You don’t deserve to be ill, unless you’re a mass murderer who did have loving parents and a cuddly puppy growing up. But you also don’t deserve to be mess. Yes, it suck. It’s frustrating. It’s hard. It makes you violent. It makes you sounds like a manic-depressive cartoon donkey. But… it’s not the end of the world. Unless you’re terminal. And in that case I will shut up before I head into political incorrectness that comes with the awkwardness of not knowing what to say.
Having conditions that wreak havoc on our bodies, hair, skin, and personalities don’t mean defeat. Food allergies or systematic deficiencies have obvious effects on our appearance and it will get anyone down. But by Jove, you are still a woman and you gotta fight for that right. In this case, I refer mainly to looks. I’m not THAT vain. I’ll talk about being beautiful on the inside another day (Don’t wait up).
It means you just have to hyper focus on the work it takes to upkeep what matters to your girly side. Find what’s making you bummed out and work on it whether its personal, external, spiritual, social, etc. But don’t forget its okay to take care of yourself. You’re going to have to spend more time and effort in some departments. It’s commendable to treat yourself to some vanities if your body is attacking them, especially since you understand your situation the best.
- Stay pretty. If your skin is prone to dryness or acne, stop buying crap makeup and invest in some Bare Minerals. Nothing there should worsen it. Enhance what you got. No need to for a drag queen process, just pick your best feature and enhance, especially on a sucky day.
- Too tired to take care of basic aesthetic maintenance? Not an excuse. If you’re couch-bound with pain: paint your toenails, pluck your eyebrows, keep your hair brushed, or simply write a to-do list of what you would like to do when you feel better.
- For Crabby Face Syndrome (CFS), keep sexy tunes blasting in the background. Don’t be too tired to make your Dance Dance Dance Playlist. Stop listening to Everybody Hurts by REM. Let yourself smile. It won’t magically change your woes, but it will magically make it more tolerable.
- It doesn’t matter if you’re home alone, with your patient husband who doesn’t care if your pajamas are holey, or out on the town. Dress decent. Wear something cute or sexy. You don’t have to be all made up, but find the one thing that makes you feel pretty and keep it up with the bit of life force you have left. People still have to look at you.
- Stuck plopped in front of the tv with severe joint pain or fatigue? Get down even lower. Stretch your hams, your hips, your arms. Learn some sit-down yoga moves. You’ll have less pain and keep those wonderful muscles of yours happy. Be as mobile as you can when you’re limited so your blood keeps flowing.
- If those brownies, cookies, and cake are whispering your name, and you’re sick and tired or being sick and tired, and just don’t care anymore… don’t give in! I’m talking to you food allergy and fatigue partners-in-crime. We will cave here and then, but if you fall, make sure when you’re back up that you learn some indulgent recipes that won’t punch you in the stomach. Make a substitute list and post it on your fridge or keep in a lil notebook.
Original Craving: Venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte with Whip Extra Hot and Old Fashion Doughnut
Less Damaging Replacement: Grande Chai Tea Latte with Soy (ask for the tea bag, bypass the syrup) and the shortbread cookies in shape of a cat and owl.
- When you have to bail on a girls night out because you feel like bird droppings, make them come to you. Host movie night. Everyone brings a treat. You give the cash for someone to pick up the goodies and the DVD. Or, save the money you would’ve spent partying for an outfit when you’re healthy again. Start planning the next marvelous adventure. Organize an album from the times you have gone out and make them send you pictures of the first one who passes out that night.
- If you have to wear sweatpants to be comfortable, buy sexy sweatpants. Not ones that make you look like you’re a toddler with fuzzy balls and SpongeBob Square Pants attacking the fleece (unless that’s part of your core personality in which that’s okay I suppose). But if you’re having trouble feeling sexy, buy sexy things and incorporate them into your lounging repertoire. (This one I was very guilty of in our newlywed marriage. I had brought over some rainbow pants that felt delicious, but a loser in the turn-on-your-husband category).
- Regarding comfortable shoes: I still have not figured this one out yet. I can no longer wear heels for more than a few minutes. I resent ballet slippers and flip-flops, no matter how bejeweled. I want to throw them at the walls. Once I put on my pink snakeskin stilettos for 15 minutes and cat-walked in front of my cats just to remember what its like. So if you know or have a coping mechanism for switching from hot shoes to practical kicks, please contact me!
- The roughest one of all: if your hair falls out easily…do anything it takes to stop and possibly reverse the process. Go broke trying out gentler shampoos. Buy treatments for hair. Get on Rogaine if you have to. I did one time until I found something that works better for me. Thank you Kiss My Face and Purology. Use organic and/or natural shampoos that won’t be harsh on your sensitive scalp follicles. Research, buy shiny pomades, get a wig, take vitamins, get a scalp biopsy. Be proactive about the really tough stuff that don‘t have easy solutions. It’s your womanhood and don’t let anything tell you it’s all in your head! If it’s on the bathroom floor, it’s not on your head.
There are days when you are just too exhausted or in pain to imagine putting an outfit together and slipping into skinny jeans. You know your body would not forgive you. Listen to your temple and be nice to it. It may mean you need to pull back on everything altogether and stop for some serious rest. If you can’t hold up your shoulders hoisting a hair blow dryer, sling back a cute ponytail and stay in. Don’t stop taking care of yourself. If pre-illness days you were on fire, keep the internal glow on days that require toning down. We must radiate still. Life goes on. People will appreciate the pride you take in yourself and how you carry yourself through rough times. It inspiring to yourself and others. Looking good on the outside is not the most important thing, but its sure easier to be confident and brighter when you know you worked for it.
Never be too bummed out to care what you look like either. Our presence is determined by mirror images of our inner and outer person; they reflect each other. I relate all these tips because I went through a phase when my hair was always flat, legs unshaven, bags under my eyes, etc. Of course, I didn’t want to look like this, but I was so pissed at how much I had to strain to achieve movement, I spent the energy being mad, rather than throwing on some lip gloss. If you’re going through an emotional vs. physical rut, go out and get something sparkly. If you’re not the type, maybe its time to start. And if you’re too tired to shop for something that makes you feel beautiful, order online!
Work it ladies.