Ugh, My Hair! Don’t Ignore Self-Care.

My hair.  It is embarrassing to admit, but my hair has been dominating my thoughts for the past 72 hours.  Yes, I am aware of the pandemic.  Yes, I am aware of Governor Hogan’s recent executive order requiring all Maryland residents to stay at home, unless engaged in essential activities, such as working for an essential business, buying food, or seeking medical care.  Yes, I have a husband sharing my work-from-home space.  And then there are the two young children afoot, vying for attention and missing their teachers and friends.  Regardless, my thoughts are with my hair.

I’ve colored my hair for years.  I’ve colored it at home, at hair salons, and at friends’ homes.  Indeed, I can no longer recall my once-upon-a-time natural hair color, as varying shades of browns and reds have dominated my recent past.  But now, I know its color—grey.  Unmistakably grey.  Since mid-March, our family, like many, has been living as if a stay-at-home order were in effect.  March 12th was the last day I drove; since then, I’ve been a vehicle passenger once.  Of course, we will continue to abide by the orders and guidance issued by federal, state and local authorities.  That means, among other things, my regular visit to the salon is postponed for the foreseeable future. 

I take great comfort knowing I am not alone in my hair obsession.  Hair color sales have increased sharply.  Tips about DIY color have been published by the New York Times.  High-end salons are prepared to offer video-consultations.  Yes, I know.  My hair fixation isn’t all about my hair.  True, I don’t want my husband, colleagues, or children knowing about this nearly 90% grey head of hair, but my preoccupation has more to do with loss of routine, a desire to get back to pre-COVID-19 normalcy, and anxiety.  My worry is constant, dominated by health concerns of my parents, my husband, my children, my friends (and their spouses, children and parents), concern about loved ones who are job insecure and/or food unstable, and concern about the safety of our tireless health care professionals, just to name a few.  So I focus on my roots.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

During this time of great—and unprecedented—disruption, it is especially important to take care of ourselves, maintaining or improving our physical and mental well-being.  It may be as simple as learning how to color your hair at home or taking a long walk in the sunshine (being mindful of social distancing guidelines, of course).  Here are some other ideas:

  1. Meditate.  Engage in mindfulness.
  2. Create.  Draw, paint, color, or play your way through the day.
  3. Worship.  Explore, find or join an online worship community.
  4. Yoga.  Power or otherwise, give it a go.
  5. Declutter.  This may be a perfect time to KonMari that room. 
  6. Journal.  Try your hand at freewriting.
  7. Pamper yourself.  Paint your nails.  Put on that mask.  Get that extra beauty sleep. 
  8. Get outside.  Walk.  Plant.  Bike ride.  Skip.
  9. Eat Well.  Focus on simple preparation and healthy ingredients.

As for me, I’m impatiently awaiting my Madison Reed order.

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