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 Must Have Beauty Products

Growing up I didn’t care too much what kind of skincare or beauty products I used. As far as I was concerned, if I was clean then I was good to go. Now in the last few years I’ve really been into skin and beauty care to keep my skin hydrated and comfortable.

My skin is very sensitive and dry, face and body. I put lotion on after my shower every time, use lotion after I wash my hands, and use Aquaphor as chapstick for my lips. It’s taken awhile to find the right products for myself and it can seem like an impossible mission if the products you’re trying aren’t working. So I hope to save you the some of the trouble and have listed my favorite beauty and skincare products! All the products I’m listing are great quality and come at great prices too, win-win!

  • Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Lotion  —  All the fragrances are so wonderful and perfect for each use. I use Comfort right before I go to sleep. It’s definitely my favorite smell and is perfect for helping me fall asleep. It’s also one of the smoother lotions so it goes on really well. I’ve also used the Stress Relief and Bergamot lotions and have had great experiences with both! Bergamot is currently in my drawer at work because it’s used to increase positivity. What I love most about these lotions is that they aren’t greasy. I love to moisturize but I do not like the lotions that leave your hands oily and greasy. It’s a huge pet peeve! These lotions go on smoothly and sink into your skin fast leaving your hands extremely soft, moisturized, and smelling amazing.

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  • CeraVe Body Wash w Salicylic Acid for Rough and Bumpy Skin — I think I found out about this body wash through a Buzzfeed article and I’m SO glad I stumbled across it! The reviews seemed pretty good and I was trying to find a solution for my back acne. I didn’t use to get acne there but within the last year it’s started to become a problem with frequent breakouts, especially when I get stressed. It was probably a week after I started using this wash that I noticed instant results! My acne isn’t                                               completely gone from my back and shoulders but it has significantly gone down! I also don’t get as many painful breakouts either. I definitely recommend this body wash if you struggle with acne on your body – it’s a life saver!

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  • Ella + Mila Nail Strengthener —  I stopped getting acrylic nails because I hated how brittle my fingernails were once I got acrylics taken off. I was originally using the OPI nail strengthener, which does work extremely well, but I found that I’m liking this one a lot more! I came across it while I was shopping at Target for more of the OPI brand. They were sold out and this one caught my eye. It has super cute packaging and doesn’t come with harsh chemicals. What I really love about this nail strengthener is that it lasts longer. With the OPI brand, I noticed that it would start to chip quickly and so I had to reapply frequently. With this one I only have to put on one coat for the week and I get instant results!

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  • Dove DermaSeries Body Cream : Dry Skin Relief — I just recently started using this body cream and I’m SO glad that I did! My legs get extremely dry and are really sensitive after I shave. This cream worked wonders with the irritation! It is a little greasy because it’s a cream but my skin absorbs it quickly so I don’t mind all that much. My legs also stay moisturized and are insanely smooth throughout the day.

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  • Pacifica Face Masks — I had been trying to find the perfect face mask for me a couple years now. Some burned my skin, others were a hassle to clean off, and some just plain didn’t work at all. I was browsing through the face masks at Target one day and came across Pacifica. There are two face masks they have that work very well for my skin type. The first is Super Green Detox: Kale & Charcoal Detox Mask. This one is perfect for those who have clogged pores and blemish prone skin. Ever since I stopped my birth control, my face breaks out constantly and gets worse when I start to stress. When that happens I use Stress Rehab: Coconut & Caffeine Mask. This one can be used for all skin types, especially for stressed ones. The Green Detox is my go-to face mask but if I’ve had a stressful week and my face shows it, I go straight for the Stress Rehab. Bonus: These face masks are 100% vegan & cruelty free!

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Once I find a product that works well for me, I almost always stay on it. I don’t like to switch up products a lot because it can cause other reactions or reverse the process I was making.

What are your skin types and favorite products to use?