In no way is anyone obligated to look a certain way when they leave the house. In fact, people with children have a pretty good excuse to look like they've been through a storm because, well, they have. But, setting aside some time in my day to care for and groom myself centers me and puts me in a mindset of having control over my life. Looking like I'm well cared for is like putting on armor against the attacks of my day. Pooplosions and 18 smashed eggs can't touch me because I look great today. Ha.
Here comes the real puzzle though. How do you find the time or the energy to give to yourself during the day? That's the exact reason people drp thkse self-care habits because the time just doesn't exist.
Well, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you build time into your day and look like you spent hours getting ready when all you had was a handful of minutes.
1. The easiest way to dress yourself quickly is to grab the first couple things you see that don't smell and cover all the appropriate bits. I know that's all I want to do at seven in the morning when I have three kids to get ready and out the door. And while that's always an option, it's not one that makes me feel good about myself. But, since I don't have a computerized closet to help me pick out my clothes in the morning like Cher in Clueless (life is so unfair) I had to troubleshoot this problem. My solution is pretty simple and actually makes the whole process more fun and engaging. Like some people meal plan and have everything prepped and ready to go for the week, I prep my outfits.
I find the easiest way to do this is to build outfits while I am putting my laundry away. I try to put together an outfit with each clean item I hang up by combining it with things that are already in the closet. I gather everything I need including camis, tights, or accessories and put it all on one hanger and by the time I'm done putting my laundry away, I have a good selection of pre-packaged outfits just waiting to be plucked off the rod and put into action.
Not, only does this make getting ready easy, it also allows me to be creative and thoughtful with my clothing when I'm wide awake and there's no pressure to be somewhere. I can take the time to add those extra details and layers that create dimension and interest while also being able to come up with fresh combinations of pieces. So, it might look like I spend a lot of time getting dressed but, really it takes no more time than grabbing jeans and a t-shirt. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
2. Your hair can take as little or as much time as you want depending on how complicated you want to get but, you can ease the burden by washing your hair less often.
I know! This freaks some people out but, give it a chance. Hair has a natural cycle of oil and many people have trained their hair to become greasy faster by washing their hair too frequently and interrupting the cycle. In fact, that's not even healthy for your hair. If you commit to washing your hair less you will find that after about six weeks you can go much longer in between washes without looking like an unwashed middle schooler.
I personally go about 5 days in between washes and I wash and style my hair all on the same day. This is usually a pretty long process and is something that I have to schedule into my day. Which sounds bad but because I don't wash my hair again for another five days, with dry shampoo and quick touch ups, I can make my style last a long time. So, instead of doing a blow out or curling my hair every day, I do it once and reap the benefits all week. By the end, when my hair is starting to get limp and lack luster, I have a few easy updos or styles in my back pocket that are a bit more intricate than a standard ponytail or bun.
3. Getting a good "five minute face" makeup routine down pat will do you a lot of good. You don't have to do winged liner, full contour, and perfect red lips everyday. Just enough well placed make up will make you look fresher and more awake. Two steps that you should definitely add to your routine if you aren't already doing them, especially if you're a mom, are peach colored under eye concealer and a good highlighter. Even if the rest of your routine is just foundation and mascara, with under eye concealer and highlighter you will look like you got 8 hours of rock solid sleep and you in no way are fantasizing about a mid afternoon nap.
Implementing these habits into your daily routine will allow you plenty of time to step into the chaos of your life fully armored and ready for battle.