Holiday stress is a given. Preparing for parties and festivities, out of town visitors, the added traffic, shopping, and gifting - it seems like every task intensifies a mountain of stress in a time that is supposed to be fun and celebratory! The strain can manifest in a variety of ways, like headaches, fatigue, and anxiety.
The skin is not immune to the harmful side effects of over exertion. The hormone cortisol is released when we are stressed. This can cause the skin to go into overdrive, producing excess oil that in turn produces blemishes. The body also produces adrenaline when we are feeling tense. Blood flow to the skin is decreased, taking oxygen away from the skin and allowing toxins to build under the surface.
If you’re sleeping less as a result of holiday stress, you are probably noticing dark circles and under eye bags caused by fluid buildup. Adding caffeine to your diet to counteract those sleepless nights isn’t helping either. Too much coffee may have your skin looking dull and dehydrated from a lack of water.
Stressed after reading all of that? Take a deep breath in - and let it go! I have some super simple tips on how to conquer the tension of this stressful season.
A short jog around the neighborhood or a few laps in the pool may be all you need to erase the mental fog of a stressful day. Exercising boosts circulation – and more blood flow means more radiant skin. Increased circulation can also mean less cellulite, so you are getting both mental and physical benefits! I love Orangetheory, a heart-rate based interval training center.
Just 10 minutes of meditation can do a load of good to your body. Your heart rate will decrease, breathing will become slower, muscles will relax, and your body will begin to heal itself from the inside. If you have trouble focusing, download an app like Headspace on your phone that will talk you through short deep breathing exercises.
Unfortunately, vegging out during a Netflix marathon does not count as a hobby! Find something to keep your hands busy, like knitting or drawing. Directing your focus allows your mind to let go of the pressure of your day. I bought each of my sisters a stress relieving “grownup” coloring book for Christmas last year – and they loved it! It’s such a fun way to relax after a long day.
Seems obvious right? I think almost all of us would love to be able to sleep more, but I understand that kids, deadlines, and long days can cut into those necessary 8 hours. Most skin renewal and rejuvenation happens while we sleep. During deep sleep, we produce new skin cells and shed the old. Our cells are also less susceptible to protein breakdown during deep sleep. Those proteins help repair skin damage from environmental factors like pollution and UV rays. I love the Sleep Cycle alarm clock that analyzes your sleep schedule and helps gently wake you.
Another way to de-stress - treat yourself to a spa night! I have the perfect little routine to help you relax and rejuvenate during the holiday season.
First, rinse away that holiday party makeup with the Radiant Cleansing Balm. The effective cleanser will leave your skin feeling fresh and revitalized. Follow with a thick layer of the Clarifying Detox Mask, then kick back and relax for ten to fifteen minutes. The activated charcoal and French Kaolin clay will do all the work to remove debris trapped deep in your pores.
After removing the mask, you will want to hydrate your skin from head to toe. The Sheer Renewal Cream provides weightless, oil-free moisture for your face, while the Nourishing Body Lotion replenishes thirsty skin.
So light a few candles, dim the lights, prepare a bubble bath, and get ready to rid yourself of that holiday stress!