It’s a fact that the holiday season is the most stressful time of year. All that shopping, cooking, partying, and general pressure to please can take its toll – on your health and on your skin.
When you’re stressed the brain releases cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, into your bloodstream. Cortisol triggers oil production in the skin that causes breakouts, and cortisol can also constrict blood vessels, resulting in redness. Skin can become dehydrated, sensitive, and prone to damage – and don’t even get us started on the lines caused by furrowing your brow due to stress.
Managing stress during the holidays is key to skin health and overall health, so it’s critical to get it under control. The easiest way to banish stress is with one simple word: NO. Saying no doesn’t have to put you on par with the Grinch if you know how to say it gracefully. In fact, it can be a healthy holiday tradition.
Want to say no to a party invitation? Say you already have plans – the host doesn’t have to know that those plans include a bubble bath and turning in early. Tired of whipping up a holiday feast each year for the extended clan? Suggest a new tradition of everyone bringing their specialty dish. Hopefully you’re starting to get the picture…
The best kinds of holiday traditions should encourage happiness and health, not despair and high blood pressure. Try these stress-busting activities, and create healthy new traditions for your family:
- Get Out in the Snow: Sledding, skating, snowshoeing, and skiing are all quality family activities that are loads of fun, burn calories, and ease stress. No snow in your neck of the woods? Try throwing a football or taking a hike.
- Walk or Run for Charity: This time of year, you’re likely to find countless 5K runs and walks in your community. Many benefit charities, so you’re not only helping yourself by exercising, but your entry fees also help others as well.
- Go Caroling: Nothing will lift your neighbors’ spirits like opening the door to the sounds of holiday standards. You’ll get in a nice walk, have a great time, and spend technology-free time with your fellow carolers in the process.
By setting priorities and learning to say no during the holiday season, you can transform it from a time of stress to one of joy and a celebration of health – which is exactly how it should be.
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