How wearing lipstick in the time of COVID became my unexpected anchor.
As a tween of the early 2000s, bedecked with frosted, mocha-flavored lip gloss and sparkly snap clips to match my JLo-inspired velour tracksuit, the concept of wearing real lipstick was foreign, adult, and on some level, even a little bizarre.
Though my quiet, pre-pubescent persona would not have admitted it outloud, I felt bold lip color was, at best, out of my league, and on crabbier days I might have said it was best left to clowns, Broadway stars, and Jessica Rabbit. [What a lovely little jerk I was, huh?]
Fast forward to present day, and much to my surprise, not only do I have a growing collection of the stuff, but believe it or not, lipstick in this time of COVID is anchoring me through this global pandemic.
With several months of social distancing and #quarantine under our belts, you’d think I’d have come to terms with this “new normal” we’re all talking about, but I can barely muster the energy to reflect on it. Each day feels like a race I forgot to train for, where gratitude for my health and privilege is juggled amidst the daily burden of overwhelm, burnout, and grief brought on by the pandemic.
All these months in, I am no closer to finding a pleasant daily rhythm, and like so many, I find it hard (some days, near impossible) to see the joy and grace within this time of stress.
This is where the lipstick comes in. The cosmetic that was once so unapproachable has become a bit of a sacred entity in my mind.
It started last Fall during my early post-partum days, when a touch of color on my lips or cheeks helped me combat the ever-present fatigue and the constant sensation that I did not have my $#!+ together.
These days, lipstick is a small but mighty indulgence, and a powerful homage to my mental health in the time of COVID.
I wear lipstick around the house in my 2-day-old pajamas. I wear lipstick under my face covering as I run errands. I wear lipstick on video-free phone calls with patients. Sometimes, I even wear it to bed.
To some, wearing lipstick under a face covering might be frivolous or laughable, but you know what? That’s kinda what I’m going for. I could use a bit more lightheartedness these days.
In the same way that mocha-scented anything transports me back to those cringeworthy middle school days, the light pepperminty scent and smooth texture of my favorite-shade-of-the-week beneath my face mask unlocks a flash of peace, where for a brief moment, I can escape the mayhem and pressure of balancing all the things.
Though temporarily shrouded from view, I know the color is still there beneath the mask, and if I pay close enough attention, the sensation of normalcy is there, too.
It has been small pleasures and tiny indulgences like this that have fed my soul just enough to press on with courage and recognize my strength and resiliency during this challenging time. We all have this within us, and it deserves celebrating!
Which brings me to the true purpose of this inaugural post: to share my vision for this blog, your prescription for self-care. While the internet is full of self-care inspiration and reminders to be kind, it can be hard to make the shift from scrolling to active participation in our own care.
In my constant struggle to find the balance, I’m learning to struggle less and embrace even the smallest acts of self-kindness. I am no expert, and I am nowhere near perfect in caring for myself, but that gives me all the more reason to share my journey with you.
Just like a provider writes prescriptions for medical treatment, YourRxforSelfcare is authorization to treat yourself with kindness, and gently reminds that your well-being is worth protecting.
Without further ado, your first prescription, with unlimited refills, reads: self-care, apply generously as needed, and please do, friend, you deserve it.