I don’t know about you but I sometimes have a love hate relationship with the Holidays. Obviously, I love having a little extra time. Time to spend with the family, just eat good food and spoil those I love. BUT I have a serious hate for the stress of getting so much done in what feels like so little time.
I find sometimes we get so caught up in running around. Okay…I’m a procrastinator, so yes maybe if I bought all my gifts earlier it wouldn’t be as bad. The reality though, my life is super busy. Between working and a family of 5 with 3 kids in sports and 2 dogs, it’s everything in me and my husband to keep up with laundry and groceries. Not to mention trying to tracking down gifts (that the entire world also wants) and cleaning our baseboards LOL.
So as my husband and I wrap gifts until 2 am (in separate areas to try and still keep our own gifts a surprise) and run around the house cleaning before family arrives, we start our Christmas with our stress levels high and wonder, why do we do this to ourselves? Am I missing out on some of the good parts of the Holidays because I am focusing on making everything else perfect.
You know what happens to me when I am stressed?
My skin gets itchy, my mind doesn’t shut off so my sleep is not good which results in brain fog, my skin often breaks out and I am just a hot mess express.
How does stress affect our skin?
Our bodies respond to changes in our mental state therefore when we are stressed, depressed or anxious those inward feelings can cause external signs. When we are stressed our body releases hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. This causes an increase in oil production which can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts.
Our mental state can also become a threat to our immune system. Usually a healthy immune system helps to protect and heal our body from wounds or microbes but when our body is under excessive stress the immune system goes into overdrive.
Stress causes excess inflammation through the gut-skin connection. Stress, anxiety, depression can all impact the balance of bacteria in our guts which manifest external skin conditions in response to tell you “Hey, something is not right here!”
These common skin conditions are acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and even just excess skin sensitivity.
My skin this holiday…
Currently my patch of eczema behind my ear is back and my hands and skin feel scaly and chapped. My eyes feel dry, and my brain is just foggy. I even put off writing because my brain just feels like mush.
All these things suck, but all can be prevented by simply reducing stress. For me my skin health, if you’ve been following along for a while now, is purely diet & lifestyle. The exact reason when I meet with people virtually to discuss their skin I go over the importance of lifestyle just as much as products being used.
Remember the old saying “You are what you eat” well it is true, we are also a byproduct of our environment and lifestyle.
If your skin is acting up and you want to get to the bottom of it, definitely start with trying to reduce stress in your life.
Every year around this time people make resolutions. Although most people often fail to keep them up I am challenging you to focus on your stress and I will join you.
Here is the best way to make a goal and stick to it:
- Goals that are trackable and measurable are more likely to succeed.
Have an accountability partner. If you feel stress is causing your skin to go crazy, let us help or ask a friend but have someone who can hold you accountable.
Pay attention to your sleep, your overall mood and how your skin is daily. Check in with your friend, write it down in a shared document, snap chat about it, send a quick text… whatever keeps you on top of it daily.
- Make small goals that seem less daunting. It would be awesome to go cold turkey and say “I’m going to get 8hrs of sleep, I’m going to do small loads of laundry daily, I’m going to walk the dogs 30 minutes a day…..” But making large changes in life is often unsustainable and ultimately have been proven to have low success rates.
I know for me personally sleep is a big one, but I just seem to lack time. I don’t even want to imagine what it would be like if I didn’t have a partner who worked just as hard as me, cleaned, cooked, did all the “blue” jobs I have no desire to do and equally if not more did anything and everything the kids need in a day while trying to “work” from home.
We make our own time.
I know if I just woke up a bit earlier I could tackle more things. We are makers of our own time. If I can tackle my to-do list first thing in the morning so that by the time I finish work I feel accomplished then when I get home I can try and tag out my husband. This way he can maybe kick his feet up for a minute (since let’s be honest some days we are each others only sanity) before kids start needing us, dinners need to be prepared, drives to hockey etc… Then perhaps I won’t be as stressed later in the night.
Instead of just saying “I’m going to wake up an hour earlier” I am going to start with 15 minutes. Part of that is probably going to be trying to get in bed earlier but regardless I am going for 15 minutes. Then after the first week I will try 20, then 30 and so on. It may take me a bit, but I am going to create a habit, take advantage of the early morning calm before the storm so I can start my day off right and reduce stress levels. Anything is better than rushing around every morning and getting to work already frazzled because that definitely carries through my entire day.
I also have some personal business goals for this year…
Things I have been putting off, things that are passion projects for myself, but regardless I really want 2023 to be productive for myself. I have started to share my ideas and goals with those closest to me in hopes they will push me to achieve them. The more I talk about it, the more excited I get.
It will likely feel like a lot of work at the start but with some help I know I can do it. The more we do something the easier it gets.
I remember the start of the pandemic when I had to shift to basically living my life online. I hated creating videos, seeing myself on camera or hearing my voice…now years later I am gearing up to expanding these written blogs into vlogs (video blogs) and/or starting a podcast. Things that would have caused me extreme stress in previous years now excite me!
Baby steps. Do more of what gives you life and worry less about all the other stuff. Life will always be busy, we just need to make healthy habits to stay on top of it and accept the fact that it isn’t the end of the world if you didn’t have time to steam mop before your family comes over.
Here’s to less stress, and if ever you need help or accountability with your skin – Let’s talk!
Your skin revival