Trigger HAPPY Thursday: Dress Like You Mean It

Before we get started, I just wanted to wish you all a happy Fourth of July. Have you declared independence from ED yet?


Okay, now don’t get upset, but in this week’s Trigger Happy Thursday, I’m about to give you some contradictory advice. But, as always, there’s a good reason, so stick with me.

Those of you who have been following my story know that I was hit by a car while crossing a street in San Francisco on May 30. It’s now been a month, and my ribs are finally healed, but my tibia has, until yesterday, been in a cast.

I’ve spent the last month working from home, which is a fairly isolated place. I live up in the mountains, at least 30 minutes from anywhere, so more often than not, I stay in my house or–if I’m feeling really crazy, I go to the starbucks down the street to sit and write.

That said, I haven’t had much human contact in the last 30 days–which means that I haven’t had an excuse to do more than put on a pair of ripped jeans, ratty tank tops, and a bra only if I’m feeling really fancy. That means 30 days of no makeup, of un-styled hair, of generally not giving a rat’s rear end about my appearance.

Sometimes, that’s a really good thing.

And sometimes, you just need to put on some eyeliner and go outside.

So today’s happiness trigger is: Dress like you mean it.



I’d say “Dress for Success,” but I think that implies there’s a goal in mind. You don’t have to go anywhere special or do anything out of the ordinary when you dress like you mean it–all you’re doing is adding a little extra “something special” to the day by practicing some out of the ordinary self-care. Sometimes, all it takes to make the day go from good to great is a little mascara.

This is, as I said, contradictory to a previous THT, in which I said that a good way to trigger happy was to go without makeup.

I still hold that to be true. If you’re constantly trying to hide your perceived imperfections behind a self-imposed mask, going without makeup (or shoes. Or a bra.) can be hugely liberating. But if you exist in a state of complete self-disregard, sometimes taking a few moments to put on a pair of dangly earrings can change the way you approach the day.

While I’m not going to be running Sephora out of their stock of liquid eyeliner or keeping my dry cleaners in business with fancy clothes, I’m definitely going to make a better effort to start treating each day as a reason for getting dressed up and doing something out of the ordinary.

What’s your favorite way to dress like you mean it? And do you prefer to trigger happy by getting dressed up or going without makeup? 

Looking forward to hearing your replies!

Stay hungry and keep triggering happy,


PS On Sunday, I got dressed up and put on makeup and went to Starbucks, and one of the regular baristas did a double take and said:

“You look like a girl today!”

I’m just going to leave that one there. But it was a reminder that maybe I should practice dressing like I mean it more often…

2 thoughts on “Trigger HAPPY Thursday: Dress Like You Mean It

  1. I actually have a real life example of how this happiness trigger really works!
    So back during track season, I was running up in some local “mini mountains” in a game refuge. I had made it to the top, and was heading down when my foot caught a rock and I went down. Hard. Long story short, I wound up needing stitches, and couldn’t run for at least a week. I cried for the rest of the day, and the day after that I basically rolled out of bed, threw on a t shirt and sweat pants, and went to school. Needless to say, my appearance reflected how I felt: like crap. I could barely walk (my knee was swollen from the fall), I knew I couldn’t run, and I would have to tell my coaches that I wouldn’t be able to participate in any practices or meets for a week.
    By the next day, I had spoken with my coach, who arranged a way for me to assist with practices and meets, decided to do some light lifting to work on my upper body strength while resting my legs (both extremely important in pole vaulting), and was thoroughly sick of my pity party. So, I put on some pretty clothes and did my makeup and hair really nicely, and had a pretty great day, as far as I can recall. So now, whenever I’m feeling low, I focus a little more on taking care of myself and getting ready for the day, and I feel a bit better and have a more positive attitude.

    • Isn’t it amazing how a little bit of extra self care can completely change your outlook on the world? I love that you’ve stumbled onto this already…sometimes it’s hard to convince ourselves to make that extra commitment to ourselves…but, man, is it worth it!

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