A woman sits by a window drinking coffee in the morning

Shifting My Morning Routine Perspective

“With dry eye, vanity goes out the window.” A fellow dry eye sufferer posted this comment in an online community. I’ve read several other comments just like it, and I get it: what she means is that our focus changes. Comfort and healing become top priorities; they trump looking good.

As dry eye sufferers, we exchange contact lenses for eye glasses, mascara for eye drops, and ultimately, vanity for well-being.

A mourning period

This shift can constitute a mourning period for some; it was an adjustment for me, at least. We mourn the loss of looking our best. As a woman, I enjoy getting fixed up on occasion. I never have worn much makeup, but I would, from time to time, highlight my features with eye shadow, a lid liner, and mascara.

I rarely wear eye makeup anymore. It just doesn’t mix with applying drops all day long – I’m left with a smeared mess on my face. In addition, I no longer use spray-on hair products. The only thing I use on my hair is a clean shampoo and conditioner. Also, before my chronic dry eye began, I lived in contact lenses. Today, I wear glasses every day.

A new routine

Consequently, my morning routine has changed, and my toiletry bag is stripped down. And the time I use to ready myself for the day is different. I’ve learned to focus on making myself more naturally and internally beautiful. I spend less time applying makeup and more time on what I am putting into my body.

First, I cook myself a full anti-inflammatory breakfast every morning. It fuels me and makes me feel good. I also pack a healthy lunch every day. As a result of my diet change, my skin has cleared, so I can easily go without any concealer, foundation, or powder. I can be naturally beautiful. I also take vitamins and supplements, and I exercise about three mornings a week. Again, I focus on feeling my best.

Preparing my inner self

Finally, I spend quiet time reading my Bible, asking God to change me and make me more like Him. On my way to work, I sip on my coffee and listen to worship music, marveling at the sunrise. I focus on preparing my heart and attitude to be kind and compassionate to those around me.

This simple, new morning routine has made me realize what is more important: that I spend more time preparing my inner self, rather than my outer self. In this way, dry eye has given me a healthier perspective on what it means to get ready in the morning. It goes beyond just moving from a focus on vanity to comfort, but rather to true soul health and an outpouring of that health onto others.

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