Welcome to HuffPost Canada’s guide to helping you pick up an easy, everyday ritual that can make your life a bit better, in a small but significant way.
Canadians are stressed out, anxious, and are feeling disconnected from each other. Once a week, we’ll share a tiny tip to help you feel good. We’ve got your back.
Burn that bra, figuratively ... what I’m saying is, leave your chest prisons in your dresser.
Five days into working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, as I was getting dressed, I opened my dresser drawer to pull out my sports bra and I realized with glee: I don’t have to wear you anymore!
The only people who see me are my husband and our toddler (and they could care less what I do or don’t wear) and my colleagues, who can only see me clavicle up when we’re on video calls.
No one would mind (or even know) if I’m not wearing a bra, and this realization gave me a little bit of joy in these uncertain times.
Finally, my boobs were free from the stretchy confines of their decades-long nemesis, and I’ve never felt more comfortable.
And reader, this could be you too while you’re in self-isolation mode. Trust me on this: You want to set your chesticles free!
We love little tips, how about you? Story continues below slideshow.
Let me count the reasons ...
Habits we’ve been doing every single day for most of our lives can be hard to break (I’ve been biting my nails since I was a child and refuse to stop, even though I know it’s more important now than ever). But once you decide to not wear a bra, you really won’t want to go back.
I feel comfortable all day long!
One of my greatest daily pleasures pre-pandemic was removing my bra when I got home from work. (Oh, how I miss those days.) There was nothing more satisfying than unclipping that tight band from my back, removing that horrid underwire that left itchy red marks under my boobs, and tossing the sweaty thing on my bed.
But now, I don’t have to go through any of that. I’m so much more comfortable when I’m not wearing that restrictive device and I never want to go back.
I can focus on work more easily
Maybe those of you who actually have well-fitted bras can’t relate, but the rest of who have never had a bra fitting (hello!) will know exactly what I mean.
Tugging at straps that have fallen down our shoulders, pulling at the underwire squished under our chests, and generally adjusting our boob prisons throughout the day. It’s distracting, and takes away my focus from work.
Now, I don’t have those distractions. I’m not trying to surreptitiously pull hair strands out of my bra, or adjusting the straps. Instead, I can concentrate. And it’s so freeing.
My boob acne is receding!
Oh yes, chest acne is a thing, and bras can be a culprit (among other things)!
“The dirt and sweat that build-up underneath [your bra] can lead to skin infections and acne,” Dr. Anuradha Seshadri, a physician at UCLA Health, told Bustle.
Medical News Today notes that tight or irritating clothing (hello, nursing bra, my old friend), as well as clothing that’s not breathable “can increase a person’s risk of developing pimples.” The site recommends regularly washing bras to prevent acne.
Firstly, how dare a piece of clothing I’ve worn most of my life give me even more acne! Secondly, I really need to wash my bras more. Thirdly, when we’re able to go back to work I’m going shopping for a quality bra that actually fits. (Readers, hit me up with your suggestions for great underwear stores!)
Now that my boob pimples have all but vanished, I’m embracing my bralessness even more.
But what if I need to wear a bra?
As someone whose chest isn’t “overflowing,” I can happily go braless all day without any discomfort, but that’s not true for everyone, especially people who have larger breasts.
So, if going without a bra is painful (back and neck pain, as well as posture issues can come up), don’t be a martyr — put that bra back on and give your girls the support they need. However, this doesn’t mean you need to wear an uncomfortable underwire bra; there are supportive sports bras that will also do the trick but are much more comfortable when you’re lounging at home.
And if you’re wondering whether your boobs will sag if you nix a bra, the answer is yes, they will, but that will happen anyway, whether you’re wearing a bra or not.
“A bra will hold up your breasts to give you the shape and look you want, but it can’t prevent further sagging, which is caused by age and gravity,” Dr. Dan Mills, vice president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, told Health.com.
Now that I’m not wearing a bra, how should I dress?
The short answer is: whatever you’re most comfortable in.
The long answer is: pick fabrics that don’t irritate your nipples, such as a breathable cotton or knit, and avoid fabrics that are scratchy or tight, which could chafe your precious nips.
If you’re joining a video conference call for work, keep in mind how your camera is set up and whether it shows you from the neck up, or if your co-workers can see you chest up.
Depending on your comfort level, and what your colleagues can see, you may want to wear a bra and change into a nice top that you would normally wear to work. However, if your office is low-key, and colleagues can’t see your chest, use your discretion when it comes to what to wear.
Final thoughts ...
Going braless feels a bit strange at first and takes some time getting used to. To ease the transition, you can start by wearing a bralette or a sports bra. And if you’re planning on working out, you may want to change into a sports bra anyway (but it’s fine to go braless when exercising), but I found it easier to transition to boob freedom when I wasn’t moving around a ton; basically, while working at my computer.
At the end of the day, going braless is a personal choice, so do whatever is most comfortable for you. If that means wearing a bra because it makes you feel “normal” and in control, go for it. But if it makes life easier, consider ditching your boob traps for a day and see how it makes you feel.
And that’s your habit of the day.
Also on HuffPost: