The Hemp Connection + [self-care]

Moustaches and Muffin Tops

You ever have one of those days where everything just seems to come together in the right way? Your hair looks good, your face is clear and bright, your outfit is colorful and flattering, and people are just responding to you in a good way. You’re looking good, and you know it! You FEEL good.

On the flip side, thought, PCOS is there to drag you down when it comes to appearance. We’ve got moustaches, partial and full beards, hair loss, hair in inappropriate places, excess weight (or sometimes not enough weight), acne, skin darkening, skin tags, and other cosmetic indignities galore. How on earth are you supposed to feel good in this body when it’s presenting you with these problems on a daily basis?! Moustaches and muffin tops, indeed!

And that’s just the external stuff. Inside, there are the imbalances that lead to mood swings, depression, and even thoughts of suicide. Insulin resistance, thyroid problems, and other health concerns lurk in the background. All of this can be physically and emotionally exhausting. And when you’re exhausted, it’s easy to give up on appearance. One thing I’ve learned about PCOS is that, although it threatens your physical appearance with masculinizing and unflattering characteristics, you can use positive attention to your appearance to lift your mood.

Part of what I always focus on with my clients is self-care. This may be emotional, spiritual, or physical in nature. I’ve observed that taking time to tend to your appearance as much as reasonably possible (because we don’t want the opposite problem of busting out your budget on shopping, or spending all of your play time at the salon!) results in feeling better. The American Cancer Society sponsors a program called “Look Good, Feel Better,” for women with cancer – it’s a day of make-up application instruction, wig and other hair tricks, and so on – sounds trivial in the face of cancer, but it’s miraculous in how the women respond.

PCOS isn’t cancer, to be sure, but the principles are the same – look good, feel better! I won’t go so far as to say that I “prescribe” pedicures, but maybe I should, and I have in fact recommended them, along with shopping days and other beauty services. Well-tended toes, a pretty top, or some dangly earrings will spark up the girly-girl in most women. For women with PCOS, this is a place that needs a little extra attention. You deserve it.

If there’s something you’ve been neglecting – a haircut, shopping for new bras (yes, you in the stretched out ultra-comfy bra that you haven’t replaced since last year – the one that isn’t doing your breasts any justice at all — I’m talking to you!), doing a wardrobe clean-out and ditching all the unflattering items – it’s a great time to do it. Right now, this very moment. Call your stylist, grab a bag to be filled and donated to Goodwill, or make a call to find out about laser hair removal in your area. Whatever it is, the action will make you feel better.

Gretchen Kubacky, Psy.D. is a Health Psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles, California. She specializes in counseling women and couples who are coping with infertility, PCOS, and related endocrine disorders and chronic illnesses.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. HOUSE or her practice, or obtain referrals in the Los Angeles area, please visit her website at www.drhousemd.com, or e-mail her at Gretchen@drhousemd.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @askdrhousemd.