February 7, 2022 at 4:32 pm #33363
A PH columnist shares her thoughts on why she keeps up with appearances. I love this column for many reasons, and I bet that we have many who may relate to Anna here.
This line stands out to me in this piece- “Chronic illness can steal a person’s ability to own and celebrates their own body.”
Give her column a read and let’s talk about this.
Do you find that you make more or less effort to keep up appearances with PH?
February 8, 2022 at 9:19 pm #33384Gayle WardParticipant
Thank you for sharing this Article. I loved it. Every morning I get dressed. Put on lipstick and my earrings and fix my hair. I believe in Look good, Feel good! It makes a difference. Even on days that aren’t so bright. It lifts my spirits.
February 10, 2022 at 1:22 pm #33399
Hi @gward, I love that you get dressed and put on your lipstick every day. Before, I felt like I would have many more PJ days and only get dressed when I left the house or felt like I needed to get dressed.
But here in the condo life in SD, I get dressed most days, including face powder and mascara. Because I need to take Sasha out for her walk instead of in our backyard, I feel the need to look presentable. My daughter asked why I don’t go in my PJs. Well, I don’t go in public in my PJs. Only one day, I threw on a sweatshirt and bra and went in my PJ pants that looked like plaid lounge clothes.
I’ve noticed that I feel better if I am dressed most days. Thanks for your thoughts about this topic, Gayle.
February 9, 2022 at 4:42 pm #33387
Excellent column @jenc thank you for sharing it. Caregivers, this applies to you too. I have spent a lot of time in the hospital with my son and often for week’s, even months. It’s stressful, tiring and understandable if you don’t take the time and effort to change your clothes, brush your hair, put some make-up on or even brush your teeth, but from my experience, it’s worth trying.
Even when my son was recovering from transplant I stepped away every morning for a quick shower and get myself somewhat presentable and refreshed for the day. I did this not for impression sake but because it helped clear my head and put me in an improved state of mind before tackling the day. I think it also helped keep me from sliding into a debilitating depression when Cullen wasn’t doing well.
But @gward is right, it helps when you make a point of doing this at home too. It was actually one of my New Year’s resolutions to get dressed and make myself somewhat presentable every day even if I have no plans to go anywhere. I’m doing it for my mental wellness. I’ve had a few PJ days but not consecutively.
That being said, there are days when staying in your PJ’s and hibernating so to speak does wonders too! I just suggest if you find your feeling down, try getting dressed and ready for the day, even if you aren’t going out. Do it for yourself!
February 10, 2022 at 1:27 pm #33400
True, @colleensteele, this easily applies to caregivers, too. I know most caregivers leave themselves as last. I love that you took that time to shower and get dressed even while Cullen was in the hospital. I know that must have been some much-needed time for yourself, too.
But kudos to you for making that a priority on those days when you could have easily cared less what you looked like. Yeah, I’ve been a caregiver at the bedside for days, too. I know it can be easy not to take that time.
I notice that you’re always dressed for any call that we’ve been on together. I may be in lounge clothes, but trying to look more presentable on calls and when even on days I’m not in calls. Since I don’t wear much makeup, my concealer, face powder, and mascara are my go-to’s.
February 10, 2022 at 11:47 pm #33404Cathy BrownParticipant
I wasn’t doing a very good job keeping up appearances before PH, LOL! When I moved to a small town in Alaska in my 20s, I seemed to lose my interest/ability along those lines. I haven’t lived there for a long time but never really recovered any sort of motivation for getting dressed up. Working remotely for the last 10 years hasn’t helped. I do wish there were days when I felt more like putting on makeup (to cover the extreme redness in face from meds) and going on camera for our morning zoom meeting.
February 11, 2022 at 3:08 pm #33410
@catbrown to believe it or not, I was much better at taking care of my appearance back when Cullen had PH and when he was recovering from transplant. It’s an effort for me to even get dressed most days. For me, I think part of it is just that with age I care less about what I look like. But I can truly say, that when I put in the effort, “I” feel better. Getting dressed and doing some minimum self-care seems to wake me up.
@jenc I am a minimalist too when it comes to makeup. A little foundation, light blush, mascara and at one time…lipstick, but what’s the point of that now? LOL. I’ve watched videos of woman using layers of makeup and looking like a new (unrecognizable) person when they are done. I lack those kinds of skills, the money it costs to do it and most of all, the time and energy it must take.
February 14, 2022 at 11:11 am #33419
Hi @catbrown, I am thinking of living in Alaska; I would be more concerned about being warm than looking good, LOL. Maybe that was part of it, for you?
@colleensteele, I laughed at your comment about the YouTube videos of women caking on the layers of makeup and looking unrecognizable. I, too, have seen those. Like you, I don’t have the time, energy, or money for all of that. But those who like this, I must say, to each their own.
I tend to do most things in a more minimalist way of life, so minimalist makeup has always been my thing. I’m a simple gal living in a complicated body, I say. But yes, getting dressed and “presentable” often makes me feel better.
February 17, 2022 at 9:13 am #33455Debbie MooreParticipant
I have found that I don’t accessorize like I used to before PH. I’ll put on earrings and my watch but no more necklaces (too much competition with the air tube) and no more rings (swollen fingers). When this ended so did the make up. I wear it when I go to church. I don’t feel pretty any more. I guess I just don’t feel like me. I think I should be led by Anna’s example and doll up like I did before PH. I may feel different but that doesn’t mean I have to look different. Right?
February 17, 2022 at 2:29 pm #33458
@debbie my heart dropped when you expressed that you don’t feel pretty anymore. I’m sure you radiate beauty in many ways despite the tube and swollen fingers. Maybe treat yourself to a few pairs of new earring, bracelets, or even hair “jewelry” like barrettes and bows. Wear different ones every day. Would you consider treating yourself to a manicure/pedicure every once in a while? I have found that little things can help me feel better about myself in big ways. The key is to do these things for YOU and no one else. Self-love should always take priority.
February 21, 2022 at 11:00 am #33483
Aww, @debbie, hugs to you, my PHriend. I am heartbroken to read your update. I know that we go through such physical changes too, and this too affects us. I often feel self-conscious if I can’t tell others carrying my O2 bag around. But I have learned to do better with self-love and remind myself that I am still beautiful. Those swollen fingers, feet, legs, bellies (my case), and oxygen tubes can look different, but we are still beautiful.
I wear more necklaces; it’s earrings that I often don’t put on. Mine would get tangled in my tubing, and I lost a few single ones that I loved. Once we added masks, that complicated earrings more, so I rarely wear mine.
I do love the ideas that Colleen shares. I do enjoy going for a Mani/Pedi when in the budget. I walk out feeling like a new woman. The same goes for my hair appointments. Last week, I had my hair colored and cut; it was exhausting, but I felt so much better.
You are beautiful; remind yourself that daily. A tip from my therapist. Tape a Post-it note or something on your mirror that you see often and add a message every few weeks. That’s your mantra those few weeks; say it out loud every time you pass that mirror. You could write, “I AM Beautiful.” One of mine was “Self-Care is NOT Selfish.”
February 22, 2022 at 8:19 am #33489Debbie MooreParticipant
Since I posted I have put on makeup every day. I smile at myself in the mirror and say “You look good today” . Maybe I have telekinesis knowing what your therapist said! Heehee! It does make each day see a little more doable. Thanks for your kind words @jen and @coleensteele.
February 22, 2022 at 11:01 am #33492
Hi @debbie, your update made me smile so big! I bet you felt my smile for you from San Diego. I love this, and so ironic that you are using positive self-affirmations. You must be telepathic, LOL.
Please keep showing self-love and remind yourself how much you love and appreciate your body. Even under the strains of PH and other medical conditions, our bodies do so much for us, doesn’t it?
I’m grateful that our words help you get through these challenging days, my beautiful PHriend. Big hugs, I’m so proud of you!
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