Mental Health, Low Self Esteem, Body Image and Fashion.

(image: Freestocks at unsplash)

Fashion is a powerful force. It has the ability to make people feel confident, empowered, or at its worst horrible about themselves. It can have a positive impact on mental health and self-esteem if you find something pieces that make you feel good about yourselves. On the other hand, fashion can also have a negative impact on self-esteem and mental health if you’re constantly exposed to images and messages that make you feel inferior or unhappy with who you are. Especially with the inward turn of the pandemic, its hard for people to feel happy and confident about themselves.

The Psychology of Fashion

Fashion is a multi-billion-dollar industry and a big part of many people’s daily lives. It’s a subculture that’s easy to invest in. And, like any other trend, fashion comes and goes, so you’re always in control of how much you invest in it. The psychology of fashion reveals the different aspects of how fashion impacts people’s self-esteem. From the way people perceive others based on the way they’re dressed, to how people present themselves to the world by choosing outfits, fashion has a strong psychological effect on everyone.

Body Image

Our bodies are such an important part of life, and it’s normal to have some insecurities about them. Still, as you grow older, many people struggle with body dysmorphia or an unhealthy obsession with one’s appearance. Constant exposure to images of other people’s bodies that are unrealistic and unattainable can be harmful to your self-esteem, especially in young people who are still forming their self-image. This can lead to eating disorders, body dysmorphia, low self esteem and depression and anxiety. Looking at images of gorgeous models wearing clothes you can’t afford or fit in can makes you feel left out or confused. It’s fun to keep up with trends, but try to avoid getting stuck in a rut of hype culture.

(image: Hannah Morgan at Unsplash)

So what should I do?

You can’t ignore fashion and societal trends- but it’s important to not let fashion (or what is popular to wear) become something that defines who you are. It’s a fun accessory, something you should do for enjoyment, creativity, and confidence. For people who have found themselves struggling with their mental health due to the psychological effects on body image, it’s important to seek help. Talk to your friends and family members, or seek professional help if you need it. There are many ways to find happiness in style- whether you’re into vintage clothing, a specific designer, or a particular style like athleisure. You can read blogs with good recommendations, and wear things that you love, like that pair of perfect trainers or Men’s Off-White Hoodies. There’s something for everyone, and it’s important to have fun with it!

Fashion and societal expectations of how one should look can have a big impact on mental health, so it’s important to be mindful of it. It is also hard to be bombarded with negative messages on body image via social media. The body positive movement has sprung up because of this narrative- showing curvier models and embracing your flaws as beautiful.

There are also many ways to wear your favourite clothes in a way that makes you feel good about yourself, without negatively impacting your mental health. Focus on what makes you feel like the best version of yourself!

This article was written by a freelance writer and contains do follow links.

How to Feel Confident Going Back to the Office

(image: Pexels)

Going back to the office is becoming a common conversation for many companies. After spending more than a year and a half working from home, returning to the office seems like entering a whole new world. For those preparing to go back to the office, here are some tips for feeling confident and successful when going back to your desk. 

Manage your stress and anxiety

There can be a lot of anxiety around returning to the office. Whether it’s meeting new coworkers for the first time, realigning yourself with office culture, or even just getting used to being away from home, these changes can lead to major feelings of stress and anxiety. 

Creating some self-soothing and self-care habits that you can bring to the office can help you navigate being back in the office with ease. Consider using a fidget of sorts to help get out any nervous energy you may have as they are a great tool for calming. Journalling before the day starts or journaling at the end of the day as a way to reflect can also help you release any stress or anxiety you may have. 

For some people, starting back at the office means once again embracing their commute. It can be worth taking your car for a spin along that regular route just so you get used to the traffic and scheduling for a few days before you have to return. This may be a good excuse to once again renegotiate your insurance rates or take down the contact information of the best car accident lawyer in kind.

If you struggle with creating self-soothing habits that work for you or your lifestyle, seeking out guidance from a mental health counsellor can help you start the process. Putting an emphasis on your mental health is vital to any success you have personally, professionally, or otherwise. When you are in a good headspace, that often translates to the work you do. Making sure you take care of your mental health while returning to the workplace is a great way to set yourself up for success and will empower you to continue to always put yourself first. 

Upgrade your style

While working from home over the past year or so, you’ve been able to incorporate comfort into your work wardrobe. Wearing a top suitable for a zoom call while also wearing sweatpants has been a staple outfit for many work-from-home employees. Thinking about all the clothes that are sitting in your closet waiting for you to return to work can have you worrying that the clothes you have are a bit outdated, or they just don’t match the style you’ve adopted during the pandemic.  Refreshing your wardrobe for the office can help you return to your workplace with confidence and comfort on your side. Upgrading your staple items and adding some statement pieces that reflect your style and personality can help boost your excitement about going back to the office to see coworkers and friends.  

Returning to the office can make you feel like a kid going back to school, seeing old friends, excited to make new ones, and you want to make a good impression. Your style is more than just the clothes you have, it’s the hairstyle you choose, the accessories you wear, the makeup you put on, etc. Getting a haircut or dying your hair that color you’ve always wanted can have you feeling fresh and new. With your new hair, you may even consider ditching the glasses you’ve been wearing your whole life and wearing a pair of comfortable contacts to switch up your style. When you let go of your glasses, you can stop worrying about smudged lenses, crooked frames, or foundation buildup at the bridge of your nose. Making your style match you and your personality will make you feel confident during any staff meeting or water cooler conversation. 

Embrace wins big and small

Being back in the office is a big step in and of itself. Returning to the land of office politics can feel overwhelming fairly quickly. Listening to the drama of interdepartmental squabbles or feeling frustrated with how quickly the communal copier runs out of ink are all things that were distant memories while working from home and are now part of your day to day life again. With these frustrations, it is important to find the silver linings each day as they will help you feel motivated and successful even on days that don’t feel like they are. 

Finding ways to feel victorious even over small things throughout the day helps create a positive environment and empowers you to feel more confident in the work you are doing. Claiming a win each day, big or small, will help you feel accomplished and happy about something that happened at the office that day. Maybe that is going out to lunch with coworkers you haven’t seen in months or acing the presentation you had with your boss, whatever it is, that bright spot you find is important!

For some, working from home was and still is a comfortable thing to do. For others, they missed the office environment entirely. To those that thrived working from home, returning to the office gives you the opportunity to maintain the work ethic and confidence you built while working from home and even an opportunity to master it a step further. Just because you are back at your cubicle, or your office on the third floor, doesn’t mean you have to lose what makes you-you. Be sure to bring your confidence with you when you walk through those doors. 

This article was written by a freelance writer.

Styling Tips to Boost Your Confidence

(image: Pexels)

Confidence is a complicated feeling; one that requires a strong sense of self and genuine pride in who you are. Some days, finding the motivation to feel your most confident can be challenging. On days like these, try a few new things to help improve your mental well-being and promote a day filled with self-love and positivity. 

Begin with your outward appearance. On those days where you can find the energy within yourself to feel confident, adopt the mentality of “fake it ‘til you make it.” Dress yourself to look your best. When your appearance is one that you are proud of, the positive inner thoughts are sure to follow. 

For those days when you want to spruce up your look to improve your overall mood, try out a few of these tips for putting together an outfit that promotes self-confidence:

Wear Your Favourite Piece Of Clothing

The best way to put together an outfit that makes you look good and feel good is to pick out one of your favourite, go-to clothing pieces. Something as simple as your favourite pair of comfy underwear is the perfect place to start. In fact, a comfortable foundation like your favourite pair of underwear can help you focus on how you’re feeling mentally rather than physically throughout the day.

The next time you want to create a confidence-building look, take time with each piece you choose, including the little things that you don’t think will matter. Your undergarments not only determine how you feel in your clothes, but they can impact how you look as well. Whether they’re the wrong size, style, or colour can play a role in your overall confidence.

Throw On a Statement Item

Once you’ve solidified your outfit with your favourite basics, try elevating your look with a bold statement item of your choice! If you want, try putting on a fun pair of earrings, wearing a pair of cool shoes you haven’t worn in a while, or simply painting your nails a bright color. Wearing one item that is attention-grabbing is a great way to brighten your own day and may even garner a compliment or two from a friend or stranger. External validation is never necessary, but it sure does help boost your confidence to receive a compliment every now and then!

Try Out A New Style 

Another great way to dress for your own confidence is to try out a new look that you’ve always wanted to. Sometimes you want to try out a unique way of dressing that is quite different from how you usually do, but you just haven’t had the opportunity to do so. If you’re willing to put the effort into looking a little extra put-together on a given day, why not try out that new style you’ve always wanted to wear. For example, if you’re someone who dresses very feminine on a daily basis, but have always wanted to go for a tougher, edgier look, why not seize the opportunity. You may find that you prefer the new style choice over the way you have been dressing for years, thus giving you a confidence boost!

Feeling confident every single day is a challenge all on its own. With so many things to consider when it comes to feeling your best, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start.

For those days that you want a sure-fire way to look and feel your best, simply put together one of your favourite outfits and strut your stuff! When it comes to building your confidence and boosting your mental health, your personal style is a great place to start. 

This article was written by a freelance writer.