Hairdressing revisited after fibromyalgia

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Hairdressing revisited after fibromyalgia

Having made a full recovery from Fibromyalgia (which saw me retire from hairdressing for ten years), with a life and body that was now truly vital and joyful, I felt it was time to return to the salon.

How that would look was another thing again. Returning to hairdressing was something I had always wanted to do, but I was not actually sure how I was going to achieve that, especially knowing how I used to work and the impact it had on my body and my life.

Long hours, on my feet all day, never taking lunch breaks and living off fresh vegetable and fruit juices were not what I would now view as a supportive way to work or live, with or without fibromyalgia. So going back into an industry that was based on caring for others, but not for self, I saw as a challenge, one that took me a while to revisit, relive and reimprint.

As a child I never really knew what I wanted to do, then at age twelve I made the decision to become a hairdresser, working Saturday mornings in a salon. I was a natural, I had found my calling you could say, doing hair came with an ease, with no trying… nothing about doing hair felt hard or challenging. I loved it.

In fact I loved it so much that I worked myself hard, pushing myself and my body to its limits and beyond. Working long hours and living the hairdresser’s lifestyle of poor diet, late nights, early mornings and a lot of socialising and drinking was not supporting my health. So it was no surprise that in my twenties my body began to fail me, aching, creaking and screaming at me to slow down, until in the end, it simply gave out.

Finally realising my life, body and myself were the way they were because of the choices I had made by overdoing it, by pushing myself past the point of exhaustion, it was here that my own responsibility became very obvious and so needed.

My home life and work life were one; how I lived outside of work affected me at work and how I lived my day at work affected me at home. It was one big blur and roundabout I didn’t know how to stop, but my body did – it called the stop for me – resulting in constant aches, pains, feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion, just existing and getting by on a day to day basis. Fibromyalgia.

It took this stop for me to begin implementing changes in my life, building a foundation of self-care, taking responsibility for the choices I made and how I lived was the big first step. Stopping to feel how my choices affected my body, taking time for me, preparing and eating supportive and nourishing foods such as lean meats, seafood, fresh vegetables, cutting out alcohol and caffeine, gluten and dairy, and observing how my body felt after it ate particular foods and making changes accordingly.

All of these changes with my diet, along with going to bed at a reasonable time, allowed and supported me to sleep better, waking in the mornings feeling vital, able to think more clearly and being able to continue to make choices that supported me in what was needed next in my rebuilding phase.

So with the changes I made, my body and life slowly began to become simpler, no longer living in and from the chaos I had once lived and worked in.

Supporting myself first became the priority, realising with this I could then support my clients equally, so with a continuing commitment to myself, and an ongoing development of what is needed in each moment, I designed a salon that did just that.

I now work hours that offer clients flexibility, in a way that supports myself and my family; not always easy in the hairdressing industry, but totally possible if we make choices for it to be that way.

I am now able to offer my services from the vitality I live, enjoying every moment of my day, no longer feeling exhausted from Fibromyalgia, my clients now given the opportunity to experience a gentleness, tenderness and space that many hairdressing salons do not yet offer, because I now live those qualities myself and so am able to share them with others.

Filed under

Health conditionsExhaustionWork life balanceFatigueReturning to work

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    By Nicole Serafin, Hairdresser, Self employed business owner , Wife, Mother

    I am now living as the woman I truly am, dedicated and committed to developing and deepening the relationship I have with myself, my family and friends. Life continues to evolve, as do I.