Self care during menopause 

If I asked you on a scale of 1-10 about putting yourself as a priority whereabouts would your number be? 
If you’re a mum perhaps your number changed after having kids? Or you might be you are looking after elderly parents these days and that impacts where you put yourself on the scale? 
It’s a well-known fact that what we wear can affect how we feel about ourselves. This week I’m inviting you to consider how much thought you give to wearing clothes that make you look and feel good. How many days a week do you look in the mirror and feel great about your personal style and image? Read on to find my tips to help. 

Body shape changes 

I know for sure my priorities changed when I joined motherhood. Things that were once important didn’t really have the same lure. 
I remember thinking how hard it was to even get dressed when my son was very first born. Everything seemed to take twice as long! It seemed to take forever just to get up, shower and get dressed in the morning – never mind be my pre-child glamorous self with hair done and full make-up every day. It took me all my time to get out of my dressing gown. Trying to get a quick shower with a crying baby in a car seat just didn’t feel very relaxing. 
I have a memory of being in my sister's garden a couple of years later. It was a beautiful sunny day and I’d got my lily-white legs out. I remember feeling sorry for myself and thinking I'd really let myself go because I had bristly legs and hadn't made time to shave them. This was during the terrible two's stage when my angelic, white haired, blue eyed boy had turned into a monster. 
Our body shape can change after kids too. We get the mum tum and saggy bits that don't ping back. We just scrape our hair back into a pony to stop it getting pulled or dipped in mushy food. Make up - who's got time for that? I know that the 5 stone I gained in pregnancy bothered me for a long time and affected how I felt about myself. 

More 'me time' 

Then kids get older, they leave home and go to university. You start to have more time for yourself and want to make a bit more of an effort, but you aren't sure where to start. Your body shape is different, clothes that suited you before don't feel right anymore. You feel a bit too old to shop in the stores you used to frequent but don't feel quite ready for Marks and Spencer’s classic range. 
You want to go out with your mates but don't know what to wear for a night out these days. You don't want to look like mutton dressed as lamb, but you don’t want to be seen as frumpy either. You feel ok going to work because that's easy, you can wear the same 'uniform' of black trousers and a nice top but anything more than that brings you out in a panic. 
Now you’ve got a bit more ‘me time’ you've lost your identity. You don't know what's really you anymore and your confidence that you used to have about what to wear seems to have gone on holiday. You're in a rut and it doesn't feel nice. 

Wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear? 

It's time to make some changes, it's time to get YOU back but where do you start? You’ve already got a wardrobe full of clothes, but you still feel like you’ve got nothing to wear… 
Here are my starter tips for you: 
1: Think about what you like and WHY you like it. How do these items make you feel? This will give you a starting point on the qualities you need to look for in other things. Do some weeding of your existing wardrobe. Chuck out what makes you feel rubbish. Charity shop it or at least store it out of sight if you can’t bear to part with stuff because you’re going to slim into it or because you paid good money for it. 
2: Work out which colours suit you best. Try different coloured fabrics near your face and notice which ones cast shadows – ditch them. Try to only wear your best colours near your face – the ones that make you feel more radiant, and you get compliments when you wear them. Do you suit pink or peach? Blue or green? Silver or gold? These colours will give you an idea of your skin undertone the first in each group = cool, the second =warm. 
3: Take a realistic look at your body shape and proportions. it helps to know which shapes and styles suit you best. Don’t try and hide your figure in baggy, loose fitting clothes but don’t have things straining at the seams either. Look for items that skim rather than cling. Try having a fitted top/loose bottoms or vice versa – not both loose. Keep details on garments away from areas you want to detract from, E.g., Avoid pockets on shirts if you want to detract attention away from your boobs, or pockets on the hips if you are conscious of them. 
4: Think about your lifestyle and the practicalities of the stuff you have. If you’re uncomfortable in anything except jeans, then maybe try jeans shaped trousers in other fabrics when it comes to dressing up a little. Or wear a darker colour denim that looks a bit smarter and can be dressed up or down. Don’t think you have to change what type of clothes you are comfortable in to make changes to how you look and feel – work with what you’re happy in but upgrade the fabric or style slightly. E.g., instead of trainers try ballet flats – still flat and comfy but up a notch in terms of levels of dressing. 
If this all sounds great but you feel like you need a bit of guidance you might be interested in my Super Savvy Style Online Course. It covers all of the above, showing you how to go about it in 12 bite sized lessons that you access when it suits you. Or it might be my book Project FAB! No More Making Do might be just the thing to get you started. You can buy a signed copy with a personalised message direct from me or get it via Amazon. 
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