When I’m in a rut, a slump, having a down week, whatever you want to call it on of the first things to go is caring about my appearance. I love fashion and make up, but when I started slipping downwards I just can’t be fucked. Sometimes I can’t muster the energy to wash my hair or put make up on, or put clean clothes on. It sounds gross and of course there is nothing wrong with not wearing make up or not wearing fancy clothes but when that’s something I enjoy doing and it suddenly stops that’s not a good sign.
What I have realised is that it starts to cycle as the longer I stop putting in effort, the harder I find it to pull myself back out of it. I feel less confident and I feel more run down which is just a total self fulfilling prophecy.
To try and help with this I’ve started coming up with capsule wardrobe ideas. It gives me direction on mixing and matching outfits, for example the one I created below could easily last me 3-4 weeks:
Not only does it take the stress away of choosing outfits but it means I generally can count on the fact that even on my bad days I’m not going to slip into my old bad habits. Here’s just a few examples of how many outfits I could make out of the above combination, and it’s actually really fun coming up with ideas using the same clothes!
There’s also a lot to be said for power dressing. This means something different to everyone and for me there’s different types of power dressing depending on the environment. If we’re talking work, a tailored/statement blazer and heels make me feel insanely empowered and confident. If it’s good enough for Joan…
(The OG, Joan Collins)
There’s nothing like having that go-to statement jacket, scarf, pair of shoes that make you feel like a boss bitch that’s ready to tackle the world. Even if that’s just slapping on some red lippy, it makes all the difference.
For me the ‘faking it’ by chucking on an outfit that’s pure sass and oozes confidence can be a good tool to snap me out of a rut, or prevent me from falling into one. It also gets me into a better mindset if I know I’m going to have a particularly stressful day or I’m nervous about an important meeting.
I am incredibly lucky to have finally found an employer who I could open up to about my anxiety and depression. It took me ten years and about 50 (no exaggeration) different jobs. And it’s now officially the longest job I’ve ever had (2.5 years). I know first hand how it feels not be able to face going in to work or even being around people! But having an almost alter-ego outfit to go to when I have enough fight in my to force myself out of bed has been a huge help in my process and something I would recommend to anyone even if you don’t suffer with mental illness.