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Make the Most of Your Mornings: Get Dressed in Something That Makes You Feel Good (Day 10)

So yesterday, I sort of stepped on some of your toes, but today, I’m stepping on my own toes. Because I’ve really been struggling with getting dressed in the morning.

In fact, to be 100% honest, I’ve worn my workout clothes almost all day everyday this week and I only got a few showers in. Ick, I know, but I’m just being truthful here.

If you just were utterly horrified with me, you have every right to be. Because it’s not how I want to be living either. Nor is it the kind of example I want to be setting for my kids.

Yes, I could make the excuse that we started our new homeschooling schedule and P90X this week, but those are just that — excuses. The real reason I’ve been struggling with getting dressed in the morning lies in the fact that I’m not making it a priority.

My days are full, no doubt, but I find time to blog and I find time to read. So that means I could also find time to shower and get dressed in something other than workout clothes! Instead, it seems that this past week I’ve been having my morning quiet time, heading downstairs to exercise with my husband, and then I get busy with taking care of my children’s needs, homeschooling, cleaning, cooking, blogging and all the other things that fill up my day — and all of a sudden, it’s almost dinner time and I’m still in my workout clothes.

I know that when I take a shower and get dressed in something that makes me feel great, including hair and makeup, I feel so much better about myself, I’m able to head out the door at a moment’s notice, I don’t fear the doorbell ringing (!), and I seem to be more productive, too. But knowing these things is not enough, I need to crack down and actually do something about it.

So today, instead of sharing with you some tips and practical ideas like I’ve done every day in this series so far, I’m coming to you for help: What advice and tips do you have for someone like me who struggles to get a shower in and get dressed every morning if I’m not going anywhere that day?

{And I know that those of you who have to be up, dressed, out the door, and to work at 6 a.m. or earlier are probably cracking up at my dilemma since you can’t imagine how someone couldn’t just get up and get dressed. I know, I know, it sounds so simple in theory…!}

I’ll share my plan of action for how I’m going to seek to improve in this area on Monday.

My Day 9 Project Update

Bedtime: I made it to bed by 10 p.m. last night — 30 minutes after my bedtime. Hopefully, I’ll do better next week!

My Top 5 Evening Must Do’s: Done!

Wake Up Time: 5:20 a.m.

Day 10 Project

1. Did you determine your bedtime and 5 Evening Must-Do’s? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did on them last night.

2. Did you determine what time you’re going to commit to waking up every morning for the next three weeks? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did this morning!

3. Did you get in some exercise yesterday and eat a nutritious breakfast? If not, make a commitment today to a specific way you’re going to incorporate exercise and a nutritious breakfast into your day.

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  • One time my husband came home in the middle of the day to surprise me and take me out for lunch during his break. I was still in pj’s and my hair needed to be done! That instance alone really motivated me to be ready “to go” at all times.

    Even if I can’t have my full shower, hair style, and make up– I try to wear comfortable clothes, use dry shampoo and wash my face. That way, I can quickly put on make up and head out the door if needed. 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    I do get dressed fairly late most days, because I can’t stand getting dressed without taking a shower. And I like to do most of my housework before showering.
    During the Summer, I usually end up bathing or showering twice, though, because of the humidity. If I take a walk later in the day or something, I have to bathe again at night before bed. Ha

  • Katie says:

    One thing that really helps me get myself in the shower is having soap, shampoo/ conditioner that smells good. I love getting in the shower when I know I’m going to like the smell and feel of the soap I’m using. I used to use anything I could get the cheapest but now I try to spend a little more on something I like. It’s a little thing but something that has really helped me out.

  • Susan says:

    I’ve just spend a chunk of time reading all these comments, and it’s been really interesting reading.

    Crystal, good for you for putting it out here. I’ve followed your blog for a long time, and it’s hard to picture you not as “put together” as you’d like. But then again, you surely dress nicely, hair and makeup done, etc., when you make videos or for photos that you post here. 🙂

    I’m one who has no difficuly getting showered, dressed and groomed every day, one of those people you mention in that last paragraph above. What? People struggle with getting showered and dressed? No one in my household stays in their jammies all day unless they’re sick; that’s just lazy! I reacted a lot like Margarita’s comment above, shocked that this would be difficutlt for anyone (unless they are sick or have a medical issue, of course; that’s a different story).

    But, well, uh, from your post and many of these, apparently it is difficult for some.

    So, I’m mulling this over as I read, and here’s what I think. First of all, I don’t think you should worry too much about wearing workout clothes all day. Some workout clothes are cute, comfortable, and modest enough for everyday wear, as long as you start out the day clean. If it’s spankies and a sports bra however, you night want to get dressed. Personally, I sweat so heavily that I immediately shower and change after exercising and can’t imagine not doing that, but if you are comfortable, so be it.

    Sloppy sweats and oversize, unisex t-shirts don’t flatter any of us, regardless of our size or shape. If that’s what you wear to work out, or do housework or whatever, fine. But we all feel better when we look better. Don’t we? And by “looking better” I don’t mean dressing up in really nice clothes and going all out with makeup. I just mean clean nice clothes that are comfortable and make us feel like that we look nice. Those cute womens t-shirts from Target that you often detail — perfectly nice for casual wear, instead of a big baggy t-shirt that looks sloppy, and as a result makes feel sloppy.

    Anyway … given that you asked for suggestions means that you do want to work on this area. So, my suggestions would be to adapt the same mindset that you do with other areas of your life — it’s not finished until it’s completely finished. I “know” you well enough to know that you you enjoy cooking for your family, and you also like your kitchen to be clean and clutter free. So, after cooking and eating, do you make it priority to clean up the kitchen or do you leave the dishes in the sink all day? I’m thinking you tidy up right away, pretty much automatically.

    When your homeschooling lessons are finished, so you clear off the table and return materials to that nice little bin there in your dining room, or do you leave it all over the table until dinner time when you’re forced to shove everything into a pile and move it out of the way so your family can eat?

    Likewise, perhaps you can think of taking a shower and getting dressed as the “cleanup” from your workout. Just like school isn’t finished until materials are put away, your morning workout isn’t finished until you’re showered and dressed.

    Just a thought.

    • Sommer says:

      I agree with Susan. You are such an inspiration…just make this another priority. I’m sure you’ll have it figured out in no time.

      I only one pair of jogging pants and two oversize t-shirts. I’ve found that if I don’t have access to ‘frump’ clothes, I want be tempted to wear them. My day typically starts with quiet time, breakfast, a shower and then I’m dressed! My dress down clothes are fitted t-shirts and dark wash jeans. While cleaning I simply slip my oversized T over my clothes. If it’s a deep cleaning then I just slip both the oversized T and sweats but once I’m done I put back on whatever I intended to wear for the day. It may sound like a lot but the whole wardrobe change only takes about 2-4 minutes. This is my ‘uniform’ if I staying in the house. The dark jeans help to hide the dirt from the day. If I’m going out, I may dress up a little more by adding appropriate accessories. In addition, I choose one day a week to wear a skirt or dress as a special treat to myself. I also only own one pair of sneakers which my husband insisted on purchasing during my last pregnancy b/c he doesn’t think flats are supportive enough. I usually wear ballet flats or flat sandals. Also, in the house I wear flip flops instead of slippers. I feel more productive this way!
      As a mom to 5 girls and 2 sons, I want to represent ALL aspects of positive motherhood. I want them to value ‘self-care’ as much as they value serving and caring for their families. Last year, was our first year homeschooling so I also require them to get dressed as if they were going “to school.” I will say that I ‘ve had to extend some grace toward myself in this area over the last five months due to the addition of b/g twins to our family. I’ve included one or two days per month as “pj days.” However, I let my husband know ahead of time so that he’s not startled when he returns home to find everyone still in their bed clothes. Even with my transition of being a new mom again, I find that if I’m dressed nice I feel better. Just add some lip gloss and earrings to activate my mommy powers!!
      I hope this helps. I would love to hear how you’ve progressed in the area.

  • Lauren says:

    I’m not sure if I have something new to add. There are days I struggle with this – I just get busy and put off my shower until “later” – and those are inevitably the days when someone will surprise me at the door! (Even if it is only the UPS guy, it is still embarassing). I also get up early but have different things pulling at me – I have 6 kids who go to 4 different schools (high school, middle school, elementary, and pre-school, plus at- home teaching/activities, so I am running around from the get-go.) This is what I do that works for me… I take a longer shower or bath at night, right before bed (shave legs, wash hair, etc.) My husband likes it when I come to bed freshly showered! And I almost never use a hair dryer on my head! In the morning, I put on something easy and comfy and get the “sweaty” things done first (work out, heavy chores, other things that will make me feel icky). Then I take a quick 2 minute shower just to wash off and feel clean again. ) I put my hair up & out of the way but if it gets wet again, oh well). Sometimes after dressing I don’t have time to do my hair and simple make-up, so might come back to it later. Knowing I don’t “have to” do the whole routine at once makes me more likely to at least get a shower in the morning and put on clean clothes. Then later, like when the kids are eating lunch or otherwise occupied, I can steal a few minutes to brush out or curl my hair and put on a little make-up so I am ready to face the rest of the day.

  • Marcelaine says:

    It saves me a lot of time to only wash my hair every three days. It probably takes at least fifteen minutes to wash and rinse all of my hair. Blow drying makes it enormous, so I also have to let it air dry, and then styling it after a shower takes a while. If I wash it less often, fixing it on the second and third day is much faster.

  • Courtney says:

    Showering right away in the morning is a huge priority for me, even on days when I’m not leaving the house. If I’m not clean with washed hair and shaved legs, I just feel gross!

    To save time, I tried washing my hair only every other day, but that just didn’t work for me. My hair feels so much better when it’s freshly washed that it’s worth the extra time to do it every day.

    I agree with the previous poster who said that spending a little bit extra for nicer soaps and shampoos is worth it. I noticed a big improvement in my skin and hair when I stopped using super-cheap soaps and shampoos/conditioners.

    Wearing workout clothes is perfectly fine, in my opinion – as long as they’re cute and clean.

  • Erin says:

    ahhh… the dilemma of moms everywhere. My only hope for getting myself pulled together and presentable for the day is a solid night routine. Dinner at 5, followed by exercise. My hubby and I enjoy working out together, so we often go for a run and take our 2 yr. old with us in the jogging stroller, or we drop her off at the kid’s club at our gym. When we get home its bedtime for the kiddo. My husband puts her to bed while I shower and blow dry, and then he showers too. I also layout clothes/jewelry for the next day. Then the next morning, it only takes about 10 minutes with a straightener or curling iron and another 10 minutes for make-up and dressing.

    • Joy says:

      I didn’t read through all the replies, so not sure if this was mentioned already or not. I know you are a minimalist Crystal when it comes to your clothes and other aspects of your life so you don’t have a large wardrobe to begin with. But maybe if you had some nice, new outfits to wear you might be more motivated to get dressed. Not saying you have to have a burgeoning closet full of clothes, but sometimes just a couple of nice outfits outside of T-shirt, jeans/shorts or workout clothes is all it takes to make you look forward to showering and getting dressed even if you are just staying at home. Maybe some fun, new accessories to jazz up what you already own? Sometimes we get stuck in a rut of wearing the same stuff everyday that it starts to become too comfortable and boring which leads to lack of motivation.

      I also agree with those who say you should try to look your best around your significant other. This applies to both men and women. And this is coming from me … a die hard feminist! It really does keep those home fires burning if you know what I mean. 😉 Trust me, I have been married almost 20 years. I think it’s fine to skip a day once a week like on the weekend or something, but really it will help your self-esteem if you put in the effort most of the week. Even if you have to take your shower the night before. 🙂

  • stephanie says:

    I use to have the same problem until I read about looking nice for your husband being a way to show him respect. If I get dressed to go to the store with strangers then why not put some makeup on and nice clothes for the man I love? Looking at it as an act of love is motivating!

  • FWIW, I could not get comments to load on Safari. Using Firefox now and I am seeing them all.

    I have no wisdom on the getting dressed front as it is not one of my areas of challenge. It just comes naturally to me. I don’t feel like myself if I don’t get dressed in the morning… and knowing that I won’t feel good if I don’t get dressed is what gets me into clothes and makeup. Sorry not to be helpful.

    So, my comment is to say THANK YOU for putting this series together. And, THANK YOU for starting with the evening routine. I have never had an evening routine before, nor realized how much of a difference it would make. I have been doing my evening routine for the last three days and it is making a huge difference in my peace of mind.

    I almost added a morning routine too, but going back to your old posts I read the advice to stick with something new for 3 weeks before adding the next thing. I am doing it! I have the date marked on my calendar and I plan to add my morning routine then. Usually I try to implement major changes all at once and end up crashing and burning. Working gradually is definitely working better. I am looking forward to my evening routine now, knowing how much of a difference it is making!

    I am not doing as well on the going to bed on time thing. Last night for the first time I got to bed when I was supposed to. I was proud of myself! And then… I read for half an hour, blowing right past my bedtime. I never read for fun during the day so this is probably going to be a continual challenge as I love to read. I probably need to get to bed a half hour early to have time to read in bed… which means I have to rethink our whole family bedtime routine… aaaggghhh… deep breath, one thing at a time. School starts tomorrow so I already know things will change up. Meanwhile, thanks again for giving me the inspiration to start an evening routine! I am so glad to have the comments to report in for my accountability.

  • Ami says:

    Take a shower at night. You probably don’t have to wash your hair everyday, so at least every other shower should be really fast and could be in the morning after exercise.

    This wouldn’t work for P-90x, but…I just exercise in my regular clothes if possible. I nearly always wear very comfortable and moderately durable long flowing dresses and skirts. I’ve done strength training workout videos and pilates in my dresses when no one is around. Those don’t get too sweaty. Now I’m 9 mos. pregnant, so that means I just put on tennis shoes and wear my dress for my walks outside.

    When I have run in the past, it’s usually at night because my husband leaves too early for work. Then it’s easy to change to run at the end of the day (can’t wear a long dress for that – so glad they make short little running skirts!), then take a shower before bed.

    I think with having 3 children and loving homemaking/homeschooling, I’ve given up on always staying very clean like I did before kids. I don’t think I’ll ever give up on pretty clothes and nice & neat hairstyles, though – it affects my attitude and productivity too much. The good news – you don’t have to be squeaky clean to wear pretty clothes! I love the variety in my days that makes me a little dirty (gardening, cooking, playing, cleaning and who knows what else!) and it feels like really living to put in a good day of physical labor and need a shower by bedtime.

  • I’ve been waking up at 3-3:30am for a long time! But, unlike you, I was forced to wake up early when I joined the army a few years ago. When I was done with training, it really didn’t stick until I actually started working for my old National Guard unit. I was trying to lose a little weight and stay in shape, so I would wake up at 4am, get to the gym by 5am, get home, eat breakfast, and head to work early to meet my boss for another work out. Then, during the day, we were actually authorized an hour to work out during work hrs so we would do another work out. LOL. This sounds like a lot, but it really only amounted to maybe an hour or a little over that for cardio, and some weight training/toning. I got real lazy my last year in the army due to working with a deploying unit, and I gained A LOT of weight that I am struggling to lose now.

    The only reason I wake up at 3-3:30am now is because my boyfriend wakes up that early to go to the gym. I was going with him, but I find that I like to relax before I go so I just wake up and do that. But, if I don’t work out first thing then I find that I won’t. Wish I hadn’t become to this lazy lifestyle I’m in now LOL! I am thinking about trying Turbo Fire after my vacation in Mid-September.

  • jc says:

    I’ve solved this whole debate by wearing clothing that feels like pajamas but don’t necessarily look like it 🙂 😉
    I shower at naptime because, right now, thats the only chance I have where I am not rushed. But that’s changing and now that the baby is getting older and moving out of our room, i’m going to try to get up and get my day started by showering, dressing, and even *gasp* wearing make-up (well, maybe).

  • daria says:

    – showering at night realllllly helps a smoother morning!
    – lipstick alone can make you feel better and more put together( and it usually sparks finishing your face:))
    -laying your clothes out at night

    although these seem to help if you are an afternoon exerciser. i find that my mornings are just too busy and its best to save something like exercise for the afternoon or nap time when things are quieter. that way in the a.m. i have enough time to wake up, make coffee, have devotions, and get dressed all before my toddler wakes up and she can have my undivided attention… when i try to schedule too many things i want to accomplish in the morning something suffers. good luck to you! cant wait to hear what you will try !!

  • Emma K says:

    My motivation for getting out of my pajamas or workout clothes is where we live. We live in onpost housing that is apartments. You never know when a kid, neighbor, or a friend will pop by. So for our family I try to have us all out of pajamas and into clothes by 9 am.

    Although since my son is starting kindergarten next week that will change because we are definitely not walking to school in pajamas 🙂

  • Amy Lauren says:

    I work from home now, and even though I don’t have kids, getting my workout in in the mornings forces me to shower and dress and I like that. I could never stay in my workout clothes long though, I run and sweat like crazy! The shower and coffee always make me feel better and get my day started right!

  • I have this same problem! I often stay in my yoga pants and tank tops all day and don’t get to a shower. My excuse was that I have 2 young kids still at home but that’s not an excuse. I am going to work on this too!

  • YES!! I’m so glad that there is someone out there who can relate to me! I struggle with this every. single. day. There always seems to be something else that take priority…because a shower almost feels selfish with everything else I to do sitting and waiting in front of me. I do feel guilty answering the door to the UPS man in sweats and a floppy bun but what makes me feel the worst is seeing kids walking home from school and I haven’t had a shower yet. Speaking of a shower, I have company coming tonight and I don’t have my shower yet. I’m going right now! 🙂

    Thanks for your always inspiring posts! You are a blessing!

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