• B. FIT

Put Your Face On...and Deal With It!

I grew up in Tennessee and come from a long line of Southern belles who would sooner die than leave the house without "their faces on." In fact, I FaceTimed my mother this morning and she literally applied her lipstick before getting on screen.

For several years, the apple didn't fall far from the tree. I remember when I was in high school waking up at 5 a.m. every single morning so that I could wash, dry, and curl my hair before carefully applying my full face of makeup--blue eyeliner and all! As I've gotten older, the hair and makeup routine has streamlined considerably--thank God, but I still swipe on a little lipstick before going anywhere--even to the gym. As my sweet Southern late grandmother used to say, "After all, there's no need to scare the dead."

For the past 4-6 weeks (or however long it's been since I've been forced into social distancing) I've been more than a little lazy about my appearance. I haven't curled my hair, put on makeup, or even put my contacts in for that matter. My attire goes from pajamas to my workout gear to athleisure and back to pajamas over the course of the day. In fact, weirdly enough, I've begun to feel as though I've stumbled into a new routine. Wake up, workout, write..repeat. Funny how quickly you can get used to things.

Last week, however, the need to film a television segment on fitness forced me to make a little effort in my appearance, and it made a big difference in my outlook for the day. Although still in workout clothes, I did whip out the curling iron and apply makeup---and I was surprised at the instantaneous pep it put in my step. Apparently, that is not a coincidence. One of my JoyRide colleagues recently shared that there is actually a name for it---"Enclothed Cognition." While this term actually refers to the way certain items of clothing make us feel, I think the same can be true of makeup or our overall "look." Think about it--how many of us feel a little less ourselves now that we can't get to the hair, nail, and lash salons? Putting ourselves together physically can help us feel more put together mentally--something many of us (myself included) could use right now.

I'm not suggesting you have to get into "full Southern drag" as I call it just to hang out at home. I'm not a "full-face" person even on a normal day. But once in a while during isolation, style your hair, order a bold new lipstick and wear it proudly, or swipe a bright color on your nails--it doesn't have to be salon perfect. Add a statement accessory like earrings, a bracelet, or a pretty spring scarf to your uniform of tee shirts and jeans for a ZOOM meeting or happy hour. You might be surprised at how just one small thing can give you a little pick-me-up and inspire you to put your best face forward--in more ways than one.

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