It’s the most wonderful time of the year right?
Sure! (Cue Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole)

But it’s no secret: Holidays= Stress.

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And have you ever noticed that when you are stressed, you break out more, and tend have a myriad of skin problems?

This is because stress causes your body to produce cortisol and other hormones, which tells your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin problems. (WebMD) Stress can age you, causing dryness and wrinkles, rosacea, acne, and even psoriasis-in fact most people report that their first psoriasis flare up occured during the most stressful period in their life.

Stress is something we all battle on a daily basis, it affects every part of our life, and shows on our face immediately. It’s important to try and reduce the amount of stress you’re coping with by practicing mindfulness and taking care of your health first and foremost.

For the most part, we cope with stress in unhealthy ways-maybe an extra large latte with whip cream to deal with a recent argument you had with your friend, or perhaps that huge cheeseburger you had for lunch because work is really getting to you. While treating yourself is fine in moderation, it’s hard not to go overboard with these behaviors and let them become habits.

Here are some great tips on how to reduce the inevitable stress that comes with the start of the Holiday Season:

  • Take a long walk around the neighborhood, or better yet, check out hiking trails near you. Spending time in nature has been shown to actually improve brain chemistry and help alleviate your mood within minutes in this Stanford study. All the more reason to put down the phone and get outside.
  • Take time for yourself to relax. In an age of unrivaled connectivity, we have access to limitless information at our fingertips. It’s important to take time for yourself in an isolated quiet area. Whether you prefer meditation, yoga, or simply reading your favorite book in a coffee shop, it’s important to carve out some time for you-especially during the Holidays.
  • Set some boundries. During the season of endless party invitations, and mile-long To Do lists, it’s easy to spread yourself too thin and over-commit to obligations. While having a full social calender is a great thing, too much of a good thing is usually not such a great thing. If you feel yourself dreading that 3rd party of the week, maybe politely decline and take some time for yourself. Boundries are a hard thing to set sometimes, but once you’ve established them you’ll find that you are much more relaxed and have time to do the things you want to do.
  • Talk it out. While dwelling on stress and constantly complaining can be anxiety inducing (for you and everyone around you), it’s important to not bottle it up, and make sure you talk to some one about your stress-whether it’s a professional or a best friend, giving voice to some problems helps you to see that maybe not everything is as big or bad as our mind makes it out to be. Either way, find someone who can help you problem solve and will listen to a little Holiday venting.
  • Treat yourself. That’s right-straight from the Dr’s mouth, take some time for you. During the Holidays it’s especially important to take some time to unwind and take care of yourself. A massage and facial are always a good idea-and facials have the added benefit of addressing the skin problems that are associated with stress. We offer customized facials, peels, and advanced esthetics to help with all your skin care woes. Call today to get on your way to a stress-free holiday season with beautiful skin.

Be ready for this Holiday Season with Rock Creek Wellness and remember to take care of yourself-it is the most wonderful time of the year after all!

Now get out there and enjoy it!