A normal self-care day in Oregon, was me primping and listening to Britney Spears or another artist, dancing like nobody was watching. Or it was me reading and hanging out in my pajamas. When I moved to France my self-care routine changed.
When I say that it changed, I mean that it changed dramatically.
But let me begin at the beginning.
My Self-Care Routine
I was raised in America by a European mother. As a little girl, I wore dresses, every day, with ruffled socks and saddle shoes. My hair was always haphazardly done up in a half ponytail. I think it was the only hairstyle my mother knew.
I was taught that I would wear dresses, with nylons, or sweater tights in the winter and a slip, until I reached a certain age. Then and only then I would be allowed to incorporate pants.
The point is I was taught when I got up in the morning I got myself presentable.
As I grew older some of the lessons I learned went to the waste side. As with many Americans, I began to embrace sweat pants, leggings, and athletic leisurewear.
Living in Portland, really allowed me to embrace the warm and cozy.
I will have to admit that I loved it, I loved wearing leggings with chunky sweaters. Puffy vests with skinny jeans and boots.
Oh, it was lovely.
That all changed when I moved to France.
How My Self-Care Routine Changed
Moving to France changed everything. I ended up resorting back to my childhood lessons. I started wearing skirts again. I also resorted to adding slips and nylons to my wardrobe.
Mind you at the time my wardrobe and self-care had already started to change I began to reminisce about lectures I used to get when I would sit down in unladylike ways.
Though I still blame my mother for not putting me in bloomers.
You see I understood perfectly well that French women do not run around in public wearing their sweatpants or pajamas. In fact, she gets up in the morning, has a healthy amount of coffee or tea, and then she gets herself presentable.
There is a book called “Who Moved My Cheese,” this book talks about how dressing can change your whole perspective and mental outlook.
After a month of living here, I realized this is incredibly true and powerful.
I noticed it one morning when I took my son to school. I was wearing skinny jeans, a chunky sweater, and a trench coat. Wrapped in an elegant scarf and wearing stylish shoes, I felt lovely. I felt ready to charge into the day.
That my friends was the CHANGE I noticed.
I noticed my whole perspective changed. For some reason, the world wasn’t so unapproachable. Every morning I feel as though I am ready to tackle the day. Even with no make-up on yet. Just getting dressed, and presenting for the day really elevated my self-care routine.
Now I am not saying that my former life of wearing rugged outdoor clothing was wrong. Oh no! In fact, I loved it, and I’ve learned how to incorporate some of what I used to wear into my everyday life here in France.
Read all about my post How Negative Self-Talk is Slowly Poisoning Your Life to understand how negative talk can really hurt your mental outlook.
But what I am saying is one way, an easy way to change your whole mental outlook is to do or change something simple such as how you dress. I am not telling you that you should wear a ball gown everywhere you go, but dressing like you want to be perceived or as though you’re out for success can really elevate your mood.
The book “Who Moved My Cheese,” talks about how dressing in your pajamas gives you the mental state of being in a lazy mood. Since most of us either have to work from home or we are returning to the office, we may have realized this.
The book also says when you dress ready to tackle the day your mental state is that of taking charge, I can handle anything.
And I believe this.