07 January 2012

Dress to Impress-- Why You Should Take Care of Yourself for Yourself, and Him Too

I don't know about the rest of you, but I absolutely hate to be sick. I loathe it more than almost anything else in this world. Especially a head cold. Nothing is less attractive then an endlessly running nose, sniffling, and coughing all day long. When you get sick, there really isn't anything you can do about it aside from waiting it out. We don't have the cure for the common cold. Yet.

This topic came to mind to me because last night I was battling a low-grade fever and I hoped that a good night's sleep would be just the trick to get me feeling good and perky this morning. The sleep, unfortunately, just didn't work. Apparently, I cannot just sleep off an impending cold.

I will tell you one thing that does help me feel better, though. That one thing is dressing up.

That's right. Dressing up. It may be a simple vanity thing, or some deep subconscious feminine need, but whenever I'm sick, making myself pretty is a surefire way to perk up my mood.

I'm not a makeup addict by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just as likely to leave the house on any given day au naturale, without even a dab of something pretty on my face, as I am to apply something. I do, however, notice a huge change in how I feel when I go to the trouble of taking that five or ten minutes to do so.

In other words, I am not one of those "high-maintenance" chicks. I far prefer to be natural, and I do believe that K shares the same opinion.

However. However! By the same token, there are times when I simply feel that I want to look better...and often enough, dressing a little nicer than I usually do or quickly applying some concealer, mascara, and lip gloss does the trick. Yes, I do it for myself, and the truth of the matter is that whenever my mood is so-so and could stand some improvement, this always works

I make myself up pretty and maybe even throw on a nice skirt or dress. My mood elevates immediately. Take it from the girl whose average skin care regimen includes washing her face and brushing her hair, and whose wardrobe primarily consists of flip flops, cargo pants, and tank tops.

I look in the mirror and see myself...only better. And that, in turn, makes me feel better. I suppose there's some scientific reason for this, and I know I've found it here and there before, but I'm not going to go to the bother of looking this all up to post on here. Suffice it to say this: 

It is scientifically proven that making oneself look nicer is a surefire way to improve your mood.

Now that that's out of the way...one might ask this: dressing up and putting on makeup is great. It makes me feel nice, happier, insert-good-feeling-emotion here. However, what does that have to do with my man?

This is where things get a little more complicated. But not too complicated.

When two people share space with each other like two married / committed people do, there are naturally a lot of things that they see of each other that others don't. We go through sweaty days, stinky days, cranky days, period days, those days where last night's dinner simply didn't agree with you at all... For parents, it might become old hat to walk around in that shirt with infant spit up on it, wearing sweatpants and slippers all day long. Most humans don't see this sort of thing from anyone else except their partner. 

Sometimes these things are more frequent than the sweet-smelling, sexy-looking, nice days when your man wants to lock you into the bedroom all day and throw away the key.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I, for my part, far greatly prefer feeling sexy, wanted, and desired. 

It's very easy to get into an appearance slump, but it's also correctable and can go a long way toward improving your relationship if it's starting to slump, too.

Think back to when you and your man first got together or were dating. Heaven forbid should a hair on your head be out of place. You were always sure to look nice. He would never see you in sweats and hair in a ponytail. You wouldn't even dream of letting him see your legs unshaved. You wouldn't skip a shower if your life depended on it...all because of that desire to attract him to you, to make yourself appear more desirable than all the other little female fishies in the sea.

But somewhere along the line, that can change. You get committed. Life catches you up. You find yourself with less and less time, especially if you both work or there are babies to take into account. You love your man, yes...but at the same time, you no longer fear losing him.

After all, if he can tolerate the occasional after dinner flatulence, he can tolerate anything...right?

The fact of the matter is, once you get to that certain point in your relationship, looks seem to become less important. You've caught your man, so it's cool now. You're free to let things go a little.

But I'm saying you shouldn't do this, and if you discover that you're falling into this pattern, that you should get out of it, fast. You might be a harried stay at home mother and homemaker or a hard-working woman with a full time job, but you do not have to look like one! 

Do things for yourself once in a while. Hell, do something for yourself at least once a week, if not once a day. Doing so will improve your mood tremendously...and your man will enjoy looking at you, too. Liking looking at you, in turn, will cause him to continue to find you desirable, which in turn will cause you to feel more desirable.

People might claim this sort of thinking is sexist, but I personally do not believe in sexism. It's a simple matter of cause and effect. 

Cause: Children run you around all day, or work keeps you all hours of the day. You're harried and you can barely cope with or keep up with everything.

Effect: You run out of energy for everything, even for your man and yourself. You let yourself slip, and sex eventually goes right out the window in favor of, please God, just one good night of sleep!

Here's another one, though, that's far nicer than the first one:

Cause: You notice you're looking crappy, feeling crappy, and have no energy so you decide to spend an hour giving yourself a mani/pedi or a nice facial you read about in that woman's magazine.

Effect: You are pleased with yourself, and your mood improves. When your husband/SO comes home and notices your mood, it in turn brightens his day. He suggests a little quality "one-on-one" time that evening with waggled eyebrows. Everyone is happier as a result.

The point is, I'm not trying to say you ought to do things just for yourself or just for your man. Why not do it for both reasons? Looking nice can go a long way toward helping out your mood and therefore improve the mood of everyone in the house.

I know this for a fact, because instead of slumping around in sweatpants, I decided to throw on a skirt and some nicely applied, tasteful makeup today. I might not feel less sick, but I sure do feel better about it!

Give it a try if you haven't already, ladies. It can't hurt and can only help!