There is no shortage of beauty products promising to give you glowing skin, soft hands, and bright eyes: lotions and creams, vibrating cleansing tools, the latest anti-wrinkle regime… it’s tempting to snap them all up to try to get the look you’ve always wished you had—or that you once had, and would like to reclaim. But before you place another online order, or spend an hour at the cosmetics counter of your favorite store, why not enhance your beauty from the inside out? Here are five steps you can take to become more beautiful—and not one involves putting something on your face!
Check your vitamins. Two-thirds of American adults buy vitamins, yet half admit they don’t take them! The new year is a perfect time to take stock of all the supplements in your cupboard: take all those bottles and powders out of the cupboard and refrigerator. First, toss the long-expired supplements, and don’t be too hard on yourself. The whole idea of this exercise is to get a sense of what you have, if it’s working, and what you might need to add to your regime. Make a list of what you have, and assess whether all your needs are being met with them. The idea is to create a supplement regime that really works for you—you’ll be more likely to adhere to something if you know it’s helping you feel great.
Take a break from television news. What does watching the news have to do with looking good? Beginning or ending your day with a dose of bad news can bring you down. Television news is designed to stress you out, so that you keep watching! Try skipping either the morning or evening broadcasts (and definitely late-night news) for a week and see how you feel. Give yourself five minutes of deep breathing in place of 18 minutes of news and 12 minutes of commercials.
Walk, walk, walk. You’ve read this a thousand times, but here’s a new twist. Get some high-quality insoles; they’ll support your feet and your posture. The advantages of walking are many, one of the most exciting is that it can help you live longer. Walking improves your mood, which helps you look good. It also gives you some time to think, to “unplug” from our very wired world and breathe.
Get sunlight. We’ve been warned against sunlight for so long that, today, many people are seriously deficient in vitamin D. In moderation, sunlight is very good for you—and necessary for your good health. You know how great you look after a vacation at the beach, or even a day hike—refreshed, healthy, beautiful. One more note about sunlight: it increases serotonin levels, naturally.
Nurture your friendships. Feeling connected is itself a beautiful thing. It’s what we’re here for, after all. Connecting in real-life ways (that is, beyond a “like” or posting a photo online) leads to feeling supported and centered. Even if your schedule is absolutely packed, can you find an hour this week to meet a friend for coffee or take a walk together to try out your Spenco insoles? Sometimes it’s been so long since we’ve seen a particular friend that it can be awkward to reach out, but it gets easier with practice. Friends can see the beauty in us that we don’t even realize is there.
It’s absolutely natural to want to feel healthy—and beautiful. The great news is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. True beauty isn’t what you put on your face, it’s what you put in your body and mind.