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How To Banish All Thoughts Of Ugliness & Feel Pretty

Ugly days, we all have them – it’s when your hair falls flat, your skin flares up, you spend half the morning wrestling with your wardrobe and you just, well, feel pretty crap about how you look for one reason or another. It can be tempting to wallow in self-pity for the rest of the day, but instead, why not try a few of these mood-lifting techniques?

Stop looking in the mirror
Or hopping onto the scales, or cringing at the most recent batch of unflattering photos that your best friend has oh-so kindly uploaded onto Facebook! If you can’t look at your reflection without feeling awful, just avoid it for a little while. Turn off the light and watch an engrossing film, head for the kitchen and bake something, get out of the house and go for a brisk walk, or else just hop into bed and hide under the covers for an afternoon nap.

Focus on things you like
You could choose to focus on things you like about yourself, if you’re feeling up to it, but I understand it can be hard to compliment yourself when you’re in a low mood. If so, just make a list things in the world that bring you happiness; stuff that makes you smile. Some of mine are: fresh flowers, peter pan collars, nicely-packaged cosmetics, and hot chocolate with marshmallows. Distract your mind from negative self-talk by indulging in whatever it is that you love and showing appreciation for those things, however small.

Eat pretty food
Reaching for the stodgy microwave meals and cheap, junk chocolate bars can be very tempting at times like this, but instead, make it your mission for the day to eat food that looks pretty. By this I mean things like sliced strawberries drizzled with natural yogurt, a perfect poached egg on a toasted English muffin, or an immaculately prepared sandwich. Whatever you eat should be photo-worthy – remember that! I always find that eating something that looks good – something that I’ve chosen carefully and taken the time to prepare – makes me feel ten times better than something from a plastic wrapper.

Spend time with others
If you haven’t already succumbed to your bed/sofa/cosy chair, grab your coat and go and spend some time around other people. Family are probably best, but close, understanding and supportive friends are excellent too! Choose anyone who you always feel good around; someone (or someones) who you know will instantly make you feel better about yourself. Go to your friend who’s an excellent listener if you want to talk things over, or kick back and play videogames with your little brother if you’d rather not mull over your woes. And don’t forget that hugs make everyone feel better!

Pamper yourself
Indulge in a luxurious bubble bath, or catch up on any beauty to-dos that have become overdue – things like painting your nails, or touching up your roots. Hit a local spa and get a relaxing massage, or call up someone cute to come over and give you one for free! Give yourself a pedicure – yes, even if it’s the middle of winter – then massage your feet with cream and pop on a pair of cashmere socks. Shave your legs and apply a luxurious body lotion from head-to-toe. Wear your most luxurious underwear, even if it’s not a “special” day. Use a rich hand cream and spritz yourself with perfume. Feels good, huh?

Write it all out
If you’d rather not scribble all over your best leather notebook, find some ratty old pieces of scrap paper and feel free to let loose! Write out all of your angst, worries, moans and complaints. This will hopefully have a cathartic effect, and once all of your thoughts are written down on a piece of paper, they will be out of your mind and won’t trouble you anymore. And if you want to make sure that you’re really rid of them, destroy the paper! You can tear it up into tiny pieces, tie it to a balloon and let it float away into the sky, or simply crumple it up and throw it at the wall. That’s all there is to it, really!

Give in to retail therapy
In my opinion, the best place to indulge in a little retail therapy is from bed – computer in lap and cup of tea in hand! I love to browse all of my favourite online shops for lovely things, both big and small. You can order a vibrant red lipstick if money is tight, or buy a whole new outfit if you’re feeling flush. Hint: If the reason you feel lousy today is because you’re feeling fat, don’t buy clothes! Instead, go for shoes, bags, accessories and jewellery – basically, things that aren’t dependent on your weight! You don’t necessarily have to spend any money, either – I find that just milling around the shops in a dreamy daze and looking at beautiful things works just as well to lift a low mood.

Lose yourself in a hobby
If a lot of your self-worth is wrapped up in your appearance, then it’s high time you established a number of hobbies to keep you occupied! Distract yourself with a productive, joyous activity that makes you feel amazing once you’ve done it. Things like painting, exercise and crafting can give you a real sense of achievement and pride. You’ll forget what you look like – you might even forget that the rest of the world exists! When you are in flow, there’s nothing but you and the canvas, you and the open road, you and your knitting needles! Hours fly by in what feels like seconds, and it’s because your concentration is fully and completely on the task at hand. If you only take one suggestion from these ten, make sure it’s this – get yourself into a state of flow!

Start something new
There’s such a wonderful feeling associated with starting something new, isn’t there? Cracking back the spine of a recently-bought hardback book, facing a blank page or computer screen with the giddy excitement of beginning a new creative project, or even pulling the cellophane wrapper from a new DVD boxset – it just feels great! Whether you decide to plan your spring/summer wardrobe, load up your camera with a fresh roll of film or open the last remaining box of chocolates from Christmas, start something new!

Change your outlook
Finally, if you seem to be having more ugly, down and depressed days than you have happy, beautiful and cheerful ones, then it might be time to change your outlook. What is your perspective on life? What do you really believe to be true, about the world and about yourself? Do these beliefs support you? Does berating yourself for a fashion faux pas or an ill-advised makeover really help you progress? Wouldn’t it be better to treat yourself gently, with kindness? This is easier said than done, sure – I know, because I’ve done it! But believe me when I say that it is more than possible for you to change your outlook – I would say it is essential if you want to lead a happy and fulfilling life. Get started with small, simple steps – write some positive affirmations, create a vision board of your desires, and at the end of everyday, write a list of everything you’re grateful for. It will take time for these methods to have an effect, but they will work – I promise!

How do you make yourself feel pretty?


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