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Do you struggle with how to feel beautiful when many days your brain is foggy, your belly is bloated and your hormones aren’t playing nice? If you have these issues and are looking online for help, chances are you have chronic illness and aren’t feeling your best. Beauty isn’t just outward physical appeal or some superficial standard we are trying to measure up to. It’s a state of mind that helps promote a sense of calm, order and ease to our lives. And it’s worth fostering when you don’t feel like your A game.
You know those women who always seem to fly through life without hitting obstacles? Maybe their hair is always perfect, too. Ever wonder what her mindset is? I’d bet you an endometriosis smoothie that she has a positively beautiful mindset to accompany her in life. Whether you’ve been beaten down by life or by chronic illness or pain from endometriosis, you may have lost the joie de vivre but that doesn’t mean you can’t ever get it back and feel beautiful again. Life can share its sparkle with you again. You can share yours back.
I want to address the difference between superficiality versus taking care of your appearance. There is a difference and the virtue lies in the average mean. Did you know there is actually research that supports the fact that people who take care of their physical appearance have better mental health as well? It’s actually an aspect of how clinicians size up one’s mental health to a small degree. What is more, cleaning and decluttering one’s environment leads to positive health outcomes. So it would make sense that cleaning up physically can lead to similar states. If you want to feel beautiful then it’s time to clean up all around you!
How to feel beautiful with chronic illness?
Tip #1: Get into a morning routine
The buzz about morning routines may seem like just a popular fad but the most productive and happy people have a morning routine. This is your time to get started for the day before the day gets away from you and take care of what you need to take care of. Having a morning routine helps to make you feel beautiful because it gives you a sense of order and purpose to your day. It gives you a ritual to beautify yourself, take care of washing the sleep from your eyes and start with a positive mindset.
Ok, so what should you include in your morning routine you ask? Good question.
Here are a few ideas when building a morning routine to feel beautiful with chronic illness:
- Wash your face and tame your mane.
- Make your bed. It’s an easy task to accomplish first thing.
- Drink a quart of warm lemon water to help flush out toxins.
- Take morning supplements to get them out of the way.
- Pray and meditate. Release your stress to God and invite Him into your day.
- Stretch out and gently rotate your joints. This provides nourishment to all areas of your body.
- Take a short walk to get your blood moving.
- Play with your furry friend for some bonding time. Or tend to your plants, kids, friends or husband. What we nourish will eventually nourish us.
- Write out your daily goals and get really clear on your intentions for your day.
- Review Pinterest for motivation. Be inspired about living your best life and healing holistically. Create your own board.
- Grab your endometriosis smoothie from the fridge. Stay nourished with the good stuff.
- Whatever makes you feel beautiful do daily.
Tip #2: Create a wardrobe you enjoy getting into
Now I don’t know about you, but when I put on something that I absolutely love I feel beautiful and ready for the day. One of my favorite items is a good chunky cozy fall sweater like the one pictured. That one has a fleece lined hood and is a great way to layer up.
If budget is an issue, start thrifting. You can find some wonderful look-like-new pieces at the thrift store.
What is your personal style? What makes you feel beautiful? Spend some time figuring out what types of clothing pieces are the most comfortable and pleasing.
A side note: If you have a very ratty sweater, I’m not telling you to throw it away, but I do want you to ask yourself if looking ratty is helping your mindset. I have plenty, so believe me I’m preaching to the choir here. Here are my two cents. Maintain your clothing’s cleanliness, so no pit stains or other stains. Clothing adorns our body which is a temple so ensure your clothing is in good working condition: no rips, tares unless they are repaired. Your clothing can enhance your body and protect it’s modesty so wear clothing that is graceful and modest.
Tip #3: Create a beautiful place in your home to dwell
Do you feel more at ease and beautiful in a messy environment or in a beautifully kept and decorated space? Is anything keeping you from creating a beautiful place for you to retreat after a long day?
Focus on one place to truly make into a beautiful space for yourself. It could be your whole house if you have the time, energy and ambition. It could simply be a patio garden, a corner of a room or a place to sit by a window. Whatever it will be, make sure to have a beautiful space for yourself where you can let your hair down and feel beautiful.
If you know what you like or already have a space like this, kudos to you! I’d love to see a picture of your space. If you don’t and aren’t sure where to start, I might recommend a few things.
- Have a comfortable place to sit or lounge.
- Surround yourself with colors you like.
- Include a picture or two of your most valued relationships, memories or places you’d like to go next.
- Have a spot for a journal, writing, or sipping some herbal tea. Don’t forget a spot for a cute coaster and beautiful mug.
Tip #4: Journal or talk to someone
Why is journaling on a list that helps your feel beautiful? It’s a pretty safe bet that when you are tired/angry/scared/disorganized feeling you probably won’t feel all that beautiful. Journaling is a way to acknowledge what you feel and recognize patterns over time. It’s a way to organize your day and thoughts so that they feel manageable. We don’t have control of everything so we release that which we cannot control.
There are several popular methods to journaling. Here’s a quick outline of some of the most popular ways to journal:
The Artist’s Way Journal:
The process here involves journaling every morning for at least 30 minutes. Think of it as your brain dump in order to declutter the thoughts and feelings you have upon waking. Once you journal for awhile, perhaps you will have some golden nuggets emerge. I tried it and personally found it too time consuming. I wrote about the same things over and over. Maybe that’s the point? It was too open ended for me but may help you process some things you haven’t expressed yet especially if you have a lot to say on the topic but don’t want to go public. You can find the actual Morning Pages journal here.
There are prompts in Artist’s Way Morning Pages journal and it corresponds to a book by called The Artist’s Way. The author, Julia Cameron, is an artist and addresses common negative mindsets and fallacies we face when unleashing our creative potential. May be the perfect type of journal if you are in the creative space or wish you were.
Here’s an opinion Vlog about morning pages you may find helpful! Here is a cool two for one deal on Amazon that includes both the journal and the book. If you go this route, let me know if it helps and makes you feel beautiful!
Bullet journaling has gone in so many phases and it seems at least from YouTube that there are definite pros and cons to the practice of bullet journaling. It is a form of journaling that helps you break down you goals and plans in a rather exacting science. The journals look like pieces of artwork when you’re finished. I find this method helpful when I’m starting a new habit and need the daily accountability and when I’m planning out my month or next 60 days.
I personally don’t want to spend hours designing paper that I’ll just end up
throwing away burning eventually so I don’t make my own bullet journal the typical way. But I would if I had more time. Unleash your creative genius, ladies. There are some remarkably beautiful bullet journals created everyday that are museum worthy. 🙂
Journal Prompts Journaling:
With journal prompts you have some focus to your journaling. I personally love journal prompts and the prompts that make me feel the most excited aren’t usually in the areas I’m struggling in. I like to think about where I want to go next, but that’s just me. This is my feel beautiful way to journal and after I process my thoughts in this way I feel so clear and certain whereas before I felt deflated and stuck.
I personally made up a form of journaling which blends the various journaling formats. I buy a large sketch book (unlined) and it becomes my second brain. I cut inspiring pictures that make me feel beautiful and make a collage on some pages. I write out my all time favorite recipes that I’ve created on the fly on a few of the pages. I list out my dreams and goals as well as progress in an area of focus. It sort of becomes that year’s record book and I do journal feelings that are the most persistent.
This unlined sketch book is one I would use and it will last you a long time!
Tip #5: Get into a bedtime routine
If you have a morning routine to feel beautiful then why not also have a bedtime routine? I have found that developing a diligent bedtime routine was key to health when my fatigue protested. Otherwise I’d fall asleep on the couch and stumble off to bed at unhelpful hours. The next day my schedule would be all in disarray because I needed a shower and to keep up with now a morning routine and a bedtime routine at the same time. Things got skipped and I felt like a slob. Ug. That was a good way to not feel beautiful with chronic illness.
At the bare minimum, get personal hygiene on your bedtime routine. Brush and floss every night. I wrote an entire post about my favorite non-toxic diy toothpaste and non-toxic dental care from home. Your oral health is so precious so don’t let it slip.
Here is my incomplete list of ideas for your bedtime routine to feel beautiful:
- Brush and floss your teeth
- Add face oil, facial serum or rich cream to your face for overnight beauty
- Stretch out
- Read a relaxing fiction novel
- Add lavender essential oil to your pillow
- Read your spiritual books or the Bible
- Have an Epsom salt bath
- Set out your clothing for tomorrow
- Browse inspirational quotes on Pinterest
If you are looking for some additional bedtime routines to begin check out my post on the best natural health practices especially suited for women with endometriosis or chronic health issues.
By the way I wrote a complimentary post about how to get deep rest to help you heal from chronic illness issues that you might be interested in. To feel beautiful you can work on your outer appearance but also address the experience of your emotions, thoughts and soul. The practices in this article address the need to do the minimum things to take care of yourself which can have a big impact on feeling beautiful when you have chronic illness waging war on your energy, emotions and thought processes. It’s one layer to your overall wellness.
Many simple solutions over time will add up and create a lifestyle completely different than before. Every seven years your skin sheds so much so that all of the cells in your body are replaced. So, every seven years we have a completely different body than we did seven years ago. The same thing happens when we add in other healing practices. It has been said that the condition that got you into this mess isn’t the same solution you need to get you out of this mess.
Do these practices help you feel beautiful? How do you feel beautiful when managing chronic illness? Share in the comments section below!