Is getting dressed the most stressful part of your day? If so, you’re not alone. This week we talk about how to take the stress out of getting dressed.
The idea for today’s topic came from a coaching call with one of my clients who shared with me how stressful it was for her to walk into her closet every morning and figure out what to wear.
And I know that no matter what size or shape you are, the closet can be a source of stress to you, as well.
Before I share some tips with you on how to beat the overwhelm of getting dressed, I want to remind you that I am hosting a challenge called “2 Steps to Overcoming Overwhelm.”
This is a FREE and interactive workshop designed to help you, so sign up today!
What’s Your Inner Dialogue Like?
First of all, let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that getting dressed is something that we have to do every single day and it isn’t going away no matter what we do.
No matter your size or shape, you will get dressed every day.
The issue isn’t whether or not we will get dressed; the issue is the internal dialogue that plays in our heads while we are getting dressed or preparing to get dressed.
Because you can lose weight, get in the best shape of your life, and even have a closet full of new, smaller-size clothes, but if your internal dialogue doesn’t change, the feelings you have about getting dressed won’t change either.
One of the most interesting things about the negative self-talk we do is that sometimes, we don’t even realize we’re doing it.
Maybe you feel sadness or shame when you walk into your closet but you don’t recognize the inner dialogue that’s playing in your head before those feelings hit you.
Unbeknownst to us, our brain starts to tell us things that bring on feelings of sadness and negativity. Maybe you feel some minor anxiety or that sensation in the pit of your stomach. And the feelings heighten because negativity brings on more negativity.
In turn, we start to examine ourselves in the mirror. We notice every single spot that the shirt clings or that the pants don’t lay flat. We begin to pick ourselves apart.
We move up to our hair and notice every stray piece of hair, every curl that isn’t curling the way we want it to. We see how tired our eyes look and wish our lips were fuller.
If you choose to dwell in this negative energy, you will attract more negative energy, and it will begin to impact your whole life. You will become a victim rather than choose to see the positive aspects of your life.
If you’ve ever listened to this podcast before, you know that I speak frequently on the choices we make in our everyday lives.
And as I spoke with my client on how to use her power of choice to change the way she felt about getting dressed every day, I knew that I needed to share these ideas with my podcast audience.
So, I am going to give you 5 tips to help you actually enjoy getting dressed, even if you aren’t where you want to be. Yet.
Tip #1 – Plan, Prepare, and Be Proactive
One reason for these negative emotions around getting dressed is a failure to plan. We try to make decisions in the heat of the moment and that internal dialogue takes over.
My tip for overcoming this is to plan ahead of time for what you are going to wear. When I was still working outside the home, I decided what I was going to wear every morning while brushing my teeth.
I was choosing, in a moment of clarity with no emotions around it, what I was going to wear. It wasn’t based on how it looked or how it made me feel.
Think about the time this will save you in the morning rush.
No more changing outfits 7 times, making you and the kids late getting out the door, which increases your stress and brings on more of that negative self-talk.
Lay your clothes out the night before, or choose what you will wear before you walk into your closet.
Tip #2 – Think a New Thought
Okay, so now you’re putting on the clothes you chose last night. And those old, negative thoughts try to creep in.
This is where you have to practice some self-awareness and think a new thought.
Maybe you put on the outfit you chose and you think, “Oh, this doesn’t feel good. I don’t like the way this looks on me. People are going to look at me and wonder why I’m wearing this.”
Stop right there.
You are only thinking that because in the past, you thought it was okay to think those kinds of things about yourself. But now you know better. Now, you don’t let your thoughts control you; you control your thoughts.
See what happens when you think a new thought and how it makes you feel different.
Tip #3 – Use Affirmations
New thoughts won’t just become a part of your morning vocabulary unless you make them. I want you to have some affirmations and mantras that you can use to help those new thoughts become your normal thought patterns.
One thing I do with all my clients is to help them find at least one mantra they can say to themselves in front of the mirror every day.
Yes, I know it might feel silly the first time or two that you do it. But the truth is, what we tell ourselves becomes our reality.
Take just 60 seconds to grab a dry erase marker and write on your mirror what you want your truth to be, and your brain will begin to believe it.
Tip #4 – Learn to Spiral Up
I know we are all very aware of the downward spiral, but have you ever considered that you can also spiral up? It’s true!
So, when the negative thoughts and inner dialogue begin, and you want to spiral downward, you can make the choice (there’s that word “choice” again) to spiral up instead.
I’ve talked before about the power of little wins. Wins build on each other so if you can just one small win under your belt, it can spiral into more wins.
This leads to a feeling of empowerment and contentment.
Let’s say you get dressed, and before your brain can start the negative self-talk, you recite the affirmation you have written on your mirror. And that gives you a boost in confidence.
That boost in confidence then propels you forward to the next thing you need to do and gives you increased self-confidence to accomplish that task as well.
And you, my friend, are now spiraling up.
Tip #5 – Dress to Impress (Yourself)
The only way to make any kind of change permanent is to follow through, and there is no more important thing to follow through on than yourself.
One way to follow through on building self-confidence and spiraling up is to dress in a way that feels good to you.
I spent too much time trying to dress in a way that I thought was trendy or in style. But what I finally realized was that those clothes didn’t feel good to me.
When I finally took the time to figure out what I loved to wear and what felt good to me, I could see how much unnecessary stress I had been creating in my life. The truth is, I love jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and Vans shoes.
When I started dressing in a way that I loved and stopped dressing to impress others, my self-confidence soared.
So, if you have 5 outfits that make you feel amazing, wear those 5 outfits until you get to the other side of this journey. And likewise, those outfits that bring up those feelings of shame and sadness? Bag those puppies up and get them out of your closet.
Don’t dress the way others say you should. Dress the way that makes you feel good!
Tell Yourself the Truth
Your brain will tell you the same things over and over until you teach it new things to say, new questions to ask. So, the next time you look in the mirror and your brain starts picking apart your outfit or your hair, ask yourself, “Is that true?”
Are the stories you’re telling yourself actually true?
I think you will begin to realize that you have power over the daily action of getting dressed. It’s not going anywhere, so instead of trying to ignore it or simply dismissing how it makes you feel, I want you to be empowered by taking control over it so that you can actually start to enjoy getting dressed every day.
There may be many layers of this onion that you have to peel back before you get to all the root causes. If you don’t know where to start, I am here to help.
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