Lately, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and boarder-line distressed about the sheer quantity of
pressing matters requiring my time and attention as I face multiple big life changes while trying
to continue to keep up with many extra things I routinely do. It all has been feeling almost
physically heavy. Recently, it got to the point that just taking the trash out seemed like one
responsibility too many! So, I slowed my mind and reminded myself to take things one task at a
time, then one hour at a time, and now I’m up to one day at a time.
We all go through changes. Some seem positive and some seem negative, but all changes
require a transition period and all transition holds real potential for some specific stressors.
A transition is defined as a person’s transit from one specific circumstance into a new or different
circumstance. This is applicable to physical, emotional, and professional changes (including
women experiencing hair loss!). Schlossberg’s Transition Theory is well studied and utilized
extensively in facilitating a successful transition. This theory identifies four stages that aid in
successful transition: situation, self, social support, and strategies. Over time, these four stages
have evolved into three major components: approaching transitions, taking stock of coping
sources, and taking charge.
Regardless of which stages or components we go with here, the importance of mindful
evaluation of a situation-separate from a mindful evaluation of self is the first step in wrapping
your mind around a new situation in a progressive way (approaching transitions). Seeking social
support is paramount, in my experience (taking stock of coping sources). I am unspeakably
grateful for the support of the other women I know with hair loss as I struggled for so many
years to come to a restful and fulfilled place with Alopecia. What I’m currently struggling with is
grad school. I have been feeling much more able to cope now that I’ve made a couple of friends
in my online classes that I speak to throughout the week. I’ve found this to be true for school as
well as whatever other phases of transition I’ve been through social support is key! It’s in the
context of social support that we can gel the mindfulness of the situation and self with social
support to come up with realistic and doable strategies to carry us toward and through
transitions in our lives (taking charge!).
by Lisa Torrey- Alopecia Specialist