Ahh COVID…the changer of so many things in our lives.

And don’t you remember when it first started? Regardless of whether you are alone or with family, if you work or don’t work, and whether you have kids in school or not, COVID-19 has certainly changed so many ways in which we operate.

Two of the things that have changed so drastically with the onset of the pandemic are how we dress and our self-care routines. I laughed when I saw a sentence recently that went something like this—”Remember when COVID started and we swore off jeans?”  I really did laugh hard because, for those of you who know me, you know I lived (note “lived”—past tense) in my jeans. For me that was the ultimate luxury of having my own styling company. “Jeans forever” was essentially my motto. Well—that motto is now a thing of the past as I joined the swearing-off-of-jeans bandwagon instantly… along with a whole lot of other things!

I suspect I am not the only one so affected, as our entire lives have been turned upside down over the last few months.  And don’t you remember praying that the current state of affairs would last just long enough so that you could slow down from life’s insane pace for a short while? That was me for sure!

So along with that glorious new pace and time to spend with family and on things you were wanting to do but had no time for, came the, hmmm, PJs all day “thing” (or at the very best our coziest lounge or active wear) for many of us—unless we were going to the grocery store or otherwise had to be seen in public.

Whatever your choice, it’s generally been steps down from anything you would normally spend the day in… and let’s not forget the abandoning of make-up, eyelash extensions and maybe the daily “doing” of hair.  Whatever version of the above you have fallen into, we all have to some degree or another. And while we thought it might just be for a while, now we’re are essentially four months in with no real end in sight…

They say it takes 21 to 62 days to create a habit so if you do the math you will note we are deeply into habit changing territory.

Stay with me on this… Think of the now long-term behavior patterns you have developed that all started with what we all perceived to be a temporary break.

Studies show and validate that how we feel about how we look and taking the time for self-care deeply affects our mental and emotional state—and our performance throughout the day. Are we focused or are we cruising? Are we slightly depressed and a little short on joy? There’s lots to consider for sure

When COVID began it was like a weird little vacation… but what started as a relief and fun break has now become a way of being. And taking this from my own experience, it is time to keep some of the more positive lifestyle changes COVID has brought with it and add back in just a few easy, yet essential, self-care  elements that make all the difference in how we project ourselves along with our own emotional health and well-being.

As I became aware of the concept of which we are now speaking, I decided I ought to try my own medicine before dispensing it to others, and so I put the self-care routine to the test… and I can honestly tell you I’m definitely feeling more in control. I am lighter and happier. I like feeling better about how I look with that bit of make-up and doing something fun with my hair. There is more but I will share that at another time. I feel different than I have every day for the last almost four months and I like how I feel.

As I have done research on this topic here is what I have found. If each morning you create a routine where you get up, shower, do something with your hair, put just a titch of make-up on (maybe only a little mascara, blush and lip gloss) you feel different. It all takes only a smidge of time. Then you head to the closet—and here’s where you find something comfy and easy, but put together.  Maybe you do a little short sleeved button up front shirt with a pair of cargo pants and a ballet flat, sneaker or adorable flat sandal. It’s a simple look, but I can guarantee your day will be lighter, brighter and more easily directed—and the studies validate that.

How much time is invested in this little ritual? Maybe 15 minutes—not counting the shower. Studies show you are going to feel like you have taken control of your life again, rather than just floating along or getting caught up in the chaos of your job or educating your children. There is empowerment in this behavior and it will serve you in spades.

We truly have no idea how long this pandemic will continue and what massive life-altering changes are ahead, but research and a little personal experience has proven that these tiny little efforts made to put yourself together will change how you approach whatever is to come in more ways than you can count.

With all this heartfelt communication I figured I better add some fun and comfortable examples of some simple, chic pieces that are easy to add to your existing wardrobe! SO, have fun and remember that as women, how we feel about how we look changes our entire lives… and that my friends is a well-researched, validated fact.

Happy hunting.