There are days when all of us feel like washing our hair, brushing our teeth and putting on makeup is too much for our tired, anxious, or depressed body to do. There are days when getting out of bed seems almost impossible. Since 1 in 4 Americans will have a mental illness in their lifetime, it is no joke to talk about mental health days. Of course, even people without an anxiety disorder, depression or some other form of mental illness, need a mental health day. In our work-centered society, taking a day off from the office, or passing on an important social engagement isn’t always possible even if we feel we need to do it to care for our selves. So, how do we get up, make ourselves presentable to go to work, or that party our boss invited us to, or that bridal shower for our bestie when we can’t imagine going through the process of “getting ready?”
The answer is in basics and statement pieces. These two things can become your go-to when you have to cut your daily hygiene or beauty routine short. Consider these tricks and tools to be your mental health beauty bag on those days when energy is at a low and apathy is at a high.
If you have trouble washing your hair on difficult days, you might find buying one of the many dry shampoos that are currently on the market to be a lifesaver. If you have long hair, you might be able to wear it in a simple braid or a ponytail or bun and pull off a fresh look. I recently cut my long hair into a no style (multiple different layer lengths) cut so even when I roll out of bed, my hair looks good (it feels like a whole new world).
On a good day, some people enjoy powder, foundation, blush, eyeliner, lipstick, and mascara. On a bad or low day, this can seem impossible to pull off. For my mental health days, I limit my make-up to two things, and I make them stand out. I have purple eyeliner and purple mascara in my mental health bag. (I tried blue lipstick, and with my fair complexion I looked horrible). Finding, your two stand-out pieces, might take some trial and error. But a great shade of lipstick (maybe not as drastic as blue) and a colored mascara can often be all you need for a pulled together look.
I know for many of us we could live in our yoga or sweatpants, but that doesn’t work as business attire in most offices. For statement pieces in my wardrobe on difficult days, I turn to one item of clothing that I love. It might be a blouse, a scarf, a pair of shoes, a skirt, or slacks. Just one item that I think is fashionable and that makes me feel good. I put on that item with whatever else makes me comfortable (comfort and low-effort are key). Remember this is your trick and toolkit for surviving and (putting on the face of thriving) on your hardest days.
That leads us to accessories. On a good day, I put on earrings, a necklace, several rings, a tennis bracelet or I grab a handful of bangles and mix and match them stylishly on my wrist. On a low or no energy day, I do the same with accessories as I do with my outfit. I pick one thing that I love, and that is unique (as in a one-of-a-kind piece from Etsy, or a farmer’s market). With my new short hairstyle, I usually pick big dangly earrings, but in the past, I frequently grabbed a necklace.
Then we get to brushing and flossing our teeth. I could offer you a mint, but other than that, on this one, you are on your own.