Late nights, endless bubbly, last-minute shopping, and to-do lists as long as your arm can make the holiday season feel more frenetic than festive. To temper the fatigue, angst, and skin eruptions that may be caused by spiking cortisol levels and sleep deprivation, try some of these skin-calming, soul-reviving, de-stressing tips.
1. Do one thing that makes you feel good every day
Ignore the to-do list for 30 to 60 minutes and do something that just makes you happy. Dance to 80s music. Snuggle with your dog. Listen to a funny podcast. Watch your favorite show. By pausing the flow of stress—even for an hour—you can significantly minimize its negative impact.
2. Drink up
When we’re stressed, many of us forget to eat—and drink. We can survive the former for a while without serious consequences, but not having enough liquids in your body can leave you feeling sluggish and foggy. Most experts say to aim for a gallon (64 ounces) a day, which isn’t hard to achieve if you keep water or tea close by and sip as you go. You can also grab one of these extra-large water bottles on Amazon to keep track of how much you’ve imbibed—and motivate yourself to keep chugging.
3. Establish a before-bed routine
Just like small children typically benefit from an end-of-day ritual that may include a bath and story time, adults too will feel calmer and sleep more soundly if they have a wind-down routine before they climb into bed. The ritual needn’t be laborious; it can be as simple as washing your face with a gentle cleanser like the Wash & Refresh Cleansing Gel Cream, then massaging in skin-restorative treatments like the Face & Neck Regenerative Serum and Rejuvenate & Hydrate Moisturizing Cream. But taking that five to ten minutes to care for yourself each night helps signal to the brain that it’s time to power down and get some rest.
4. Sneak in a soak
On the rare occasion when you can carve out more than five minutes before bed, spend it in a tub. A relaxing warm bath melts away stress, lowers your heart rate, regulates your body temperature—and primes the body for an especially good night’s sleep.
5. Give yourself a mini massage
Hands and feet are loaded with pressure points, so giving them a quick rubdown once or twice a day (while you watch TV, wait in the carpool line, or sit through a cameras-off Zoom call) can have a positive, relaxing effect on the rest of the body too. Just slather on a nourishing lotion that provides good slip, like Nourish & Restore Anti-Aging Hand Treatment, and kneed away.
6. Move it
A lack of sleep can leave your skin looking dull and sallow. To add back some radiance, try getting your heart rate up for a few minutes (exercise works faster and won’t leave you as groggy as a midday nap). And it doesn’t have to be something that leaves you sweaty and in need of a shower; a fifteen-minute walk outside or just some deep stretches or yoga poses will do the trick.
7. Keep cool
Stepping outside on a brisk day can be instantly energizing—a benefit that can be applied indoors too by dialing down the temperature on your skincare. Some suggestions: Refrigerate your eye cream to refresh and de-puff during application. Ditto for a facial tool like the Rejuvenate & Restore Beauty Tool quartz roller, which can be used to boost circulation in the face, diminishing fluid buildup and boosting radiance. For best results, using the large end of the roller start at your neck to stimulate the flow of fluid through your lymphatic system—then follow the contours of your face. You can also go old-school and press cold spoons, chilled, damp tea bags or cucumber slices over your eyes. The compresses we all experimented with as teens are still soothing and can reduce swelling. Plus applying them forces you to lie down and close your eyes for at least five minutes (just set an alarm so you don’t accidentally sleep the day away.)
8. Start sloughing
Getting rid of dead skin cell buildup will instantly restore some of the radiance that’s been lost as a result of too much stress and not enough sleep. You can use a chemical exfoliant, such as Exfoliate & Smooth Triple Hydroxy Acid Toner, a physical scrub—or just a clean washcloth or soft pad. Using our soft Reusable Cotton Rounds to gently massage and exfoliate your skin before your morning shower is also an invigorating way to remove flakey skin, boost lymphatic drainage and boost your energy level for the day.
9. Choose premium fuel
Stress can leave the body depleted—eating poorly will make it worse. So, as often as possible, try to make healthy choices when you sit down to eat: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats (you know the drill). And if your dinners this holiday season are primarily comprised of party appetizers, head to the crudité platter, snack on nuts, have a glass of water or seltzer for every glass of wine, and steer clear of too much cheese, sweets and red meat.