Healthy Living with MS · Living · Mind · MS Life

Hair Cut Happiness: Why the ‘Little Things’ are so Important

I’ve had my first day back at work after my long Christmas holidays and, I can tell you, it was hard work.  Not that I had a great number of patients to see (because I’d allowed myself time to catch up on admin to get myself prepared for the weeks ahead), but the need to be ‘on’ for a full day completely took it out of me.  I worried that I wouldn’t have the energy to complete my 20 minutes of meditation (see here for my #MeditationChallenge).  I’m pleased to say I did manage it, but then I was straight to bed as soon as the kids were safely tucked up in theirs.

Christmas has really taken it out of me – it has been so lovely seeing my sister and her family (and I dread them heading back to Australia later this week) but catching up often involves late nights and late nights + MS = not a good combination!  On the plus side, our kitchen is finally done and I loooove it!  It is worth all the upheaval we had before Christmas, as it is now organised so much more effectively for me – I’m doing less walking around and we finally have a place for everything.  I’m hoping that the new kitchen can be a hub where I am proud to invite others to sit around, enjoying a nice meal or drink – so I can still have a social life but in the comfort of my own home when I feel like I have the energy!

Love our new kitchen

Because I had a good couple of weeks off work, I also used the time for a bit of pampering.  My Mum, sister, daughter and I had a ‘girls’ day’, where we did each other’s nails and then enjoyed afternoon tea at a local hotel (my 7 year old was in heaven! And they did a vegan one for me).  I tried a sheet mask for the first time (helllooo Michael Myers – hop over to my Instagram if you want to have a laugh) and had my hair done.

Now, this is just a random musing, but it’s something that I’ve been thinking about since last Friday when I went for my hair appointment: just how much I appreciate and look forward to taking the time out to get my hair done.  That sounds a bit decadent, and even perhaps ‘airheaded’ of me, but it isn’t just because my pesky greys are dealt with that I really love my appointments, it is so much more than that.

As someone living with a progressive chronic illness, it takes a lot of energy and effort to leave the house; just having a shower takes it out of me, let alone having to organise my scooter to leave the house and then go to the bank machine to make sure I have money (don’t get me started on why they don’t accept card payments).  But that two hour appointment, once every six weeks, is something that is so precious to me.  It is the chance to:

  • Feel ‘normal’ for two hours – I’m out of the house and doing things that ‘normal women’ do
  • Treat myself to someone else washing and drying my hair for me – it sounds like a little thing, but I have arms that don’t always work well, so sitting and relaxing whilst someone does all the hard work feels so decadent
  • Have a good chinwag with my next-door neighbour – because she happens to be my hairdresser! It’s difficult for me to do the typical ‘conversation over the garden fence’ thing, because I can’t stand outside for long periods of time, so this is the next best thing
  • Make me feel pretty – this is a big thing for me. I really feel like there’s a direct correlation between how much my MS progresses and how much my body confidence I have i.e it gets lower all the time.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of what my body can still do, but the fact is that I can’t get it to look exactly how I’d like it to look.  This is because of a lack of ability to exercise in the way that I would like to (long gone are the Body Combat and Body Pump classes that I used to do) and a lack of energy, and perhaps motivation, to continue with the ‘upkeep’ that I used to do.  When I come out of the hairdresser, I have swingy, shiny hair, with no evidence of greys.  It’s like a magic wand has been waved and I’m back to the ‘old Jen’ who feels confident about herself.

It is not always easy to get the hairdresser; where I live there are narrow pavements and little steps up into shops, which makes it so hard for people with mobility disabilities. The past couple times, I’ve had real problems with my scooter suddenly stopping on my way there, which makes me reluctant to use it.  However, I’ve decided that, next time I go, I’ll just drive my car and park it on a double yellow (using my disability blue badge) so that I don’t have to worry about whether I’m actually going to get there or not.

Anyway, having the time over Christmas to do the ‘little things’ like my nails and sheet mask and hair has made me realise just how important these things are to me; a little bit of luxury that helps me to forget about my MS just for a small amount of time.  If that makes me vain so be it!


Is there anything that you do, that helps you feel like the ‘old you’ before chronic illness reared its ugly head? I should add that there’s lots of things I can do to help forget about my MS (date nights with my husband, having drinks with old friends and having fun times with my kids, for example) but, going to the hairdresser and other little beauty treats are the things that I do purely for me.  I would love to hear if you do anything similar.  Here’s to 2018 and more beauty treatments!

Jen 2

Cover Photo by Ariel Lustre on Unsplash

25 thoughts on “Hair Cut Happiness: Why the ‘Little Things’ are so Important

  1. I love having my haircut too, but have to have it done at home. My kitchen was a salon before Christmas. With kids arriving home announcing, one perm booked!! It was fab. My lovely hairdresser keeps urging me to ‘cover those greys’! Still plucking up the courage.

    Love the pic of your kitchen. Absolutely agree, having a home hub is wonderful. And your pamper day sounds fab. I keep meaning to book a home manicure with my daughter.

    Thanks so much for sharing some cheer. Happy New Year to you. 🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your new kitchen Jen, those tiles are gorgeous! You’re right, it’s often the little things which help to pick us up and make us feel a bit more positive in the face of this illness. For me it’s having a laugh with my best friend, singing (badly) or doing a little dance if I have the energy. Maybe I need to try a few more beauty treats too, I’m sure it can’t hurt! Have fun xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know exactly what you mean about those little things that make you feel good. I think it’s so important. In fact you’ve motivated me to book a hair appointment as it’s been a while! It always feels such a treat, and like you say you can switch off and be “normal” during that time. Loving the new kitchen 😍 It looks beautiful xx


  4. I’m totally with you on the small things making a big difference, giving yourself a little space & distraction from illness, making you feel a bit more like “you”. I must admit though that beauty stuff for me has taken such a back seat; I really do need to get my hair trimmed, do my nails, put some effort into a skincare regime. Thanks for the reminder and kick up the bum to get back into doing nice, positive and uplifting “me” time stuff! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I go through period when I really feel ‘on it’ and then other times (most of the time to be honest) I just don’t have the energy. I think my sister visiting at Christmas spurred me on as she always loved OMS so ‘put together’ – no health needs though! I did feel good for doing it but I think that keeping on top of my beauty regime will be an ‘as and when’ really! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your kitchen! I’ve never been one to get a manicure or pedicure. However the last time I tried to cut my toenails, it took me 45 minutes. Between the week hands and the hypersensitivity of my feet, I have to find something different! So I may have to learn to love pedicures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment Jo Ann! I can’t do pedicures now as my feet are so sensitive, but I used to love them 🙂 Sometimes taking care of ourselves might be as simple as a good book, it doesn’t need to be beauty treatments. I hope that you have a fab rest of the week 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s wonderful that your kitchen helps you, and that you have these nice little social/interpersonal rituals that genuinely do too. If I could find a full-body ‘caretaker’/helper once in a while, the sort of completely trustworthy and relaxing person who could come to my home, wash my hair and give me a massage, I would feel a million times better, I think. My spouse is a little unwell and overworked himself, so the option of having him very often do that doesn’t work, but I am hoping I get better and also find the right folks to help me (I am the one who got electrocuted ten years back and still have so much electricity in my body that I get epileptic things going on, and being out in company overwhelms my system with stimuli which then causes things to fail a bit to conserve energy, so I can relate somewhat to your experience). Enjoy and i hope the kitchen and all continue to help you and improve your quality of life–

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think we all do what we can and that it is hard to know what anyone else’s life is like really–I guess that’s why we try to communicate. This may be TMI, but sometimes it seems fine, and sometimes I collapse downtown or have convulsions or whatever (although I manage to be private for those to avoid scaring others or getting hurt). We just do our best, with a travel wheelchair in the car boot for when it is needed, and I do spend a lot of my time at home, online or doing tarot readings for email clients etc. I spend a lot of time watching the wonderful birds and squirrels and chipmunks in the back yard. At best, it is fine, and at worst, it is like someone slipped a bad drug in your drink and you don’t know what to do, or there can be a couple of life-threatening things like choking that happen, so I just do my best. Oh, and it’s ‘Donnalee’–that big long thing is all my first name! My last name is twice as long so I don’t bother with it online but I am finding that then it can confuse folks so I might do in future–

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Donnalee, what a pretty name! Sorry to hear how hard things can be, what a strong lady you must be. Like you said, we do what we can, I have my scooter as I can’t really walk anymore. Having difficulties really make you appreciate the little things. Take care x

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks. I hope your scooter helps you get around and makes things easier for you. It is great that there is a lot of helpful technology now that we would not have had a couple-few centuries ago.


  7. I love this post! Your kitchen looks amazing!. Enjoy cooking and spending time in there. I adore getting my hair done also and the way my hairdresser removes the twinkling grey “tinsel” from my hair every 6 weeks, makes me smile. I do get restless after a while tho, and just want the transformation from fatigue looking girl, to ok looking girl done in about 30 mins!. So all credit to you. :)…and for me personally to just feel “normal”. Putting some music on, having a tiny dance, and then having energy to go to the shops and maybe do some housework…its the little things hey. Hope work goes ok this week, and keep smiling. :)x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely it is the little things. I need to spend longer than 30 mins in the hairdressers chair as I have a bit more than ‘tinsel’ now, haha. And thanks for the comment about the kitchen, I love spending time in there now 🙂 Have a fab rest of the week! Xx


  8. My six week hair dye appointment I never miss. It’s not even the time spent in the salon but I go with my mom and it’s “us” time I cherish and the coverage of the gray hairs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. HI Jen. Lovely blog as always! I also love your kitchen…and funnily nough I nearly ordered those tiles last week. Couldn’t decide between those and the ‘crochet’pattern. It all looks stunning btw. Thanks for blogging and love and strength to you and your family xx

    Liked by 1 person

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