10 #SelfCare Tips for Trichotillomania

Anyone with a Trichotillomania knows certain things that make our pulling better, others make them much worse.

Not often discussed however, is how to take care of ourselves in between. Below are my current ways to to take care of my trichotillomania. More tips to follow on cheek-biting and others. These tips are only my current ones, and constantly adapting. My experiences but I hope they may helps some! Feel free to add your own in the comments.

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1. Rosemary Oil– This has been a favourite of mine for a long time. I read somewhere once that rosemary oil, being an oil that carries heat is good for bruises. One year after an event that involved far too many barricades to move-I needed to get rid of some bruises. It works great for bruises but is also known to increase hair growth. I haven’t delved into the specifics of this, but it feels good, smells amazing and that’s enough for me! I put it on bald spots mostly or add into my hot oil hair treatments.

2. Coconut Oil- Hopping on the coconut oil train like everyone else. It’s awesome and is great for making hair feel soft but also nurturing.

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3. Hair Brushes- I admit sometimes I go full Rapunzel and brushing my hair repeatedly “…47, 48, 49, 50.” It makes my scalp feel good and is good for my hair too. Big fan of a bamboo comb like this one I bought at The Body Shop a few years ago.

4. Braids- More of a coping strategy, but they’re fun to do and great for when I need a brain break.

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5. Working Out- I’m not the greatest at this, but it does help clear my mind when I’m active. Arm days are great- hard too pull when your arms are sore.

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6. Outdoor Walks– Being in nature, experiencing nature and because I’m in Canada, and it’s cold half the year- hats and mits make pulling impossible.

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7. Hair Cuts- I’ve talked about the hair dresser before in The Dreaded Hair Dresser. Once I’m comfortable with a stylist however, getting my hair dyed and cute feels great and luxurious!

8. Fake Eye-Lashes- I’ve been pulling from my eyelashes almost exclusively as of late. This tip is also somewhat of a coping mechanism, but when I put on fake eyelashes I’m far less self conscious when in public which is definitely a self-care win!

9. Hot Oil Treatments- Caring for my hair and making it feels super soft making this one of my favourite tips. Coconut oil and a bit of tea tree oil or rosemary oil mixed into the mix makes my hair smell equally as lovely.

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10. Cooking-I find cooking really relaxing and as such it makes pulling less of a focus. Food as fuel is also key ❤  Continue reading “10 #SelfCare Tips for Trichotillomania”

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Oh right, #SelfCare

I forget to take care of myself quite often. I like to help others, I like to keep busy, I fall victim to “hustle culture” all the time. I discuss this in my last blog Selfcare vs. Me, and although I’m bad at taking care of myself I do see the need. The past few weeks I’ve been trying to find ways to make both worlds co-exist and so far it’s been a beautiful journey.

My ambitious self, and my human self living happily together, through selfcare.

Below are a few of my current favourite ways to practice self-care.

  1. Baths- I’ve always been a fan of bubble baths, dim the lights, watch a movie and just relax- A glass of wine does’t hurt either.
  2. Time in Nature- This is new for me. I recently got a car, which makes escaping to where there’s no sidewalks much easier. I’ve loved spending more time observing the world, listening to the rustle of a tree, the tweet of a bird. I took a walk in Point Pleasant Park with the dog the other day, and left my phone at home- it was pure magic.
  3. Good Book- I’m not a reader, I used to be, but unfortunately university has made enjoying reading hard for me. Slowly I’m craving the need to read, in particular in the mornings while I enjoy my cup of coffee. Currently I’m reading Mona Awad’s “13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl” which focuses on the realities and struggles of body-image.
  4. Unplug- I’m bad at this, so very very bad, however when I do succeed at turning off my technologies I do love the sensation. It’s freeing and enthralling all at once.
  5. Fancy Coffee- I’m a big coffee fan-we get along like peanut butter and jelly, but sometimes my regular cup of joe is more fuel than it is sustenance. I love a good afternoon or evening spent in a coffee shop with a fancy latte. A treat in itself, but the people watching and environment also help to heal my mind and it’s very relaxing.
  6. Healthy Food- As of late I’m trying to eat more nutrious foods. Less carbs, more veg and certainly cutting out the dairy products, due to an allergy. I found dairy-free Mac n’ cheese the other day and it made me so happy!
  7. Sleep- Oh boy sleep, I love it, I hate it- we fight. Sometimes I want to sleep all day, other times I force myself to wakeup at 6am to be productive. I’m trying to get a minimum of 7hrs of sleep lately, and it’s been helping. My fitbit has been a huge part of tracking, and reminding me of this very important part of life.
  8. Working Out- I’m so bad at this. I see the need. I recognize the importance. I see the benefits. I just can’t seem to get my butt to the gym, or dance class, or for a walk. It’s a time thing, but also a lack of making time. Working on this but slowly it’s becoming a part of my habitual health.
  9. Time with Friends- Hold your friends close ❤
  10. Cooking-I made miso soup the other day, next up sushi! I’ve enjoyed putting on a random independent movie, drinking a good glass of wine and cooking as of late. It’s a necessity of life and honestly the distraction is nice.
  11. Going to the doctor- I suffered a back injury last summer, and finally I got it looked at- six months later. Turns out it was a sprain in one of my vertebrae, and now I’m besties with my physiotherapist. If something hurts- take care of it, don’t push through the pain.
  12. Critter Snuggles-When I get busy I don’t appreciate my pets as I should. We’re cuddling more and taking more walks right now. They are always there for a snuggle, listen to every rant and concerned by every tear. In return I’m working on being  thankful for every tail wag and nuzzle.

A reminder never hurts-take care of yourself friends. 


Join the conversation! Give this post a share, a like or a comment! Spread the word about mental health, and body-focused repetitive behaviours.<3 -A

A Shiny New Year

It’s supposed to be sparkly, it’s supposed to be exciting, it’s supposed to be filled with newness and shine. Ahh a New Year. A day when, for whatever reason on January 1st we convince ourselves things will be different- but will they?


I love lists. We’ve talked about this before. So the concept of making a year-long list of “to-dos” is extremely exciting to me. If I were ambitious I could look back in old journals and see resolutions back to when I was young, when “spend more time with the neighbours dog” was a logical resolution. 

My ambitions have changed slightly since then. I’ve resolved to spend more time with friends, to eat healthier, to exercise, to actually do my laundry more than once every three weeks- you know, adult things. Every year I’ve enjoyed creating those resolutions. I’ve managed to keep them up, for about a month. Finding myself annoyed, disappointed and unimpressed come February, chanting in my head “next year we’ll do better!”

It never bothered me, until this year. 

I’m struggling with the whole “resolutions” concept this year. My mind unsure which way to turn, annoyed for the first time at this “new year, new you” mantra folks seem to have adopted.

“What should they be?”

“Why do they matter?” …”Do they matter?”

“Who said January 1st had to be the day, and whoever it was, how dare they tell me what to do!”

“What is a GOOD resolution?”

“Are my resolutions bad?”

It’s taken me half of January, a lot of brain power and even more time spent journaling to figure it out. 

So far I’ve come up with this…

Just because it’s January doesn’t mean a new goal has to be achieved.

Just because the gyms are packed doesn’t mean you need to be there.

Just because everyone is losing the “holiday weight” doesn’t mean you need to rush into it.

Just because it’s January 15th doesn’t mean you can’t make a goal now, you can make a goal on August 10th for all anyone cares.

Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean you need to make goals, or be accountable to a list at all- give yourself a break.

What a new year does mean is a chance to refocus, to reinvest in YOU.

So this year that’s what I’m doing. Not making resolutions that I’ll do because I “should” or everyone else is. Rather doing what’s right for me. Taking the pressure off, focusing instead on what I need. 

Right now that means actually drinking water, eating no dairy products, reading more and detoxing from my phone.

Will these goals change next week? Maybe, but I’m alright with that.


If resolutions are your thing this year, and you want to take it “Up a Notch” take a look at Talking to the Void, my friend Nicole has something pretty fantastic planned!

When things are good.

Sometimes it’s hard to write when you’re feeling good. Sometimes it’ scary.

I’ve been struggling to write lately.

Struggling to find a topic, struggling to sit still and write, struggling to find the motivation. Partly I think it’s because I’m not struggling right now, things are good.

When I started blogging there was no goal. There was just a need to talk, to write and to reach-out. When I started blogging pulling was fine. It was there, but it was alright.

As the blogging progressed passed the first #7DayTrichster series it was alright, but things were also not fantastic. Stress, an odd time emotionally and other life events got in the way. Pulling was bad.

Listening to the stories of others is hard emotionally, rewarding yes, but hard on the brain. I found myself frustrated by the lack of awareness, of endlessly hearing of the lack of support. Of hearing others struggle I became exhausted.

Writing more meant dealing with more.

Every blog, every share made me want to pull more. Made me more frustrated, more sad.

Things have turned around now, things are looking up. Things are good. 

So now I sit here re-evaluating. Not only for myself but for all those with Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours. Do I keep writing, despite not feeling it? Or do I focus on something else? Do I continue to share via this blog when the feeling strikes?

I don’t know.

I’m in a good place, but an odd one. Bare with me folks. I’ll be back.

In the meantime I’d love some inspiration- send me some ideas? 

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Let’s Connect! Want to collaborate? Suggest a post? Ask a question? Meet to chat? I’m all ears! Send me an email or connect via @AnaSmallwood on twitter or  @timetotalktrich instagram.