Feeling down because it’s winter? Here’s how to boost your self-esteem during the dreariest time of year.
It’s cold outside, which means it’s easy to pull on a pair of tracksuit pants, crawl under the duvet and hibernate. Shaving is a drag, painting your toenails means you’ll have to take off your warm woolen socks, and going to the gym seems like too much effort. The problem is that, as a result, you’re now feeling fat, ugly and slightly depressed.
Need to fix things fast? Boost your self-confidence – and beat the winter slump – with these five steps…
Step 1. Pamper yourself
There’s no better time to pamper yourself than in winter when your skin becomes drier and your hair more brittle – a result of the changing seasons, hot baths and showers, and indoor heating. You probably also spend more time at home during winter, leaving you with plenty of time to step up your body care routine.
A few tips:
- Moisturise your skin every day and exfoliate at least once a week. Pay extra attention to those rough, dry areas, like your heels and elbows.
- Use the winter to experiment with serums, masks and oils for your skin and hair. Deep conditioning your hair should be top of your pamper list to prevent damage and breakage.
- Avoid skincare products that contain alcohol as these can cause dryness.
- Invest in a new fragrance for winter – something warm and woody. Research shows that smelling good boosts our self-perceived attractiveness.
- You probably don’t have to paint your toenails if you’re wearing boots in winter, but do keep your nails and feet in tip-top shape. This will help prevent ingrown toenails and infections.
- Keep up your summer shaving routine. Your partner will be grateful and you’ll feel sexier!
Pampering yourself daily is also the perfect way to let loose and clear your mind. Simply run a bath, add a few drops of your favourite essential oil, light a candle, have a cup of detoxing herbal tea, and relax.
This will restore your energy levels, and give you time to reflect on all your strengths – the things you’re confident about and love about yourself.
Step 2. Give your wardrobe a makeover
Still wearing the same old jacket you bought at a thrift shop five years ago? It’s time to bid farewell to all your “old faithfuls” and to say hello to a stylish new winter wardrobe.
Invest in a new coat, a new pair of jeans, a knit and a trendy pair of boots. If your budget is tight, go for new accessories instead. A statement jewellery piece (nice earrings work well in winter, when your neckline and arms are hidden), an on-trend scarf and a cosy hat will spice up your existing wardrobe.
Also don’t be afraid to add colour to your wardrobe. Winter isn’t all about black, charcoal and navy blue. You’ll be amazed at how a pop of mustard yellow or rich magenta can boost your mood and self-esteem. Plus, you’ll get loads of compliments.
Step 3. Transform your hair
If you’re feeling as miserable as the weather, a fabulous new hairstyle could be just what you need. In winter, when we wear darker colours and coats that cover our bodies, other people tend to pay closer attention to our hair and face. If your hair, skin and makeup look good, you’re bound to impress.
Brighten up your look with a new hair colour and get heads turning with a fresh cut. Trimming your hair will also remove those split ends, which means your hair will look healthier.
Add volume with mousse and shine with argan or coconut oil, remember to use heat-protective spray if you have a straightener, and limit your time with the hair dryer – prolonged heat can damage your hair.
Step 4. Shake-up your makeup
Has winter got you looking extra pale? Do you feel like you’re blending in with the walls? Luckily, there’s nothing a bit of makeup can’t fix. And, according to an article by the New York Times, grooming rituals can be temporary confidence boosters.
A few tips:
- Add warmth to your complexion with a splash of bronzer or a luminous blush for a gorgeous sun-kissed glow.
- Try a new lip colour. Draw attention with a vibrant red or play it cool with a vampy wine hue.
- Experiment with different eye shadows. Be smouldering and smoky with rich brown, deep plum and bold burgundy shades. This look works well in winter.
- Dab a touch of coconut oil over the highpoints of your face to illuminate your skin.
- Challenge yourself with something new, and have fun while you’re at it. Ask a friend to share some of her make-up tricks and tips, and experiment with them this winter.
Step 5. Get fit, stay healthy
It may be tempting to curl up in front of the fire and avoid exercise, but remember that summer bodies are made in winter. And, if you neglect your exercise routine during the colder months, it will be much harder to pick things up again in spring.
Try to exercise outside this winter. In a recent Dutch study, it was found that regular exposure to mild cold may aid weight loss by increasing the amount of energy our bodies use to stay warm. To put this into perspective, when you exercise in a cold environment, your body uses extra energy to keep your core temperature up. This extra energy expenditure means you burn extra kilojoules.
It’s also well documented that physical activity can give your mental health a boost, as the happy hormones dopamine and serotonin are released. And if you feel slim, trim, happy and healthy, you’ll feel more confident and better about yourself.
There’s no doubt about it, exercise remains one of the easiest, quickest ways to lift your spirits.
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