When life happens, particularly to women, it is really easy to let yourself go. I woke up this morning and watched "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style." For the most part, the show is made up of women who ease into their roles of wife and/or mother, and forget themselves. I remember when I was going through my drama toward the end of my marriage, I went through a transformation of Quasimodo proportions. My daughter was only three months old, I was as big as a Buick and I felt as though I had the world on my shoulders. I know what it's like to forget who you are. I know what it's like to lose yourself. I know what it's like to spend so much time catering to everyone else's needs, that you know longer see yourself as a being that needs catering of her own.
But I reclaimed my life. And one of the first things I did to signify reclaiming myself was getting a hair weave. . .down my back. In retrospect, I was still lost, and the concept was slightly silly, but it was a step toward rediscovery. Let me rephrase: it was MY step toward rediscovering MYself.
After taking your first step up, no matter how minor it may seem to the outside world, looking back at yourself and where you were is akin to peering down at the Grand Canyon. That's how I felt.
I'm no expert, but when I feel things are out of control, here are seven things that help me:
1) Stop. Literally. You are not Atlas. The world is not going to collapse if you take a breather, Send your kid to the sitter, go in late to work, call in to work altogether, take a power nap. You'd be surprised a brief respite can give you a fresh eye and the ability to cope with any situation.
2) Buy something. Do not talk about retail therapy like it is a bad thing. Granted, I'm not telling you to spend the rent money on a pair of Jimmy Choo slingbacks (*drool* shoes). It doesn't have to be major. Spending $10 on a book or $5 on a latte can do wonders for your attitude. It's not even about the purchase, it's about the feeling of doing something for yourself.
3) Fuzzy slippers and a terrycloth robe are necessities! This is something that is hard to explain. If you own these things, you know what I'm talking about. If you do not own these things, purchase them immediately, and you will know what I'm talking about.
4) Do something that inspires compliments. If you are a good cook, fix a meal for friends or organize a pot luck. If you've got great gams, wear a skirt while you're running your errands. If you have a great smile, show it. When you're down, sometimes you NEED external positive reinforcement.
5) Go to where the cute men are. When I'm in a bad mood, I like to go to Sexy Mart a/k/a Whole Foods Market. Denzel Washington movies are nice, but something about seeing a fine man up close and in person does wonders for the disposition.
6) Stand naked in the mirror and do affirmations. Yeah, you have stretch marks, or a double chin, or, hell, a double stomach. Running from the mirror is not going to change any of those things. You are still a jewel. If you are avoiding yourself, how do you expect other people to be drawn to you? Be comfortable with who you are. Embrace you. The affirmation can either be something you wrote yourself, or it can be something that you borrow until you are able to write your own.
7) Dress up the windows to your soul. When I'm feeling blah, I like to put on liquid eyeliner. There's something magnificently divalicious about it. I've seen even the mousiest of girls "pop" with a little liquid liner. You can't go wrong when you make it sexy.
You betta work!!!!