How wearing all black everyday improved my mental health
Inspired by the way Mitchell Harper explained so well in his story (which remains happily in my bookmarks to this day) about decision fatigue, I am a devout practitioner of a modified capsule wardrobe.
Normally, capsule wardrobes are trendy, minimalist collections of clothing that go well together and can supply one with weeks of outfits without repeating. My modifications include converting the vast majority of my wardrobe to all black. From socks to leggings, jeans, sweatpants, cardigans, shirts, coats to even head wraps, on most days I can be found in stereotypical hacker chic.
The concept of decision fatigue is far more relatable when one suffers from a mood disorder such as depression, or my good friend, bipolar II disorder. On a down day, the simplest, most rudimentary actions such as getting out of bed, showering, getting dressed, eating, running simple errands can be enormous challenges rather than easy parts of life for most. The numerous micro-choices that are made from the time one wakes up to the time one goes to sleep do in fact take a toll and wearing the same (clean) clothes everyday cuts down on quite a few of them.
Despite being deemed the uniform of a “visibly depressed” person, a monochromatic outfit consisting of black and its varying shades is an act of self-care in itself. Wearing comfortable items such as leggings or sweatpants, well-fitting work attire, and even a select few pairs of black shoes allows one to focus on getting things done without mulling over physical sensation on top of any mental hurdles that present themselves that day.
I’ve found that at times, coordinating colors to look like a functioning member of society can be a bit much. When you open a drawer or closet to nothing but black, the only labor to be done aside from dressing is choosing a top, bottom (bonus points if you have a jumpsuit or dress), and some underthings.
Another effect of this type of style choice and its execution is the ability to pass under social radar without compliments.
Today, wearing all black isn’t necessarily considered an oddity, so stares aren’t warranted. On a down day, I try to minimize my interaction with other people since my introverted tendencies are comically amplified. Being able to go throughout my day and function without worrying about performing as a “happy” person definitely helps me maintain my sanity and mood stability.
One less decision for a lot of us allows the mental faculties to make one more good decision, and it can be as simple as the color of your wardobe.
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