In our busy, hectic world, it's far too easy to rush around in the morning, throw on any old thing, and dash off to work without feeling or looking prepared for the day. But, let's be honest... is that any way to live? While it can't always be helped, I think we can all agree it's worth taking the time to look and feel more put together.
Whether it's by creating a morning routine, throwing on a red lipstick, or simply putting your shoulders back and standing up taller, there's something to be said for these little moments — and little finishing touches — and how they can affect our psyche.
"Feeling put together affects how you feel about yourself on the inside," NYC-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW tells Bustle. "Feeling like you aren't together takes your attention away from things you should be focusing on. You may find it difficult to relax mentally and physically because you feel unsettled. Your creativity and productivity may also be affected because you feel 'all over the place.'" And that's just not OK.
If you'd like to be more put together, often all it takes is a few minutes, or a quick adjustment, before — just like that — you magically feel better. Read on for a few quick tricks that'll instantly improve your day.
1. Create A Morning Routine
Even if you're just sitting down for five minutes with a cup of coffee, having a morning routine can truly set your mind right for the rest of the day. "Doing something just for yourself every day will help you feel more together," Hershenson says. "Whether it's going to the gym, having your daily coffee while reading the newspaper, or stretching for 10 minutes."
2. Do A Quick Five Minute Meditation
If you're feeling particularly scattered, try meditating for a few minutes. "Focusing on being in the moment will help center you, allowing you to be more focused to get through your day," Hershenson says.
3. Give "Mindful Eating" A Try
If you're like me, your diet consists of granola bars hastily eaten while running down the street. And yet, since I think we can all agree that's stressful AF, it might be worth it to slow down and try mindful eating. "At meals, chew each bite thoroughly before taking another one. Notice the colors and shapes of your food. Close your eyes and smell the aroma of your food," Hershenson says. "Being present while eating reconnects you to the experience of eating and enjoying your food, so you don't feel rushed."
4. Go Change Your Clothes
If you're pulling at your sweater, or secretly unbuttoning the top button on your pants, go change into something more comfortable, ASAP. "Wearing clothes that fit properly will make you feel better about yourself, and give others the impression you are someone they can trust and respect," says author and life coach Jaya Jaya Myra. No sleeve tugging required.
5. Choose Colors That Complement Your Skin Tone
If you feel your best in shades that aren't technically "right" for your skin tone, go ahead and wear them anyway. But do know the power of complementary colors when it comes to looking put together. ""If you coordinate your makeup and clothes to colors that fit with your skin tone, you'll feel super polished and ready to take on just about anything," says Myra.
6. Make Your Eyes Stand Out
Are you going to be staring down potential bosses, or batting your lashes at someone on a first date? Then it can help to quickly play up your eyes with the perfect colors. As Myra says, "Talk to a makeup consultant and find what works best for your eye color and you'll be amazed the difference it makes."
7. Spray On Some Perfume
If you want to feel "done," nothing does it quite like a quick spray of perfume. "This is subtle, but its effects are anything but subtle," Myra says. "You'll feel much more put together just by adding a drop or two of fragrance to your skin."
8. Steal A Few Moments For Self-Care
Whenever you're feeling a bit "off," step aside and do something nice for yourself. Take a walk. Wash your face. Grab a quick nap. As life coach Samantha Siffring says, "Self-care doesn’t have to be bubble baths and face masks; it is truly built into these small moments where you have an opportunity to do something to take good care of yourself and your body."
9. Stand In A Power Pose
OK, so it might feel weird to go all Wonder Woman and stand in a power pose. But this technique really does change how you feel. As Siffring tells me, all you do is stand in the "Wonder Woman" pose (legs apart, hands on your hips, etc.) and then watch as you instantly feel more powerful.
10. Take A Look At Your List
For a a quick pick-me-up, start compiling a list of compliments you receive, or things you like about yourself, and glance at it whenever you're feeling off. "Anything from 'I have nice legs' to 'I have a kind heart' to 'I love my laugh,'" says Siffring. "Once you’ve got your list complete, take a look at it every once in awhile for a reminder of what makes you so special."
11. Play Yourself Some Theme Music
To snap out of a bad mood, try playing yourself some positive theme music. "Think of it as an energy drink for your mood and mindset," says clinical psychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow. "Pick music that makes you feel alive, let it be the catalyst."
12. Recite A Positive Mantra
If you're about to give a presentation or strut into a networking event, pull yourself together first by reciting a positive mantra or two. "Repeat these while you’re out and about, but also write them down and post where you’ll see them often — your closet, bathroom mirror, etc.," Siffring says.
13. Remind Yourself It's OK To Not Be perfect
If you're feeling stressed, step outside, take a deep breath, and give yourself permission to let it all go. "So much of feeling confident and put together is in your own mind," Siffring says. "Allow yourself to let 'good enough' truly be good enough. You don’t have to be perfect to be confident and put together."
14. If Nothing Else... Focus On Your Shoes
It's OK if you don't have time to put together the perfect outfit, as long as you throw some extra effort into shoes. "Wear shoes that make you feel confident," says life coach Angela Lenhardt. "Shoes represent how you step out into the world, so make sure you're putting your best foot forward and feeling confidently in the 'right' direction. "
15. Stand Up Straight
Posture really is everything when it comes to how you feel, so stand up straight and put your shoulders back. "This is not only better for your body in the long run but it gives off an immediate impression of confidence," career coach Pamela Shand, MS, CPRW tells Bustle. "Immediately you look like you have it all together just by the way your body is positioned."
16. Pay Attention To The Details
Ever notice how you feel cranky and kinda off when you're clothes are wrinkled, or your breath feels funky? "Double check these things before going into a meeting, networking event, or interview," says Shand. "When these details are together, you feel like you’re together and can focus on the tasks at hand and not your ... wrinkled blouse."
17. Get Your Brows Done
Speaking of details, you might feel worlds better simply by getting your brows done. "When my brows are freshly shaped and perfect I always feel like the best version of myself," says Jessica Hill, a makeup artist at Blushington Makeup & Beauty Lounge. "I personally love a bold brow, so I also enjoy getting them tinted once a month so they are darker and defined."
18. Throw On Some Statement Pieces
Even if you don't have time to perfect your outfit, you can always throw on some jewels. "Adorn yourself with sparkling earrings or a statement necklace to look and feel more put together," says life coach Zakiyya Rosebelle. It really will complete your look, whatever your look might be.
19. Pull Out Your Favorite Outfit
"When you find an outfit you know you look and feel great in, save it for the days you're exhausted, have a big meeting, or aren't feeling your best," says executive coach Amy M. Gardner, of Apochromatik. "That way, the day after too little sleep or when you are worried about other things, you know just want to put on that will help you feel your best, despite the nerves or exhaustion."
20. Use Essential Oils To Your Advantage
Did you know a quick whiff of an essential oil can change how you feel? "According to science, there are myriad scents that can make you happier," says Rosebelle. "Certain scents can do wonderful things for our mind, body, and mood." Lavender, for example, can calm you down. And vanilla can lift your mood.
20. Do A Quick Breathing Exercise
If things are spiraling out of control, focus on your breath. "Even if you're sitting on the bus or riding an elevator, focusing on your breathing for a few minutes can help you feel and look more calm, cool, and pulled together," says Gardner.
21. Turn To Your Emergency Tool Kit
How's this for a genius idea? Keep an "emergency took kit" in your desk at work, and turn to it whenever something goes wrong. "Include pain reliever, band aids, stain remover, samples of your favorite face products, safety pins, a hair brush, a snack, a tiny sewing kit, etc.," says Gardner. That way, whatever happens, you'll always be ready.
22. Put On Some Lipstick
I don't know about you, but I always feel a little bit better about life after slicking on some lipstick. And there's a reason for that. "It wakes your face up and gives people something to focus in on, especially if you're feeling blah every where else," Camisha Shamaine, co-owner and founder of SexC Cosmetics, tells Bustle.
23. Recite An "I Am" Statement
If you need a minute, go to the bathroom and recite a few "I am" statements. "For example, saying, 'I am beautiful. I am a genius. I will have an awesome day. I am prepared,'" says Shamaine. "Saying positive statements will begin to help you feel better."
24. Smile To Boost Your Mood
As Lenhardt tells me, smiling can make a difference. Even if you have to fake it, a quick grin can instantly boost your mood, and change your whole perspective on the world.
25. Compliment Yourself
This one may feel weird, but while you're in the bathroom applying some lipstick or striking a power pose, go ahead and compliment yourself, too. "Say it out loud or to yourself," Klapow says. "But say it."
You'll feel much more put together, and confident, as a result.
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