Style Your Senses
A Life + Style Blog for the modern millennial who wants it all.
September 15, 2016 |
Today I’m talking about something a little different. A topic that’s been on my mind for quite some time now and one that I feel is so important…self confidence! Specifically, how to maintain self confidence in your 30’s.
It’s a subject that I almost feel is taboo to talk about. In your 30’s you are either busting your behind to build a career or working so hard at home building your family (or BOTH). Most women in their 30’s make no time to worry about themselves. It’s a decade in a lot of women’s lives when they are giving so much to everyone else that they honestly don’t even know who they are anymore…and who has the time to sit down and talk about self confidence?! Well, we do…today. So grab a cup of coffee and read a little more on why I think that maintaining your sense of self is so important, my little tips on how I infuse some self-love into my daily routine, and why I think that your base layer (aka a good bra) is also super important. Be prepared…long, heart-felt post to follow…
So back to why I think that it’s important that us 30 something’s take a step back and be aware of ourselves. I think it’s important, because it all starts with YOU! You have to be whole and healthy and happy before you can start breaking off pieces of yourself to give to others during the day. Think of yourself like a loaf of bread. You don’t want to give your family or others stale, moldy bread right? Just like you don’t want to intentionally give them less than your best on a daily basis. I’ve come to realize that if I don’t feel good about myself (whether psychically or emotionally), I unintentionally pass those negative feelings along to my friends and family in the way that I act. The hard part is that the process of loving yourself takes time (even I learned this the hard way) and the real hard part is that you don’t have any free time. I get it. Here’s how I make time each day to care for myself and a few way to give yourself some love on a daily basis…
Don’t look into the mirror expecting to hate what you see!
I’m so guilty of this and really have to make an conscious effort to focus on the good when I approach the mirror, especially first thing in the morning. I try to look at what I feel my best features are first thing in the morning or get excited about a new day and looking forward to using my favorite beauty products. I love when I wake up and I feel like my eye cream has worked or my hair doesn’t need to be washed. If you approach the mirror with a positive mind set and celebrate every little victory and you’ll focus SO much less on the negative. To be completely candid, I also feel like those huge builder mirrors in bathrooms are completely unnecessary and leave women to see way too many imperfections too many times a day. I took that baby down right away and opted for two much smaller oval mirrors over each sink instead.
Come to Terms With Your Body
Love it or hate it it’s YOURS. It’s your vessel to work and make a living, to bear those beautiful babies, to love your husband, to give hugs and kisses, to kneel down in prayer, and to snuggle after a bad dream. It may not be perfect, but it’s everything. There are some things that you can change and some things that you can’t and I think that it’s so healthy to determine the difference between the two. In my case, I will never ever have thin legs. That’s something I can control to an extent, but in the end, I know that I have limits there and my legs will never look like I hoped they would. I have had to find ways to love my shape, accentuate it with clothes that I know fit properly and am finally in a happy place. My mindset is focusing on what I DO like about my body. I like my arms. I know that because of how I’m built, they are likely to always be the thinnest part of my body and I do what I can to maintain good muscle tone there and they continue to be a part of my body that I can accentuate and feel good about.
To love your body, you need to keep it healthy, which is something that you can control. Exercise and eating right (or trying to), is a part of my daily routine and I don’t do it with the mindset of “getting skinny,” it’s truly more of a therapy thing for me. It’s time that I spend devoted to maintaining my physical vessel (remember that vessel that allows you to do ANY and EVERY thing). It’s necessary and also attributes to better mental health, relieving stress and by releasing endorphins that trigger a more positive feeling. You don’t have to spend two hours a day exercising or spend a fortune taking designer workout classes…start by taking a short walk or find a gym that has a daycare (this has been HUGE for me) and spend 45 minutes on the elliptical machine watching Bravo, I promise you will notice a difference even then.
Set Expectations for Social Media
THIS ONE IS HUGE! Social Media is sort of a new phenomenon that we are being bombarded with at the most vulnerable time in our lives. The time when we DON’T feel like we have it all together, we look a little lot tired, we don’t always have the best outfits, our marriages aren’t perfect, our houses are a wreck and honestly sometimes our kids are little a-holes. You are then left to look at everyone else’s “highlight reel” on social media and most times we end up comparing that highlight reel to our everyday…and that’s toxic. When you start to notice yourself looking at social media and feeling more bitter than uplifted and inspired, it’s time to put the phone down and focus your attention on something more positive. Let me tell you that even though I have a fairly big social media presence and most people probably think that I’m super confident since I post outfit selfies on a daily basis, I actually I find that social media the number one thing that affects my self confidence on a daily basis. In a world where we sometimes let likes and comments determine our worth, it’s so important to set limits with social media. When I feel myself starting to compare myself to others, I immediately jump out of the Instagram rabbit hole and redirect. With apps to make yourself thinner, more tan, more toned, and even apps where you can buy likes and comments, social media truly is all a facade. Follow people who uplift you and ones that keep it real, showing a little bit of the crazy mixed in with the curated.
Find Your Tribe
One of the most valuable things that I’ve learned in my 30’s is that it really all about quality over quantity when it comes to your friends. Find like minded friends who you whole heartedly trust and keep them close. It takes effort during this busy time in my life, but watering my friendship garden always pays off. Make time for your girlfriends and plan to see them semi-regularly. I find that just talking through life in general with close friends always makes me feel better. Everyone is struggling in their own way and knowing that you aren’t alone is so uplifting and comforting.
Do Something For Yourself!!!
Ladies, mom guilt is real (like real, real) and making time to take care of yourself is likely at the bottom of your priority list. After having Landry it took me a full year (and feeling really bad about myself) to understand that ME time was necessary and not something to feel guilty about. I make it a priority to take at least a few hours a week and walk away from the mothership and do whatever floats my boat that day…get a manicure, go shopping, walk through Target with no list, or go for a long run. I always come back feeling so much better and in turn that makes me a better mom and wife. I also no longer feel guilty about maintenance things…waxing my eyebrows, buying a new lipstick, or getting that gel manicure. If we can afford these $30 things on a monthly basis, then I don’t hesitate, especially if they attribute to a healthy dose of confidence.
Aside from the above smaller things, consider doing something bigger for yourself. Since being a perfect mother is damn near impossible and I can say with 99.9% certainty most mothers don’t go to bed each night saying that they did a PERFECT job that day, invest a little of your time and energy into something that you CAN be really really good at. Write a journal, plant a garden, pursue a hobby, or start a small side passion project….something that YOU own and something that’s in your control…something that you do because you love it, not because you have to. These projects are rewarding in immeasurable ways, but most of all boost your sense of self worth and ultimately your confidence.
This is really big for me. I feel best about my physical appearance when I have an outfit on that makes me feel confident. I personally don’t feel my best in yoga pants and a messy bun. If that’s how I’m dressed, you can bet that I’m either super stressed, short on time or am sick…none of which make me feel very confident. If you feel your most confident in workout clothes, then go for it girl. Wear them everyday and strut your stuff. This is more or less to encourage women that it takes just as much time to put your two legs into yoga pants as it does to put on a cute pair of jeans that you love. The extra effort of taking two minutes to put an outfit together that’s flattering and comfortable always pays off for me and I feel so much better when I am wearing an outfit that outwardly speaks to how good I feel on the inside. Take some time to determine what styles you love, what brands fit you best or even follow some bloggers that share your style…all of these things make building a wardrobe you love easy and give you lots of options to choose outfits that you feel great in!
Beauty Back Bra | Boyfriend Jeans | Striped Button Up | Blush Suede Flats
Find a Good Bra
Now, on to something that I hadn’t mastered until recently…the bra. I had NO idea how much a good bra made a difference in how I felt about myself. Embarrassingly enough, I probably hadn’t bought a new bra in multiple years (insert monkey emoji with hands over face) and just defaulted to sports bras whenever I could get away with it. Until I met Vanity Fair, I had no clue how many mechanics went into a good bra and how finding the right fit can make you feel like a new woman. I know that I’m not alone, because since then I’ve talked to so many girlfriends about it and we are all behind on the bra bandwagon.
((I’m looking at you guys, still wearing your nursing bras))
From Top: Comfort X3 Black Bra | Powder Blue Beauty Back bra | Black Cooling Touch Bra | Nude Beauty Back Strapless
Thankfully, when I was in NYC last month, Vanity Fair had one of their specialists fit me for a bra and, lo and behold, I was wearing the wrong size! (If you think that you might be wearing the wrong size…read all about their fit tips, HERE)!
I told Vanity Fair my bra troubles and they sent me these 4 bras to solve my problems…and let me tell you they have done that and more! Here’s what I love…
This adorable light blue bra, is a part of their Beauty Back Collection and is even more functional than it is pretty. The back straps has a bit of an extended width and a double knit fabric that’s so comfortable and puts everything into place. This bra is lightly padded (not push up) and is wireless. It’s become my “everyday” bra and takes my t-shirt game up a notch because I know that I am supported, comfortable and don’t have any of those lovely little back bulges. If you are looking for a great t-shirt bra, absolutely give this one a try!
Powder Blue Beauty Back bra | Blush Suede Flats
Next up is this little black number. I loved the style details with the hint of sheer lace at the top, resembling a bralette. I would totally let it peek out from a one shoulder sweater, I think it’s so cute! Aside from the aesthetics, what really sold me on this bra was the cooling touch technology. Vanity Fair has a WinCool fabric that diffuses heat and actually feels cool to the touch…trust me, it does because I was totally skeptical at first! This bra DOES have an underwire and is also lightly padded, I use the extra support and wear it for something likes a date night under a cute dress.
Dress | Earrings | Black Cooling Touch Bra | Booties | Clutch
Okay, I’ve saved my favorite for last! I feel like this one has made the biggest difference in my wardrobe and in my overall confidence. Drumroll…the the Beauty Back Strapless Bra has been a total game changer for me! Not only does it have the Beauty Back that totally smoothes out your back, it also has silicone strips along the bands that make non-slip…hello, that’s HUGE for a strapless bra, am I right?! So not only am I able to wear my favorite strappy dresses or off the shoulder tops, but I also don’t have to spend all night tugging at my ever sagging strapless bra…such a huge confidence booster!
Denim Jacket | Dress | Sunnies | Beauty Back Strapless Bra | Crossbody Bag
Style + functionality details from each of my favorites…lace inserts on the Cooling Touch, extended width on the wireless Beauty Back bra and finally the silicone strips on the Beauty Back strapless…
Black Cooling Touch Bra | Powder Blue Beauty Back Bra | Nude Beauty Back Strapless Bra
All of the bras that I have discussed can be found in multiple colors and a wide range of sizes at your favorite retailers! The best news, is that you CANNOT beat the prices, especially for the quality.
Shop the full vanity Fair Collections at: Macy’s | Kohls | JcPenney | Amazon
If you want a good giggle and to fall in love with Vanity Fair even more, watch this:
September 15, 2016 at 7:46 AM
So good Mallory. Love the quote about comparing ourselves. I did like myself the best in my 30s actually. Now I’m in my 40s and I’m struggling. It always got on my nerves when other women said “wait until you are hitting 40” and now I know what they were talking about. The struggle is real 🙁 and I’m not liking it.
Paige Womack Barbo says
September 15, 2016 at 9:29 AM
I feel like this can also apply to those that haven’t reached their 30s or Motherhood YET! I really enjoyed the read! We all need a boost every now and then! Thank you! =)
September 15, 2016 at 10:40 AM
Love this, your message, and your heart!!! xx
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