You finally pull yourself out of bed after a few minutes bartered from the snooze button, heading to the kitchen for the will to live that we call “coffee.” You sit down at your computer and immediately feel behind. A wall of emails greets you and a to-do list that makes procrastination easy looms overhead. You start damage control while still in your PJs and donning a disaster movie-inspired hairstyle.
With most of us working from home during the coronavirus lockdown, starting work while still in our PJs is becoming a regular part of the workday. There’s a liberating feeling from being free to wear whatever you want while working at home, whether it’s your PJs or just giving those comfy sweats a few more days of use than usual. Though, after several days of wearing the same clothes, you might wonder if this new hyper-comfy lifestyle is even okay or whether you’re sliding into a sad-zone in your slides.
The most important thing to consider is yourself — how do you feel about wearing the same thing days in a row? As long as you’re not wearing blatantly dirty clothes, in which case, your mental health will likely suffer, remember that many things in life are relative, including your clothing.
Just think about someone like Bill Gates, who purposely buys several of the same clothing items so that he never has to think about getting dressed. From some people, they’d rather put their energy into something besides choosing clothes.
Now, for the warning, wearing the same clothes for days can also be a red flag for depression. Losing interest in your regular hygiene habits, including your appearance, might signal a shift in your mental health. It’s also important to be mindful that the reverse can occur; letting go of your appearance can induce a sense of depression, especially if you’re normally someone that enjoys getting dressed.
When working from home, it’s essential to decide on a level of effort you’ll commit to putting into your appearance. This level of effort varies for different people based upon what you care about. Some people have no issue wearing the same outfit or PJs days in a row. Others enjoy doing a full face of make-up and having a fresh manicure regardless of whether they’ll be in a cabin in the mountains alone for a month. Make an intentional choice about your appearance and commit to that; you’ll know it’s vital to assess your mood if you start deviating from the standard you set for yourself.