Coping Skills. #25. Dressing Up

Coping Skill 25: Dressing Up

Coping Skill 25: Dressing Up

Eating disorders often dictate how you must look.  Many girls I met draped themselves in flowing material in hopes that no one would see their body.  I, on the other hand, feared roomy clothing.  Instead, my outfits emphasized my figure.  Although different, both of these tactics served the eating disorder instead of the person.

For some men and women, dressing up fancily is a chore or trigger.  However, it can also be used for recovery.  Allowing yourself to feel beautiful is wonderful.  Although difficult to master at first, this coping skill brings confidence, encouragement, and hope for a future without body image problems.

This coping skill can take hours or a few minutes.  Each person goes about it differently.  The most important part of it is knowing what work the best for you.  If this skill begings to make you feel more frustrated, then you should move on to something else.  However, I recommend that everyone tries out this skill at least for a moment.  You might be surprised at the result.

First of all, decide how in depth you want to go.  Do you have enough time to bath, paint your nails, put on lotion, etc?  If not, what are the most important elements of dressing up for you?  Some people might prefer curling their hair while others need only to find the right pair of earrings to match their outfit.  Ideas may include but are not limited to these:

  • Bathing or showering
  • Putting on perfume or lotion
  • Waxing or shaving
  • Applying makeup
  • Painting your nails
  • Doing a new hairstyle
  • Putting on earrings, shoes, and an outfit
  • Trying out a new look

Secondly, choose clothing and accessories that make you feel good.  If you do  not feel confident in what you are wearing, find sometime else.  This is the whole point of dressing up – helping you to feel better about yourself.

After this, choose what you want to do now that you have finished your coping skill.  Would hanging out with someone be nice or do you want to be alone?  Shopping, seeing a movie or play, going out to eat, or just staying home are all options of activities.

This coping skill might seem shallow, but it has helped me to view my body in a more positive light.  Although it does not cure body image satisfaction, it seems to be on its way to doing so.  If you have not tried out this skill, you might want to do so.  Perhaps you will pleasantly surprised like I was.

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