Grooming is a multi-layered Element of Image Management that takes care of the sense of sight (Visual Cues) and the sense of smell (Olfactory Cues). By working on two human senses, it leaves behind positive impressions that are strong and lasting.
Visual cues are about hygiene and the need for specific care of skin, nails, teeth and hair on a daily basis. Hygiene is an essential aspect of health and is far more important in our intimate spaces than we seem to give credence to today. It makes the difference between strong and weak relationships with your close ones.
- This requires brushing of teeth twice a day, once soon as you get up, not after breakfast, which some are fast getting into the habit of, and the other time before sleep at night. While the former is an essential part of freshening up and maintaining oral hygiene, brushing at night is far more important for oral hygiene as well as an important factor to be maintained in your intimate spaces.
- Taking a bath twice a day is a basic necessity in our hot climate. The fresh feel and look gives you a fresh beginning to the day and is as good as the energy that comes with a brisk walk.
- Hair is another important part that needs care on a daily basis. Apart from combing at least a couple of times a day, it requires oiling before hair wash and a good anti-dandruff shampoo, particularly during winters. The scalp gets as dry as the skin on the rest of our body. Staying at home is no excuse for flakes of dandruff on your shoulder which simply put people off.
- There’s a different skin care regimen for the hot summers and the cold winters. Summers are the time to stick to your twice-a-day baths and frequent face washes, maybe even the use of a deodorant during the day. Also cover the skin when going out in the heat of the day. On the other hand, make sure you apply cream or lotion during winters and take particular care of your heels and soles, even if you wear a pair of socks through the day. Cracked heels are the bane of the groomed look even when you take care of the rest.
- A periodic visit to the parlor helps maintain your hair, skin, nails and face and keeps them healthy. If your skin is particularly oily or dry, make sure you take care of it. Taking care of all these parts gives you a look of composure and projects the image that you are competent and can be relied upon.
- When you are at home, the kitchen is at hand and it becomes the most natural thing to reach for a snack or two. But, take care of your weight even before the first visible signs of weight gain. Don’t wait for them to pile on before you take action. It’s easier to lose weight or prevent excess weight in your 20s and 30s than in your 40s or 50s when creaking knees and too much weight make it difficult for you to exercise. Weight gain is the first sign of letting go and of imbalances either physically or mentally. Apart from the fact that excess weight brings on many diseases, research reveals that overweight people experience stigma and discrimination . They command less respect.
- Eat healthy. Don’t think you have to finish all the leftovers. Many a kilo has been added to your body with those helpings of leftovers.
- Stick to a mild to heavy exercise regimen depending on your preference and tendency to put on weight. A walk, jog, gym, swim or yoga give you a range of options to choose from. A combination of these can break the monotony too.
Freshness is easily associated with a personality of openness and smiling temperament that attracts people and is the foundation of strong relationships. Add a touch of light fragrance to this freshness and it has the power to evoke strong memories long after the event or person is gone. Freshness is about following the basic principles of Grooming for the sense of smell.
- A daily bath is a must to remove the odor and staleness that envelops the body. Many feel there is no odor in winters or even in summers if they spend a good part of the day in an air-conditioned room. That is not true. Staleness builds. Since, most of the people at your home are in your intimate space, it would be more than discernible for them. A bath in the morning and in the evening are great not only in energizing you, but also, leave you ready to handle the day or night with greater ease and freshness in thinking.
- Same goes for brushing your teeth. If you have eaten a particularly strong dish or had too many cups of tea, it’s time at least for a gargle. Gargling with mouth wash helps if the odor is particularly strong.
- When guests visit or on particularly hot days, you may want to use a deodorant or antiperspirant. How often have we edged out of range of a person who hasn’t taken care of her body odor. Sub-consciously, we begin to maintain a distance from the person. When two or even three baths in a day aren’t enough to keep the sweat and grime out, deodorants become necessary to counter the after-effects of a hot day.
- Although many detergents leave a fragrance behind, you may want to add your own touch to your clothes. Mothballs give out a particularly strong smell, so you may want to place lavender sachets to give a delicate fragrance to your clothes. The idea is to remain neat and fresh the healthy way.
- Remember to take care of yourself in the evenings too. It’s the end of a long, hard day where you have taken care of things at home and for the family or with your professional work. A bath and change let you leave that day behind and begin your evening with a fresh look.
Follow these Basic Grooming Principles to remain fresh and look good each day, every day of your life. It creates a pleasant atmosphere for all. More importantly, it helps you inculcate the right habits in the children.
Look out for our next post, Looking Good Every Day of Our Lives – III which talks of Clothing at home and treating yourself and others right.