Stress, whether occasional or chronic, can affect your mood or your psychological well-being. Furthermore, it can also have visible effects on your skin, hair and even nails.
Here are five signs of stress that won’t go unnoticed, and our best tips to help you relax and get back on track.
5 WAYS STRESS IMPACTS YOUR BODY
Have you ever noticed that pimples often tend to show up the day before a presentation or major event? This isn’t a coincidence. In fact, your pimples may be caused by stress. When we’re faced with stressful situations, our bodies secrete cortisol—the stress hormone. One side effect of this hormone is that it stimulates the production of sebum. Too much sebum clogs your pores and contributes to the appearance of acne.
Dark under-eye circles
A lack of sleep due to stress can quickly show up on the delicate skin around your eyes. The skin around our eyes is extremely thin and fragile, and it’s one of the first places to show signs of stress. A few bouts of insomnia is all it takes to wear your sleep deprivation on your face.
Inflammatory diseases that affect the skin such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea are associated with stress. That’s because stress can directly affect the immune system and slow the body’s natural defences, paving the way for inflammation and a variety of cutaneous reactions. If you’ve been affected by these conditions before, you might see these symptoms reappear or worsen.
Hair loss can be due to a variety of factors, and stress is one of the top reasons. After a shock, trauma, severe physiological changes or periods of chronic stress, you might notice that your hair has become dull, brittle or has started to fall out.
You can tell a lot about your overall health by looking at your nails. In times of stress, for instance, nails are typically duller and more fragile. On top of that, the more stressed you feel, the more likely you are to bite your nails!
SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO? THE FOLLOWING TIPS WILL HELP YOU REDUCE YOUR STRESS LEVELS
Sleep is your ally
Stress can sometimes cause sleep issues that further exacerbate stress levels. Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most effective ways to break this cycle and get back to your energetic, glowing self. Make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep a night in a dark, quiet, comfortable space.
TIP: Do you struggle with insomnia? Put your cell phone away at least one hour before you go to bed. The blue light it emits disrupts the production of melatonin—the hormone responsible for regulating your sleep cycles.
A short break will do you a world of good
Make it a habit to stop everything you’re doing and take a break, even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. Take advantage of these precious moments to take a few deep breaths, meditate, or go outside to take a short walk and get some fresh air. You’ll instantly feel more calm and relaxed.
TIP: No time to stop? Set an alarm on your phone that will force you to take a break.
Physical activity as reinforcement
Need to let go of tension? Adding physical activity to your routine will have many beneficial effects on your overall health, and especially on your stress levels. In fact, moving helps reduce cortisol levels, strengthens the immune system, and improves sleep quality.
To counter stress-related skin issues, serums, ampoules, and vitamin concentrates are a real game changer. Thanks to their high concentration of active ingredients, they have the power to boost and brighten your complexion. Ask your cosmetics specialist for advice on which products are best suited to your needs and skin type.
Take time for yourself
Treat yourself to a relaxing pampering session at home. In need of inspiration? Try turning your bathroom into a temporary spa or treating your feet to a relaxing pedicure at home. While you’re at it, you can also give your hair a little love by applying a healing hair mask, and top off your routine by moisturizing your skin with a sweet-smelling lotion.
There’s nothing selfish about taking time for self-care. In fact, pampering yourself can be a great way to reconnect with your true essence and let go of any stress that’s had a chance to accumulate over the course of a long day.
TIP: Essential oils are a wonderful way to create a soothing, calming environment. Use a diffuser or add a few drops of essential oil in your bathtub or shower. Choose an oil with calming properties such as chamomile, lavender or rose. Relaxation guaranteed!