Mental health is a very important and also very topical issue, popping up more and more on social media platforms, on the news, online and being spoken about more frequently. As someone who suffers from anxiety and is reaching out for professional help to get advice and to help myself, I certainly think it is a positive thing that it has become so popular and less of a stigma. It is also more common for people, women and girls in particular, to speak out about experiences of rape, sexual assault and being insecure about body image due to unrealistic views portrayed through social media. Apart from the mainstream ideas to eliminate anxiety and become more positive, a few others work for me, and these are actually things I’ve been doing for a while and only just realised that they’re beneficial to my mental health. Today I’m sharing these simple methods with you in the hope you too can use them to benefit you.
In a previous post on my blog, I mentioned creating an alter ego; by doing this and being able to clearly picture them, I have managed to think up a completely separate person, with different ideas, clothes, makeup and a separate personality. This allows me to embody someone who is inspirational in my mind and act as if I am them and have their envious confidence and readiness to mix with other people and easy friendliness, as well as a gorgeous sense of style. This is where the style aspect comes into it.
By creating a whole new person, I obviously have to add things such as what they like to wear, if they are sporty or prefer to be inside, what subjects they liked at school and more. Designing a wardrobe for them that I would not usually wear through the simple fact that it isn’t within my comfort zone has massively expanded the horizon of what I wear, the stores I shop at and my own idea of what is beautiful, all of which are portrayed through my new outfits, new buys and my confidence.
A few of my recent purchases have been mom jeans, slightly tailored at the ankle and waist but apart from that, baggy and a faded blue colour, subtly lighter than your classic denim. I picked them out in Topshop, wanting to simply see if the style suited me, and headed into the changing rooms, hoping the stunning sales assistant wouldn’t second guess the handful of optimistic clothes I was clutching in my slightly sweaty palm. However, even with doubts sitting like stones at the back of my mind, I decided the jeans actually looked nice paired with the tighter shirt I was wearing and thought about the possibility of me buying them. I then remembered that I should try to be a little different and do something that may not be completely within my comfort zone, and bought them; on the same trip, I tried a few Bardot tops from Zara and decided a scarlet one would go nicely with the jeans and left, satisfied with the new additions to my evergrowing wardrobe. I’ve also experimented with darker shades of lipstick paired with wintery sweaters and jeans (yes, basic, but the classic red lip did look admittedly good) and tried a very adventurous eyeshadow palette of obnoxiously bright shades by Revolution, and become a little obsessed with a gold shade that I use as eyeliner to contrast with my green eyes – a good really does come from trying something new! I’ve attended a few big things since I bought the top and jeans in mid November time, and have been able to settle into the charisma of another person while wearing them; actually, I have even managed to change my little mannerisms and shift them to be similar to those of one of my friends, which was also a little boost of confidence. Finally, changing makeup looks and wearing products I’d never choose in a million years before has allowed me to accept that changing my look around once in a while really is beneficial, and the change of style and heart has eliminated some of the anxiousness I have felt before at social events, even including family get together and church congregations.
Anyway, the moral of my story is that by stepping out of line a little and becoming a tiny bit bolder, I have felt less anxious recently; maybe it is under the pretence of my stunningly confident alter ego, but the experimentation with new outfits has eliminated some of my self-confidence and also fear of being with other people in common social situations; the image I am hiding behind is such a strong one I have convinced myself as well as the people I am fooling. Having said that though, please remember that the answer to solving and overcoming your anxiety disorder is not simply through fashion; this post is sharing one of my favourite methods that helps with confidence issues and social anxiety but it isn’t a replacement of effective treatment methods such as counselling or therapy.
If you are struggling with a mental health disorder, you must reach out! It’s so important that you receive the help you need, and I have recently learnt my own lesson and changed my life for the better. If you ever need a helping hand or simply to rant, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be more than happy to help!