Myth: When you’re stressed,
it’s okay to let your appearance go.
Truth: It’s not okay to let your appearance go completely.
Lately, my entire social media feed is filled with posts about coronavirus. Shuls and schools are closing, and people are being warned to limit their outside activities. The whole thing is leaving me scared and confused in so many ways. But there are small things I can do that help me.
From me, you get the truth.
One of the most important things we can do during any stressful time is self-care. If you don’t take care of yourself, you cannot take care of others. On social media, one of the frequently asked questions is about what people do for self-care. I always answer by starting with my daily hygiene:
I brush my teeth.
I wash my face.
I apply my morning lotions and potions.
At bedtime, I remove any makeup.
I exfoliate my skin three nights per week, twice with microdermabrasion, using plain white sugar, and once with a dermaplaning blade. I sometimes also scrub my lips.
I brush my teeth.
I wash my face.
I apply my nighttime lotions and potions.
Doing all of these things not only helps keep me healthy, but it makes me feel a lot better in general.
After I do my morning hygiene, I always put on “real clothes.” Even if I’m not going anywhere, I put on clothes. If I’m seriously sick, which is B”H rare, then I might stay in pajamas, but even then, I try not to do that. Pajamas are comfortable and I won’t deny that some of us do need that comfort sometimes. But in the daytime, when I would normally wear clothes, pajamas are very demoralizing.
This is not to say that I get dressed up all the time. If I’m not going to work or shul or an event, I wear casual clothes. My favorite outfits include denim skirts, which are too casual for work or any other dressy situations. And if I know I’m going to be doing a lot of walking or running around, I wear socks and sneakers.
Having said that, I stick with clothes that fit and flatter me. Over the years, I’ve weeded out many tops and other things that don’t fit me properly and now I stick only with what works. I do wear t-shirts a lot, even for work, but I stick with flattering colors. If I’m wearing a t-shirt for work, I’ll layer a scarf or necklace with it to make it professional and polished. I do the same for shul on Shabbos.
Accessories are the easiest way to add some fun and extra color to my appearance and they always give me a boost. I make my own jewelry and I love adding fun pieces to my outfits. Sometimes it’s earrings and sometimes it’s a necklace, but it’s great either way. I also love my mitpachot. Sometimes I like a fun print and other times I like a solid color layered with a sash.
I don’t wear makeup every day, but I do like the way it makes me feel, so I do try to wear it for work and for any other situation that calls for looking my best. Most of the time, I stick with a basic face: I define my eyes (my best feature), even out my skin, conceal as needed, and add subtle color to cheeks and lips.
Dear readers, I may not have the exact same stresses as you do (no one can have identical stresses) but I do get that we’re all stressed right now. Please do not neglect yourselves. Basic hygiene is necessary for health reasons and wearing the right clothes (casual or fancy) can make you feel that much better. Take whatever other precautions you need and stay safe.
May Hashem grant a refuah sheleimah to the sick, continued good health to those who are not sick, parnassah to all, and may He bring us all Home very soon.