Look good, feel better.

Have you ever noticed that looking good leads you to feeling better?

If I’m feeling shitty, sad, stressed or out of control, pulling together an outfit that I know looks physically amazing makes me feel emotionally better. I’ve always held to the “fake it ’til you make it” philosophy of life. By putting myself first, even if it is only through what I decide to wear, everything feels a bit brighter.

The night of my last post, I flew to Nova Scotia. My grandmother was dying, and we made her a promise years ago that we would never leave her alone. My mother, my aunt and I, we split the days into three shifts, and she had one of us with her for every second of every day. Witnessing the last days of someone’s life – someone you love – is both an amazing gift and a felling blow. Her passing was peaceful, and now she can finally rest.

As the inevitable neared, my outfits became more polished. My lack of control over the situation was reflected by the clothes and accessories I wore. The most important thing in my world was being there for my family, for my grandmother. Feeling good about myself allowed me to do that, have more energy, and focus all that energy on the people around me who needed it. I could take care of others because I’d already taken care of myself.

One day, mid-way through my time with my grandmother, a nurse looked at me, and then smiled. “You always look so pretty,” she said. “It always surprises me, that you make such an effort.”

I shrugged. “It makes me feel better. And when I feel better, everything is easier.”

My grandmother's wedding portrait. Wasn't she lovely?


8 thoughts on “Look good, feel better.

  1. I was literally just expressing this exact sentiment a few days ago. I was saying there is an inverse relationship to how out of control and depressed I feel about my life and how put together I look. I think some of it is I want to put out the facade to the world that I am in fact handling my life, even when I am not. And that it is sort of aspirational – that if I look together on the outside, I will start feeling it on the inside. And then there are those days that are too grim to get up the will to care, and those are the days I should probably talk to a mental health professional.

  2. “I could take care of others because I’d already taken care of myself.”

    I could never find words for that feeling of being able to focus on things outside of yourself because you knew you were already taken care of (until now), but it’s something I’ve been struggling to master for years, and not just with clothes.

    And your grandmother looks absolutely gorgeous. I know you don’t know me because I’m a random person typing into a box, but losing family is a strange experience and I’m glad that you seem to be doing okay.

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