We are women. We try to do it all. We try to do it best. We want to be the best moms, the best wives, the best at our jobs and we want to be polished and perfect, we solve everyone’s problems. I don’t know about you though, but my Wonder Woman outfit got lost at the cleaners recently.
I’ve been completely and utterly stressed out lately. And it is definitely taking its toll on me beauty-wise. I’m sure I’m not alone and I’m hoping that this article helps others feel better in their FLESH just as much as it is helping me feel better in mine.
Here’s the condensed version of my last few weeks so you will understand the rest of the article…severe and untrue accusations made by people I thought were my friends, preparing the family for a plane flight cross-country, said trip also involved the following…seeing a family member with severe dementia (for the last time), learning things about your family that crushed you to your core, visiting for the first time the grave sites for much loved family members. We had some good times too though…seeing amazing sites, spending quality time with my kids, getting reacquainted with some AMAZING family members. So needless to say, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster and I’m really feeling the wear and tear.
Stress can take its toll on you and your beauty, specifically your skin and your hair. Webmd.com states that “your emotions have a powerful effect on your skin.” Stress causes a chemical response in your body that can make your skin more sensitive and reactive. It can also make it more difficult for your skin to heal quickly, as well as worsen skin diseases such as psoriasis, rosacea and eczema. Hives, rashes and feverblisters can even spring up due to stress.
Webmd.com does list 8 ways to reduce the effects of stress on your skin though. And I am sad to say that in the past few weeks, I have failed on all 8. No wonder my skin is such a mess. Here are those 8…
1. Don’t neglect your skin. Ummm, yeah…in the past 8 days I think I’ve washed my face 4 times and only wore makeup twice.
2. Get regular exercise. Does schlepping luggage through the airport count? If not, then, yup, been failing at that one.
3. Take time for yourself to do something you enjoy. What time? I had extra time? I thought about doing things I enjoyed, but then was too tired to do them.
4. Take a walk around the block. I did take a 20 minute walk this morning which felt great. And I did a little bit of walking when I was in Boston and again when I was in Montreal, but it wasn’t consistent and didn’t balance out all of the time spent sitting in an airplane or car.
5. Practice stress management activities. HA! I’m not even going to go there.
6. Get enough sleep. Definitely has not been happening, especially with stress and the time change.
7. Say no. I have a gameplan to say no to some things, it’s just not been executed yet.
8. Talk to someone. Yeah, hasn’t happened yet and been neglecting my journal.
Stress also affects your hair. Webmd.com states that regular ole’ stress isn’t likely to be the direct cause of hair turning grey or falling out. News to me!
They did state, however, that physiological stress can cause hair loss. Here’s how it works…
Hair has a few different phases. The main ones being the growing phase and the resting phase. The growing phase lasts for 2-3 years with an average growth rate of 1/2 inch per month. Then the follicle goes into the resting stage which lasts for 3-4 months where the hair no longer grows. Then the follicle goes back into the growing phase. The new hair growing in pushes the resting hair out.
And now here’s where physiological stress kicks in…when you have a significantly stressful event which causes you to change your eating habits (generally eating less or eating poorly) (yup), or causes you to continuously lose sleep (that too), or consistently raises your levels of stress and other hormones (starting early menopause), then that type of stress can make your hair fall out. What happens is that the stress triggers more of your hair follicles to go into their resting phase all at the same time. Then 3-4 months later, when the follicles go back into their growing phase and push out the resting hairs, you end up with all of this hair falling out at the same time. So if you are finding a lot of hair in the drain or in your brush, look back three months into your life and see what was going on. Chances are you’ll find a stressful event that triggered physiological stress.
According to livestrong.com, there are some things you can do to counter this and not surprisingly they are similar to those to help stressed out skin. Practice relaxation techniques, better nutrition, increase your exercise, get massages or take warm baths, breath deeply, etc.
So, always the optimist, and a planner, here’s my gameplan to getting back to being ME.
Starting tomorrow (as I am currently writing this post from the Manchester, New Hampshire airport), I am going to do the Magical Breakfast Cream detox week. Sounds weird, I know, but it works and it has worked for me in the past as well as everyone I tell it to who has legitimately tried it. I got it from the French Women Don’t Get Fat series of lifestyle books. Here’s how it works…
Every morning have the Magical Breakfast Cream, (recipe at the end) a healthy balanced salad for lunch and a healthy balanced dinner. Also, give up two things for the week. I’ll be giving up chai tea lattes and soda.
The Magical Breakfast Cream (or MBC) is designed to give your body everything it needs to function without starving it or depriving it. It has FULL FAT yogurt in it! Yes! FULL FAT! There’s protein, fiber, vitamins, etc. And it is extremely easy for your body to digest so instead of your body spending it’s energy digesting your breakfast, it can spend it detoxing your liver and burning excess fat. It also tastes really good once you get used to the odd texture.
I also plan to implement a MANDATORY 90 minute time daily for MY health. It can be broken up, but the idea is to do all of the items each day. Here’s what I’ll be doing:
-20 minutes of yoga daily. I like the Simply Yoga app (pink square icon with a little white stick figure). It’s free, available on Apple and Android platforms and has an AMAZING and EASY 20 minute yoga session that can be done anywhere.
-30 minutes of exercise daily. I will be alternating the Tracy Anderson strength and dance cardio DVDs. I don’t know if I’ll start with her Metamorphosis set that I have or the easier ones that she sells at Target. Probably going to start easy and then work my way up.
-20 minutes of meditation daily. I like Breath Meditation by Sharon Salzberg. It was a CD that came with a meditation book I got eons ago and I ripped the track and put it on my phone to be able to do it anywhere. She’s easy to follow, doesn’t make you feel weird and really helps.
-20 minute walk daily. I’m going to put my favorite music on, throw my ear buds on, and go enjoy nature and its healing effects it can have on you.
I’m also going to do various daily masks, whether moisturizing, clarifying, exfoliating or all of the above. I’m going to end each evening in bed with a good book. I’m going to spend more time in my jacuzzi to relax. And I’m going to write daily in my journal to get everything going on out of my head and onto paper (or in my case onto my personal blog).
I’m excited about the plan of attack and enthusiastic about starting it. And I know I’ll see a huge difference in my appearance when I start taking better care of myself.
What is stressing you out lately? What are you going to do to minimize it and take care of yourself?
We do not work for any of the companies that were listed above nor did we receive any sort of compensation for this article.
Magical Breakfast Cream Directions…
Take 2 tablespoons of a SUGAR-FREE cereal and 2 teaspoons of walnuts (or almonds). Grind super fine. The finer the grind, the finer the final texture will be. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix 4 tablespoons of PLAIN FULL FAT yogurt with 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (preferably freshly squeezed) and 1 teaspoon of honey (preferably raw and organic). Mix well.
Then add the cereal/nut mixture. Stir well and enjoy immediately.