The last couple of weeks have been quite intense. My husband Rakesh injured his back, and so I found myself looking after him and my toddler daughter, Vanaya. To say it's required a lot of my energy is an understatement. Thankfully he's back to good health and the experience also provided me with the opportunity to stop and reassess my own needs.
Caring for others requires a lot of energy and I realised that I'd been giving but not receiving. So when a kind Aunt offered me a foot massage, I gratefully accepted, and I finally got my hair done! I can't tell you how amazing it felt to have someone else wash, cut and blow dry my hair, and it was in that moment that I realised how much I missed the experience of getting a good haircut - it makes me feel like a new person.
Beyond that the combination of self-care and acknowledging that my appearance is important and valuable to me, made me think about how we all might be overlooking how we build and maintain our sense of self-worth.
I know there's been much debate about the Government exercising more caution and permitting certain beauty practitioners to re-open. It's no doubt been frustrating on both sides. Taking care of our appearance, (perhaps more so for women, although I know plenty of men that were queuing outside the barber almost a month ago!) can actually build up confidence, self-esteem and so much more. Looking our best on the outside allows us the opportunity to feel good on the inside too! I've long since been a big advocate for taking care of my health and wellbeing as well as my physical appearance and they all require me to invest in myself. I use the word ‘invest’ here because whether it's time, energy or money - I'm investing, knowing that I'll gain immediate and long-term benefits as my sense of self-worth grows.
If you've ever been made to question if you're good enough then you'll know how deeply this can affect your immediate mood, your confidence, your health and your overall mental state. Perhaps you have missed out on a job/promotion. Maybe a relationship didn't work out the way you'd hoped, or it could be that you were excluded from a place of belonging. I've been through all the above and it hurts. Often that pain continues to reside deep inside us long after the experience has passed.
Having been there before I now realise the importance of putting myself first, knowing that I'm worthy of love and belonging even if others feel the same about me. And if for any reason I'm made to feel unworthy it's a sign to me that I need to establish some boundaries, so I can step into a place where I know my worth and from there, I can change the situation. It takes a a level of courage and strength, but regaining my power makes it worthwhile.
So if getting your hair done and making yourself look good seem superficial, it's time to flip that perspective and realise that investing in your full, whole self from the outside as well the inside out can be the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself.