Y’all know it would take a natural disaster for me to leave the house without my clown face on, but some elements of beauty can’t be brought out with mascara. Below are some tips for creating a happier you that shines without makeup.

Find time to check in with yourself.

It’s okay to not be constantly busy or surrounded by people. Find happiness in being alone. For me, this includes yoga, playing or listening to music, and solo nature walks. By focusing on myself for a couple of hours every week, I can stay centered and focused on my work and relationships the rest of the days. Maybe to you it would be getting a facial, meditation, reading, Bible study, a bubble bath, or a weekend alone at a bed and breakfast to recharge your batteries. I know this tip will be hardest of all, because society demands that we work several jobs 12 hours a day to feel accomplished. When you get home, I’m sure you just want to crash on the couch with a glass (ahem, bottle) of wine, but taking this time to check in with yourself will only be beneficial. Catch those pesky mental stresses before they become a problem. At the end of the day, the only person you can really depend on is yourself. Be happy with that person.

Constantly improve yourself.

In my opinion, you can always be a better version of yourself. You are never done learning, changing, and growing. I am a firm believer in resolutions, and always make a reasonable (but lengthy) list. Since it’s now several months into the year, maybe create doable monthly goals for yourself. Take a cooking class, an acting class, start building a savings account, tell that person at the office that you love them, whatever! It’s never too late to learn a new skill or open your mind to more opportunities. As my dad says, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” Get on the next level!

Don’t settle.

This is a big one for me. Don’t waste your time in a job you hate, or with a person you know isn’t right for you. Don’t hang out with that friend just because you’re afraid without them you wouldn’t have any Friday night plans. Be brave, and ask for what you’re worth. Simple as that.

Find your passion, and find a way to get paid for it.

As a girl from small-town Oklahoma, I had a lot of people ask me, “What on earth are you going to do with a theater degree?” But guess what? I’ve been able to act, dance, teach, write, direct, become a makeup artist, sing in a band, and still put dinner on the table! If you want to do it, make it happen! Don’t take that office job just because you need a check. Similarly, keep refreshing that passion. Go see people who are killing it in the area you want to be in, and get tips and inspiration from them. Re-discover what made you so passionate in the first place, and you will love going to work every day.

Don’t waste your time around people who don’t let you be you.

If you don’t feel like you can say exactly what you mean around your friends, co-workers, or significant other, then consider letting those people slip out of your life. If you aren’t expressing your true thoughts and feelings with each other, then that relationship isn’t real. It’s fake words passed between two people. What’s the point of that? Don’t change who you are or what you believe to fit with someone else. I’m not saying you and your friends can’t disagree, I’m just saying there are people out there who will love you for your true self, even if they don’t always share the same opinions. Find those people, treat them well, and hang on to them! Similarly, listen to your friends and be accepting of their values and thoughts, even it involves them loving Nickleback.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Some people have more emotional insulation than others. I, as a person who tends to be more on the anxious side of the emotional spectrum, have very little emotional insulation. Some might call this wearing your heart on your sleeve. I feel every emotion I have very intensely. I tend to overanalyze and stress over things that might not affect another person at all. If you can relate, just take a moment to realize- That guy who backed into your car obviously didn’t do it on purpose. His day is ruined too. Don’t blame him for your anger. That person who didn’t text you back for 45 minutes wasn’t blowing you off. That unfriendly person at work is probably going through some serious personal crap that has nothing to do with you. For me, not sweating the small stuff is one of my biggest challenges. But trust me, when you learn to take those deep breaths, acknowledge the stress, let it go, and just move on happily with your day (without griping about it to anyone who will listen), it will all be worth it.

If you can master all of these tips, (and trust me, I’m constantly working on this list for myself) you will have a glow that no airbrush machine can fake. Looks fade, but inner beauty is forever. As they say at Benefit San Fransico, “Laughter is the best cosmetic, so grin and wear it!” Get out there, get happy, and get glowing!

XO,

Kelsey

  • Matt Clark

    Great advice KK! Taking steps towards each of areas has certainly brought enrichment to my life. Sometimes it’s not so easy, but with everything: It’s a process. Even baby steps can lead you down the right path. Thanks for the reminder!

  • deandreupshaw

    Lovely advice, Kelsey! It really is important to remove people from your life who are toxic! #oprah