9 Self-Care Lessons You Can Learn From Disney Princesses
We’ve got a lot to say about Disney movies — and it isn’t all positive. We’re definitely not on board with the fact that most of the Disney princesses needed a knight in shining armor to save them from danger when they’re clearly capable of doing it themselves. And we’re not too crazy about the overwhelming emphasis that Disney puts on princesses’ physical beauty. But we did learn some valuable lessons about self-care from these starlets. Here are nine things that Disney princesses taught us about taking care of our minds and bodies.
Snow White: Surround yourself with friends that actually care about you.
Fake people are the worst and no one knows this better than Snow White — the princess’ own stepmom secretly plots to kill her. Luckily, the beauty finds her people when she forms an unlikely friendship with seven dwarfs who offer her protection and companionship. Snow White reminds us that it’s crucial to surround ourselves with positive people who have our backs no matter what. Remember: Quality over quantity!
Pocahontas: Spend more time in nature.
One sure thing that we can learn from this Native American beauty is that spending more time in nature is great for our overall well-being. Pocahontas tells Captain John Smith that it’s in our best interest to treat nature with respect, and we couldn’t agree more. Spending more time in nature can improve your short-term memory, restore mental energy, act as a stress reliever, improve your ability to concentrate and boost your immune system.
Cinderella: Hanging out with animals is good for your health.
Most of Cinderella’s friends are animals and we’re totally okay with that. Spending time with animals can lower your stress levels and improve your mood. It could even help lower your blood pressure and your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. We’re not saying that you should go out into the forest and start talking to wild animals like this Disney princess — although, if that’s your thing, we’re totally on board with it — but you could benefit from owning a pet or volunteering at your local animal shelter on the weekend. Owning a pet like a dog will also motivate you to be more physically active since you need to make sure that your pup is getting his daily exercise.
Sleeping Beauty: Get your beauty sleep!
Although Princess Aurora didn’t necessarily choose to get all that slumber, she does remind us about the importance of getting quality shut-eye on a nightly basis. Getting seven to nine hours of quality slumber each night reduces your risk for heart disease, improves memory and concentration, enhances your athletic performance, curbs unhealthy cravings, improves your immune function and can ease anxiety and depression symptoms. Unlike in Aurora’s case, your sleep shouldn’t be induced by drugs or magic potions — there are plenty of drug-free ways to improve your sleep hygiene, including shutting off all tech an hour before bed and making yourself a cup of relaxing chamomile tea.
Belle: Reading does wonders for your well-being.
The star of Disney’s “Beauty and The Beast” is a well-known bookworm. Although most people in Belle’s small town of Villeneuve think that she’s weird for always having her nose in a book, we totally support it. Reading regularly (preferably from a real, tangible book and not an e-book) can expand your vocabulary and your knowledge of different cultures. It can also increase your memory and could reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. What’s more, reading a book at night can help you de-stress after a long day at work and could even help you fall asleep faster.
Ariel: Have a designated space that you can make your own.
One valuable lesson that we learned from “The Little Mermaid” is that it’s important to find a space — whether it be in your home or at your local park — where you can escape to when you’re feeling overwhelmed and in need of some alone time to recharge (this is especially true for the introverts of the world). Even if you live with roommates, make a point to claim a spot in your apartment or house that you can designate to be your own little haven. Just like Ariel who kept her collected treasures from the human cave in her grotto, you should be able to decorate your space however you like with objects that make you smile and brighten up your day. We suggest that you include a little greenery in the decor for cleaner air and mood-boosting benefits.
Mulan: Sometimes, all you need is a good haircut to feel confident again.
Mulan is arguably one of the most badass Disney princesses of all time and we could write a long list of lessons that we’ve learned from the heroine. When it comes to self-care, Mulan taught us that a good haircut can do wonders to our self-esteem when we’re feeling down. Before disguising herself as a boy and taking her father’s place in the Chinese Emperor’s army, Mulan chops off her long locks. At that moment, she transforms from an insecure young girl who isn’t sure of what she wants into a badass woman warrior who will go to great lengths to protect her loved ones.
Jasmine: Traveling away from home can be the best way to truly find yourself.
Although Princess Yasmine lives in a palace with servants and riches, she realizes that a seemingly spoiled princess isn’t who she really wants to be. She decides to leave her castle, even though it means abandoning a comfortable life at the palace to discover who she truly is and finds the piece of her that’s missing. We too could benefit from getting out of our comfort zones and exploring the world around us on our own. Solo trips are a great way to get out of your bubble and to figure out your honest likes and dislikes without being influenced by other people.
Tiana: Looks aren’t everything.
Most Disney Princesses fall in love with the handsome prince, but Tiana looks beyond the superficial when she falls for Prince Naveen when he’s still a frog. What’s more, towards the end of “The Princess and the Frog,” Tiana and Naveen decide that they’d be just as happy to live together in frog form as they would as royals. Tiana reminds us that seeking a SO based on looks alone isn’t always a good idea — beauty fades, but a good personality will likely last a lifetime.