Self Care and Getting Dressed

Last week wrapped up the the 5 part capsule wardrobe series I had going and while I plan on (eventually....) posting my updated, current capsule wardrobe, to Instagram at least, I've exhausted pretty much everything else I have to say on that topic.  At least as far as the 'what' and 'how' of it is concerned.  But I've still been sitting around pondering the 'why,' and that's something I haven't addressed here yet.  I think it's equally if not more important.

To be clear, I don't mean the 'why' of the capsule wardrobe itself; to me, that why is simple.  It's purpose is to clear clutter, both physically and mentally, giving you freedom from decision fatigue and confidence and joy in what you're wearing each and every day.  That sounds like pretty solid reasoning to me.

But no, I mean the 'why' as in 'why should I bother caring in the first place about getting dressed in the morning (including accessories, le sigh)' particularly on days when I'm not doing anything at all?  The answer to that, for me, is self care.  And none of us are doing that enough.  So every day, even if I'm not going into the office, I fully get dressed, put makeup on, and attempt something with my hair that isn't a ponytail.  Because of the capsule wardrobe, getting dressed takes 2 minutes, makeup with my streamlined routine is about 5, and for my hair I've perfected a few styles at different levels of difficulty based on how much time I have.

There are a number of reasons I do this.  Firstly, I can make last minute plans and not feel like I'm too disheveled to go out.  And I think I once read a quote somewhere once that you should always dress like you're going to meet a handsome stranger or your arch enemy so that is what I do, even to the grocery store or just to walk Hawkeye around the block.  (For the record, I'm pretty sure my arch enemy is still in prison.  But ya know, I'm a Scorpio, I have a list.)  I don't feel like I need to wear a fancy work outfit to walk the dog, but I do put on something casual or at least a pair of black yoga pants and a nice top - it helps that I made sure I don't have any scrubby looking lounge wear.

But it's not just about who I might run into or looking nice for other people; I do it for myself.  Obviously I want to feel comfortable, that is, after all, one of the main considerations I keep in mind for my capsule wardrobe.  But I also mentioned that I always want to feel classy.  When I don't take the time in the morning to get myself ready, I spend the entire day feeling like I look - not my best.  I'm much lazier, less confident, and less productive, like I would prefer to lay in bed all day.  Dressing like I have to get things done absolutely makes me get more things done.

It's one of the best ways I practice self care.  I always end up doing a lot for other people (for John, for Hawkeye, for my boss, etc.) and taking care of myself can end up last on the list.  Particularly if it's a busy morning where others have needed my attention, I've left the house without taking the time to get myself ready and then spent the day looking and feeling run down, which isn't good for anyone because I get less done overall and definitely have nothing left in the tank when I get home at the end of the day.  So I made the conscious effort to quit this and actually get dressed every day, because it's what makes me feel confident, beautiful and productive.  Like I actually love myself, which I absolutely do and you should too!

It's increasingly rare for a person to actually take care of themselves.  Seems like the world is so fast and so busy that you end up on the bottom of your own to do list.  It looks like it's a lot to do to properly take care of yourself - eat right, exercise, sleep enough, work your mind, take time for yourself and your hobbies, get all the negative relationships out of your life and spend quality time with the good people in it.  But it only seems like a lot because it's the stuff you currently only do when you have 'extra time' which is backwards from how it should be.  Self care needs to be at the top of the list.  Second nature, something you do automatically and all the time and feel strange when you skip it.

All this to say that I suggest you actually put that capsule wardrobe you made into practice.  And I know you're going to say that you have more important things to do than apply makeup and put a necklace on, but I do too and I still make the time because it's good for me.  Of course, getting dressed every day is part of the self care I need, but it very well might not be what you need.  I'm guessing it might be, if you went through the capsule wardrobe effort, but maybe you don't care to wear makeup at all or prefer your hair in a bun.  Perfectly fine!  There's still plenty of positive ways you can add more self care into your life.  Some others that I make an effort to implement as often as I can:

- I get 8 hours of sleep every night.  I know from experience how crabby I am and how poorly I function at the most basic tasks when I don't, so it's always been high priority for me to sleep as much as you're supposed to.  (7 to 9 hours is recommended.)  This also means that I go to bed and wake up on a relatively similar schedule day by day.
- I paint my nails regularly.  This is something I've only been doing, at least regularly, this year.  It was on my goals list, if you remember.  I love having my nails painted, I love the way they look and since I don't wear much jewelry, it's just another way that I feel put together.  Probably because my mother always has painted nails and has my entire life and everything I believe about proper self care and getting dressed I learned from her.  So I made the system super simple to do at home with minimal products (nail file, CND Vinylux polish in 1 of 4 colors and top coat, and natural nail polish remover) and make the time to do this once a week.
- I eat regularly.  Hangry is real and that's all I have to say about that.
- I walk Hawkeye daily.  It exercises both of us, I feel happier when I'm with my dog, and I always put the phone away and concentrate on her so it lets my brain turn off.  For other people without dogs I think this is probably akin to yoga, meditation, journaling, prayer, etc.  Quiet time, essentially.
- I clean and declutter.  I love having a clean house and I cannot feel settled until things are clean and in their proper place.  I do this regularly so it doesn't ever pile up and bother me.
- I simplify my life.  In as many ways as possible, the capsule just being one example.  The more events and tasks I can cut from my life, the better.  It frees up the time I need to take care of myself and most of all, just have nothing planned.  That is a fantastic feeling by itself.

How do you practice self care?  Do you think you do it nearly enough?

Sara also had a great post about this last month, check it out here.

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