The holidays can be a lot of fun, offering us a chance to visit with family and friends and celebrate traditions. Unfortunately, the holidays can also be very stressful. Perhaps you feel pressure to buy gifts, or travel. Maybe you’re worried about money. Just being out of your normal routine can make the holiday season feel very hectic.
The way you cope with stress could also be adding to the problem. When people feel more stress they tend to over-eat and over-drink, lose sleep, and stop exercising. In times of stress we also produce more stress hormones, which causes inflammation and can wreak havoc on your skin.
In the clinic, we tend to see flare-ups in conditions like acne, rosacea and psoriasis. Stress can also cause hives and rashes. Daily routines are interrupted and skincare is sometimes neglected.
The team at Seattle Skin and Laser compiled a few tips to help you reduce stress and care for your skin this holiday season:
1. Enjoy a tradition – or make up a new one!
Traditions can make the holidays more fun and force a little relaxation.
- Set aside a night to bake your favorite holiday cookies with family or friends. Pass the recipe on to future generations to enjoy.
- Read holiday themed books at bedtime with the kids. Save them in a tote to pull out just after Thanksgiving.
- Enjoy decorating or trimming the tree with loved ones. Plan ahead so you’re not in a rush – make a day out of it.
- Buy new holiday PJs for the whole family and cuddle up with a fun holiday movie. Put the cell phone and iPads away!
If you get out of your normal routine remember that something is better than nothing.
- Take a few moments in the morning to stretch or run through a few sun salutations or other yoga poses (repeat throughout the day when you feel yourself getting tense).
- Bundle up and go for a walk. Stepping out in the cool air can be a great mental break. Take the dog or invite a co-worker to do a few laps with you.
- Plan ahead
Leaving things for the last minute can really add to stress. Get to work now so you can relax later on.
- Make a list of gifts you need and start looking online. As the holidays approach, traffic gets worse. Many online sites offer free shipping during the holidays – take advantage!
- Wrap gifts as you purchase them. Keep a roll of wrapping paper handy so it doesn’t become a big project.
- Make a list for next year with sizes, themes, etc. and keep it in your phone – when you find a great sale buy it and then put it away in your “holiday gifts” tote or box.
- Draw names for the adults – save time and money for the whole family!
- Bake cookies and freeze them for your events. Put up your decorations early so you can enjoy them for the whole season.
- Take care of your skin
Skin can be a visible reminder of stress. Take a few minutes each day to cleanse, prep and refresh.
- Wash your face right after dinner. When you are up late cooking, cleaning and wrapping you are more likely to go to sleep exhausted. Get this step out of the way while you still have energy!
- Dry skin is more common in the cold, thin air. Review our Winter Skin Recommendations for tips on keeping your skin moisturized and try this Soothing Oatmeal Mask to help with irritation.
- Treat yourself to a new cosmetic product or procedure! The winter is a great time for cosmetic procedures and we have a lot of events and discounts available throughout this newsletter. Enjoy!