Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Clothes and Emotions: How What I Wear Impacts My Mood

I've just finished reading an article called "Therapeutic Dressing"  by Erin Mayer which you can read here.

It made me think about my own attitude toward clothing and dressing up or down makes me feel.

I remember when I was severely depressed a few years ago, getting dressed was a big deal. I usually didn't have anywhere that I needed to be, so I could get away with staying in pajamas all day. By the end of the day I would simply change into new pajamas. If I did end up needing to go out I'd throw a sweat shirt on over my pajama shirt and instead of pajama pants I'd just throw on pair of yoga pants. Comfortable, easy, clothing that didn't feel constricting.

There's one sweatshirt in particular that I liked to wear especially when I wasn't feeling well, that I practically lived in. It was extremely soft, and was almost like a security blanket I could wrap around me, making me feel like things were going to be okay. With depression, sometimes it feels like there aren't very many things you can control. But I could control what I wore. I think I needed that sweatshirt to make myself feel like it was okay to not feel good.

Maybe if I had forced myself to get dressed everyday when I was depressed it would have helped me feel better faster. But sometimes I think slowly easing yourself into feeling better is key, rather than forcing yourself to feel better before you're ready.

I have noticed the change in clothing habits now that I haven't been severely depressed for awhile. Now, I feel like I'm being lazy if it's been more than an hour and I haven't showered and gotten dressed yet. I find myself enjoying picking out a cute outfit to wear, or even just wearing a favorite shirt. I would definitely say that clothing can affect your mood.

Although I still lean towards comfortable clothing, such as leggings, I still try to wear actual tops as opposed to ratty old t-shirts.

How does different clothing impact your mood?

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