Our appearance tells a story about us whether we like it or not. We may resist societal standards of having to “look a certain way” but we’re all guilty of this. The appearance of your kids’ friends and their parents matters to you. Why lie? Our personal appearance at work or social functions matters to us as well and many of us judge people based on their appearance or hygiene.
What does appearance have to do with self-esteem?
As a therapist I observe clients’ body language and hygiene. Why? A change in appearance can mark a change in behavior or mental status. Are they isolating more? Are they rolling out of bed at noon for an afternoon appointment (which could be a sign of depression)? Are they saying everything is “fine” but they have recently started showing up in sweats?
When I make “gentle” suggestions to the clients about improving their appearance they usually agree that it helps them “feel better” and/or improves motivation.
Honestly, small subtle changes make a big difference.
Here are a few suggestions to help increase self-esteem that are also budget conscious!
- Change your hairstyle. If you are always in a ponytail, change that. Schedule a haircut or a trim. Look through Pinterest or YouTube tutorials for new hairstyles. If hair color fits in your budget, think about changing your color! Remember, the cost of hair dye at your local drugstore is about the cost of 2 large coffees!
- Stop wearing yoga pants or gym clothes throughout the day. Seriously though. Unless you’re cleaning or working out then please stop using these as a standby. In Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive, she mentioned how she stopped wearing gym clothes to bed. I’m guilty of the same thing! Buy actual pajamas and wear something that makes you feel special.
- Wear one different piece of jewelry. Honestly, I almost always wear studs because they’re so versatile. Do you have a dainty necklace, a cultural or religious necklace, keepsake pendant or favorite bangle bracelet? Bring them back into rotation. Watches can also double as a bracelet! Re-visit your jewelry box or pick out a new piece for the fall! Gentlemen, you could do this with ties, bow-ties, cuff links, hats, etc. Wear a new piece to school pick-ups, shopping trips, school functions, family get-togethers. Don’t restrict yourself!
Part of reclaiming your self-esteem can be as subtle as making small changes to our appearance. We don’t need a fancy night out to feel like a million bucks! Investing in yourself is ALWAYS a good idea!
What would you like to change about your appearance? When are you willing to make this change?
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Self-esteem is so important for our happiness. Thank you for sharing these very practical tips.
Thank you for the comment Murielle! I agree. Healthy self-esteem can be misconstrued as cockiness, which is false. Self-esteem and happiness help us to be more resilient.