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PixieKitten
October 19th, 2013, 05:56 AM
Over the last couple of months, my hair seems to have just stopped growing. I have a feeling it correlates with my being fired unjustly in August. Now I'm on the verge of being completely broke, I have 9 animals to pay for, christmas is coming up fast, and I can't find any part time jobs anywhere!
I feel like I'm constantly stressing out, trying to stretch what little money I have left as far as it can go, and every time I look at my hair I swear it's shrinking! The only thing I'm doing right for it right now is sticking it up and getting lots of exercise. I'm not eating healthily(read- barely eating at all) and I'm certainly not keeping stress to a minimum. Is there any way I can de-stress without spending any money?!

donnalouise
October 19th, 2013, 06:11 AM
I'm in Worcester too! :).

Can't help too much with the whole de-stressing thing, it's a problem i always seem to have - no money coming in = stress, lots of money coming in = stress from overwork, can't win. I think the most important thing is to take care of your physical needs day to day at first, the 'barely eating' will definitely cause issues with your hair, i know it's hard when you have no money but i'd research ways to cook cheap, healthy meals - it'll make a big difference to how you feel too.

Things to do cheap/free - treat yourself to a long bath, paint your nails, play mindless games online to take your mind off real life for a moment, go for a long walk, have a PJ day and just stay home with your animals and do nothing, read a good book, take up sewing (you can get cross stitch kits for under a tenner that will keep you busy for a LOT of hours). Do something for your hair too, give yourself a deep conditioning treatment, learn some new styles.

If your budget is causing you stress then you need to sit down and deal with it. Schedule a time to worry about your budget, sit down and write it all out and come up with a plan of how much you will spend and where, and then tell yourself "i've dealt with this now". I find when i'm stressed about something i put off dealing with it for a long time which only makes it worse, dealing with it and then allowing yourself to move on because it's 'done' can really help.

Keep up with the exercise, wish i was motivated to do this as i need to lose loads of weight!

Oh, and remember it's impossible for your hair to shrink, ;), tell yourself this is just the state of your mind right now because you are stressed and not thinking good things. The reality is that your hair is getting longer and more beautiful every day - keep taking care of it and loving yourself xx

Firefox7275
October 19th, 2013, 06:48 AM
Daily physical activity: ideally some higher intensity intervals (eg. jogging or walking steep hills briskly) not all low level stuff. However do be aware that high intensity exercise without fuelling up properly can actually cause as many problems as it solves as it does put the body under stress.

There is loads of stuff about healthy eating and other budgeting ideas on the Moneysavingexpert forums - check out Weezl74's many threads, at one point she was doing feed a family of four healthily for 100 a month. Nutrients important for stress include long chain omega-3s (canned mackerel or pilchards can be found cheap) and magnesium (seeds, cocoa powder).

If you are really struggling consider asking your doctor for a prescription for low dose beta blockers, these are non addictive, non drowsy, side effects are pretty rare, and a script should be free if you are on benefits/ very low income.

Panth
October 19th, 2013, 07:39 AM
De-stress tips (yes, it's hard):

- definitely try to do things that you need to promptly (e.g. look at bills). I find that procrastination and anticipation massively magnify my stress levels and that often the hardest thing is starting something, not actually doing it.

- try to make a schedule for yourself, particularly if you're someone who likes order and routine. Often when unemployed, people can begin to drift without the rigidness of a schedule that work enforces. So, try to make a schedule e.g. times to get up, times to go to bed, when is lunchtime?, what days/times do you call "work" (e.g. doing portraits, job hunting) and what days/times are "free time", if some of the pets are dogs then what time is walkies?, etc. This will make you feel (and maybe be) more productive and also can help cut down on procrastination.

- definitely try to eat healthily and regularly. Personally, I find my mood is massively affected by hunger. Also, long-term, your health is going to be affected if you continue to eat very little and/or continue to eat poorly. Things that are cheap include bean- and tomato-based pasta sauces plus stir frys (bulk out with cheap veggies, e.g. cabbage, carrots, rather than the fancy veg). If you're a meat eater, consider offal - lambs hearts are 50p-1 a piece and 2 or 3 will easily feed 2 people in a fairly meat-heavy meal (cut off the hard, white fat and any rubbery tubes, chop into chunks, fry in butter or a butter-oil mix and eat with mash with the butter poured over it). Liver is even better as it has lots of vitamins and minerals in it (just don't over-cook it as it will be chewy and unpalatable). Personally, I hate liver but I eat it quite regularly as DH likes it and I consider it a sort of medicine - i.e. not that tasty, but it's very good for me! For a "treat" meat meal, consider ox tail - it takes a while to stew but is super-tasty and much cheaper than standard cuts of meat. Take advantage of sales and bargains, but don't buy things you don't need and try to buy produce not ready-made stuff (it's usually cheaper and is definitely more healthy). If you have a freezer, buy in bulk, make things in bulk (e.g. pasta sauce, vegetarian chilli, etc.) and freeze in portions.

- go see your Citizen's Advice Bureau, both for advice regarding your unfair dismissal and for advice about benefits and income assistance, local charities, etc.

- for cheap hobbies, visit your library if you can. Maybe try some sort of crafting if the idea appeals? Yes, crafting can get horrifically expensive if you let it (rather like long hair!) but it doesn't have to be and IMO you get quite a lot of hobby time for your when crafting. Not only do you get the time spent planning, choosing the pattern/design, choosing the materials but then you get the time spent actually making it and then the time spent wearing/using the finished item. You can often find yarn and knitting needles in charity shops and there are tons of free patterns on Ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com/). Also, that opens up the opportunity to go to local craft clubs, which could help with potential loneliness/isolation/boredom.

bunzfan
October 19th, 2013, 07:48 AM
I think it can effect it yes, most of my adult life i've struggled with dealing with high levels of stress so in turn i didn't feel like eating which resulted in me feeling tired and not alot of hair growth as i was hardly eating any protein i realize this now looking back and plenty of protein is vital to keep your energy levels up and keeping you healthy and for hair growth too.

It doesn't have to be expensive tuna is a good source of protein as is egg's as for the stress levels being managed i recommend reading that's what kept me stress free and recently in the last year i discovered knitting i find it really great as it's focuses your mind on something else you don't even need to buy expensive magazines youtube taught me. Feel free to pm me anytime.

PixieKitten
October 19th, 2013, 08:06 AM
Thank you for your advice everyone, these are all really good ideas!
Donnalouise, that's awesome! I didn't think there'd be another LHC'er around here!

Right then. Today is a pamper day for me and hair, tomorrow is schedule making day! Order has defiantely gone to pot since they told me not to bother coming in again. The first couple of weeks of lie ins and late nights were fun, but has since turned into an inability to get up before 11am :eek:
One of those animals is a dog, another is a horse I have on loan, so they definately get me out and about! I have 2 rabbits as well that have agility training, though one's on rest with a sprained foot right now. :doh:

Most of my not eating stems from being lazy. I'm gluten-intolerant, so many of the quick and easy dishes that got me through college arent an option anymore, and I can't be bothered to cook most of the time.

ExpectoPatronum
October 19th, 2013, 02:40 PM
^I'm gluten intolerant/possibly celiacs (waiting for my test results!). I went gluten free for a couple weeks before going back on to get tested. Now, I'm in college so I have a very very limited budget. But, even when eating gluten free, I was able to get by on $25 a week.

I think the best advice I have is to take advantage of in-season vegetables. They're usually really cheap - no more than $2 a pound where I live. I also buy things like rice, quinoa, beans, and lentils in bulk and I take advantage of sales and stock up when the price is reduced. The key I think is to stock up on nutrient dense foods that will last a long time when you can. That way, when they're not on sale, you have some to get by. I also find it helpful to dedicate an afternoon/evening on the weekend to cook up a couple big meals so that I have leftovers I can just heat up for dinner during the busy school week. I also find it really helpful to make big batches of things like soups and chili, putting some for the week in a container and then freezing the rest in a plastic bag for future use. It takes a little planning, but I've eaten better and healthier on my own than I did at home and honestly? If I'm celiac, I won't really miss gluten at all. (I'm currently feeling like death thanks to toast I had for breakfast...Grr.)

Also, do any stores around you have loyalty card things? The grocery store I frequent has a 10% off on Saturdays thing for students. I go there when I can't find something at the farmers market/their prices are cheaper than the market and while 10% doesn't seem like a lot, it definitely adds up when you buy a few things.

I find spending a day cooking some yummy gluten-free soups and meals to be very de-stressing. :)

Firefox7275
October 19th, 2013, 03:34 PM
Most of my not eating stems from being lazy. I'm gluten-intolerant, so many of the quick and easy dishes that got me through college arent an option anymore, and I can't be bothered to cook most of the time.

Just switch out wheat based carbs like pasta for steamed brown basmati rice or beans/ lentils (canned or dried) or baked sweet potato. You can cook rice or pulses in bulk and freeze. Slow cookers are seriously useful and dead cheap if you buy say Asda Smartprice: I can throw a meal together in literally five minutes, cooks for hours, leftovers microwave for following days, easy to wash the dishes since the bowl is non stick and it's a one pot meal.

pocketsmall
October 19th, 2013, 04:38 PM
My best advice (I am a super-stressed college student, have been for years now) would be to be sure you are getting some exercise and eating well. It's amazing how much more clearly your mind will function and reduce stress by doing so.

Violet.
October 19th, 2013, 05:50 PM
Stress hasn't really affected my hair growth ever, but it did make a huge change for my mother. I'm sure it's possible, though I think it's individual will it happen or not.