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De-stress For Better Skin

Stress is one of those things we can never fully escape. Life seems to conspire to make sure that we’re experiencing some level of it fairly regularly. If we’re lucky, the stress we experience is rather mild and something we can easily control with stress management techniques. That’s typically what we’re dealing with most of the time in our lives. Things can start to get out of control before we know it though. It becomes all too easy to accept an excess of stress as part of our lives and not recognize when it begins to move beyond our ability to manage. That’s when our health begins to suffer. The effects of stress on the body are myriad, but the basic idea is that your body is being made to run at a higher rate than usual that ends up burning through a lot of energy and diverting it from caring for the body. Staying stressed for long enough will mean that stress will gradually become plain for all to see as your energy and all of your body, including your skin, suffers. That’s why it is in your best interest to de-stress.

Lack of Repairs
What tends to add up the most quickly is the simple fact that your body simply doesn’t have the energy or resources to spare to care for your skin when you’re stressed. A gradual visual degradation begins to set in. Most of us are acquainted with it and remember the times when we can tell we’ve looked worse than usual due to high levels of stress. Remember that your skin, as far as organs go, has comparatively low priority next to your vital organs. Stress focuses on keeping your insides running at peak and ends up neglecting your skin. As a result, your body simply doesn’t have the resource to repair the day to day damage. Skin becomes thin and/or dull, and generally, begins to look unhealthy as the regular maintenance is allowed to fail. None of this helps us look our best. Furthermore, thinning skin from regular wear and tear means those areas become even more susceptible to damage. Stress, in essence, sensitizes your entire skin.

Extra Oil
Another problem that stress causes is the fact that stress hormones actually stimulate oil secretion by the skin. As an organ, your skin has a regular set of instructions it goes through to help maintain its overall health and thereby the overall health of the human organism that is you. Oil production and secretion represent some of those cellular instructions. You secrete oil to help ensure that your skin seals in moisture and is overall more resilient. The process isn’t without issues as some of us end up with oily or dry skin, but on whole many of us have average skin that isn’t too dry or too oily. Stress hormones push us towards having oily skin thanks to increased oil secretion. This, in turn, begins to create an environment where our skin becomes more susceptible to breakouts. All that extra oil catches more dirt and debris that can, in turn, end up clogging your pores when mixed together. Avoiding this is in your skin’s best interest.

Woman de-stressing via bath

Triggering Issues
Some of us suffer from chronic skin conditions that can be frustrating to deal with at the best of times. Conditions such as eczema and rosacea tend to leave us wondering what we do to trigger them. Stress can actually be one of those triggers and cause a flare up for these and other conditions. The exact reason isn’t quite known but is believed to be connected to the changes in the body brought about by the release of stress hormones. These flare ups can make a stressful time even worse as then one has to manage the condition on top of everything else happening in one’s life. Yes, we all have different compounds that can help us reduce the severity or get things under control, but as long as the stress is ongoing the threat of further flare ups will continue. As a result, it is always in your best interest to keep stress under control to avoid such problems.

Stress is incredibly bad for your skin and the damage can show up relatively quickly. That makes it important to remember to take the time to de-stress regularly. This means setting aside time for your hobbies and the people you care about. Remember that these will help you vent and keep stress manageable. Taking up meditation or any similar practices can also help. Just don’t let stress run away with your body or your skin will pay for it in the long run.

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The Relationship Between Mental Health and Your Skin

Taking good care of your skin involves constantly balancing between product choices and good habits. There’s no denying this can end up a little stressful. After all, that one product that you need to help your skin might run out at the wrong moment. Others times you might run into the problem of needing to sort out exactly what product you need to be using to counter a particularly resistant skin condition. None of this ends up being particularly helpful to our moods. That’s an important point to note too. Your mood can actually have a profound affect on your skin’s health. Mental health is, in many ways, a too often forgotten component of skincare. It doesn’t necessarily seem to make sense on the surface, but all it takes is looking a little closer to see how this works. That’s why we’ve got a quick look into this rather important relationship.

The Complexity of Skin Health
Your skin is a surprisingly complex organ. Most of us don’t really notice it unless something is going wrong. Countless little things need to be right for it to remain health. We’re mostly familiar with the idea that we need to be eating right and exercising. This ensures an adequate supply of nutrition and a healthy blood flow that in turn help assure our skin’s overall health. What many of us pay less attention to is the affects that our hormones have on our skin as well. The varying levels of testosterone and estrogen in people are what cause the most pronounced differences in skin between most men and woman. Anything that begins to play with hormone levels necessarily begins to affect the skin as well. There are a lot of conditions that can affect our hormones, yes, but one of the most common ways to start negatively impacting it is to have poor stress management habits or accidentally managing not to notice the lasting impact of depression on your life.

Woman stressed

Stressing The Point
One of the ways we’re most prone to wrecking our body is unaddressed stress. There’s no getting away from the fact that modern life is frequently stressful and tends to demand more of us than we’d like. We can’t change the collective direction of a society by being annoyed at it though. That takes a sustained effort. What we can change is how we handle things on a personal level. Letting stress build up is one way of handling it that tends to wear the body out fast. Stress hormones, in many ways, end up contributing to the fact that stress keeps you body in something similar to “fight or flight” mode fairly constantly. You’re always in a state of being psychologically threatened while stressed. This leads things to begin to wear down faster. Your body lacks the energy for repairs at the same time that it is more prone to damaging itself. In your skin, this tends to look like a loss of healthy tone, increased oil production, and in general other signs of overall ill health in the skin. Stress management is absolutely necessary for great skin.

Managing What Matters
Knowing that your mental health is directly tied to your skin’s health isn’t as much help as we’d all like to pretend. You need something to work off of to get anywhere. Stress management techniques can help a lot for most of us, but things can be much harder for people with depression. We’d like to emphasize that depression is not a temporary case of sadness or a short bout of being dissatisfied. It is a chronic, dangerous illness that removes enjoyment from life. That can make seeking any help difficult. Consequently, one of the best stress management and mental health tips we can suggest is to make time for the people you care about and who care about you. Humans are social creatures and we need one another to be happy. Interacting with our loved ones tends to help our mental health in a number of ways as well as giving us an immediate mood lifter. We also recommend engaging in a hobby your find enjoyable. Try to learn a new skill. The key to good management of things is keeping your mind alert, active, and pleasantly engaged with the world.

Managing your own mental health is a daunting prospect for some of us. Statistics regularly show there are more of us dealing with mental illness than are willing to admit. Our mental health is as important to our appearance as it is to our quality of life though. This makes it important to take care of and address any issues openly. Live your life while making in meaningful and engaging. That should do wonders for both your mental health and your skin.

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Avoid These Happiness Zapping Habits

Trying to figure out the best ways to take care of yourself is a constant process of learning what works for a given part of your life and what doesn’t. Physical well-being is relatively easy. We teach ourselves to eat well while balancing our workload and a healthy exercise routine. This tends to keep us at least moderately healthy be helping to curtail the effects of our excesses. While relatively easy, this part does involve retraining ourselves to live a healthier life and the exact ease of this will very from one person to another. Mental habits are a bit harder to break, but potentially even more necessary. Chronic unhappiness will wreck your body over time and raise the chances of medical issues coming up. There are a few really common habits that we can all slip into that tend to drag our mood down. We’re going to take a quick look at them so we all have a better idea of what to avoid.

Bigger, Faster, Stronger
There’s a distinct drive in our culture to continually seek the next big thing to enjoy. This frequently means a rapid overturning of particular items that we like. You see a neighbor has a better item of a given category and you feel compelled to get as good or even better of an item. It feeds the economy, yes, but it also creates a situation where you’re constantly hunting for something to be dissatisfied about. This stable source of envy just drags you down as there is no way to get out from under it. There will always be someone else with something better. Buying the new item gives you a temporary euphoria that quickly fades. This is why many happiness experts have taken to highlighting that buying material good isn’t really a path to happiness. Experiences are what give you the most lasting happiness as they build memories and connections to others. So consider carefully what kind of purchases define your life and see if you need to make a change.

Woman rushing

Delay Of Everything
Another thing we’re prone to doing is setting goals for ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with goals themselves. They help us to motivate and structure our lives over the long term. Unfortunately, we can warp them into something bad for us when we set a schedule for when we’ll surely be happy. No one can schedule their happiness and say everything will be fine after that. Life is too complex for that. It disrupts your ability to enjoy the good things happening to you now if you don’t allow yourself to accept it as a fact of the now. Following closely behind this bad habit is our willingness to put something off simply because we don’t like to do it. Happiness takes effort. It doesn’t just fall into our laps. We actually have to do something to get it to last for any amount of time. We’ve all been taught to expect it to fall from the sky and as a result are frequently not inclined to do the work to get where we need to be to be happy with things. Do the thing. Fix your mistakes. Finish that project. Start that new hobby. Make the effort to reach for happiness or you’ll keep finding yourself miserable.

Of Mountains And Molehills
A vital happiness skill is learning how to manage our perspective on a situation. Once we begin to get unhappy and stressed, it becomes far harder to actually figure out the precise scale of a given problem. Our negative mood keeps heaping bad feelings on the problem until it seems to grow well beyond our ability to confront it. We have to confront our problems eventually though. Failing to do so just leaves us feeling deeply unhappy because we keep returning to this well of unhappiness and reminding ourselves of why we’re “not good enough” or “deserve to be unhappy”. This is incredibly damaging and a hard cycle to break. One of the best things you can do for yourself in this situation is ask those close to you to help you look at the problem objectively and figure out how to solve it. Breaking past the illusion of the mountain will let you confront and deal with lesser problems for what they are: a short-lived setback.

Maintaining a positive outlook on life isn’t as simple as people like to pretend. We need to make sure not to fall into the trap of always needing the best things while applying the same sort of perspective to our problems to ensure we don’t get trapped in a spiral of negativity. Happiness means embracing the chances of beauty and joy found throughout our lives instead of becoming utterly invested in distant goals as our only hope for happiness. There are plenty of little chances scattered throughout your life if you’re willing to make the effort. Keeping the right perspective of things is ultimately the key to ensuring your life has its full share of happiness.

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Plan Your Weekend Fitness Marathon

Planning a weekend fitness marathon is a potential way to return to old habits and figure out what you can still do. It isn’t necessarily the best way to start out if you’ve never exercised regularly before. All exercise plans require proper planning regardless of these factors though. You need to figure out what kinds of exercise will be appropriate, how much your body can take, how to care for yourself while exercising, and all of these little details that so many of us don’t think about until they come up in the process of us doing something. It can be frustrating to start out for the first time and realize there are things left undone. That’s why so many of us never get a weekend fitness routine of any sort started. It can seem insurmountable without a little guidance. We’re going to try to provide you with that extra push you need to move towards getting your fitness marathon underway. This way you can be confident you’ll at least have done the most vital elements of planning.

Know Your Body
This is probably one of the easiest and yet hardest steps you need to take when planning. You have to know what your body can handle. Pushing yourself is vital to moving your body forward towards your fitness goals, yes, but pushing your body too much will only damage it in the long run. Set realistic fitness goals for your fitness session. Stick to exercise you know aren’t damaging to your body. We recommend discussing possible exercises with your doctor if you’re uncertain on what will be a healthy exercise. Plan these out exactingly. You should know what exercise you’re doing when and for how long. This will let you have an idea of the overall impact you’ll be having on your body. Any routine, whether you’re doing it as a marathon or not, should focus on working different muscle groups in sequence. This will prevent any one group from getting overly stressed and allow you to support your entire body instead of harming one or two areas with an overly intense focus. You can then use this planning to help you with the next step.

Woman drinking water

Schedule Breaks
Yes, a weekend fitness marathon is a marathon. We understand this quite well, but it is important to remember that you body does need rest now and again. Limits are meant to be pushed, but when you start getting the signal that you’re pushing a little too hard you’ll need to back away and give your body a little downtime. Ideally your breaks during a fitness marathon should be long enough to give you a break, but not so long that your metabolism begins to drop again. Ten or so minutes can be a brief, but good rest. Many professionals recommend creating cooldown times during the exercise themselves. You can help stagger the impact on your body by alternating between high and low-intensity exercises. This will give you time where you body is not under as much stress, but that you’ll still be exercise. Do remember that you will still need to take a full break now and again to be mindful of your body’s needs.

Be Mindful of the Weather
This part is particularly important now that we’re entering spring. Many of us are going to start exercising outside to get some fresh air rather than feel trapped inside. This means that planning a weekend fitness marathon also means making sure to watch the weather for that week. The last thing you want it to set up anything you need outside and then have them rained on overnight. We recommend keeping a general eye on the weather all week long and only move to commit to the fitness marathon on Thursday or later to stay alert to potential issues. Additionally, we need to stress that we’re not just talking about inclement weather either. Heat waves can happen and be just as bad for your routine if you’re expecting a particular temperature to exercise in. You can offset this some by making sure to stay hydrated during your fitness marathon, but remember that the overall amount you can do safely will have dropped as well. Don’t tempt fate when it comes to heat stroke.

A weekend fitness marathon can be a good way to get some air and to continue to work towards a healthier you. You do need to be mindful of your health needs during it though. Remember you have limits and need to support your body occasionally during the marathon. As long as you keep these in mind, you should be able to easily set up your own weekend fitness marathon with little to no trouble.

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Stress Can Up Your Health Risks

Stress is such a common fact of modern life that we frequently dismiss it when checking in on our own health. After all, of course we’re stressed, we’ve been that way for a while because we have to get that one thing done and then another thing done and then there is that other thing we’d forgotten about. That’s life for a lot of us and we don’t really have time to pause and think about the long term consequences of operating at high stress levels for so long. This isn’t a good way practice to live by though. In fact, it is entirely counterproductive to anyone wanting to live a long and healthy life. Stress is very clearly connected to increased health risks in multiple ways. Some of these issues can be obvious, but others will lurk and then strike out at you unexpectedly. We’re going to cover some of the major health risks you’re subjecting yourself to to help you understand why you’ll likely want to learn to take a break now and again.

Restlessness Adds Up
Most of us have had difficulty sleeping at one point or another in our lives. This becomes increasingly common when we’re subjected to stress. The hormones released by the stress actually make it harder for your brain to accept the hormones responsible for helping you get to sleep. This issues can start out innocently enough with just a little trouble sleeping now and again, but it may eventually become insomnia if you’re not careful. You need to get that sleep too. Sleep is when your body does a lot of the repairs and general care that helps keep your body healthy. Not getting enough sleep will mean you’re facing mounting damage to your body and mind as the stress just gets worse from your inability to heal from it properly. Difficulty sleeping due to stress is still relatively benign when it first appears though and generally a warning sign of worse factors to come. Try to heed your body’s warning in this cases as the effects don’t get any better.

Woman with headache
Wandering Pains
That inability to properly repair the body means that you’re actually more likely to experience pain. Your body won’t be able to adequately repair the day to day wear and tear effectively. It leads to a situation when you’re likely to experience regular muscle pain around your body. It can be out and out pain or simply an uncomfortable tension in a muscle that makes it hard to rest. Consistent pain and discomfort, in turn, further magnify the stress you’re already experiencing by making it hard to find any time when you can feel a bit better. You’re also likely to start getting stress headaches. These are frequently a form of tension headache that leads the sufferer to feel like pressure is being placed on both sides of the head. Risk factors for such headaches include stress and disturbed sleep and you can expect them to continue on until you make lifestyle changes.

The Weight On Your Heart
Stress is frequently associated with your overall weight. Some people will claim rapid loss of weight is a sign of stress while others will credit rapid weight gain. In truth, both are potential issues for anyone suffering from stress. It depends on how the individual’s body responds to the problem. The stress hormones will likely have an effect on your weight though. It is also worth noting here that too much weight is associated with increased risks of heart disease. Sadly, stress is another major risk factor too due to the strain it will be putting on your body. Your body never gets the chance to come down from the constant stress and your heart begins to feel it over time. So it doesn’t matter if you exercise constantly when stressed. You’re still going to have a drastically higher chance of heart disease over time. This is a big reason that most of us will want to find effective ways to manage our stress over the long term to ensure our lasting health.

Stress ruins your body over time. It gradually makes you unable to do even simple forms of relaxation or sleep properly due to aches and pains as well as other problems. This strain will build up in your body too. You’ll wear out quickly and the potential for it to manifest as something truly dangerous like heart disease will keep going up. There are still other health risks associated with stress that can hurt you too. In the end, the best solution is to learn effective stress management techniques that work for you. Hopefully those will help you lead the healthy life that all of us want.

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Pollution, Stress & Your Skin

As one of the largest organs of your body, your skin technically has a lot of work to do. It needs to keep itself intact in addition to its standard duties. Eating right goes a long way towards helping your skin take proper care of itself over the long term. Good skincare goes even further by ensuring your skin gets the boosts it needs to be healthy any age. Most of us learn to be good about these habits eventually and to provide our skin with what it needs. Providing for our skin isn’t enough for long-term skin health, though. You also need to be aware of the different things that can harm your skin. These issues can be invisible if no one brings them to your attention. Things like pollution and stress are issues, yes, but they always seem bigger than simple skincare. They do have an impact on your skin though and require consideration for just that reason.

Pollution
This problem has long since earned its place as a generic trouble of the modern world. It is a problem even in otherwise green cities simply because of the demands of the infrastructure on the environment. Things add up and begin to cause trouble. Fortunately, we can offset them and work to make things better. This has lead to modern improvements in urban planning and culture that have helped reduce the potential cities that require regular smog or pollution warnings for their residents. Manageable problems may still be problems, but they are better than one that gets away from you. Pollution is a problem for your skin in several ways. Particulate matter gets stuck in the air or flung about by the passing of vehicles. It impacts on your skin regularly and causes microscopic cuts or contributes to a buildup of grime on the skin. These each have their own particular issues associated with them. Air pollution adds on another problem in the form of ground level ozone oxidizing skin on contact and causing more issues with free radicals in the skin. Stress doesn’t help matters either.

Stress
We all swear we’re going to take better care of ourselves this year and find a better work/life balance to reduce how much we’re running around, but it seldom ever happens. Each of us gets caught up in life. It makes it easy to lose track of all the things that we should be doing in favor of all the things we ostensibly need to be doing. Countless obligations and little issues pop up each day that demand our attention. Some things necessarily get crowded off of our schedules. Unfortunately, sometimes what gets crowded off is taking time for ourselves or getting enough sleep. Your mental health is important to your body’s health and, necessarily, your skin’s health. Stress tends to disrupt sleep schedules at the same time that it reduces particular hormones in the body that actually lead to increased oil production as well as other issues. How do you manage all the potential problems of your skin in a modern world of consistent pollution and constant stress though?

woman relaxing
Taking Care of Your Skin
Let’s start with how to minimize stress as that makes helping your skin resist pollution easier in the long run. Plan for and make time for yourself in your schedule. Yes, you may need to dismiss it sometimes, but it shouldn’t be too often. You need to have the time to enjoy yourself so that you can decompress. Set aside time to engage in a hobby or to spend time with your family and friends. It will help you manage your life better and reduce the potential for a disrupted sleep schedule. That will ensure your skin gets the time it needs to repair itself and help bolster its natural defenses to external issues like pollution. We can’t wave our hands and makes the pollution vanish, but we can guard against the effects. A good skincare routine combined with proper sunscreen usage can do a lot to help protect your skin against pollution. This is especially true if you regularly use antioxidant-rich products. Remember to moisturize and nourish your skin while avoiding spending too much time outside in heavily polluted air to protect your skin the most.

Pollution and stress both have profound effects on your skin. You may not be able to solve pollution on your own, but you can work against the effects it has on your skin with a good skincare routine. Stress, happily, is something that you can help by ensuring you make time to do something other than focus on the things you need to do. Effective stress management is one of the best long-term things you can do for your skin and the rest of your body. So try to take good care of your skin, but don’t stress out too much about it as what will be will be.

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