In today’s world, stress is the biggest health concern. It’s linked to a plethora of health concerns, including IBS, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and dementia.
You may be struggling with your kids, powering through several hours of work every day or coping with a personal crisis. Life goes on regardless of what day it is.
However, relaxation and self-care – whether it is going for a walk, taking a warm bath or reading a book, is much more rewarding than what most people believe.
One of the most satisfying byproducts of self-care is that not only does it make you feel amazing and refreshed; it also boosts several aspects of your health and wellness. It reduces your risk of several diseases, improves your personal and work life and also makes you more aware of your mind and body connection.
Relaxing can also have a major effect on your skin. Your skin is a reflection of your overall health. If you’re constantly exhausted, stressed or sleep deprived, you will see it in your skin. Stress can cause your skin to look duller, more dehydrated and less supple. It can also promote signs of premature ageing such as dark spots and wrinkles.
Fortunately, the reverse is also true. Relax more and you could be well on your way to achieving the skin you want. Here’s how you can start:
- Perform deep breathing exercises
We like the “3 arrivals” method of encouraging the body, mind and breath to arrive to the present moment with calmness and awareness. Arrive with your body to relax physically and unwind. Arrive with your mind by extricating yourself from troubling thoughts. And finally, arrive with your breath by noticing your exhales and inhales.
Think about it. You have around 26,000 breaths per day – how many are you aware of? Take 5 minutes before sleeping and another 5 after waking up to simply calm your mind and relax, breathing slowly.
As a bonus, deep breathing can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
You don’t need a special class or a yoga retreat to the mountains to meditate. It takes as little as 5 minutes every day to reap the many benefits of meditation. Studies show that performing silent meditation on a daily basis can help abate risk of depression and stress.
To start, find a comfortable, quiet area in your house and concentrate on your breath. Your mind may be racing at this point but instead of trying to clear it, allow thoughts to enter and leave at their own leisurely pace. Doing so can help you focus on your self and the present, helping you set the right intentions for the day. If you need a little help, try meditation apps on your phone such as Headspace.
- Eat mindfully
While eating, be completely present for your meal. Take a few deep breaths to settle yourself and feel calmer prior to eating. Choose a quiet, relaxing place for eating. Avoid being busy and do not multitask during your meals. Avoid looking at a screen while eating and give your food the complete undivided attention it deserves. Chew, savor and enjoy.
Being mindful during your meals does not only make the entire experience more enjoyable, it’s also an excellent way to escape from the daily stress and give yourself some “me” time. In addition, mindful eating also helps the body absorb nutrients from your food better.
- Proper nutrition
Some excellent mood-lifting and skin-enhancing options include nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds, along with food rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, avocado, coconut oil and olive oil. Upping your intake of colorful fruits and vegetables is also key as they are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, enzymes and antioxidants that boost skin health, giving it a youthful glow and suppleness.
- Get some outdoor time
Outdoor activities such as going for a short walk, cycling, hanging out with a friend, and running can help boost your uptake of oxygenation. More oxygen can help improve several functions in your body, making you feel better and sleep restfully in the night. As a bonus, more oxygenation in your blood can also help your skin glow!
- Sweat it out
Consider fast-paced cardio or high-intensity interval training to give your body some much needed blood circulation within a short period. In addition to helping you sleep better in the night, intense workouts can also cause you to sweat more, helping your skin release toxins at a much more efficient rate.
Space intense workouts during the week with exercises that will help loosen and relax your muscles – such as yoga. As you immerse yourself in each yoga pose, you observe your body and breath more.
- Drink more tea
Anti-anxiety medication can increase one’s mortality risk by 36%! It’s no wonder that people are constantly searching for natural remedies to help them relax and de-stress. One excellent and totally hygge method of instant relaxation we love is sipping on herbal tea. Peppermint tea, chamomile tea, passion flower tea, lemon balm tea and rose tea are excellent examples of herbal teas that induce a feeling of calmness and positivity as soon as you take the first sip.
- Indulge in a relaxing bath
You don’t have to visit a pricey spa to achieve momentary bliss. We have a few tricks up our sleeves to create the same luxury bath experience at the comfort of your own home without breaking the bank.
Start by cleaning your tub. This may not sound fun but taking 2 minutes to do it can lead to an amazing sense of satisfaction when you get into your tub. Next, grab a book or magazine, set the mood with some chillout music and light a candle.
A great bath is all about temperature so be sure to dial in the perfect temperature for you when you start your bath. Skip the bubble bath and try adding Epsom salts with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. The former helps ease physical tension and relax sore muscles and the latter, perfumes the water without the need for chemical-laden products.
- Aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep
If troubling thoughts racing through your head is keeping you up at night, try binaural beats. The theta waves produced have powerful stress-busting properties, helping your mind feel more calm and relaxed. In addition, binaural beats can also help you meditate before you sleep, helping you achieve that much needed 8 hours of shuteye.
- Try facial massage
Facial massage is an excellent way to make skin look glow, plump and appear full of life and energy. However, deep tissue massage isn’t always the most affordable or convenient option.
Fortunately, you can perform a facial massage yourself at home for just a few minutes to reap maximum benefits.
Any kind of gentle touch is naturally calming for the body as it can help ease your mind and relax tensed muscles. Facial massage can also help you get good night’s sleep. Furthermore, massage boosts blood circulation, increasing flow of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. It also encourages production of collagen, helping skin look plumper and smoother.
Combine massage with your favorite moisturiser or our Pro Collagen A-D Plasma to further increase the absorption. There’s a myriad of facial massages out there. Be sure to try a few to determine what works best for you. Sign up to our newsletter for our powerful facial massage tips.