Ever catch yourself staring blankly at the depths of your wardrobe, wondering if it's even possible to feel stylish and put-together without sacrificing comfort, function, or your sanity? Turns out you're not alone. Enter dopamine dressing, a delightful concept that's about to help you rediscover your style as a new mum.
So, what is dopamine dressing?
Think of it as starting your day with a much needed dose of joy – it's not about being a slave to the latest fashion trends or putting together a runway-worthy look to hit the grocery store. Who has the time, anyway? Dopamine dressing is the art of picking clothes that simply make you feel good. Maybe even feel like the radiant, capable mum you are.
Scientifically Speaking: Elevating Your Mood, One Outfit at a Time
Dopamine, often called the "feel-good" brain chemical, plays a crucial role in our mood and well being. The theory is when you wear clothes that you love, your brain releases dopamine, enhancing your mood and overall mental state. So, in essence, what you wear can contribute to your happiness!
I know, I know what you're thinking. You're busy mums. "Why am I even worried about my wardrobe when there are a million other things on my plate?" The thing is, taking a few moments for yourself each day is not vain or selfish; it's a form of self-care. By prioritising how you feel in your clothes, you're setting yourself up for a better day. It's a sneaky little way of investing in your mental health, confidence, and overall well being.
A Practical Mum Guide: How to Dive into Dopamine Dressing
How do you feel?
Let's toss aside the pressure on new mums to 'bounce back', and embrace the beauty of feeling good in what you wear. If you pull on a beautiful floral maxi dress, do you feel a little romantic and free-spirited? Does a blazer/pants combo make you feel powerful and in-charge? Are you happy and relaxed in bike shorts and a colourful tee? Or, do you feel like you've been wearing dull colours and boring shapes because you're "supposed to"? Have you been trying to squeeze into some trendy jeans that actually make you feel a little insecure? Getting used to what emotions pop up in different outfits is the key to unlocking which clothes you want to be wearing more of.
The colors we surround ourselves with can have a major impact on the psyche, and historically colors have even been used to heal. For example, traditionally red is associated with passion; yellow with happiness and hope; blue with calmness; and black with elegance and mystery. It's all about how these colours make you feel, so start filling your wardrobe with all the shade combos that fill your cup. And it doesn't have to be the same every day! Wake up feeling dark and moody? There's an outfit for that. Wake up feeling bright and optimistic? Let your clothes tell the story all day long.
There's a reason you haven't thrown out that old, faded cotton tee from years ago. It's soft and comforting, and some days you just need that. In fact, the sensory experience of your clothes can have a huge impact on your mood without you even realising. Ever been kind of cranky all day only to realise the thread on your top was subtly itching your neck the whole time? No wonder! New rule: immediately donate all the tight jeans you can't bend in, the dresses that make you feel too scratchy, and the long sleeves that bunch up and drive you wild. You deserve to feel comfortable every single day, whatever that means for you.
What about boob access?
Not all breastfeeding fashion is created equally, and not all feeding journeys look alike. There are different styles to suit different lifestyles and situations, and some may be better for some days than others. Take note of how you feel when using side zips (is it easier to whip a boob out whenever you need?), front buttons (do you prefer the flexibility of unbuttoning?) or pull-down styles (do you just need feeding to be as speedy as possible?) You may feel more comfortable with the coverage provided by certain styles, or you may find certain styles you want to keep long after you've finished breastfeeding.
Experiment and have FUN!
Embracing your personal style is a really fun way to express your personality everywhere you go. Sure you're a mum now, but not all mums are alike! So we certainly don't all have to wear the same things. Don't be afraid to make small changes and try new combos whenever you're feeling a little adventurous. It's also a great way to bond with your friends and other new mums, by swapping stories and ideas, and chatting together about new outfit combinations that have boosted your mood.
At the end of the day, there's no right or wrong way to give dopamine dressing a go. So, whether it's finding the perfect top for easy feeds or slipping into something that makes you feel truly fabulous amidst the chaos – this is your sign to start dressing for joy, one comfy and chic outfit at a time. Because when you feel good, you're ready to conquer the world (or at least the next round of dirty nappy changes).