Depression: An unfortunate well-known feeling of sadness that when it hits, affects your normal activities, mindset, and well-being. It can last days. Weeks. Even months.
I’m one of those people that struggle with depression. I know what it feels like to sit in depression and even allow darkness to overtake me. I sometimes sit in it for too long.
In 2015, depression hit me the hardest. I was hardly eating and barely holding on. I wouldn’t talk to friends and people who cared about me. I had a panic attack so intense that I ended up passing out on the sidewalk not breathing in my friend’s lap. The next thing I knew, I was in the hospital telling my nurse that I didn’t want to live anymore. The panic attack took so much out of me that when I was finally released, I was wheeled out in a wheelchair and my parents had to carry me into the house because I was too weak to walk.
How did I get passed this? How did I cope?
There were several ways that I coped at that time and one of those ways was through fashion.
Here are five ways that I used fashion to help cope with my depression and ways that you can too.
Dress for yourself, not for other people
I admit I had a phase in my life where I wanted everyone to like me. I was tired of being invisible, so I tried to dress in a way so people would notice me. I dressed for the satisfaction of other people and not for the satisfaction of myself. I was miserable.
After realizing that I never actually cared what people had to say about me – whether it’s the fact that “I’m trying too hard” or the “what are you wearing” looks – I found myself falling in love with who I was piece by piece.
When you dress for the approval of other people, you end up miserable in the process – even worse if you’re depressed. When you dress according to who you are, you’ll find yourself in a much better mood and more confident.
Here’s a newsflash love: people are going to talk about you regardless of what you wear. So why not look good while they talk their mess anyway? Besides, people often point out others insecurities because they’re insecure themselves.
Wear Bright Colors
Even though I was tempted to wear only dark colors for weeks on end, I forced myself to wear colors that I knew reflected my personality. I wanted to feel better even though I was actually drowning.
Often times when we are feeling sad or in a rut, or even when the weather is groggy, we immediately default to wearing darker colors. How you feel on the inside is often represented on the outside through what you wear. Fighting this habit and wearing brighter colors helps brighten your mood instantly. Put that black shirt down for a yellow one.
Trade Baggy Sweats and Oversized Hoodies for Fitted Clothes
Wearing fitted clothing is like the warm hug that your body needs. It’s the hug that you won’t ask for because you’re too sad, but it’s one you appreciate from someone anyway.
When I would wear baggy clothing, I’d drag myself wherever I went – even if it was just to the kitchen. I was in college at the time, so it was a struggle to keep my GPA up and focus in class when I looked just as bad as I felt. After committing to continue wearing clothes that actually fit even though I didn’t want to, I slowly found myself going back to normal.
Always wear clothes that fit you even when you feel like you don’t fit them. You’ll thank yourself later.
Dress in Something Nice and Affirm Yourself in the Mirror
It may sound silly, but I enjoy affirming myself in the mirror while dressed up. I may not always feel like doing it, but it genuinely does increase my motivation and well-being. Think of affirming yourself in the mirror as a form of self-care which is in fact an important aspect of your life. Talking to yourself positively trains your mind to focus on the good instead of the bad. It gives you energy and confidence during a time where you lack both.
Learn How to Make Every Outfit You Wear, a Killer One
I know you’ll agree that anyone can put an outfit together, but not everyone has style. When you know that your clothes don’t fit with who you are or your body, it can be frustrating and even stressful. When I’m depressed, I have to retrain my brain to remember who I am. You and I both know how harmful and serious depression is because you’ll allow every negative thought to consume your mind and you believe every word.
When I truly learned the ins and outs of making every outfit a killer one that also fit me and my body, I started noticing how dramatic my style, mood, and attitude changed. I felt confident not only in the clothes that I wore, but also in the choices that I made. If you are in the same boat and relate on a whole new level, download my free guide where I share secrets that I created just for you.
Depression is a hard feeling that not everyone understands. It’s something that’s hard to cope with and can be hard to get out of. If you know someone who struggles with depression, I encourage you to share this blog with them. Let them know that even the smallest change in what they choose to wear can make the biggest difference. The next time you’re feeling your lowest, remember who you are and remember this blog.
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