The holiday season should be a quiet time to relax, unwind, and practice gratitude. However, many people find themselves busier than ever at the end of the year – maybe you are one of them. This can cause holiday stress.
It’s so easy to let the busyness of work deadlines, holiday parties, shopping for gifts, and mailing greeting cards take over. The additional responsibilities can also cause a lot of stress – which can lead to health issues that may show up on your skin.
Stress can show up on your skin in the form of flare-ups of acne, eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, rosacea, dullness, dryness, and much more. In addition, it doesn’t take much time for holiday stress to lead to chronic stress that can impact your health and skin for months to come.
Stress also worsens inflammation, microbiome disturbances, hormonal imbalances, and nutritional deficiencies. These are all root causes that trigger skin and other health issues – and you can learn more about these in my book, Clean Skin From Within.
If you think there’s nothing you can do to avoid holiday stress, I have good news. With a few simple lifestyle changes, you can manage your to-do list during the holiday season – and most importantly, you can preserve the health of your body and your skin.
Here are six simple things you can do to take control and reduce holiday stress starting today.
1. Get Enough Sleep
One of the best ways to reduce holiday stress is to get adequate sleep.
While you sleep, your body repairs and rejuvenates itself. That includes your skin and the ability to manage stress. When you’re counting sheep, your body releases important hormones, including growth hormones that stimulate new cell growth throughout your body. Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night whether you’re spending the holidays at home or traveling.
If sleeping in a different environment or traveling across time zones makes it difficult to sleep for that long, a melatonin supplement may help. Melatonin is a hormone in charge of your circadian rhythms that is naturally made by your body. When melatonin production is interrupted, it can impact your sleep. Melatonin supplements are useful for short-term sleeplessness.
Another way to improve your sleep habits is to create a relaxing bedtime ritual. Plus, incorporating soothing skin care into your bedtime routine can help reduce stress. I suggest winding down with a warm bath and applying the Daily Essentials Step 4 – ENHANCE: Glow Boost to your skin when you get out.
2. Move Your Body
One of the best ways to reduce holiday stress is to exercise. Even moderate amounts of exercise can improve your energy, mood, and sleep. Exercise doesn’t mean you have to sweat for an hour or have an intense workout. Yoga, stretching, swimming, and walking are all healthy, low-impact options that you can work within your own schedule and will still help reduce stress.
3. Eat Mindfully
I know the holiday season is a time to indulge in your favorite festive treats. However, you can still savor the flavors of holiday treats and family food traditions without letting highly processed foods create more stress in your body. Make a plan of action you can follow while attending parties and hosting your own.
Make nutritious swaps that focus on whole foods. Bring a salad or other dish to share that you feel good about eating. You can create healthier versions of your favorite recipes too, like this gluten- and dairy-free pumpkin pie recipe. And if you want ideas for more recipes, click here to discover some of my favorites.
4. Practice Breathwork
Yes – something as simple as breathing can help you relieve holiday stress. Breathwork can help you improve your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Intentionally changing your breathing pattern can create relaxation in your body. There’s also evidence that breathwork positively affects many systems throughout your body, including the nervous system, digestion, and immune system.
If you are new to breathwork, the first step is to be aware of your breathing. Sit in a relaxing position with your eyes closed. Take deep breaths, and count to 10 while breathing in, and count another 10 while breathing out. When breathing out, relax your shoulders. Complete this for five to ten minutes or until you feel more relaxed.
5. Spend Time in Nature
Some people may find they actually end up working more during the holiday season, not less. So many businesses try to cram as many tasks as possible into the end of the year. This is when it becomes even more important to step away from your phone or computer and spend time in nature.
A quick walk around the block, 15 minutes in the sun, or exploring your favorite park can provide an instant mood boost. An additional perk is you’ll get some extra Vitamin D!
6. Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude can help you discover and create joy in your life. It can be something as simple as laughing about something funny your dog does or taking a moment to write a thank-you card to a friend. Gratitude is all about appreciating what you have – and there’s even research that shows gratitude helps us feel happier and deal with stress better.
My favorite way to practice gratitude is by keeping a journal. You can spend as much or as little time as you want writing. Start by writing three things you are grateful for each day.
You can use these simple tips to reduce holiday stress now and throughout the entire year. Remember, your health is your top priority – and the holiday season is meant to be enjoyed! So take a step back and remember to take care of yourself too.
Share this article with your friends and spread the word to promote natural beauty!