Wardrobe & Lifestyle changes to help cope with chronic illness
Wardrobe changes that help me cope with chronic illness and pain.
Here is the YouTube video and below is the “script” which is essentially just my notes for the video. I don’t have the luxury of time to change the context of all the writing so thank you for understanding 🙂
If for some reason there’s a problem with the embedded YouTube above, you can click here, to watch: https://youtu.be/kw6jSy7Exk4
Today I’ll be talking about clothing, hair, make-up and related tips for coping. Caveat not all tips will be doable to you, some you may already do, the hope is that you get that one nugget that gives you a little more you for you.
Welcome to Going Beyond Coping. My name is Dawn Super and I help people cope with chronic illness and pain. Having 9 of my own disorders, I’ve found a lot of coping tips and I like to share. If you’re watching this on YouTube and haven’t already subscribed, please do so now here: https://youtube.com/c/goingbeyondcoping
Find your style and own it. Be willing to forgo the pressure of society to be different. It will pay off on more ways than just convenience 😉 The more comfortable you are, the better you will feel. Not saying wear jammies to work lol but open your mind to possibilities. Work on not caring what other people think. These kind of wardrobe changes will make your life a little easier and help you keep going beyond coping.
Examples specific to me:
For a time, I wore dresses all the time because restricting my legs was setting off my RLS.
For a time, I wore a scarf every day because even the slightest breeze from A/C would seize my fibro triggers. I also used to dress like a Sherpa without a mountain because I was freezing all the time. The temp controls for the body are in a region of the my brain that’s been affected. When my skin went nuts (Urticaria), I tried the Wim Hof breathing method. I did it for four days, just the breathing and now I’m not freezing anymore! So wild. I can also withstand the heat of Los Angeles, even in the summer, without getting tired. I HIGHLY recommend trying it out for yourself.
Sometimes I wear my Ugg slippers out of the house because they help with my pain levels.
Buying sparkly, raised heel fancy “flip flops” from YellowBox because they’re uber comfy and look nice. Or, the sparkly ones made of the same material as yoga mats.
I still wear hats all the time because my hair drives my skin crazy.
Minimal jewelry for me, no bracelets or necklaces (they annoy my body) and my husband got me a different style of wedding ring because I wanted something that wouldn’t “catch” on everything I own.
No make-up. I held on, despite symptoms, until one day I decided to see what my life would be like without it. If you’re curious how that went, I did a post about that. 16 things I learned in my year without make-up. I’ll link it in the caption, there is a link to the youtube video there and a companion text here: 16 Things
Hair. I cut and color my own hair. I’m happy with it and that’s all that really matters lol. Simple style. I use plant based hair color, click to read my review: Naturtint hair color. I wash my hair in the sink (arms over head = POTS issues, fibro flares; and narcolepsy makes me sleepy in the shower, which makes holding up arms harder. I blow dry my hair upside-down, holding the dryer between my knees. It works, so I keep doing it.
Dress for ease. Comfort + Confidence = potential symptom management. You won’t know until you try!
Have enough clothes for two weeks but do laundry weekly. That way if you hit a bad spot you don’t have to explain to your co-workers why you’re wearing your prom dress… again. Lol kidding! But yeah, we all have those “last of the laundry” outfits, I’m sure.
Buy clothes that are easy to maintain. I wash all my clothes together in cold water. If you have things that have to be washed in hotter water, try to get all your clothes like that so they can all go in one load.
Cut off tags if they bother you, if you wash everything in cold you don’t need them lol.
Wear clothes inside out if need be. Chronic hives, pressure urticaria, fibromyalgia, sensory issues… play around with changing things and just see if anything changes. If you’re concerned with appearances you can wear a right side out one over the inside out one. << I do that a lot lol
I know lots can’t do this, and the guys don’t need to lol but, I ditched a bra. I’ve had costochondritis on and off for most of my adult life. Plus fibro and myofascial pain syndrome, so there was zero comfortable about anything on my body like that. I have to wear string bikinis, or tube style because even just for a few hours, the pain can linger long after. Huge pain reduction for me going without. For modesty, I choose clothes that work without one and use scarves, or double shirts.
Taking clothes out of the dryer. It is rare for me to have the kind of time and bandwidth to see a load of laundry through from beginning to end lol. Fortunately, I have a washer and dryer in my garage. Obviously, this tip won’t work if you use a laundromat lol. By laying my clothes out on the dryer, I can then transfer them to the back of the sofa and fold them as time permits. They’re still wrinkly lol but not AS wrinkly. Jeans I fold straight away to avoid needing to iron them and socks and undies just go in the basket.
I taught my kids to do the same thing. Great thing is, if they need the washer and my stuff is in the dryer, they lay it out for me like that! So thoughtful. And, helpful!
Shore up your weakest skills.
Don’t like folding? Hang up your clothes in the closet, if you’ve got the room. Or, arrange them in the order you want to wear them and lay them over a chair. Each day you take the top one and the rest stay fairly unwrinkled. Of course this doesn’t work if you’re wearing a suit to work lol.
Never remember to put the clothes in the dryer? Or to even get them in the washer lol? Set an alarm. Enlist a friend to remind you. Put post it notes where they’ll be in the way.
Bonus tips for Family:
Buy each person a different brand of socks and underwear. Makes sorting a breeze. If you want to keep it even simpler, buy all the same color socks.
Or, stitch a color in clothes you want to identify. Each person gets their own simple stitch in the same location on each garment for easy identification. This helps tremendously when your kids wear the same size clothes. Yes, it takes time to stitch them all but it’s just enough to make the color obvious and you usually only have to do it once.
Different shape, or color, clothes baskets for each kid. Whether plastic or fabric, there are plenty available that each can have their own. If for some reason you can’t… they make duct tape in different colors lol or you could even use permanent marker to write their name on their basket.
Kids do their part:
When my kids were young, I’d have them sort underwear and socks and put them away.
As they grew, they folded their own. Then it was, “Hey, put the clothes in the dryer.” Then I taught them how to use the washer and dryer and by the time they had teen in their age, they were doing their own laundry. Huge difference for me. If your kids are physically capable, let them be capable. They need to learn eventually anyway.
That’s it. I mean I could probably come up with more but this is long enough lol.
Become a tweaker of your life. I did a video about that too, if you’re interested: (LINK)
Happy matters warriors! If you made it this far, thank you! Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Make it a great day, the choice is always yours!