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  • Writer's pictureMahalia Myrel

3 Ways Fashion Helps My Mental Health | Style Therapy for Mental Health Awareness Month

In honor of May, Mental Health Awareness Month, I want to share how fashion has helped my mental health throughout the years and made my healing process overall more enjoyable.


I like to call this process style therapy. Not to be confused with retail therapy, style therapy is a way to find your personal identity and take care of your mental health. I created a new TikTok account called Stylishly Sane to share where fashion and mental health intersect in my day-to-day. This account is meant to be a safe space to talk about mental health and hopefully to be relatable, so that some may not feel alone in their own journey's.


Something to Look Forward to

Sometimes you just need a motivator or something to get you out of bed in the morning. This may vary depending on the person, but for me, that can be putting an outfit together. On a nice sunny day, I love to wear a cute skirt, simple top, with matching sandals.


black girl smiling looking forward to spring weather and wearing what she wants

You know when you're excited/nervous for the next day, so you try to distract your mind. Well, I distract my mind by planning an outfit in my head. This saves time when you're getting ready in the morning and calms your mind from the anxieties the next day may hold.


A Form of Self Expression

Wearing different styles is a way to express how you may be feeling on any particular day. Switching up what I wear helps me to show others what I am feeling without having to say a single word. Sometimes the outfit just speaks for itself. Whether that's wearing a bold color to show how confident I am feeling or a simple and casual outfit to say I'm just going with the flow for the day.


black girl looking through a stack of books in a library expressing herself through what she reads and wears

No matter what you wear you are sharing a part of yourself to the world. Blending in or standing out, it's important to express what you're feeling because keeping emotions captive inside your head can weigh you down and overwhelm you in the long run. Even if you don't have the means to wear exactly what you want you can create mood boards that show your ideas and help you envision what you want to wear. I like to think of this as visual journaling with outfits on Pinterest that inspire me to dress how I feel.


Dress for Success

Also known as fake it 'til you make it. I love to dress for success because even if I'm not feeling the best on the inside, I can still try and put my best foot forward on the outside. On days when I'm not feeling myself, there's usually two things I can do. Stay in bed and let my mind and body rest until I'm ready to face the world or I can just pretend. Pretend until how I dress becomes how I really feel.


black girl smiling in a professional setting and dressing for success

 

For as long as this blog has existed, fashion has been my creative outlet and a way to stay sane in my busy life. I hope you find something that eases your mind in a healthy and creative way too.

Lots of Love,

M

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