First and foremost, save your $$$ for another time!!
Glow Up Culture
As an avid consumer of glow up transformations, the biggest thing that really bugs me is that not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend on transforming themselves, on becoming a somewhat “better” version of themselves, and believe me, it’s not even necessary.
So why have these glow up transformations blown up on all over the internet? It’s simple really, as humans with the ability to evolve and the will to change ourselves, there’s nothing that’s more attractive to us than the prospect of becoming anew, of becoming popular, having new friends and relationships and finally getting that guy/girl to notice you. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s extremely addicting, one you start, it becomes impossible to stop.
As you may or may not have noticed, a lot of these changes involve altering your physical appearance through changing your wardrobe, buying and learning how to apply makeup, treating yourself to regular spa days, getting a haircut and lots more. Though I am not against doing of these things, especially if they boost your confidence or you’e open to experimenting with different styles and looks, they’re all surface-level and to a certain extent, superficial changes.
Now I am aware that glowing up means to have a drastic, very sudden state of improvement, imagining as if you’re currently at rock bottom and in x amount of days (or more commonly hours) you’ll be right at the top, and the only feasible way to accomplish this is to completely change your physical appearance.
But is this really enough to trigger further changes in your mental state or lead to inner growth?
The simple answer is no. But this doesn’t discount the fact that changing your appearance especially if it’s within your own ideals, does improve your self-confidence, it can trigger changes in your emotional state, leading you to become more positive and loving towards your self, in the short-term.
So what about the long-term growth? What do glow up’s mean for actual, stabilised improvement? It can mean very little, if anything at all, and this is where the danger of being in a huge amount of debt comes in, because as I mentioned before, it’s addictive. Initially you’d think that having many transformations means that you’re on the right track, because doing of them can only mean you’re growing more, right? But if you stop and think about the many celebrities, the many YouTubers consistently spending very large sums of money to “glow up”, you can’t help but wonder why?
If chasing the same transformations, if changing your physical appearance over and over again until you’re out of options to try doesn’t help satisfy your need for internal growth, what will? What many of these people don’t realise is that these transformations are designed to keep you searching, to keep you wondering, never really feeling satisfied with what you‘ve got so you keep on doing them, it’s a vicious cycle.
And the only way you can break the cycle is to go deeper, to not stop at the surface-level of your being but to reach new emotional depths that you may not have explored before, because these will form the foundations of long-term growth and self-development.
Glowing Up in Self-Isolation
Collectively the entire world is experiencing something it’s never experienced before, and yes, this is a global pandemic, an incredibly serious situation that requires us all to work together and cooperate with any instructions given by the authorities.
So you might be wondering, is now the right time to really be thinking about a glow up?
And my honest answer to that is yes, right now we have all the time in the world in our hands, but to actually make a lasting change, we need to realise that though time itself can cause change, we are the main providers or the main obstacles towards change, depending on your viewpoint. However, this does not mean you should force yourself to change during these times, especially if you have other commitments, like my views on toxic productivity, do what feels right for you, not anyone else.
Stop forcing yourself onto self-care habits or trying to form a solid routine.
This sounds like the opposite of a glow up tip, but hear me out, trying to force yourself to wake up at 5am every morning, doing a cardio workout, then meditating, then journaling and then running out of things to do before the clock hits 12pm, isn’t the most satisfying of feelings, especially if none of those things bring you joy. So much of the internet is composed of people sharing their early morning fitness routines and more, and if that works for them, great, but if you’re becoming miserable just by the thought of waking up really early during self-isolation, then trust me, it’s not worth it.
As much as a sold routine might have been perfect for balancing work and time management pre-virus times, right now the priority is much less on rigid routines but on creating your own happiness, I for one don’t have a routine, instead I schedule one fun activity to do each day, whether it be catching up with a friend, journaling, creating art, writing blog posts, cooking with family, anything that brings out joy.
Delve deep inside, you’ll be surprised with what you find and can work on.
This by far is one of my favourite things to do during this time, especially now since most of my time is spent alone just existing, and being a naturally introspective person has meant that I’ve been itching to develop and grow as a person. A word of warning though, it won’t be easy, it will hurt and it will leave you feeling emotionally drained. But, by moving inwards you’ll finally be able to tackle things you’ve been running away, before the lockdown, I was insanely busy I rarely spent time with people that mattered the most because I was constantly switching between university work and my job, I didn’t stop to reflect and by the end of it I was left stagnated, I didn’t grow. Over time, staying in the same place becomes painful because you don’t belong there anymore.
Learn about something you’re genuinely interested in, whether it be via online course, via reading books, listening to podcasts or watching documentaries.
I’m a huge believer of being mindful of what you consume, not just eating healthily or staying physically fit, but consuming social media more intentionally, less of the mindless scrolling through celebrities pages and more of the posts that actually inspire you. At the end of the day, what you consume affects your output, your beliefs, your attitudes and your behaviours. By learning about things you’re genuinely interested in you’ll have an infinite array of knowledge that no one can take away from you, but you’ll also have deeper conversations with like-minded people, and there’s always a shift to be seen when you develop your knowledge. An added bonus is the sheer joy.
Keep track of life, create away and don’t stop creating.
Another favourite tip of mine is to in some format, keep track of events, of emotions, even if it’s as mundane as writing down memories, after all, we are living in unique times, who knows what will happen in six months from now? Where will you be six months from now? Since time travel logistics haven’t exactly been figured out in 2020, writing can always transport you back in time to another version of yourself, imagine looking back on these times with awe and seeing the changes within yourself, with the world, with family and friends. Right now, creating in all forms and in all sense of the word bring joy out in others, as important as the sciences are in progression of humanity, the arts are just as important in the progression of human emotion, our abilities to have empathy and love.
Here’s to beginning your own glow up transformation, it may not be easiest thing to do but seeing an inner shift will make the struggle worth it.
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