How do you deal with stress?

How do you deal with stress? In our busy lives, how do you manage your time?

Alopecia Areata isn’t caused by stress, but it can be stressful. We asked the Team Behind the Scenes here at AAAF (aka our amazing Committee volunteers) how they tackle stress and time management.

 

Chel – AAAF President

I am a list-er. I make lists for everything! Not only does it clear my head of remembering all the things I have to do, but it’s so satisfying when I get to cross things off (as nerdy as that sounds). I also try to set small achievable goals every day to make big tasks seem approachable. Most importantly, I try to set aside time in the day for some fresh air and exercise. Whether that’s just a quick walk around the block or a trip to the beach, it helps with managing my stress by giving my brain and body a chance to recharge.

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My Alopecia Story

By Michelle 

Alopecia Areata began for me as a small patch at the back of my head at age 15, in 1992. It progressed slowly until the year following high school, when at age 18, I lost most of my head hair for the first time. As my hair decreased, so did my mood and my confidence, while my dreams and goals went down the drain along with the lost strands. I gradually became severely anxious and depressed over the next couple of years. I wore hats and scarves to cover my patchy head, and dreaded talking about my AA.

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Faye’s Story and Healthy Alopecia

Faye Read with friendBy Faye, age 11

Alopecia is not the easiest thing in the world and for a while, I didn’t believe that it was possible to do all the things I did before my alopecia came back when I was in year four. But after a while, I came to the realisation that I was missing out on things because I was avoiding all the questions and the stares. Now I am back into everything and am joining in with sports and other activities with my friends.

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Life with Alopecia – Pat’s Story

PatMy alopecia story began in 1989 when I was 39 years old. I experienced a tremendous shock that was to last some years. Not long after this, my first small patch of hair disappeared from the top of my head. Although I was preoccupied with bigger concerns, I was a little worried and the doctor sent me to a dermatologist who also seemed rather unconcerned. His exact words were “oh people are walking around like this all the time” like it was no big deal.  Yet the patches of hair loss became larger and the cortisone injections into my scalp only regrew sparse white hairs of a totally different texture to my own. In time I stopped having the painful injections and decided instead to get a wig.

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WA Boys Weekend Recap

Eagle Bay Boys Weekend 16-18 March

In March 2018, AAAF ran our first event just for boys with Alopecia Areata – a weekend camp in WA. Hosted by Greg O’Rourke, the WA AAAF Branch Manager, at his holiday home in Eagle Bay, three hours south of Perth, the camp was attended by six boys aged nine to fourteen.

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(Left to Right: Greg, James, Cam, Carlo)

Some of their parents also attended, along with other members of the AAAF team – Support Ambassadors James Miller and Cam O’Rourke  and Carlo Napolitano. Carlo and James flew in from Sydney on the Friday evening especially for this camp.

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Alopecia Community

By Linsey Painter

When we moved to Cairns four years ago the last thing on my mind was meeting a group of ladies with alopecia and forming lovely friendships.

I had never intentionally sought out anyone with alopecia before, certainly never while I was in high school, during my toughest years of having to cope with being bald. Before coming to Cairns I had only ever known two other people who had alopecia.

We all met through our gorgeous hairdresser. Angela, from Angel Wigs in Melbourne, treks up to Cairns regularly and offers haircuts, wig fittings and support.

On this particular occasion, she asked me if I would mind a couple of ladies coming to my house to have their wigs cut. Time was tight and it would be easier if we could meet all in one place.

I said, ‘Yes’.

What followed was an amazing time of sharing, building friendships, emotional support and a sense of belonging.

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Is Facebook hurting the Alopecia Community?

By Georgia (AAAF Secretary)

You’ve probably heard Facebook has changed it’s algorithm again.

You might have seen a screen message from Facebook telling you they’re improving your experience. Facebook say they’re focusing on friends and family. That may be true. But the most recent change in January 2018 is going to hurt the Alopecia Community.

If you haven’t heard about the algorithm, let me provide an intro. In the most basic sense, the algorithm is a calculation which controls what you see in your Facebook feed. It’s kept extremely secret and is very convoluted. It measures things like what types of post you click on from which sources, and how many likes, comments and shares it has, and over 100,000 other factors.

Exactly what The Algorithm prefers is a secret, though the general idea is that the more thumbs up, the better.

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AAAF in 2018

I have a confession to make. I’m absolutely nuts about New Year’s Resolutions.

I know, I know – January 1st is just a date, there’s no reason to limit introspection to one tiny portion of the year, and yes, I’ve heard that making resolutions might even be bad for keeping them.

I can’t help it. I really like them.

For me, January really does feel like the designated check in. A chance to look back at what’s been achieved and be excited for what’s ahead. To decide what to bring into the new year and what to leave in the past. Truth is, I’m a big of a day dreamer. If I didn’t give myself a designated time to decided what I want to do and plan how we’re going to do it, I’d end up another year down with nothing to show for it.

A year ago today, we posted AAAF’s New Year Resolutions for 2017. We celebrated the amazing things we did in 2016 – like the Bald Canvas Initiative and our Remove GST on Wigs campaign – and we made plans for what was to come.

Looking back on 2017, I feel very proud of our wonderful team, and our outstanding community, because we achieved everything we set out to do. And so, so much more.

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