Fact: Stress is Not Pretty

The carefree days of summer are nearly dust in the wind and we are being thrown back into the real world of deadlines at work, tests at school, and overall seasonal woes. Cue breakouts.

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but we all have some sort of stress in our lives and we all manage it differently. But have you ever actually stopped to think about the repercussions that high stress has on you? While quick spurts of drama excite the body and enable us to knock projects out of the park, constant stress can lead to weight gain, hair loss, dull and drained complexion, breakouts, eczema, and much more.

I must admit, a big move on the horizon has had me insanely anxious lately. As if the move is not enough, I just can’t seem to find the time to please everyone. I have a million faces to see and every effort I take seems to be overcrowded with plans upon plans and deadlines upon deadlines. Needless to say, my face has broken out. Like, bad. A recent trip to the dermatologist proved to be quite the therapy session.

After my initial examination, the doctor went on to talk about my stress triggers and how stress affects the body and skin. Everything she said I knew already, but sometimes it just takes the reiteration from a higher authority to see the bigger picture. Although they are all a part of everyday life, the most common causes of stress stem from work, family, marriage and relationships, time management, finance, deadlines and self disappointment. All of the above can lead to lack of sleep, immune system deficiencies, ulcers and the most common, skin irritations. On a more mental level they can lead to depression, lack of motivation, procrastination and anger. Naturally, when the body is “drained” no amount of makeup can mask that little cloud lingering over your head or those puffy bags under your eyes.

As for a clinical diagnosis for my “acne”, there was none. My dermatologist just suggested a mild cleanser and moisturizer like Cetaphil or CeraVe. Thank you, here’s your $30. What I did gain from my appointment was that I need to manage my stress better. So in an effort to take care of myself, I created a few rules of thumb to guide me.

  1. Beauty rest is a must. Lack of sleep shows in my face quite easily, so I vow to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Watch my diet. Skimping on breakfast because I’m running late for work isn’t an excuse anymore. I vow to whip up some PB2 for my whole grain toast, leave healthy snacks around my office and drink lots of water. Wait, does tea count towards my water intake?
  3. Nightly gym sessions. The best way to alleviate stress from the body is to workout. I love me some yoga, but I’ve signed myself up with a trainer for that extra kick in the tush.
  4. Talk it out. Instead of keeping things in, I vow to ramble to my boyfriend on a nightly basis. Apologies in advance, B.
  5. Just remember, you can’t please everyone. No explanation needed.

I suggest you all make a little destress list to help keep the balance in your life.

Breathe, stretch, shake – let it go.

MsLauralai

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