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It’s staggering how much the simple act of drawing a line across my eyelids makes me feel better about myself. When I have to leave the house for work, I hardly have time to do my makeup. I keep a fully stocked office, makeup, toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash, even a flat iron and curling iron. Usually mid-morning, after I get through my pressing emails and items that need my attention, I stop to do a little self-care.

My rituals are usually to put on some modest, yet professional eye make up, cover up some blemishes and smooth my hair out a little. All told, it takes about 15-30 minutes, depending on what I’m doing. The improvement in my mood is undeniable.

Yes, I recognize this seems vain, and probably is. For someone who grew up with practically no self esteem to speak of, to act in a way that only improves my own self image is foreign, and feels silly at times. However, I’ve read that this act of self-care is actually a vital part of recovering from depression. And, while it might be more comfortable for me to stay in pajamas and not shower or leave my bed for a week straight, I have to get out into the world and participate whether I like it or not. So my eyeliner had better be on point.