4 Signs Your Body is Stressed

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One thing I’ve found amazing about the human body is that it tells you when things are wrong in many different ways. From headaches, aches and pains, the body is always looking out for our best interest and communicates with us. But do we communicate back? Acknowledge the stress signs? A majority of us just shrug it off, take some medication, and continue on with the day.

After all the doctor visits I’ve had, I now want to live a more holistic life. It started when I had my first session with a chiropractor. I’ve been experiencing a lot of back and shoulder pain added with migraines. The morning I had my session I woke up with a headache and already knew I was going to need to take Tylenol. About 30 minutes after my adjustment with the chiropractor, my headache went away and I haven’t had one since! This really made me question the medication my neurologist had given me for the migraines.

I should note – I’m not against medication. It’s extremely helpful! I personally love taking my Wellbutrin every day because it truly helps keep my depression in check. After all that’s happened within the last year or so, I’m starting to feel overwhelmed with keeping track of which medications to take, how much, etc.

So, I’ve been getting better at listening to my body and knowing when it’s time to slow down and reevaluate. Here are my body’s signs of stress that are also common symptoms for others as well!

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  1. Back Acne – In previous posts I’ve shared that I’ve never had acne before I stopped my birth control. Now not only do I deal with acne on my face, I have it on my back and shoulders. I don’t have it constantly since it out only breaks out when I’m stressed but it’s extremely annoying. In a previous post here, I mentioned a body wash that I was using to help clear it up. Unfortunately, I can’t find it in store or online anymore so I switched to Mario Badescu A.H.A Botanical Body Soap. So far, I’m really loving it and it smells so good! I use it almost every time I shower but especially when I notice a break out.
  2. Forgetting to Breathe – I’ve been really trying to focus on my breathing lately. I’m constantly on the go and moving at fast paces that I forget to just stop for a moment and check in with my breathing. When my chest and stomach start to tighten up, I immediately know that something is off. My mind is moving so fast that it’s concentrated on everything else! Now when I start to feel the tightness, I stop whatever task I’m doing and take a few deep breaths. Then once I feel calm and comfortable, I continue the task but with awareness that I need to slow down.
  3. Extra Irritable – I get angry/irritated easily but when I get stressed out, I start to get really sensitive with things. This one I do hate the most because there can be consequences that involve my family, friends, and could affect my work environment. At work I can control it better because it’s my job and the consequences could be severe(duh). As for my personal life, I try to take breaks from whatever situation is irritating me and causing stress. This usually means I either go for a walk, start cleaning, or go take a few minutes to just be in silence. I’m not running away from the problem but my brain and emotions are overstimulated so there needs to be a slight pause for my body to just calm down.
  4. Hair Falling Out – I recently posted about how I have androgenetic alopecia. It’s not uncommon for my hair to fall out but it starts falling out considerably and in clumps when I’m overly stressed. If I notice that I’m starting to have more hair fall out than normal, I really try to reevaluate what’s been going on the last few days. Have I been getting enough sleep? Drinking enough water? Eating healthy? What’s causing me stress that I can eliminate?

 

Recently my goal has been to achieve a simpler life. I was doing well for a while – going to therapy, journaling, practicing minimalism as much as possible – but along the way life happened and things got complicated and I stopped taking care of myself. Now I’m starting to listen to my body again so that I can stay healthy physically and mentally. Next time you start to feel overwhelmed or stress, take a few moments to check in with yourself and see what can be improved on to make your day just a little bit easier 😊

Being Diagnosed at 23 with Alopecia

Right now, it feels like my medical life is never going to come to an end. Mentally I’ve been…. okay. I’ve been slacking on journaling and I haven’t had therapy in awhile (but I made an appointment so that’s good!). My main focus now has been my physical health.

Since I work at a dermatology office (as I’ve mentioned 3 billion times) I had a consult to discuss my thinning hair. I’ve always had thin hair but within the last year or so it’s become pretty noticeable. After some lab work and a scalp biopsy, I got diagnosed with Androgenetic Alopecia.

Androgenetic alopecia, also known as female/male pattern hair loss, is unfortunately genetic and can be worsened with hormone changes and stress. The hair loss happens at the top of the scalp. For women, hair will thin and the part starts to widen. For men, it’s often that the hairline will start to recede and bald patches can happen. This is what my scalp currently looks like

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So yeah…at almost 24 years old this was not something I wanted to hear. I’m young and supposed to be exploring life and having fun! I shouldn’t have to worry about me losing my hair. I gave myself time to cry and let the information sink in and then it was time to get my shit together.

The first thing I started was taking Nutrafol supplements. They come highly recommended by dermatologists because these supplements have everything your body needs to try and regrow the hair and make it stronger. I’ve been taking them for over a month now and haven’t noticed any immediate change. Hair regrowth is a process though; it can take 6 months to a year before I start seeing big results. One downside to the Nutrafol? They’re expensive but I recommend giving it a try! Taking just biotin didn’t work for me. Nutrafol was created by dermatologists so it’s got all the necessary nutrients needed for hair regrowth.

Next, I changed up my shampoo and conditioner. I was using the brand Bosley and had their hair restoration items but after a year of using the products, I didn’t notice anything different. I went ahead and bought from the brand Nisim. What makes this set a better option is that the shampoo has DHT blockers. DHT is a hormone that affects your hair’s regrowth. The one thing I’ve noticed so far is that my scalp doesn’t feel dry or super itchy anymore so that makes me feel really positive about my switch!

The other thing that we found out was that my Ferritin levels are low. Ferritin is basically the stored iron in your body. My regular iron levels are fine because my body is pulling from the storage. We caught it quick enough that I don’t have to take any drastic changes to get my iron levels back up but I do need to be proactive in getting them back to a normal range. I want to avoid taking iron supplements if possible so I’m going to try and increase my iron intake through diet. I recheck my iron levels in about 3 months and if it doesn’t change then I’ll discuss with my doctors what action to take next.

 

I wanted to give y’all a quick update and just share more about my health journey. When I started this blog, I had an idea of what I wanted it to be like – your typical lifestyle blog with my own personal touch. But now I’ve found that I have a platform that I can use to educate and comfort others that go through the same illnesses as me. If you would have told me when I was 18 years old that this was how I was going to be starting my adult life I would have called you crazy. Constantly going to doctor appointments, being in pain, and being given bad news is all too much sometimes – it’s hard to stay positive. So I’m extremely happy and grateful for my support system and my family because I don’t know how I’d get through all of this without them.

 

If you have alopecia or want to learn more about it, click here!

My 5 All-Time Favorite Reads

If you haven’t read these books then there will most likely be spoilers ahead.

Books have always been a huge part of my life. I love the suspense they bring and that you can take yourself to a completely different world. There are so many books and authors that have inspired me to write and it’s why English was my favorite subject in school! I loved writing essays, had a poetry phase, and wrote some short stories myself (I will count fan fiction as well because yes, I wrote fan fiction. I’m a huge nerd so it was expected).

I wanted to share with y’all some of my favorite books that I’ve read throughout my life and why I’ve loved them so much!

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  1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling — Hands down my favorite book of the series. I loved the story line and all the detail that went into the book. This was the story that really changed things in Harry’s life! Sure he fought Voldemort a few times and dealt with dementors but this is the book where EVERYTHING changes. I love it so much that I was actually pretty disappointed with the movie. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the movies and do love HPATGOF, but honestly they could have done so much better. It’s hard going from book to movie because it can’t all be the same but it just bugs me when huge plots are changed! Anyway, this is definitely my favorite book and love J.K. Rowling in every way.
  2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins — My aunt got me started on this series and I finished it insanely fast because I loved it so much. I read Catching Fire specifically in just one day! Reading it as a teenager, I definitely was loving the romance heating up between Katniss and Peeta – what girl wouldn’t fall in love with Peeta?! What really grabbed my attention was all the new characters and twists to the Games. Suzanne Collins brought in so much more to this world that I was craving to know more! And as I said before, I’m a huge lover of plots and plot twists. They’re just so intriguing and enticing that it really is impossible to put the book down.
  3. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult — Jodi Picoult is one of my all time favorite authors. I really love the way she writes and what she write about it – it’s extremely real. I read this book in my early teens and would advise caution reading this as it involves multiple sensitive issues. The main plot of the book is a high school shooting. We follow a character who tries to understand the events leading up to this unfortunate terror and how it starts to change her own views of herself. Jodi Picoult has an amazing way of describing the characters and scenes that you truly feel you’re there with them yourself.
  4. Divergent by Veronica Roth — Okay so, yes, I have a favorite genre of books ~ What I loved about Divergent is that it took post-apocalyptic to a whole different level. Every member of society is divided into “factions” based on their personality types until one girl’s is questioned. It’s enticing and wonderfully written that you won’t want to put the book down! And yes, as suspected, there is a romance and it is everything. Honestly as far as young adult book romances go, this one is my favorite. I highly recommend this trilogy!

*Spoiler-ish alert – The last book I read in a day and was crying at 2am because of the end – prepare yourself*

  1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien — A book that literally needs no introduction. I will admit I have not read the full LOTR trilogy because of the length but I have started the books. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit  are my most favorite books + movies of all time. (I have 4 LOTR tattoos and I’m currently planning for a full sleeve!) The Hobbit is a perfect starter because 1 – it’s the beginning of it all and 2 – it truly is an easier read. Tolkien wrote this book as a bed time story for his children so you’ll find that it’s very descriptive. Nerding out real quick – there were some hardcore fans that complained that Peter Jackson messed up The Hobbit movies by adding more of his creative expression in some scenes. Seriously, I think a lot of people forgot about the intentions of the book and that if you were to go back and read the scenes that were “messed up”, Tolkien gave zero detail (ie. The final battle). Anyway! I highly recommend even if you’ve seen the movies.

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I’m always looking for new reads! Drop your suggestions below for me 😊