I have to preface this blog post with a disclaimer. I don’t actually have things that hard, nor do most of the people I know. Yes, it totally sucks that we are all trying to work while homeschooling, cleaning our own houses, and cooking three meals a day. However, most people in our income bracket are not worried about putting food on the table or not having a roof over our heads. So let’s all be grateful for that. It doesn’t mean that this is a walk in the park though and that we don’t wish multiple times a day we could just clone ourselves!
Wouldn’t it be great if there could he a house mommy and a work mommy simultaneously? And when are we supposed to be baking bread and watching all those videos online? I did hear one line the other day that really stuck with me. “How will you want to remember April 2020?” Will I want to remember the homework battles and always feeling pulled in multiple directions only? No, I don’t. Every day is a work in progress but I’m trying to keep that thought in mind. In the meantime, here are 5 strategies that are helping me get through the day feeling like myself, even if I can’t exactly behave like my old self.
Getting Dressed Everyday
I’m sure you aren’t surprised I started with this one! It is so important. Yes, I did accidentally pour cinnamon down my hand-wash-only Marimekko clad arm the other day, but it was worth it to feel cute all day. I started the first week in Athleisure but found that wasn’t enough to boost my mood and moved onto dressier options. It is funny how dressy even jeans feel these days, isn’t it? The picture below is me in jeans on my way out for a walk with James. Every time I get onto a Zoom call in “real” clothes, my client notices and it lifts their mood too! My point is, getting out of lounge and exercise clothes will make you feel so much more human. If you are going to exercise, you can take 30 seconds to change. Even when I am wearing a t-shirt and jeans, I’m making sure the t-shirt says something cute and I’m throwing an open sweater over it that pulls the look together into an outfit. You can do it, ladies! Refer back to the blog, 5 Work From Home Style Types.
5 Minute Makeup
Yes, this is an excuse to let your skin breath and just not bother, but don’t you feel so much better if you are wearing makeup every time you glance in the bathroom mirror, or someone wants a last minute video call? At this point, I feel we should all be prepared to be on camera at all times. Being on camera requires not just your regular makeup, but EXTRA makeup, lest your features disappear. I’m not even suggesting that. Well, maybe a little extra blush! See the blog, How to Look (and Feel) Put-Together and Powerful While Video-Conferencing, for more information. You should have an easy, repeatable routine. My daily routine involves a CC Cream (or foundation if I’m having a client Zoom call), concealer, powder, mascara, a quick swipe of eye shadow, blush, and lip color of some sort. This five minutes is a huge boost to my self confidence that lasts all day.
Wearing Earrings Always
It may seem silly to wear earrings when you are hanging out at home with your kids or by yourself, but they truly add a finishing touch that exceeds the small effort it takes to put them on. Maybe you are just keeping the same studs in day after day to keep things easy. That’s fine of course. However, I broke out these dangly Kendra Scott earrings (gift from my awesome sis-in-law!) for my live chat with Kacy Paide Tuesday (replay here), and kept them on all day because wearing big, dangly earrings was such a fun change.
Painting My Nails
I know. I know. We could all use a “real” pedicure, right? I recently took matters into my own hands and feel so much better. I painted my toenails Essie’s Russian Roulette last week and I get a boost every time I catch a glimpse of them. This is a lot of course since I’m mostly wearing open-toed mink sport slides or EVA Birkenstocks in the house! Russian Roulette is the “perfect red” for my pale but warm-toned skin. I encourage you to find your perfect red nail polish. I was also painting my fingernails with my favorite Static Nails nudes, but at this point there are just too many dishes to keep up my finger nails. It felt so good though! Another trick I offer you is to then put a thick layer of Aquaphor on your feet and cover them with cotton socks before bed. When you wake up your feet will at least look like you’ve had a pedicure within the last few weeks.
Keeping a Covid-19 Journal
There are two reasons I am trying to journal, something I know really helps me in “normal” times, but of course I have a hard time keeping up with when I’m so busy and tired at the end of the day. I’ve heard from others that I am not the only one who has been having trouble sleeping. Writing things down before bed really helps me do a “brain dump” and work conflicts out on paper, and therefore rest easier. Secondly, we will want to remember what life was like during this time. What were we doing differently, what was daily life really like, how were we and our kids reacting, what were our fears and hopes? We had our first Zoom Passover Seder last night and it was so cute to see the kids bring their pages with the four questions up to the computer screen to look at Grandma and Grandpa as up close as possible while they half mispronounced the Hebrew into the computer screen. I want to remember that! It will also be funny to remember that I thought I was so efficient in ordering Passover dinner until Mr. Real Life Style showed up for the pick-up and was informed that I had put in the wrong date for the order. Shout out to Wagshal’s for scrounging up our original order anyway and being super nice about it! Multi-tasking mommy fail, ha ha!
Isn’t the violet Paper Source journal Kyle bought me for my birthday last year beautiful? Just what I needed right now! What strategies are helping you get through the day? Let me know!
Lani Inlander is a personal stylist who has been working with clients who want to feel their best and look put-together every day for over 20 years. You can find her in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Learn how you can train with Lani and Kyle to become a personal stylist at The Stylist Studio.
You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.