There are many expensive products you can buy for your skin. However, some of the most important steps in your beauty routine require no supplies. Your behavior plays a major role in how your skin looks and feels. That includes how you manage stress.
The latest annual poll conducted by the American Psychological Association uncovered unprecedented levels of stress. More than 80% of Americans cited significant concerns over inflation, COVID-19, and the situation in Ukraine.
At the same time, many say they are struggling due to strained relationships and less social support due to changes caused by the pandemic.
You can’t eliminate stress from your life, but you can develop coping strategies. Try these tips for taking care of your skin and your overall wellbeing.
Protecting Your Skin from Stress:
1. Seek shade. Spending time outdoors is a great way to relax, but too much sun can cause cancer and premature aging. Wear sunscreen with an SPF or 30 or higher year round.
2. Calm inflammation. Increases in the stress hormone cortisol trigger inflammation, along with the production of more oil and sebum. Apply products that are appropriate for your skin type to hydrate and balance your skin.
3. Use restraint. On the other hand, be careful about overtreating your skin. That’s especially important when it seems more sensitive than usual. Stick to the basics and give it time to heal.
4. Watch your hands. Feeling anxious can make you fidget. You might touch blemishes and cuts without even realizing it. Wash your hands frequently and keep them off your face.
5. See your doctor. Stress aggravates many skin conditions, including acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Discuss your symptoms with your family physician or ask for a referral to a dermatologist.
Other Tips for Dealing with Stress:
1. Think positive. Cultivate gratitude and optimism. Notice the fortunate events that happen each day. Look for the humor in difficult situations. Use your inner dialogue to encourage and comfort yourself.
2. Set realistic expectations. Have you taken on too many commitments? Clarify your priorities and cut your to do list down to size. Devote most of your time and energy to activities that help you to reach your personal goals.
3. Monitor media consumption. There’s a difference between doom scrolling and staying informed. Take a break from your devices if disturbing news is bringing you down. Read uplifting stories about philanthropy and medical breakthroughs.
4. Drink responsibly. Alcohol consumption increased dramatically in the early days of the pandemic, especially among young adults and women. Avoid binge drinking and take days off from alcohol each week.
5. Work out. Physical activity is one the healthiest and most effective methods for relieving tension. Make exercise fun by taking dance classes or running along a scenic path in your local park.
6. Listen to music. Music reduces anxiety and makes you feel happier. While upbeat songs give you energy, research shows that sad songs may also be helpful when you’re struggling with personal losses.
7. Stay connected. Spend time with family and friends. Talk about your feelings and share fun activities. While face-to-face conversations have more impact, use video calls and texts when you can’t gather offline.
8. Consider counseling. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, talking with a professional therapist may help. The American Psychological Association says that therapy may be advisable when something is causing you distress for at least an hour each day and interferes with some part of your life.
It’s natural to feel uneasy about the challenges in our personal lives and society in general. However, you can control how you respond to stress. Make daily choices that will keep you and your skin healthy.