During the processes of losing my hair I went to lots of different physiologists and had lots of different treatments.
CBT seemed to be the best form of therapy that worked for me in changing my mindset, it was hard work but it certainly payed of.
Mindfulness is a practice that I try to bring myself to do every day, trying to stay present and not think about the past or the future.
I highly recommended finding yourself a great online mindfulness course or teacher, as these skills will benefit your life in the most incredible way.
If you are a highly anxious person there are key ways to try and ease the symptoms.
1 Healthy Diet: A healthy balanced (fruit, vegetables, protein) diet helps us stay healthy and function during difficult times.
2.Sleep: Sleep is essential for daily functioning, alertness, and physical health. Lack of sleep contributes to feeling overwhelmed.
3 Exercise: Cardiovascular exercise (Running, Cycling, Swimming, Dancing) any exercise that pumps up the heart rate allows the body to relax by using up cortisol and releasing dopamine that calms us down. Low impact exercise such as Tai Chi, Pilates or Yoga can be very beneficial as it helps relieve sadness and low mood
4 Journal Writing: Writing down our feeling and emotions, helps to understand and relieve conflicting and confusing messages going on in our head
5 Relaxation or Meditation: Helps manage anxiety and stress, strengthens the immune system, and calms the nervous system.
Over the past couple of years I have found yoga has helped massively with my anxiety and stress.
It re-connects me back to my body and puts my mind at ease and in a better place.
I truly believe my body is off balance and as a result my Alopecia has chosen to stay around for the past ten years.
Giving yourself time is a wonderful and important practice in itself, give it a go and make sure to hold no expectations.
I also use the app Head Space for a guided mediation which I try and incorporate in my morning routine, allowing myself to start the day with a sense of calmness.
In order to further develop my skills and my practice I will be doing a yoga teacher training course in Goa this March which I am very excited about.
I have a number of favorite teachers,some of them have you tube channels where you can practice with them ,So do check them out!
Caterine Gallagher @yoga.with.catherine
Steffy White @steffywhiteyoga
Annie Clarke @mind_body_bowl
Figuring out how to breathe properly is something that has truly made a massive difference in my life.
I went to a wonderful doctor who told me how my breathing was affecting my body, I used to breathe only through my mouth, never in and out through my nose, which meant I was starving my body of oxygen. In turn, I would bruise very easily and found it difficult to manage any anxious spurts of energy.
The doctor explained that because my breath was so shallow and the lack of flowing oxygen meant my body was in constant distress and panic and could have contributed to my hair loss.
Now I breathe in and out through my nose, it took a while to adjust to and I used to set an alarm on my phone that would go off every 10 mins in order to remind me (this was my wonderful boyfriend’s idea).
Now I have much more control over how I feel and mange my feelings, I can breathe the anxious feelings away.
Here are a few breathing exercises I find very useful and very calming, my favourite time to do them is in the morning.
“Breath, focus word”
A focus word or phrase that makes you feel at peace, This works by adding calming words or words with personal meaning while breathing. Repeat the word mentally as you breath in and out.
· Repeat one word as you Breath In (e.g. Peace, Joy, Calm)
· Repeat one word as you Breath Out (e.g. Tension, Sadness, Anger)
· Alternatively, breath to a count (e.g. breathing in for the count of 4 and out for the count of 8)
“Breath, count” - 1 Minute
. Place hand beneath your stomach, so that you feel the gentle rise and fall of your belly
. Breathe in deeply and pause for count of 5
. Pause for count of 5
. Continue to breathe deeply for 1 minute
. Pausing for count of 5 after each inhalation & exhalation