You’re about to hit snooze for the third time when an image of your boss’s irate face pops into your semi-conscious mind. You leap up as if scalded, pull on the nearest clothes, grab your bag and run out of the house without so much as taking off last night’s make-up. Once on the bus you realise you forgot to pack your deodorant and your hairbrush so you can’t even make yourself look presentable once you’ve reached the office.
Trying to keep up with everything can mean looking after your body is relegated to your ‘not important’ list, as proved by a recent survey that found 80% of women don’t shower or bathe every day, with a third going for three days without washing. Not only can this be unhygienic, it’s terrible for your state of mind.
In a study by the University of Wolverhampton, 80 people took a bath every day for a fortnight and their sense of general wellbeing improved dramatically. Participants revealed that their negative thoughts about the future decreased while feelings of pleasure increased. The combination of quiet and comfort – the feeling of indulgence in spending some time on yourself – made people feel more positive and optimistic.
Spending time looking after your body – by cleaning, epilating, moisturising, massaging and primping – not only makes you feel better physically, but mentally. By looking your best you feel more confident and self-assured. If you look like you’ve just been down a mine shaft, chances are your mind will resemble said mine shaft (dark, ominous with a strong possibility of an explosion). Look after your body and your mind will follow: you’ll set yourself up for the day, feel more in control and appear better able to cope with whatever is thrown at you, both to yourself and to others.