Back-to-school time is here, *|FNAME|*, which means back-to-school stress is also here. Whether sending your kids to school feels like a relief, an adventure, or simply a necessity, it’s impossible to go through this time of the year without some growing pains for all involved!
When we stress, our bodies feel it as much as our minds do. Stress can impact the immune system, basic functions like heart rate and breathing, and even our skin.
Specifically, stress is known to release cortisol and adrenaline into the body, which increases your skin’s oil production. This excess oil may then clog pores, increase skin blemishes, or disrupt your skin’s natural sebum balance.
Not only that, but stress can also cause changes to your skin’s proteins which leads to a loss of elasticity. Reduced elasticity shows up mainly as sagging skin and increased fine line and wrinkles. In short, stress may cause your skin to look older faster.
All of this may sound a little…stressful. But never fear! There are plenty of things you can do to combat feelings of stress and the changes it can make to skin health.
Get moving. Stress is one of the most accessible ways to reduce stress. While it may not feel easy at first if you’re not an exercise-motivated person, a little bit goes a long way.
Start with a gentle walk, a stretching yoga session, or even just some light stretching. Moving your body will center your focus, calm your thoughts, and fill your body with stress-fighting endorphins.
Eat well. Giving your body true nutrients in the form of protein, whole grains, and produce will help your body in two ways.
Firstly, it will give you the energy and mindful clarity needed to process and deal with stressful events. Secondly, some studies show that eating a diet high in vitamins and omega-3s will actually help reduce stress hormones within the body.
Focus on friends and family. A healthy social life is key to keeping your mind, body, and skin from feeling the weight of stress. When we’re stressed, we tend to isolate and participate in destructive behaviors like eating poorly, drinking, or turning to media to distract us.
Instead, a healthier alternative is to reach out to friends and family who can support us during stressful times, or even just offer a fun distraction from our concerns.
Take time out for yourself. “Me-time” has become a somewhat cliché idea, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad one. In fact, the idea of taking some time for your mental health is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Whether your me-time looks like dinner with friends, a bath with a book, or prioritizing your skin care routine, allowing yourself some guilt-free time to yourself will go a long way toward keeping your body, skin, and psyche from feeling the weight of situational stresses.
Stressful times don’t need to take a toll on the health of your body and skin. Remember your priorities—including to prioritize yourself—and you’ll find yourself feeling more capable than ever of meeting your stresses head-on.
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