Manage Holiday Stress in the Name of Beauty
The holiday season can often come with stress and sleepless nights. It’s the perfect time to focus on a little rest and relaxation in the name of beauty. It’s supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year.” It’s a time when families come together to celebrate the holidays, give back to their communities, exchange gifts and prepare their favorite family meals. It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this particular time also comes with stress and sleepless nights. There is so much to do and never enough time to do it. Jam-packed parking lots and stores, endless holiday cards to send and searching for gifts for the ones you love can take a toll. And with all of the holiday parties we have to attend, looking our best can be a challenge.
It’s time to focus on a little R&R in the name of healthy looking skin. Can it be done? Absolutely! Does stress and lack of sleep really affect our appearance? You bet it does. Unfortunately, when we are feeling stressed or tired on the inside, it also shows on the outside. And trust me, it’s not a good look. A good night’s sleep and a bit of relaxation can truly affect your inner and outer beauty.
Here are a few ways to unwind during the holidays so you can look and feel your absolute best! Relax
I know it seems impossible to relax during the hectic holiday season, but it’s a MUST in the name of beauty. Stress can wreak havoc on both your appearance and your overall wellness, including your heart, digestion, weight, memory and sleep. When it comes to our skin, stress can bring on breakouts and cause dehydration, which can lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Stress can cause hormonal imbalances and affect our skin’s barrier function, which could potentially affect our immune system. And don’t get me started on the effects of stress on the hair. If you aren’t interested in turning gray or experiencing hair loss over the holidays, then it’s time to unwind.
To help you relax, it’s important to find a little “me” time even during the busiest time of the year. If you can find just five minutes a day to do a little meditation, it will serve you and your appearance well. Just by entering into a relaxed, peaceful state you can release chemicals into your body that will help to counter the stress hormones you are creating. It’s so simple!
Here are a few tips to try:
• Find your “happy place.” Look for a place that is quiet and removed from the holiday chaos. A comfy little spot just for you will do.
• Close your eyes, sit up straight and tall, and place your hands in your lap.
• Slowly begin to breathe. Inhale through your nose until your lungs are filled, and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Deep breathing will help to slow your heart rate and inspire a feeling of calm. It will also help to lower your blood pressure.
• If you can dedicate even more than five minutes, do it. A few extra minutes out of your crazy day will only help you to further alleviate your stress levels.
Managing stress can be difficult. We need to take advantage of every opportunity to get our stress levels under wraps.
Here are a few of my favorite stress reducers:
• Soaking in a bubble bath
• Practicing yoga to help train the mind and body to better deal with daily chaos
• Listening to music (preferably while soaking in the tub)
• Shopping online, which is a huge time and stress reducer during the hectic holidays
• Watching TV or a movie
• Reading a book or the latest fashion magazine
• Taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood
Once you have mastered the art of relaxing, you will likely notice a change in your appearance, as well as your demeanor. In addition to relaxing, we must also get a good night’s sleep, or it’s all for nothing. Many people admit to losing sleep at night due to stress. And others admit to being even more stressed out because they are too tired to deal with holiday activities. It’s a vicious cycle.
Get Some Sleep
Remember, as crazy as it sounds, we call it “beauty sleep” for a reason. I often say a good night’s sleep should be everyone’s number one, go-to beauty tip. There is nothing like that youthful, healthy looking glow you get after a good sleep. Couple a good night’s sleep with your favorite nighttime skin care products and you will look fantastic and refreshed. During the holidays we tend to stay up later celebrating, wrapping presents or putting the finishing touches on our favorite DIY holiday project. Whatever the case, this is not the time to skimp on sleep. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies release more cortisol than usual. Cortisol, a stress hormone, in excess can have us looking tired and stressed out in no time. Our skin can become a bit inflamed and it can affect our collagen. And over time you will begin to notice less firmness in your skin and compromised elasticity. The result: fine lines, wrinkles and dry skin.
A restless night also shows under our eyes. There is no amount of concealer that will cover those dark under-eye circles when we are exhausted. When we don’t sleep, the blood vessels found directly under the skin around the eyes become dilated and we end up looking like a raccoon.
When we are sleeping, our body goes into repair mode. This is when the repairing and renewing of our cells occurs. This is vital for our entire body, but when it comes to our skin it also helps to fend off early aging. Think of sleep as your most important beauty aid, and do your best to get a good eight hours every night. A good night’s sleep will make it easier to face the daily stresses this season. After all, we want to look our best during the holidays.
Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep During the Holidays
• Keep your bedroom cool, under 70 degrees if possible
• Make sure your room is dark––black-out shades will definitely help
• Turn off the TV, computer, phone, etc. before crawling into bed
• Invest in a nice, comfy pair of PJ’s while doing your holiday shopping––a special treat to help you survive the season
The holidays are what we make of them. And this really is a wonderful time of year that we all should be able to enjoy to its fullest. It’s all about friends and family. And everyone wants to look their best, rested and relaxed. After all, we have a brand new year to look forward to. So, let’s look our best in the name of reduced stress!
Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter – Director, Worldwide Outer Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife.