It is widely known that stress has a negative effect on our bodies and can be linked to diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure as well as conditions like indigestion and neck pain. But we don’t always think about what stress does to our skin. Things that go wrong on the “inside” can also show up on the outside. Managing and reducing stress is vital to better health – including that of your skin.
Even your skin isn’t immune to the effects of constant stress. Some examples include:
- Developing Bags under the eyes: Stress can cause sleepless nights. With lack of sleep, the space below your eyes appears swollen or puffy due to the accumulation of fluid that occurs.
- Interfering with daily skincare: Long, hot showers may sound relaxing, but your skin would disagree. In addition to taking longer showers, you might not stick with your daily moisturizing routine, which can lead to dry skin.
- Aggravating acne: While it’s unclear if stress directly or indirectly causes acne breakouts, there does seem to be a connection between the two. Stress can disrupt a person’s healthy lifestyle, which can cause acne breakouts. Someone who is stressed actually releases a higher level of the stress hormone cortisol, causing disruptions in hormone levels that may relate to acne.
- Causing rashes, hives and fever blisters: When stress adversely affects the immune system, histamine is released, causing a rash or hives to develop. Stress can also trigger cold sores or fever blisters, sores that are caused by strains of the herpes simplex virus.
Help yourself decompress during busy times. Some ideas include:
- Be realistic. Don’t attempt planning the perfect holiday because anything short of perfect will be a disappointment. And nothing is perfect.
- Learn to say no. You don’t need to attend every holiday party or help with every holiday event.
- Remember healthy habits. Get plenty of sleep, drink water each day, exercise and eat healthy foods for meals and snacks.
- Take time for yourself. Whether it’s walking in the park or lounging on the couch with a book, “me” time is just as important during the holiday season.