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Keep Busy Activities for Trichotillomania
I recently bought myself Keen bracelets and now that I’m aware of my hair pulling I want to be able to do things to keep myself busy…
These are some of my ways to avoid pulling my hair, biting my nails and other BFRB’s.
Some of these things I wear…
Some of these things I do…. I like to find habit replacements that are therapeutic for me and keep my anxiety levels low.
I genuinely hope this helps someone, please free to comment with things you do and I can make the list larger!
1. Wear Your Hair in Braids
If you can, wear your hair in braids.
Whenever I’m having a particularly stressful day, I’ll put my hair in braids.
I don’t do it every single day because I don’t like how long it takes me to do it just right, but I do it.
The thing about braids is it it’s very hard to pull the hairs when they are all twisted up in there like that.
2. Always Pull Your Hair Back or Up
If you can’t do braids for whatever reason, always wear your hair out of your face.
I think wearing it up or back helps a lot because if you can’t feel it, you won’t try to touch it.
If you can touch your hair, you can pull your hair.
Wear your hair back tight in a bun if possible.
3. Wear Your Hair in a Headband or Beanie
Wear a banana, headband or beanie to keep your hair out of your face.
When your hair is in your face it is a constant reminder to you that you have hair? Am I right?
I personally have benefited from this tip a lot.
Just putting my hair back securely in one of these headbands has helped bunches.
I like these ones because they have a super great grip, they don’t slip and they don’t give you a headache. (read my full review of one here)
Beanies are also nice in the winter time because they keep your hair out of your face and your head is warm.
I live in Arizona so beanies are only going to work a certain time of year because its pretty warm for the most part here.
4. Avoid Using Styling Products In Your Hair
Don’t use hair styling products (i.e hairspray, gel, etc.) they end up drying and causing all sorts of irritation that makes you want to pull your hair out.
There’s also something about crunchy, crispy hair that makes it a prime trigger.
5. Go for a Walk with Weights
Go for a walk with hand weights.
This has been one of my best ways to avoid pulling, it also helps me stay trim. win/win
I grab a pair of small hand weights, pop in my headphones and head for a walk.
It helps me just breathe, get fresh air and NOT pull my hair out.
The hand weights keep my hands down! WOOT!
I got one of those drawing tablets, the electronic ones so I could make some graphics for the computer.
But really, a notepad and some cool pens that glide nice and smooth is all you really need to draw.
There’s also those really cheap, “How to Draw” anything books on Amazon.
Drawing is so self-soothing for me.
I find drawing to be one of those things that can free your mind and help you relax.
Coloring books and some crayons, markers, gel pens, really anything colorful is soothing.
There are so many coloring supplies just about anywhere these days because coloring has exploded as an anti-anxiety therapy.
8. Write Something!
- Write a letter to someone.
- Write a song about something.
- Write in a journal or diary.
- Make a list of 100 things to be grateful for.
- Make a list of 50 songs that make you feel good.
There are so many things to write to keep your hands busy and writing is VERY therapeutic.
Get yourself some smooth gliding pens and clear your head with some good writing!
Start where you are!
9. Blog Your Journey
One of the ways that I keep my hands busy is by blogging.
You don’t really need a special skill set to blog about anything.
I happen to be a full-time blogger, meaning, it’s my job but this isn’t the blog that supports me financially, this is the blog that supports me emotionally!
You know what?
This blog helps me and I’ve heard others say it helps them too.
Why not start one?
If you want some help, join my private group on Facebook and I’ll give you some pointers and places to start.
I personally love having a blog.
10. Try Fidget Toys
Use fidget toys to keep your hands busy.
I personally like the Tangle Jr.
Some people like the cube, while others swear by a spinner or spinner ring.
Cool thing is they are all pretty cheap so you can figure out what works best for you.
11. Track Your Pulling Patterns
I track my pulling patterns in my Trich Therapy Journal.
You can use whatever you want, but it’s good to track these things so you can see which situations are causing you to pull more and less.
Having a journal to track these things has helped me avoid circumstances where I tend to pull more and increase situations where I do it less.
Cool thing about having a journal is writing it all down keeps my hands busy.
You can make your own and personalize it just like I did, turn it into a craft project for your health.
12. Sand Art
These sand art thingy’s are pretty cool busy toys.
They are very therapeutic.
I would however keep it away from your cat – it sort of looks like a litter box.
13. Go Swim
I have a pool so I’m very lucky that way.
I’ve found that swimming takes away the urges pretty fast.
There’s something about running water over your head that helps calm the urge
… further down my list, I also mention that taking a shower helps my friend Mai Mai in our private group (see #22 below)
14. Talk to a Friend
I have one friend I can talk to for hours from bible school.
I mean I can sit in a cafe and time will fly by like nothing.
I don’t even think about pulling my hair.
I keep my Keen bracelets on and I just enjoy her conversation.
Talking to a friend is a therapeutic way of keeping your anxiety levels down so you don’t want to pull.
Find a friend you can really enjoy some quality time with.
15. Find a Busy Game
Find a busy game that you like.
I like to play Sims and I get really into it.
I know, I’m a grown child living in a fantasy land, it’s okay, I like it and it keeps my hands down.
There are lots of other busy games to play, whether on your phone or a computer.
Those drawing games are a lot of fun, there’s all sorts of games to play that will keep your hands busy.
Even video games are good because they keep your hands on the controller and out of your head.
Puzzles are a good distraction if you like them?
Maybe a Rubik’s cube?
16. Learn to Play an Instrument
Learning to play an instrument like guitar or the keyboard is a great way to keep your hands busy.
I personally like playing the keyboard or piano.
I’m not very good but I find it therapeutic and fun to learn.
Maybe a drum set is in your future?
This is really GREAT for our youth battling with Trich because they pick up music so much faster than adults and it’s a great way to build confidence and keep their hands busy.
Related Article: How Do I Help My Child with Trichotillomania
17. Play On Your Phone
Playing on my phone has been a huge help for me.
I like to get on social media and use crazy apps with funny filters.
My phone is one of my biggest Trich counter-actors.
When I’m swiping and texting – I’m not pulling!
17. Read and Highlight
Got something to study?
Reading and highlighting has really been a big distraction for me.
I bought these awesome gel highlighters on Amazon and I’m telling you, once you go gel you never go back.
They make reading better for me because they keep my hands busy when I read.
I’m a huge fan of highlighting and when you have 6 different colors like this to use, there’s always something to highlight all the sudden!
They’re bad ass for studying anything.
19. Knit Something!
You don’t have to know how, YouTube will teach you!
Knitting is actually a really cool thing to do and a lot people enjoy it, it’s not an “old people” hobby I promise.
Yarn and knitting sticks really doesn’t cost a lot and you can make some pretty cool things.
20. Making Paper Beads
Okay, these are fun.
You only need some glue, a pencil (or straw), some scrap pieces of paper cut in strips (see video)
When I was a kid we rolled the paper with some glue on a pencil.
This video she does it with a straw… really fun stuff.
Nowadays, they actually have these rollers fairly cheap, but either way.
21. Beading Jewelry
I think beading is one of my favorite busy hobbies when I’m not blogging.
Beading actually takes a lot of busy hand work to do and it’s fun to be creative and make jewelry.
I actually find that a lot of Trichsters are very creative and artistic in many ways.
22. Take a Shower
Another member in our group said the same thing, she said that a shower really helps her.
So next time the urge seems really strong, how about a nice, relaxing shower?
22. Wear Finger Grips Like These!
This was something a girl in our private group uses. They’ve kept her from pulling for days, she bought hers online. If you can’t buy some online, band-aids help too.
What Are Some Busy Activities You Do?
Leave me a comment…