The following is adapted from The Self Help Book by Jared Graybeal.
Have you ever found yourself in your pajamas at noon? In this work-from-home era, it’s a little too easy to do these days. For most of us, it’s not uncommon to spend a video conference in blazers and pajama bottoms or forget to brush your teeth because, well, you never left the house. And who cares? It’s not like anyone else has to like the way we look.
But wait…what about you? Do you like the way you look? Do you like your morning breath or your unbrushed hair? And does it matter?
While there’s nothing wrong with cozy clothes or lazy days, I believe that taking an extra few minutes every day to pay attention to your appearance and hygiene sends yourself the message that you are worth taking care of and you like the way you look. This simple act can have a tremendous effect on your confidence and self-esteem, which can boost your life in general.
How you look affects your self-esteem and confidence.
According to one psychological study, high self-esteem was the most important factor which predicted overall life satisfaction. The study also found a close link between confidence and happiness.
Now, don’t get me wrong—I’m not telling you to stop wearing sweatpants. If you feel fly in your cozies, there are other ways to self-care in the grooming department. I recommend starting with the basics, like hygiene, then move on to things like your outfits and hair.
Let’s go through this checklist, in order of importance.
Keep your teeth healthy.
According to a study from the University of Leeds featured on Business Insider, clean white teeth are a quick indicator of good health and thus instantly make us more attractive to others. Be sure to brush two to three times per day, floss daily, and find a good dentist to get regular check-ups and cleanings.
Wear deodorant that actually works.
We all know that one person who, either toward the end of the workday, or during a workout, just smells like body odor. Don’t be that person. Understandably, hormones and other factors can affect this, which is why you need to make sure to find a product that works for you and don’t just stick with the same thing you have used since you were a kid.
Have a quick night time hygiene routine.
This isn’t just about how you look; it’s also about how you feel. A regular nighttime routine helps your body and mind recognize that it’s bedtime, which leads to better sleep and ultimately a better day.
I’m not a big skincare influencer, so I don’t have many insights on the topic. But I do know that when coming up with your nighttime skincare routine, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and to see a dermatologist.
Wear a scent, but keep it light.
It never hurts to be the person who’s known to always smell good. It does hurt, however, to be known as the person who wears too much cologne or perfume. I recommend always having a light coat of a highly rated cologne or perfume on… not too much, but not too little. And keep it in the car if you feel like it wears off too quickly.
Establish a few favorite outfits.
Long story short—the term “dress to impress” still stands, and it’s worth the time to choose ahead of time a few outfits you feel confident in and put those in your weekly rotation. If you take a look at your wardrobe and realize you need to upgrade, then I guarantee it’s worth the investment. If you have outgrown your favorite clothes or have lost weight, it’s time to make an investment in a few new items so you can feel good about what you wear in public.
Wear your hair the way you like.
These days, you never know when you’ll end up in a public picture or video, and the last thing you want is to be having a bad hair day. This may not apply to everyone, but I know that when I’m a few days overdue for a haircut, it affects my confidence. Knowing that, I schedule a haircut every two weeks like clockwork. Identify what kind of hair you feel best in, and make sure you wake up early enough in the morning to get it to look that way before you start your day.
Self-care sends a message to you.
In case you’re looking down at your sweatpants sheepishly, take a deep breath and remember: I’m not telling you that you’re ugly or lazy, nor that you don’t have to dress up in business casual for a day of home-office work.
Instead, I’m telling you that taking care of yourself feels good and sends you the message that you are important. Good self-care is always centered around this confidence-building message.
By taking care of yourself and paying attention to your hygiene and appearance, I believe you can build a strong foundation of self-confidence that can help your path to self-growth flourish.
For more advice on self-confidence, you can find The Self Help Book on Amazon.
My mission is to encourage, educate, and empower others to live happier, healthier lives. I am a NASM-certified personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist, behavioral change specialist, CrossFit Level 2 trainer, and corrective exercise specialist with an education in marketing and psychology from the University of North Florida. I own and operate two companies. One is Superfit Foods, a healthy, subscription-based, fully customizable meal prep company. The other is E3, a business consulting and marketing agency. I’ve done a few cool things, like exhibiting Superfit Foods at Forbes Under 30 and giving a TEDx Talk on nutrition and mental health, and every day I get to work hard at doing what I love.