Dress for (mental) success

Have you even noticed how energized and confident you feel when you dress nicely?   You would never wear sweatpants or pajamas on a first date (I hope)!  You would not go to a job interview with your hair a mess and not showering for three days (I hope!).  One function of your attire is to communicate to others who you are and how you want to be treated.  Pajamas in public do not communicate a desire for respect.  Your attire also communicates to YOURSELF!  I know that when I am dressed nicely, my posture is better, my confidence is up, my eye contact is improved…low and behold, I am in a better mood!  In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) we teach a skill called Opposite action which encourages folks to identify their problematic urge associated with an emotion that they’d like to change and DO THE OPPSITE.  Seems bizarre, right?  Think about depression…when you are feeling sad, unmotivated, depressed, or lonely I would venture to guess that you have urges to stay in bed, not shower, and if you HAVE to get out of bed…to wear your pajamas or “comfy clothes”.  WRONG! Please do not do that…it only serves to feed the depression.

  • Step one: GET UP
  • Step two: BATHE
  • Step three: use products (lotion, hair products, perfume/cologne)
  • Step four: wear the nicest clothes that are socially appropriate for your daily tasks
  • Step five: get to it.  Get to your day, get to work, run errands, visit people, etc.

I PROMISE that it will ease up the mood.  These actions do not fix depression, they are not a replacement for medication and/or therapy; however they are an excellent and inexpensive step toward you regaining control.


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