The pandemic years are perhaps some of the most stressful years of our generation. Job insecurity, quarantine restrictions in our individual areas, kids being homeschooled, commuting to work or doing remote work, all of life’s pressures impact us in different ways. Stress does not only affect us mentally, but physically, as well.
You might find that as you are going through very stressful parts of your life, your skin sometimes takes on a more dull appearance. Maybe the lack of sleep will contribute to the dark circles under your eyes. Sometimes you might even have acne breakouts in the midst of a crisis. Unhealthy levels of stress will often show on your skin. That is because elevated levels of stress hormones can cause a chemical reaction within your body that makes your skin more sensitive. These stress hormones can affect how your sebaceous glands work, causing a surge in breakouts.
There are natural ways to help clear up your skin and combat stress at the same time. You can make better lifestyle choices or use natural products to help you relax.
Get enough sleep
This cannot be stressed often enough. Sleep is vital for our overall health. When you are tempted to keep working overtime, especially when you work remotely, pause and consider how much sleep you will get if you don’t log off at the appropriate time. Sleep will give your body the time to heal damaged cells, rest your tired, aching muscles, and reboot your brain to prepare you for the next day. Ample sleep will also do wonders for your skin. So ensure that you have eight to nine hours of good quality sleep. Set a relaxing bedtime routine for yourself and aim to sleep around the same time every day to establish it. Turn your screens off 45 minutes before your set bedtime. Invest in thick or black out curtains if you work the night shift. Clear any makeup off your skin before you sleep so as not to clog your pores.
Hydration is very important. If you want soft, supple skin and a body that functions optimally, drink enough water. Dehydration can affect your organs. Prolonged dehydration can be very damaging to your body. So drink your water, even when you aren’t thirsty. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Having a bottle with marked measurements can help you keep track of your water consumption during the day. Try to keep your caffeine intake to a minimum. The same with alcohol consumption, since alcohol can cause dehydration.
Sometimes, when people are stressed out, they can find themselves jonesing for a stick or two of cigarettes. But smoking can cause a lot of stress on your body. Your lungs will take the brunt of it, but smoking will also affect your skin and other vital organs. Smoking a stick may feel good now, but in the long run, it will only add to your stress as your health slowly takes a nosedive.
Exercise does wonders for your body. It helps your body release happy hormones that will help you combat stress, and feel happy or even euphoric. Exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight and avoid cardiovascular or other weight-related diseases. Also, it can help your skin look young and give you that healthy glow. You don’t need to register at your nearest gym to exercise. Taking a walk with your dog or jogging a few times a week can already be considered exercise. Hike with your friends or join an amateur sports team. Anything that you enjoy that keeps you active is exercise.
Use natural products
If you like creamy and dreamy lotions and salves and rubs that you put on for callous-free skin in your hands and feet, ensure that those lotions and creams and salves are all natural and do not use ingredients that can either harm you or the environment. Natural lotions and gels made from aloe vera are good for moisturizing. Liniments that contain eucalyptus or menthol can be good for pain. And these products can be part of your DIY spas.
Fad diets can be harmful. You don’t need to deprive yourself of much-needed calories. When stress comes knocking, some of us turn to our comfort foods to cope. As long as you keep those to a minimum, it should do little to no harm. But if you can find a healthier alternative to your favorite, yet unhealthy comfort food, it’s best to choose that option. If you are into sweets, try eating fruits instead of sweets. Or if you really have a hankering for chocolate, try dark chocolate. If you prefer chips and soda, try air-fried homemade chips and soda water. Or fruit juice. Following a healthy diet that provides you with the right nutrients and minerals that you need can help you combat stress. A healthy diet will also show on your skin. Junk food can cause breakouts and oily skin.
Take a break
When you feel like you are drowning in stress, take a deep breath and walk away from your desk, or from the situation. Take a break. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Stress is unavoidable but can be managed naturally. As long as you take care of your body, your body will take care of you.