Anxiety can be a challenge for so many people just like me, and I’ve found that there’s no easy instant cure that can make it go away. Managing my anxiety isn’t an instant thing, and it certainly takes work, but I’ve discovered that my skincare routine is a great tool and coping strategy to have at my disposal when managing anxiety day to day. Since caring for my skin is something I already do, putting just a bit of extra effort in to make it work both for my beauty routine and my mental health is well worth it.
Skincare is just one of the many things that form my mental health and coping routine, because for me, skincare encompasses so much of what helps me keep calm and relaxed that it’s become a great coping skill. Leaning into skincare for my anxiety happened quite naturally after noticing that I always seemed calmer and more serene after going through my routine. Once I became conscious of the benefit it brought me, I was able to figure out what made skincare so special and cultivate those features as the center of my practice.
While skincare might not be the best anxiety management technique for everyone, it could be the secret tool that was right in front of you the whole time. It all depends on you and the ways you cope best.
1. Quiet Time
One of the key ways my skincare routine helped me manage my anxiety was simply giving me some quiet time. Twice a day, I simply have to take a few minutes to go through the steps of my routine, and it gives me a break from the rush and craziness of whatever is going on around me or in my own head. Since it’s the same routine every time, it’s become a sort of meditative process where I can simply relax and let my mind go quiet.
2. A Daily Routine
Routines can be really important in managing anxiety. For me, having little routines throughout my day allows me to relax and go on autopilot. Making decisions can be taxing, especially when dealing with anxiety, and my skincare routine in particular takes care of a lot of those stressors. I always know what I’m doing when I wake up in the morning and when I wind down at night.
3. Promoting Overall Health
While the more prominent parts of my skincare routine are obviously the cleansing, moisturizing and other steps I do in the morning and night, taking care of my skin also bleeds into other parts of my life, which has a positive affect on my overall bodily health and mental wellness. Eating whole, healthy foods, drinking plenty of water and exercising are all practices I maintain for the health of my skin that offer the added bonus of alleviating my anxiety even further.
4. Loving the Skin I’m In
One of the sources of my anxiety for a long time was my appearance, and I still struggle with confidence from time to time, but taking care of my skin has improved my self esteem boatloads. While my skin wasn’t awful before, taking great care of it has improved the glow, dewy quality and clarity of my complexion. It’s given me another feature I can feel confident in.
5. Feeling Comfortable
While this won’t be the case for everyone, the feeling of blemishes, dryness or excess oil on my face always made me want to crawl out of my skin — no pun intended. I’d end up picking at my face or simply feeling awkward and physically uncomfortable. Now that I have a routine that works with my skin type and helps me minimize blemishes, I feel much more comfortable with the physical sensations of being in my skin.
6. Treating Myself
Sometimes anxious, down in the dumps days require a bit of a pick-me-up. While treating myself in big ways all the time isn’t sustainable, my skincare is one of a few little ways I treat myself every single day. I put time and effort into selecting the products I love to use every day, and getting to use them and feel good is a great way to make every day feel positive and special.
7. Knowing I’m Worth It
While it might be a little thing, putting time aside every day for something that makes me feel happy and refreshed is a great reminder that I’m worth that kind of care and consideration. Sometimes, anxiety can make me neglect my own needs, and having a constant practice that reminds me to care for myself can remind me to make myself a priority.
Managing anxiety will always take care and effort. While my skincare routine isn’t the cure for my anxiety, it’s one of the best coping skills I’ve found. From the way it’s built into my routine to all the ways it reminds me to care for myself, taking care of my skin is a means through which I find calm and focus on me. In it, I find some of the peace and serenity that helps get me through.
Jennifer Landis is a mom, wife, freelance writer, and blogger at Mindfulness Mama. She enjoys yoga day, red wine, and drinking all of the tea she can find. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.
Image courtesy of The Creative Exchange.