The holiday season is right around the corner, and just the thought of it is enough to send my heart racing. When it comes to this festive period, I always feel equal parts excitement and terror. I’m sure I’m not the only one! As a chronic people pleaser, all the extra organizing, expectations, and crippling fear of everything not going to plan can quickly send me spiraling.
And where’s one of the first places I notice this additional festive stress? My skin. No matter if it’s dry, puffy, inflamed, or breaking out in spots, I know I need to channel more Zen into my life when my skin is acting out.
If you often find yourself running around the grocery store, panicking because you’ve forgotten to buy the cranberries or gift wrap, then don’t worry. We’re here to share some super easy tips and tricks to keep your mind and skin as relaxed as possible over the coming months.
#1 Try not to compare your experience to others
Every year, the holiday season brings with it some huge expectations. We want to have the most picture-perfect, joyful time ever. This leads to us building up this expectation to deliver. And social media only exacerbates this, with everyone seeming to have the time of their lives. But my first tip to minimize stress over the coming months is to let go of some of this unnecessary weight on your shoulders.
A lot of this comes down to how we manage our expectations. Remember, what you see on social media is only the highlight reel of people’s lives. The holiday season doesn’t have to be some grand, show-stopping experience. You could do all the right preparation and planning, yet still feel inadequate compared to someone else’s perfectly manicured Instagram feed.
Instead of trying to match these sky-high expectations, embrace it as a time to focus on yourself, recharge, and reconnect with your loved ones. Anything else is simply an added bonus.
#2 Stay well rested
Every doctor and therapist will agree that sleep helps everything feel more manageable. It’s our most vital way of recharging, allowing us to better handle the stresses that come our way. Trust me, all the additional socializing and organizing will feel a thousand times easier if you’re consistently sleeping well.
In one study, 21% of adults reported feeling more stressed if they didn’t get enough sleep. Those who slept for less than eight hours a night said they experienced higher stress levels than those who slept a minimum of eight hours. So, no matter how busy your life gets over the coming weeks, make sure you’re allowing yourself enough time to rest and reset.
And what better pairing for a good night’s sleep than an indulgent under-eye pick-me-up? The Multi-Task Full Circle Eye Serum Mask is a favorite of mine for injecting some extra moisture and brightness back into my face.
The silky hydrogel patches help to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and under-eye bags. Plus, they’re versatile! You can use them before bed as a way to wind down or during your morning skincare routine to create the perfect base for the day’s makeup.
#3 Brush off those stressful thoughts
Anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact I’m all about connecting my skincare routine with mindfulness. This holiday season, use your cleansing ritual to say goodbye to any stressful thoughts or anxieties. Think of it as visualization meets cleansing.
Studies on the brain show that our thoughts produce the same mental instructions as our actions. By visualizing your worries melting away, your brain will begin to believe that’s exactly what’s happening, leading to a greater sense of calm and inner peace.
I have the perfect product recommendation for this. The VTM Cream-to-Foam Cleanser is a mild product that will leave your skin feeling soft, refreshed, and soothed. And I adore it!
Packed full of nourishing amino acids, it’s ideal for re-energizing the skin after a late night, or prepping it for a day of festive activities. What starts as a velvety cream becomes a luxurious foam, so set aside a few extra minutes to massage it into your skin and release your worries and stresses.
#4 Set aside time for yourself
With more plans to juggle and people to see, it becomes harder to set aside time for ourselves to decompress and recharge. Extended disruption to our day-to-day lives can leave us feeling unsettled, which in turn can lead to poor sleep, more turbulent emotions, and troubled skin.
So wherever possible, find little pockets of time for yourself. This might include getting outside and going for a daily, mindful walk - alone or with the people you love. Walking increases blood flow and circulation and is great for your central nervous system, which is responsible for your stress response. It’s the ideal way to restore some calm and alleviate the festive stress.
You might also want to block out an evening to run a hot bath and put on a face mask. The rest of the world can wait for a few hours! Hot baths have been shown to reduce inflammation, a key symptom of excess stress. They’ve also been known to improve sleep quality—a perfect full-circle moment back to tip #2.
And why not use the Vitality Treatment Mask to make it an even more relaxing, indulgent experience? This product has been shown to increase skin hydration levels by up to 48%, making it a real treat for a self-care night in. It’s creamy, cooling, and a miracle worker for your skin’s complexion.
No matter what you’re doing over the holidays, or how manic life might get, always make some time for yourself. Even if it’s only for a few minutes every day, remember to show your skin and your mind some extra love. And always keep in mind that this festive season is about having a good time—whatever that looks like to you!