With so much going on—running for office, raising children, sleeping—taking care of your body might seem like last on the list. It might seem that way, but it's important. First of all, taking care of your body is, as we all know, good for your health. Exercise and eating healthy foods are the number one defense against a whole bevy of diseases in addition to being good for your mind (see our section on Exercise under 'Mind'). And if you feel good, you look good. So right there, taking care of your body is important.
However, when you're running for office, your body—and all its myriad parts (skin, hair, fingernails)—is a big part of the first impression you'll make with voters. We're not trying to be cynical or place undue emphasis on appearance, but the fact is, how you present yourself will mean something to voters. They need to connect with you, see you as a leader, and then...vote for you. Here are some tools to help that along.
We covered this topic in Mind and we really recommend exercise as a way to keep you healthy and stave off stress. Be sure to check that section out here.
We talk a lot about ways to have nutritious meals on hand in our section Eat, but it's more than that. Though you're under pressure and likely exhausted, try to remember that food is fuel for your body. When making dietary choices, consider foods that will satiate, provide you with the proper vitamins and minerals (i.e. fruits and vegetables) and satisfy your moods. Though ice cream seems like a great way to unwind after a riveting discussion on tax laws, you'll wake up feeling more sluggish and worn out than you would have if you had opted for an apple and peanut butter.
Above all else, remember to hydrate. You are going to be talking a lot. Grab a sturdy water bottle and keep it both handy and constantly filled. Your body—and voice box—will thank you. Here are a few we like:
People want to hear your ideas. It's true and refreshing. We are—all of us—much more than meets the eye. However, bags under your eyes and inflammation due to lack of sleep are distracting. We want people concentrating on your message, not your exhaustion. So take care of your skin.
Before bed, use some makeup removing wipes (a cotton ball and vaseline work just as well) to remove your makeup, wash your face with a gentle cleanser, and put on a moisturizer and a soothing eye gel (there are a lot of expensive options out there, but we like Olay Eyes Deep Hydrating Eye Gel) and get as much rest as you can.
In the morning, drink a tall glass of water, give your face a fresh rinse, and then use a moisturizer with SPF before applying whatever you use for makeup. We use Mineral Fusion, which has a 40 SPF. Keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized will go a long way.
While we are fans of the tried-and-true 'neatly trimmed and simply manicured' style, no one knows your constituency or you better than you do. So how you choose to paint/decorate/style your nails is entirely up to you. Almost.
Regardless of how you choose to style your nails, you must absolutely, positively have them clean and cleaned up. If you prefer to keep your nails clear of any polish, fine. If your favorite nail polish is neon green and you don't consider that a dealbreaker, go for it. But if that's the case, do be sure that all of your nails are painted neon green. Chips, rips, crackles and general messiness aren't going to cut it for the campaign trail. And regardless of color, neither is dirt. Keep your fingernails clean.
This pretty much falls in the same line as nails. How you choose to style your hair is going to be up to you, your constituency, your lifestyle. How you choose to keep your hair, however, needs to be a consideration: it must be (or at least look) clean. For many women, that's simply a matter of shampoo and conditioner. For women who style their hair in a way that can keep for a few days—we're thinking of those of you who relax your curls or use a flatiron—we strongly suggest investing in some dry shampoo to extend the life of the hairstyle while keeping your 'do' looking fresh. There are a bunch on the market, but we recommend the uber-affordable and efficient Batiste Dry Shampooline.