It’s pay day for some but the relief is only momentary because those debit orders are about to go of. The bills pile up, the bank balance depleting faster than you can say “hot cross bun” and the constant feeling of not being able to stay afloat. Life has many stress factors other than financial. For me studying a degree I do not enjoy is emotionally/mentally draining. The fact that I am not independent yet makes me feel unsuccessful, psychologically. So today I am talking about managing stress as it is know to cause hair fall. If you missed part two of the Organics series, read it here.
Usually there is a 3 month delay between the stressful event/period and your hair shedding. It should only last during that stressful period unless there is another cause. Don’t fret. It doesn’t mean this situation is permanent. Once your stress levels go back to normal your hair growth should return to normal after a few months.
The body’s response to stress is the “fight or flight” reaction you may know of. During this time it creates more hormones than it needs to deal with whatever it perceives as a threat. The change in hormones may have adverse effects on your body. They can also affect the hair follicles on your scalp as well the hair growth pattern.
There are different types of hair loss related to stress.
- telogen effluvium – temporary thinning of the hair usually on the scalp.
- alopecia areata– sudden hair loss that starts with one or more circular bald patches that may overlap.
- trichotillomania – A disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out body hair.
Worrying about hair loss may cause you to stress even more but the good thing to note that your hair is more likely to grow back if it due to stress. I am going to discuss ways I manage my stress and how to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle. I’m not a medical practitioner or stress specialist – if you have continuous stress please visit a doctor.
Here are 7 ways to reduce stress:
1. Get enough sleep – I cannot emphasise how vital sleep is for your overall mental and physical health. During sleep your body works to support a healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. You should aim for 7-8 hours at least. If you struggle without insomnia, you should seek medical assistance. I have adopted a bedtime routine that helps me get ready for bed.
2. Eat healthy and drink plenty of water – I’ll admit I cannot only eat healthy 24/7 but I do eat healthy most of the time. Eating a wholesome balanced diet provides your body with the nutrients it needs to sustain itself. You need the correct portions of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. You also require 3-5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. As I am vegetarian I generally get the necessary nutrients for a day but maybe not all the calories. You may want to get a calorie counter app to help you keep track. I also started meal prepping on a Sunday to make sure I eat the right foods in the week.
3. Exercise regularly – Exercise releases endorphins which you probably have heard of. These chemicals act as natural pain killers and increase your ability to sleep, naturally reducing stress too. Double bonus! Essentially you want to get your heart rate up as that releases endorphins. You may also feel more energised and healthier when you exercise on the regular. I try my best to jog 3 times a week, exercise at home and I walk about 5 000-10 000 steps a day. There are also fitness apps to help you track these activities.
4. Don’t have too much sugar or caffeine – Caffeine can elevate cortisol levels, if you have too much caffeine, it can have negative effects. Usually your mood is elevated and then it drops which leads to you craving more coffee thus causing you to lose sleep, thereby increasing stress levels. Moderate amounts of coffee seem to be fine; I usually have 1-2 cups a day. Similarly if you have sugary foods, blood sugar levels spike and the body needs more cortisol to balance blood sugar. Increased cortisol also increases headaches and unhealthy food cravings. Do you ever get that feel of being stressed or anxious after you’ve had too many sugary foods? That is because quick changes in blood sugar levels cause this feeling.
5. Practice meditation or mindfulness – I actually learned meditation as a child and I am so grateful for that. If practiced for 10 minutes each day, it can help you control stress, decrease anxiety and be more relaxed. I have found guided meditation channels on YouTube are useful if you are just starting out. You could practice adult colouring, yoga or anything therapeutic to help reduce stress.
6. Talk about your problems – As I mentioned earlier if it’s chronic stress you should get medical help. If it just a stressful time in your life confiding in someone close to you may help. Sometimes we keep our worries to ourselves and it builds up and builds up until we explode; this can be very unhealthy. You can speak to a counselor too.
8. Take time for yourself – I know everyone is busy, working, studying, being moms/dads and more but rest is necessary for the mind. Even you set an hour or half hour every day for yourself to relax, do it. This can mean anything from reading, watching series, going out, doing whatever brings you relaxation. I firmly believe a healthy mind = healthy body.
Give yourself time to overcome a stressful time in your life and if you don’t seem to be fine again then get help. Managing stress if that is the cause of your hair fall and using the Organics Anti-Hair fall range will help maintain healthy hair. I hope you found this post helps you in some way. Do let me know how you manage stress?
xx Miss Dhanusha
This post is sponsored by Organics SA.
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