Stress, Hair Loss And Well-Being

Stress, Hair Loss And Well-Being

It’s international stress awareness week, a topic very close to my heart, not least because it can negatively impact the health of our hair and directly lead to hair loss.

This kind of hair loss, called telogen effluvium, is part of the body’s response to a traumatic event, such as a period of intense psychological stress, sleeplessness, change of diet, high fever, a car accident, surgery, or other stressors to the body and mind.

Unfortunately most of us tend to think of stress as a singular major life changing event like divorce, bereavement or any of the other bigger events noted above. In actual fact, we need to be mindful of micro-stressors, these niggly things we tolerate or even accommodate. Micro- stressors build up and can equally have a negative effect on our hair and overall health.

So what are Micro-stressors? alarm clocks blaring in the morning, how you react to traffic, an argument, Instagram for some people, inadequate sleep, too much alcohol, too much caffeine, processed food - We are exposed to dozens of micro stressors every single day - and they add up

For me, I have stopped waking up to an alarm clock on a daily basis. I have removed myself from certain discussions and even activities because of the stress. I have even re-assessed how I exercise because some of us need to incorporate more Yoga and less Aerobics into our exercise programs. Noisy environments stresses out my senses. And of course there is how we manage conflicts with friends, in marriages, with extended families - you will have to address them or pay for it in poor health eventually.

I was once close to someone who had a nervous breakdown - she spent months in hospital, when we finally had a long discussion she couldn’t place the breakdown on one thing, but kept referring to issues with her in law which had cumulated her the years. We need to manage these things or sometimes remove ourselves from toxic environments mfor our overall well-being.

And of course there is the pandemic, affecting all of us differently. The challenge is real. Accepting that we are living through challenging times in of itself gives us permission to devise our own coping mechanisms.

I have found my own ways: diet is certainly one, eating more wholesome foods, lean protein, vegetables, fruits and nuts truly does wonders for the gut and in turn ones mental health.

Movement: I don’t know how most cope without exercise. The release of endorphins and the confidence boost of doing something worthy for one’s own self is powerful. The trick here is not to wait until you are motivated. Go into auto-pilot. Just do it! But don’t overdo it!

Sleep: I’ve not done so well in this area over the last few weeks but I’m determined to improve and get my 8 hours daily. Truly sleep and movement will boost your immune system more than any concoction you see on Instagram.

Limit alcohol: the temptation of a glass a night is real, binge drinking is also real. We are going to have to fight these urges!

Reflect and evolve: This pandemic has given me the space to question everything. Who I am, how I am, but more crucially where I want to be and the tools, support and mindset I need to get there. Doing the introspective work has surprisingly shone a light on areas I’ve ignored for too long, and surprisingly removed the niggling stress of not confronting or addressing issues.

Most of us will be experiencing challenges to varying degrees right now, but it’s crucially important for us to be easy and kind with ourselves. Give yourselves permission to rest and take breaks. If you need a day in bed take it, if you need to let someone down do it. Honestly, rest if you need to rest.

Wishing you all the very best as we start this second lockdown.
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