Don’t Diss Sundays

I used to hate Sundays. 

They meant the end of a weekend, the start of a week of busy. Often times loaded with laundry, cleaning and a lack of fun. Sundays were seen as “an end”, not a beginning.

Last year that changed with what I started by calling “days I don’t plan” have now taken on the term #SelfCareSunday.

And now I savour and cherish Sundays. 

On Sundays, when I’m not busy, I focus on me.

Baths, candles, books, coffee or a beer on the back deck- whatever my little heart desires! I’m one to keep busy, focus on planning and tend to not fair well when things are out of control (by my own standards mind you). Sunday has become a reset, a time to breathe, to reflect.

The term self-care I’ve learnt from a fabulous company called Wear Your Label, they’ve got a #SelfCareSunday contest going on right now, check it out!

For now I sit here laughing at young me, hating such a beautiful day- for wasting it. Take care of yourself in whatever way you see best. Do what makes your feel your brightest. Most importantly, call it whatever the frig you want!

Happy Sunday friends, I’ll be over here, not making decisions- just doing what I feel like.

Let’s Connect! My goal in this blog is to create a community, help others and in turn grow myself. This is not just about sharing my story, but those of others- 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 instagram. 


Self Care- Not just for Sundays.

Life has a way of getting away from me. Like a train at full-steam ahead my life moves fast, and the ride is always ongoing. I volunteer with many organizations, manage a few committees, I work two jobs, I’m a student, and I try to maintain some semblance of a social life. I’m busy. 

Add all of this, a little bit of stress, caffeine, and an unhealthy attachment to my agenda and iCalendar and you’ve got all the ingredients to life lived by Anastasia Smallwood.

Being busy, never being idle, is a coping mechanism, but it also makes me happy. Idleness has never been something I enjoy. Sure a day or two is fine, but more than that and you’ll find me re-organizing my room, finding tasks where there weren’t any before, and finally, if idle long enough I lose ambition to do anything (a scary place).

Sometimes, perhaps out of fear, perhaps out of forgetfulness, I forget to put me on the top of my daily task list. Forgetting to eat properly, to exercise, to sleep. Giving much, taking little. Months of avoiding this can mean I run my weekly marathon on steam, and then on fumes, and then again on nothing at all.

Often times avoiding taking care of myself results in a need for a weekend of solitude, a few days to re-coup with some classical music, tea, wine and my thoughts. Other times, thankfully less frequent I end up sick, and I mean real sick-ick. Being sick is never fun, but with being stuck in bed comes a list of uncompleted tasks and that STRESSES me out. Nerves that make my stomach turn, sleep seem unnecessary and my hair pulling and skin-picking frequency jump at alarming rates.


As I pick-up the pieces of my life post bronchial and chest infection, post-exhaustion, and after learning my lesson (this time anyways) remember to take care of yourself this weekend. For the biggest priority in your life should be you, regardless the day of the week ❤ 


10 Ways Tricky Trichsters Fight the Urge to Pull

A fiddle toy is not a musical instrument.

I’m that annoying kid in class who clicks their pen, not sorry, it’s a coping mechanism.

The following is a far from a comprehensive list as to the ways Trichsters cope with the urge to pull. They are my own experiences. Feeling the need to lighten the mood a bit, so enjoy these gifs and memes- I did.

1. Fiddle Toys

The majority of articles and resources for Trichsters promote the use of stress balls, fiddle toys (the weird wormy thing you see above), and other toys meant for tactile stimulation. Although I’ve had minimal success with these, at times I have used them, so they’ve been included #whynot

2. Worry Rocks


Stones, pebbles, bottle caps, and elastic bands all serve the same purpose here for me. Not necessarily stress/worry relieving, but they serve as a way of keeping my fingers busy

3. Hats


Hard to pull when your hair is covered. Also see Day 3: Braids, Buns and Hats- The Art of Hiding

4. Hairstyles are major key


Sometimes it’s ridiculous the number of hair styles I go through before leaving the house in the morning. Pony-tail to braid to bun to a combination before finally deciding to leave my hair down. It really depends on my mood, the type of day, and how confident I’m feeling. My biggest insecurity is my hair. My opinion of my hair as I leave the house plays a huge roll in how much I’ll pull or play with my hair in any given day

5. Hot beverages


Now I do really just enjoy coffee & tea. Those who know me can certainly attest to that, but hot beverages serve another purpose. I’m a clumsy person (thanks mom), and so holding hot cups is best done with two hands. Can’t pull when you hands are busy protecting your precious caffeine

6. Pen Caps


I’ve stopped the pen clicking- I just don’t buy them. Although I do love putting the caps on and off of my pens… slightly less annoying

7. Rings and Necklaces


Rarely will you find me without a necklace and a ring on, both physical things that I can’t lose (as easily), that I can fiddle with if necessary

8. Keeping Busy


As I eluded to in Day 2: But Doesn’t It Hurt? I LOVE keeping busy, as for me idleness is the downfall of all resolve not to pull. An emotional coping mechanism if ever there is one. Free time, as rare as it is in my life, is when my pulling is at it’s worst

9. Just Hiding.


As we all do, somedays I just need to take a break and hide for a while. A day to not worry about what my hair looks like, to not have to hide my pulling. Accepting that pulling is part of who I am has allowed me to finally enjoy these days without guilt. Now I cherish them, accepting they are going to happen, and focus on ways of taking care of me #selfcare

10.  I Resort to Other BFRBs…


Over the years through attempts to hide my pulling I’ve developed other Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours, but thats a story for tomorrow.

This is by far a complete list, some other coping strategies suggested by the TLC Foundation can be found here, all 50 ways! Check-out the other resources I’ve started to compile in Helpful Links & Articles.

Now go tackle Wednesday!