Parents and grandparents working behind the scenes to create holiday magic for their families are often left feeling and looking totally stressed out. Did you know higher stress levels are not only terrible for your mental health and wellness, but also for your physical appearance and skin health?

Holiday stress momHoliday stress can lead to many skin problems, including:

  • Annoying adult acne breakouts — stress hormones lead to higher cortisol levels that create more oils in your skin and may bring painful and unsightly pimples and zits
  • Dark circles or bags under your eyes — stress can break the fragile capillaries under your eyes leaving dark rings and making you look tired, and lack of sleep may increase fluids in your lower eyelids making your eyes look puffy
  • Deeper forehead wrinkles and eye wrinkles — feeling anxious, crying and not sleeping can deepen lines and wrinkles around your eyes, forehead and mouth
  • Itchy and flaky skin — stress may inflame your skin or change its moisture level, leading to irritating skin conditions like eczema and rosacea

If stress has you feeling self-conscious about your appearance, the Benessere Clinic team can help reverse the signs of aging and help you feel more energized.

Our licensed practitioners can help restore your confidence and youthful appearance with the latest age management services, like BOTOX injections for forehead wrinkles and frown lines, Juvederm facial fillers for laugh lines and eye bags, photofacials for dark spots and reddening, and much more. Call or email the staff today for a consultation.

But as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This year take time to reduce your stress levels and prevent stress-related skin problems by following the Mayo Clinic’s 10 stress management tips to help prevent stress and depression around the holidays:

  1. Stressed holiday womanAcknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.
  2. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
  3. Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.
  4. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.
  5. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Try these alternatives:
    ○ Donate to a charity in someone’s name.
    ○ Give homemade gifts.
    ○ Start a family gift exchange.
  6. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.
  7. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
  8. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Try these suggestions:
    ○ Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.
    ○ Get plenty of sleep.
    ○ Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
  9. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm. Some options may include:
    ○ Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
    ○ Listening to soothing music.
    ○ Getting a massage.
    ○ Reading a book.
  10. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

Stress management begins with your commitment to take care of yourself. The Benessere Clinic team is here to help you on your journey to look and feel younger and more vibrant. Call us today for an appointment.