wounds. And you'll smell real good, too!
- Trim your nails: Well-manicured nails are less likely to have dirt and bacteria buildup, and that can prevent potential infection.
- Brush and floss your teeth: Apart from the obvious cosmetic issues and expensive dental bills if you ignore this habit, brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis has been linked to improving your mental health and overall quality of life.
- Wash your hands: While you are probably tired of hearing this over the past year, it's fair to say this advice has never been more imperative than now. Washing your hands is important because it removes germs, helps you avoid illness and halts the spread of germs to others. So, once more: Wash your hands!
- Wear clean clothes: Just as it's important to keep your body clean and well-maintained, you should clean your clothes and bedsheets regularly. There's nothing like the feeling of clean clothes after a shower! It'll put a smile on your face.
We're all guilty of letting our hygiene habits slide a little over the past year, but there's less and less excuse now not to get back into a consistent routine of personal hygiene. Your work colleagues will thank you, your friends and family will thank you, and your mental health will thank you, too.