I've struggled with severe anxiety since high school, and I'll start by saying that I know a beauty ritual can't cure it. However, beauty is a huge part of dealing with my anxiety struggles — so much so that I indulge in some beauty routines to calm my anxiety.
I know how hard it can be to do anything when you have anxiety. It's easy to forget to shower, or clean your room, or do any of the little things that you are "supposed" to do. In my experience, if you decide to take some time to pamper yourself, you can end up feeling a lot better about everything else. This can be everything from taking a bath if you have time, to just throwing on your favorite lipstick after a hot shower. Even painting your nails can be a helpful ritual if you are feeling anxious because it gives your hands something to do and can help you calm your mind for a little bit. It might not seem like it, but it is possible to do a few things when you are feeling anxious that will calm you down, at least a little.
Of course, not everything works for everyone, and I can only speak to my own experiences — but this is the stuff that works for me.
1. Put On A Face Mask
When my anxiety gets bad, I know I let my skincare slip. I don't take my makeup off or wash my skin as much as I should. Doing a face mask, especially the Freeman Feeling Beautiful Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask, helps tighten my pores and makes my skin feel clean.
The oatmeal is great because it calms the redness of my skin. It's my go-to face mask and is inexpensive, so I can treat myself as much as I want. The act of applying the face mask lets me take a little bit of time for myself, and I usually listen to my favorite music or a podcast while it dries.
2. Take A Relaxing Bath
I use hot water to release any muscle tension, and take deep breaths while I'm bathing. I love to use the Warm Vanilla Bubble Bath from Bath and Body Works when I'm feeling anxious, or their Eucalyptus Spearmint Body Wash. The eucalyptus smell has a really nice calming effect and the smell lingers on you for the rest of the day.
3. Wrap Yourself In Towels & Watch Tutorials
Don't get dressed right after your shower — trust me, it's worth it. Wrap yourself up in as many towels as you can find, and bonus points if you have a cup of tea. Lay back and watch one or two fun makeup tutorials that you like and just veg out.
4. Pick A Perfume
It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Lavender is good for anxiety, but it can be any perfume that makes you happy. I like this one from Walmart called Body Fantasies in Vanilla because it smells like freshly baked cookies and always cheers me up. Apply liberally.
5. Spend Some Time Picking An Outfit
You can dress up or down, the important thing here is to put on pants that aren't your pajamas. I picked this shirt because I just bought it and it's comfy. There doesn't have to be anything extravagant about it, but there can be if that makes you feel good. Put on a dress and heels if you know that's when you feel your best.
6. Indulge In Your Makeup Routine
Now it's time to do your makeup. This can make you feel so much better. Do you feel really good with a cat eye? Do it. Red lipstick is the thing that makes me feel put together, and this Hard Candy Plumping Serum Lipstick in the color 'Fire it Up' is a go to for me because of the red orange shade.
7. Give Yourself A Manicure
When my anxiety gets bad, I bite my nails. Looking down at them is a reminder of how anxious I get which in turn makes me bite them more. Even if your nails are short, paint them. It can be a relaxing moment of self care, and a little reminder to be gentle with yourself. I like to use Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel because it's supposed to resemble gel and lasts longer than regular nail polish. I also find it's sturdier and doesn't come off if I do bite my nails.
8. Take Some Unapologetic Selfies
I know it might be the last thing you want to do. But take a few selfies of yourself smiling. Look at them. Send them to your friends. Let yourself feel good about your body, your mind, and just you in general.
It may not seem like it, but going through with some beauty rituals can make you feel a little more confident and can help calm you down while you do them. Try to listen to your favorite music while you do these and drink some hot tea, and take the time to remind yourself that you are valid and worthy of self care.