Bulk of my time is spent at home. I work at home 70-80% of the time (the other 20-30% is spent on fieldwork but in a day that only takes about 6-10 hours).
I rarely go out especially in the past few months because I'm managing my spending and I am also overhauling my social life in my quest for a community of true kindred creative spirits.
My most frequent occasions for going out are hardly worth dressing up for. Such as running errands to the bank, shopping in the supermarket, or hanging out at my parents' house. I do go out on weekly Artist Dates and Artist Walks (as recommended by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist's Way) but I often dress comfortably when I do those because I walk a lot and I need to put on my Nike pair. It also sort of doubles as a physical exercise so I'm often in yoga pants, cotton shirt, and a plain ponytail. My Artist Dates also often bring me to places like hardware stores, thrift shops, farmer's markets, and book sales so it's really best to be comfy.
When I am just at home I usually dress in clean but old clothes. Sometimes I wear my PJs. Often my shirt does not really match my shorts.
But in the past few days I have gotten into dressing up at home even if I did not have plans of stepping out. Lately I have been feeling rather lackluster with all the financial puzzles in my life so I needed to make things a bit more festive and energetic. I did it by dressing up - wearing pretty clothes that make me feel real nice inside and out (and abundant) while also being comfortable. I put on a light makeup and I dress up my hair with nice pins or ribbons. I wanted to feel like I am ready to go anywhere and I also wanted to feel like I am going somewhere (and that I could afford to!). And believe me, it works! I felt my energy pick up and my senses sharpen. That was when I started to just paint and draw without too much deliberation on how ready or inspired or motivated I am. I started writing down ideas and plans and setting targets and goals. When I dressed myself up I felt that I simply had to Do and Act, or otherwise I will just be a pretty display in my own home. So I transformed how I looked and felt into something tangible -- a dozen baked cupcakes, a painting, a collage, a poem, an e-book draft, even a good sweep of a shelf for clutter-clearing. (By the way, I was dressed up but I remained barefooted as I moved about the house so it added an aspect of freedom and and openness to the whole mood.)
In the whole process my mind relaxed and had a chance to let the things that have been bothering me to simmer and sort itself out in peace.
Hence, when I finally sat down at either the beginning or end of the day to write in my journal, there were fresh perspectives that poured out because I stopped over-thinking and just started doing what I could. And dressing up helped. It's like putting on a costume and acting the part. I dressed up pretty and happy and abundant and behaved accordingly, boosting my own self-esteem and confidence and sparking my optimism.
How does dressing up change your mood?