Feeling stressed or strained? If you feel like your life has become a constant to-do list to check off, it’s easy to forget to practice self care. If stress runs rampant for too long, and we forgo taking some time to unwind, it can affect more than just your peace of mind. Your complexion and your mental state are equally affected. Unchecked, stress can begin to take a toll on your entire body and yes, even your skin!
Our bodies’ fight or flight response can create chemical reactions and inflammation. Call it a “stressful chain reaction”, for better or worse. For better, this physiological response is what gets us to act. For worse, we overwork ourselves and forget self care entirely. In this process, stress can begin to manifest in our skin’s overall health and well-being. If you are predisposed to eczema or psoriasis, stress can be a trigger for flare-ups. Stress can also cause your body to release excess cortisol, causing an increase in oil production and resulting in acne or other skin issues.
Are you feeling a little overwhelmed? We’ve created a list of our favorite tips for stress relief, and are sharing them here today. Even if you don’t feel like you need them now, keep these on hand, so that when life gets crazy, you can turn to one (or a few) of these to feel more peaceful and relaxed. Self care is extremely important in our hyper-aware, digital age!
Take a few deep breaths
Mindfulness activities can be beneficial for lowering stress. Some of these activities include yoga, meditation, tai chi, and deep breathing. This is probably the quickest and easiest way to take some of the pressure off when you are feeling overwhelmed. Just take a minute and count through a few deep breaths to release tension. Enhance your self care practice with aromatherapy.
Allocate some time to turn off or silence your phone. Then, put it away. Turn off the computer and TV. Spend some time without a screen in front of you. Studies have shown that heavy phone and computer use is directly linked to stress, mental health issues, and sleep disturbance. You can also use this extra time away from the screen to connect with loved ones, give yourself an at-home spa treatment, or read a book.
Closely tied to reducing “screen” time, focus on your sleep hygiene. Your sleep hygiene is comprised of all the good behavior you do to wind down for the day and prepare your body for rest. Bedtimes aren’t just for children! Try to create a regular routine for yourself: wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day, don’t use screens or read in bed, have a warm bath or shower before bed, and make sure your bedroom is a place you feel relaxed and comfortable. Consider a self care practice using luxurious body oils after a bath, before you sleep, as well to find stress relief for your whole body. All of these tips will help you relax at night and improve your sleep quality. Even the most insurmountable challenges seem a little easier when we’re well rested.
When getting quiet just doesn’t seem like it's doing the trick, let it out! Listen and sing along to loud music, dance, or let a few profanities slip out (in the right environment). Sometimes we need a minute or two to vent or express what we’re feeling, and it isn’t always quiet and peaceful. Catharsis feels good and often holding our issues in can further expedite stress levels within.
Talk to someone
On that note, relationships are key for feeling supported and connected. Talking with a friend, family member, or a therapist can help decrease stress and promote relaxation.
Spending time in nature can help improve your mood and boost feelings of happiness and well-being. Pot some plants for your porch or backyard, incorporate a daily walk in your normal routine, or take a bike ride or jog to the park instead of exercising at home or in a gym. Stuck at the office? Use one of your ten-minute breaks to get some fresh air and a fresh perspective on your day.
Exercise helps burn cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and helps your brain produce endorphins, for a mood-boosting effect. A study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%.
Have a cup of herbal tea
Try having a cup of peppermint, chamomile, or lavender tea. There’s a reason we use calming herbal ingredients in our natural skin care products! All three of these herbs have calming effects, and sometimes even the act of preparing the tea will help you slow down and begin to relax. It’s easy to create a grounded self care practice of reflection and relaxation with a good cup of tea in hand.
Prioritize “me” time
Find something that you can do that makes you feel nurtured and happy. One of our favorites is doing an at-home facial or extending our bedtime routines to include some extra self-care steps, like a 15-minute meditation, a face mask, or spending some time reflecting and writing in a journal before bed. Our Restore Replenishing Night Cream is a perfect evening companion.
Focus on positivity and gratitude
If you notice yourself grumbling about a negative stressor in your life, try to think of a few related things for which you are grateful. For example, if you find yourself stressed at work due to impending deadlines, take a moment and try to think of a few things that you appreciate about your job or co-workers. Cultivating a sense of gratitude can help you maintain a more positive mood in daily life and contribute to the greater emotional well-being.
I hope you find self care practices within our stress relief tips list that you can take into your own life. Whether you are looking for a way to support your health in the hustle of your busy lifestyle, or looking for ways to implement natural, luxury skin care into your existing wellness routines, we’re here for you.