Hair loss, aging skin and body and career growth

Dear Elphians,

I have a genuine question that I am struggling to find an answer for. I have found that when I push myself in my career, to aim for a promo, to switch companies to join a more challenging role, the added challenges and balancing other life commitments and making time for Hobbies and self dev time causes me to sleep fewer hours, less lesser /more comfort junk/processed food..or any food that is nearby, eat nutritious food because I don't have time to spend in the kitchen, to not be fit..becaus many times I have to choose between relaxing my mind/getting an additional hour of Sleep/debugging the bug I spent all day on/giving time to the last item on on work todo list for the day.

This causes anxiety, stress, ages my skin, nor wrinkles, deeper dark circles, and a tremendous amount of hair fall that is not a joke. Also lost the youthfulness of my skin. This affects my self image.

As women from a very young age we are programmed to want to look beautiful, youthful, we'll presented, told that our hair is our crowning glory, told that we need to fight against wrinkles.

Hence, I start hating my body, stop wanting to click my pictures, avoid socializing because I start feeling insecure. Add mate finding to the mix in today's visually obsessed dating app world. Cause more stress and anxiety..and you get it. It is a vicious cycle. It makes me start to question the value of pushing myself in my career. Does the cost have to be my health and quality of life?

My hair used be great in 2018, but I've lost an inch of hair in thickness since then. Until then had treated my career as a way to make money so I spend it living the life I want. Since then, my mindset changed to I want more from my career, more comp, want to reach a level of leadership. My health has been steadily declining since then.

I find that it is really unfair to have to choose between your health and your career. I'm reaching to my fellow elphians to understand their experience, trade offs.

When we read about women in C suite, entrepreneurs, the ones who made it... They only talk about how they had to work hard, be a shark, be in the right place the right time. Nobody tasks about health sacrifices, relationship / family sacrifices.

This makes me feel less than and handicapped because it looks like clearly women are able to do it all and still look like a million bucks.

I need help in navigating this dilemma.

Would also appreciate to hear of you have had a similar experience.

iynna's profile thumbnail
Hi! Thank you for sharing your experience here, these are all such genuine and REAL concerns and for sure a lot to unpack.My 0.02 is that you might want to do it all but that at times which create a lot of stress, and you enter a vicious circle (the more stressed you experience, the more it shows on the outside, the more you feel even less confident about yourself an appearance).Of course it is not possible to do it all :( and you would need to be okay putting some things on the side for some time (eg if you are working hard to get to a promotion you deserve, maybe some of your social time with friends will need to take a back seat). But I found that before you start to prioritise in your life, you need to have a sense of what your non-negotiables are eg for me no matter how busy I get, with school - work - others, my workout routine cannot be compromised and I must run as this is smth that keeps me sane, for you this might look different)It sounds like you are dealing with stress in ways that show (you mention hair, skin appearance) - have you tried taking some vitamins to solve these issues at least short term? Maybe you can work with your GP, dermatologist to figure this piece out? And when it comes to body image, this is a long term work obviously but maybe working with a therapist to understand where this comes from (root cause), and address overtime.I am not saying these will all solve your challenges, but might be a good place to start! The last thing I will say is you'e certainly not alone in this. Sending you big virtual hugs!